Childrenraised in a background where English is not part of their formallanguages, represent a radical increasing percentage population thatis being enrolled in the United States of America learninginstitutions. These students are found throughout the country and notonly in the cities and the border of America and Mexico. It is,therefore, essential that schools put up mechanisms to address thischallenge of individual difference in the student population,particularly those that are not good in English (Varela, 2011).
Thevarious programs that have been employed to help the languageminority students have remained a controversial topic to date. Thoughmany reasons have been raised to defend the superiority of givenmodels over others in particular situations, some cases have beenproven effective. The choice made should consider the needs of theindividuals involved and the availability of the resources required.This aspect provides a rich platform to discuss the programs and howthey relate to the quality indicators.
ProgramModels Employed in Teaching English to Learners
Allmodels within this program use the native language of the children tosupplement English for instruction. The central assumption in thesemethods in the districts where they are applied is that a largepopulation of students has a common linguistic background (Varela,2011). Therefore, they are placed in groups as per their firstlanguage. Teachers are supposed therefore to be fluent not only inEnglish but also in the mother tongue of the children.
Early Exit Bilingual Programs
Theseprograms are effective in assisting students to acquire the BasicEnglish skills needed to survive in the English-only regular classes.They give first instructions using the student`s primary language notonly in the introduction bit, but also when making clarifications.The phasing out of the original language, however, is rapid and mostlearners are promoted to mainstream at the end of either the first orthe second grade (Varela, 2011). By only using the native languagefor introduction and clarification and the other parts in English,the model meets the quality indicators preparing children to tacklethe content concepts in English, the educational content-sectioninstructions and also gives room for socio-emotional development asstudents are placed in groups of similar home language. However, itdoes not meet the indicator of developing specialists in languages asthe students are rapidly moved to the mainstream class after a shortperiod.
Themain difference is the amount and the period taken when using Englishin giving instructions and the time taken in the program. Childrenremain in the program throughout the period they are in theelementary institution. While there, the instructors continue toprovide over 40% of the learning instruction using their homelanguage (Varela, 2011). This process continues even after they havebeen proven to be fluent and proficient in English. It has beenproven to be useful in linking students to an English system. Fromits description and characteristics, it is clear that since theprogram is lengthy and the transition is gradual, it meets almost allthe indicators mentioned from nurturing specialists, preparing themto handle school work to the provision of a stable base to developthe social identity of individuals.
Two-way Bilingual Programs
Thismethod differs significantly from the other two since it calls forplacing children from one minority language in the same class withthose who speak English (Peregoy et al., 2016). The centralassumption that drives this approach is that the majorityEnglish-speakers will act as role models and to their peers andmentor them accordingly. The classes are characterized by a balancedpopulation of both groups which are taught by one teacher who isfluent in the languages or two teachers one being bilingual. Theinteraction of the pupils plays a key role in comprehending Englishand the academic material. On the other hand, I do not think if itmay provide an ample platform for primary language and professionalspecialist in native languages as the children will be on the run toemulate the English majority.
Inthis model, the language minority children from different linguistichomes are placed in one class, and the instructor uses English as theprimary medium in of teaching. The teacher employs differenttechniques to adapt to the fluency levels of the learners. He may usegestures and other visual supports to make them understand (Varela,2011). The primary assumption in this method is that content is moreimportant than the language. This approach from a glance confirmsthat none of the four quality indicators discussed in the chapter canbe met since it does not pay attention to the language part.
Onecan easily deduce the four programs applied in teaching English as asecond language in U.S.A, their assumptions and characteristics andhow they relate to the four quality indicators from the discussion. However, in all of them, the parent has a right to apply forException abandonment and select another program. They also have aright to be notified of any aspect touching on reclassification.
Peregoy,S. & Boyle, O. (2016). Reading,Writing and 0Learning in ESL: A Resource Book for Teaching K-12English Learners. Amazon:Pearson Education, Limited.
Varela,E. (2011). Mainstreaming ELLs into Grade-Level Classes. EducationDigest,76(2),39-43.