Report: Understanding English Language Learners' Needs and the Language Acquisition Process



STUDENTS, english Language Learners, TOPICAL BRIEF


PRACTITIONER:teaching design and practices, PRACTITIONER:group practice and professional learning


Alicja Rieger, Ewa McGrail, Equity Alliance at ASU


2006, 8/10/2009


National Institute for Urban School Improvement


This OnPoint tackles the complexity of English language learners’ needs from our point of view. We are native Polish-speaking teacher educators who use our own experiences and knowledge as English language learners in methods courses that we teach in teacher education programs in the United States. We both were born and raised in Poland, and share our passion for our native language and culture with our students, who are either already practicing public school teachers or in the process of becoming teachers. We refer to both groups as teachers in this OnPoint. Both groups of teachers are earning their master’s degrees to better serve students in multi-lingual classrooms in K-12 settings. In support of these teachers’ educational goals, we provide them with opportunities to experience first-hand some of the key components of second language acquisition in focused instructional engagements - what Vaughn, Bos, and Schumm (2003) classified as more natural opportunities to develop an understanding of English language learners’ needs. Finally, in our college classrooms, we provide our teachers with opportunities to develop a more formal framework for second language acquisition pedagogy for students in K-12 settings.


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