Who are Adolescent English Language Learners?


They are a very diverse group of students who bring to U. S. schools a large variety of languages, cultures, school and life experiences. They have a wide range of proficiencies in both English and their natives languages. Their knowledge in the content areas also vary considerably.
At one end of the spectrum, some English Learners (ELs) arrive in school with a strong academic background and they are literate in their native language (s). At the other end, some immigrants have limited or interrupted formal education due to a war in their native country for instance; these students have weak literacy skills in their first language and are most at risk of failure (SIOP, p.7). The variability of the students' backgrounds has implications on instruction design.

What challenges do ELs face at the Secondary Level?


1. Acquiring English Academic Literacy: reading, writing, listening, and speaking for school. Such skills takes 4 to 7 years to develop (Collier, 1987)
2. Mastering complex content in math, science, language arts, and social studies while acquiring English literacy and with fewer years to do it.
3. Adjusting to the culture of U. S. high schools where they are likely to experience social and linguistic segregation.

THEY HAVE TO DO DOUBLE THE WORK IN THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME AS THEIR ENGLISH-SPEAKING PEERS.

How to Address the Needs of Secondary ELs?

  • A curriculum that promotes language and content learning concurrently
  • Sheltered Instruction: an approach that integrates content and language objectives in every lesson
  • SIOP= Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol - an explicit model of effective sheltered practices (Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2001)
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty3n07UaFU

Some Components of the SIOP Model

  • Build Background Knowledge
  • Provide Comprehensible Input
  • Promote High Level Thinking

Reference: Echevarria, J., Vogt, M. E., & Short D. (2008). Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners: The SIOP Model (3rd ed.)
Boston: Allyn & Bacon