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At our school, this is exactly what we do. William is absolutely right!
I don't feel like I can reach both student types because their problems
are so diverse. Sometimes my ESL students understand more than my native
students, and other times I feel like I leave my ESL students in the
dust. Because I don't have time to address both groups equally, I begin
to feel as though no one is really learning. I know this must be
reflected in the exit testing that we do. 

And yet, no one in administration wants to believe that this is a
problem. There are no ESL specific classes because they are afraid of
violating people's civil rights. I'm not so sure they're actually
getting around that issue by throwing ESL students in the class room
with native students. 



-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of William W. Ziegler
Sent: Monday, February 12, 2007 9:02 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Low literacy levels in developmental reading and writing
courses

I would be leery of putting the folks who need ESL reading development
in the same class with lower level native speakers. It might work out
all right, given a sensitive instructor highly skilled in both reading
development and language acquisition, and the two populations can learn
from each other. However, the instructional needs are entirely
different. Depending on their previous experience, ESL students may have
more sophisticated reading strategies and considerably more background
knowledge in academic disciplines than do native speakers; on the other
hand, native speakers have developed more extensive everyday vocabulary
and cultural background knowledge.
An analogy may be to people who finish with the slowest times in a race.
Some of them might not have developed effective running techniques; some
might have arrived late at the starting line, some might have worn the
wrong kind of shoe.... They don't all need the same things.

-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mary Weller
Sent: Friday, February 09, 2007 6:33 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Low literacy levels in developmental reading and writing
courses

Hi,
I'm attaching the assessment placement chart for the placement decision
we made this fall as a pilot.  We are using the COMPASS and the COMPASS
Diagnostic as a second assessment tool.  While we are pleased with the
results of the COMPASS assessment and diagnostic, we still have issues
of students "self-placing" and therefore, registering for the wrong
reading course and the local literacy council referred students
progressing so slowly that it can take years for students to be ready to
come back to the college to take the COMPASS again!  This is true for
the ESL students as well. So, all in all, we don't really have a
resource for the lower level readers nor the ESL low level readers. 

Because we are such a small college, there is a concern that we
shouldn't offer ESL reading classes because we wouldn't have enough
students to fill a class and then the question becomes should we put the
lower level native speakers in the same class as the ESL students.  I'm
open to thoughts on this local issue.  
Mary
  

Mary Weller
Reading and Study Skills Instructor
Kellogg Community College
450 North Avenue
Battle Creek, MI  49017-3397
[log in to unmask]
269-965-3931 X2286
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