Issues in ELL Education
Second Language Acquisition (SLA) Theories
Methods and Assessment in Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL)
This course addresses the following Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's Program Content Guidelines:
- Language Competence: Teachers have a high degree of fluency in English, comprehend the linguistic and paralinguistic features of the English language, and recognize the processes through which languages are acquired in both formal and informal contexts.
- Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Teachers employ effective curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices for English language learners and possess knowledge of the content taught in schools.
This course is designed for students who successfully completed the courses Issues in ELL Education, Second Language Acquisition Theories, and Methods and Assessment in Teaching English Language Learners. It provides opportunities for teachers to reflect on their practice in light of theories of SLA and ELL teaching methods and assessment. The course provides for teachers a platform to critically evaluate their teachings skills and make improvements justified by current research literature. Throughout the practicum, students deepen their understanding in the ELL/SLA field by reading and researching English language learners-related professional articles.
Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:
- Successfully design lessons utilizing current English language learner theories;
- Utilize ELL methods of teaching;
- Use data to determine effectiveness of ELL strategies in relationship to student learning;
- Critically engage in academic discourse to explore the benefits and demerits of various ELL methods;
- Demonstrate an increased awareness of how theory and research-based methods inform teaching/learning approaches;
- Apply theoretical knowledge in curricular design, pedagogy, and classroom dynamics;
- Make informed and purposeful decisions in relation to existing and futuristic trends in second language education.
- Richards, J.C., & Renandya, W.A. (Eds.). (2002). Methodology in language teaching: An anthology of current practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Available at the Textbook Center)
- Selected articles
Course evaluation will be based on the sum of points collected by accomplishing the following assignments:
- Reflective Journal — 100 points
- Reading Assignments — 200 points
- Classroom Observations — 400 points (each 200 points)
- Self-Evaluation — 300 points
For graduate credits students are also responsible for the following assignment:
- Research Review — 300 points
The following grading scale will apply:
A = 90-100%; B = 80-89%; C = 70-79%; D = 60-69%; F = 59% and below.
Each assignment will be written in APA or MLA format. They must be double-spaced using Times New Roman 12-point font-size and have 1-inch margins on all sides.
1. Reflective Journal — 100 points
To promote reflective practice, teachers will write journals in which they record important practical classroom/teacher/learner experiences and relate them to theories, methods, and/or cultures informing their classroom practice and/or teacher/learner behaviors. This is an activity in which teachers are engaged throughout the semester.
2. Reading Assignments — 200 points
Teachers will continue to learn about ESL methods and assessment techniques. In groups of five they will discuss the assigned reading material and share their insights on the issues presented in the textbook. Desire2Learn will be the forum of discussion. Teachers are responsible to post each week at least one idea on the web and respond as a minimum to one group member’s entry.
3. Classroom Observations — 400 points (each 200 points)
In consultation with each student, the instructor will arrange 2 classroom observation visits during the semester. For each of the lessons, the student will complete a pre-observation form and a post-observation reflection. The instructor will write a classroom observation report and give on-site oral feedback. Forms will be posted on Desire2Learn.
4. Self-Evaluation — 300 points
Teachers will videotape one lesson that is taught for a group of students in which there is at least one English language learner in attendance. Teachers will review the tape and write a five-page self-evaluation. The paper shall provide a summary of the lesson and a brief discussion of the environment including the age of students and English proficiency of ELLs. Using ESL methods and SLA theories, the paper will present a critical analysis of the teacher’s practice.
Students taking this class for graduate credits are also required to submit the following assignment:
5. Research Review —300 points
To keep abreast of current literature and trends in the field, teachers will research and read current ELL-related professional articles. They will choose two research papers and write a 2-3 page critical response to each of the articles. Each response paper should briefly introduce the problem, reflect on the issue by stating a position and offer a conclusive statement, resolution, or suggestion. Students will submit their papers online using Desire2Learn. The grading rubric will be posted on Desire2Learn.
For easy reference, the course textbook will be abbreviated as (R&R).
- Lesson Planning and Classroom Management
- Syllabus Design and Instructional Material
- Teaching Pronunciation and Speaking
- Technologies in the Classroom
While collaboration rather than competition is encouraged, students are expected to approach each assignment with academic integrity. All sources must be carefully documented and credited to their authors. Plagiarized work will result in an “F” grade.
The UW-Platteville’s Civility statement espouses respect and courtesy to all people regardless of differences in race, gender, and color. One of the underlying goals of this course is to establish a community of learners who feel comfortable and free to share their ideas, opinions, beliefs, and experiences as well as what they know or do not know; while respecting other people’s beliefs and opinions. Students are expected to show the same respect and courtesy they expect others to extend to them. The participation grade will reflect on the effort to establish a friendly community of learners.
“Any student who may need an accommodation due to a disability, please make an appointment to see me during my office hours. A VISA from Services for Students with Disabilities authorizing your accommodations will be needed.”
(Office of Students with Disabilities, 2005)