ESL Teachers: HELPP ME!!!

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by QQQ, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. QQQ

    QQQ Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2008

    Now how did I get into this? :eek:hmy:

    I'm a first year teacher and certified in Special Education. My sons school (small private, faith based school) called me in for an interview last week and pretty much hired me on the spot. I got a VERY good feeling from the people interviewing me and the last 4 days that we have been going for training/classroom preperation, I am enjoying being part of the close knit community and the support from the very proactive administration. Sounds great huh? It pretty much is EXCEPT that I got hired as an ESL teacher.

    YIKES!! :eek:


    I will be doing some remedial work, which I'm excited about but 75% of my work will be ESL from KG - 12. I know nothing about ESL. Please help me, I really want to do a good job.

    Will I be teaching my ESL children the exact same syllabus their peers in class are studying? Will it be a modified syllabus of the same? Or does ESL usually have its own syllabus guidelines? Can you tell how cluessless I am? :down:

    I'm going to give this my best shot and aim to also get certified in ESL ASAP but on my way there, I'm going to need serious help. Please tell me what you can about the above questions.

    Thank you in advance!
     
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  3. QQQ

    QQQ Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2008

    :0(

    nobody?:help:
     
  4. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Aug 12, 2008

    What has your principal told you about the curriculum?

    I am assuming she/he has not left you high and dry without any guidance as to what you will be teaching.
     
  5. QQQ

    QQQ Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2008

    I have been told that I will have mainly Junior high and High School ESL and ELL students.

    My question is: do ESL teachers follow the same curriculum and syllabus as the regular teachers, with some modifications? Or is the syllabus completely changed?
     
  6. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Aug 13, 2008

    Usually the ESL class has its own syllabus.
     
  7. QQQ

    QQQ Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2008

    But if I want to follow the TEKS, do you know where I may find the syllabus according to grade levels?
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 14, 2008

    Teaching ESL students is very similar to teaching ESE students. You will have to make reading a priority. You can use any curriculum that your school is using because most of the curriculums have built in assistance for ESL students. You will be working a little bit slower with them than with gen ed. Can I assume that these students have some english or are they completely non english speaking? That will make a difference, as well. Do you know what your curriculum is? I am certified and teach both ESE and ESL in the same classroom. If you want o PM me with specific questions, I'd be happy to help. And I'm only one state over...that may help!!!???
     
  9. Shinchan

    Shinchan Rookie

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    Aug 14, 2008

    If they aren't very proficient, Esl is very similar to Sped. When I was an intern we even taught sped students who were placed in ESL even though they didn't know a second language. Depending on ages and levels of proficiency, I agree to hit reading hard. Vocab, fluency, comprehension, etc. If they are newcomers, add in alphabet and sounds. Don't dumb things down....just scaffold the instruction based on where they are. use a variety of tools, not just worksheets. Even older kids like to get up and move around playing games when learning the new language.
     
  10. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Aug 14, 2008

    Are you looking for the TEKS themselves? There is not "syllabus" that exists; you make you own or use one your school supplies. If you want to teach the TEKS for ESL, go to:
    http://www.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter128/index.html

    You design your lesson plans to incorporate the TEKS. Several TEKS can be used in one lesson.
     
  11. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    Aug 15, 2008

    You could have such a wide variety of students in ESL. For example, I have had ESL students who spoke no English and could not read or write in their own language. We had to start with the basics and I had to use lots of pictures. Even a student who can read or write in their own language but does not use the same alphabet can be a challenge.

    On the other hand I have taught high level ESL students who were about ready to mainstream into regular classes. They read to Kill a Mockingbird and Holes.

    I would imagine that you are going to have a mix of all these types!
    You need to see if your school has textbooks for these kids and that will give you a better idea of what is expected from you. K-12 is a big range!
     
  12. QQQ

    QQQ Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2008

    Thanks folks, this has been supremely helpful. If I'm starting out wwith students who are unfamiliar with even the 12 months of the year (the order, complete names and spellings), what should I be doing? Should I work on these basics first (days of the week , conversations, role playing etc) or jump straight into vocabulary and reading.

    One is 5th grade and the other 11th grade.

    Also, how are ESL students tested at the end of the year?
     
  13. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    Aug 19, 2008

    I don't know quite how to advise you because of two reasons. One, you are in Texas and I don't know what the rules are there, and two you are at a charter school (I think) which might be different. When I taught ESL at a public school there was a very uniform entrance exam and exit exam used for the whole district. If the students did not pass the exit exam they could not leave ESL unless their parents requested it.

    Fifth grade and Eleventh grade is quite an age span. But if they don't know the months of the year you must begin at the beginning. Just remember they are not little children. Have you ever studied a foreign language? The only difference is that most ESL students (most, not all) will pick up some language just from being immersed in the language. In contrast, a student studying Spanish may only hear Spanish for the 50 minutes he is in class.

    A couple of things to remember about teaching ESL. And again these are generalizations- not truths for everyone. I was shocked the first time I taught children ESL because some of them didn't want to learn English. I had always taught adults before who were highly motivated to learn. Some of my high school students on the other hand were angry, lonely, frightened, scared, resentful. For some of them it was not their choice to come to this country. It was their parents' choice. It is horrible not knowing the language and the culture and being treated as if you were stupid or a little baby. Also, some students may take a long time- maybe as much a year of just absorbing and listening before they feel comfortable enough to speak in English. Again, it just depends on the student. I have known some highly motivated and well educated students who learned very quickly. I had a student from Japan who went from being test at a beginning level to an advanced level in less than a year. I also had students who had been in refugee camps their whole life and didn't even know how to hold a pencil.
     

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