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Case Study On Esol Strategies



This exam is a case study.  It is based on an actual occurrence, although a few variations have been made. This situation is fairly common in large urban school districts.  As all schools, large and small, rural or urban, begin to be more culturally and linguistically diverse, similar situations will arise. For this exam, you have some flexibility; you may chose the middle school grade you will be teaching as well as the lesson you will be teaching.


¨     You have been teaching in an urban school district for three years, but your position is considered “temporary” and thus, you have been moved to various schools, sometimes teaching at two different schools during a school week!  Often, you do not get your teaching assignment until it is very close to the start of the school year; often you sweat out if you will be called or not.

¨     This school year, on the third day prior to the start of school, you get the call.  You are being assigned to a middle school (grade 6, 7, or 8) to teach (your subject) at a school that is considered to be an “international magnet school,” and thus, has a plethora of linguistic and cultural diversity.  The school is located in a neighborhood with a low socio-economic level; most residents have not graduated from high school; there is a high level of families receiving social service assistance. Nevertheless, you are thrilled – you will teach at only one school; you will have an enriching educational environment; you will have the extra resources often common to a “magnet school” (or so you think!).  You have two and ½ days to get ready to meet this task!  You took 3 years of high school Spanish and the required one semester of Spanish in college.  But, you know a lot of bilingual professionals.

¨     Then, reality sets in.  You are told that even though the contract calls for no more than 22 students per class, your class will have 28 students; you will teach with a team of 3 other teachers, who are experienced and who are certified in the major academic areas, other than the one you teach; major academic areas: English, Math (including technology/computers), Science, Social Studies. [There are also teachers in Art, Music, Foreign Language and Physical Education, but they “travel” to all classes in the school on a varied schedule, so they are not a permanent part of the 6, 7, or 8 grade team]. You will meet with 5 groups of students per day, each one has a mixed level of academic abilities, and each group is very diverse.  Although the contract calls for each teacher to have a teaching assistant or teacher’s aide, due to budgetary constraints, this requirement has been waived. You are alone with 28 students for 5 periods of class per day. This information is given as background so that you can be aware of the complexity of your teaching assignment and the few resources available.

¨     However, for this exam, you will focus on only one of the classes you teach in the grade and subject you chose.

¨     The principal tells you that the class consists of 28 students:

Ø  5 are native speakers of Vietnamese who came to the U.S. last month;

Ø  3 are speakers of Arabic been placed in the __ grade together because they are siblings, close in age, and their parents insist that they be together.  They have been in the US for 6 months but this is their first school experience. The principal acquiesced to the wishes of the parents.

Ø  10 speakers of Spanish – 7 are Puerto Rican; 3 are from Central America (the principal doesn’t know which countries). They speak some English because they have lived in the U.S. most of their lives but they live in bilingual communities and/or in homes in which English is not spoken.  (Later, you find out one is of Mexican heritage and has been here only 3 months).

Ø  6 or 7 are “oriental” (the principal’s term – he  thinks they are either Chinese or Japanese, but he’s not sure)

Ø  The rest of the class are U.S. citizens for whom English is the native language.

Ø  The principal expects that by the second week of school you’ll submit a week’s worth of lesson plans on the Friday of the preceding week.  By the 4###sup week, you are to have a month long thematic unit plan ready.  Luckily you have time to prepare this requirement.



Although you have some time to prepare the formal lesson plans and unit plan, you have one week of classes to plan in order to get off to a good start with your students.  Some of the pressure to cover specific subject material is lifted and you do have time to address the issues of cultural and linguistic diversity in your classroom.

Discuss your first five days of school (again, focus on only the one class of 28 students as described on page 1). Address the task day by day. (The answer you write for each day is worth 20 points. Writing counts – grammar, spelling, etc. as well as organization as well as innovative, effective use of ESOL strategies, including supporting theories, as appropriate) Discuss the activity (or activities) you will do on each day (but you do not have to put each day in the form of a lesson plan; a description or discussion is adequate. Be brief but specific.  The response for each day should be one – two paragraphs long.  Appropriate format counts (APA or MLA).  Use the website OWL – Purdue to get assistance.  Also, the Evans Library page will put all your sources in the format of your choice – there is a tool you can use.

Day One - How are you going to proceed?  What strategies can you use to establish a positive classroom atmosphere? How will you deal with students who speak little or no English?  How will you deal with students who are not age – appropriate for the grade level? What activities have you prepared to start today and which will you carry over to Day Two? What preparation should you be engaged in to better serve your students? What steps can you take to suggest improving the in-take process with an appropriate home-school survey?  Why is it helpful to have accurate information about the background of your students?

On Day Two, several of the students are unruly.  They seem to not be engaged in learning.  They refuse to participate in some of the wonderful activities you have prepared. How can you capture their learning?  You strive to reach out to different learning styles; what principles do you employ?  You try to get students to begin to appreciate and accept diversity as a positive but yet, they seem to want to sit in groups together.  You wonder – is it a good thing to separate them and have them work with students from other cultures yet? 

On Day Three you decide to tackle some strategies that are designed for beginning speakers of English, such as TPR.  The class goes very well, except the Vietnamese newcomers still refuse to participate or say even one word.  Why is that?  Are they just being misbehaved?  At the end of the day, one of your more experienced teammates tells you that you are wasting time: just begin teaching your subject so the students don’t miss out on important material.  You disagree.  How can you convince her that you are not wasting time?

On Day Four, you begin to notice some progress being made.  It seems that most of the females in the class are showing each other their lipsticks and colognes. Are you surprised that there are some females who will not participate in this?  You do not want to discourage this impromptu interaction, but at the same time, you have prepared an exciting activity for the class. You feel it will liven them up and contribute to the positive and welcoming atmosphere.  It is based on music and dancing from various cultures.  You are surprised at the reaction of some of the students.  Why? 

By Day Five, the U.S. students seem to be rebelling.  Why was most of the first week focused on those “foreigners?” Why do we need to learn about diversity?  You have sensed this attitude and you have devised an activity that will combine US and international cultures as well as world languages.  It is a hit with the students.  Moreover, it will lead to the second week in a positive way, giving the students a better opportunity to start acquiring the subject matter while still improving their English.  Describe what you did on Day Five. 


Title: Case Study On Esol Strategies
Length: 4 pages (1278 Words)
Style: APA


ESOL Strategies

The following discussion addresses key task for teaching a diverse classroom of twenty-eight students. The responses to each day are detailed to allow the teacher get up to a good start with students. The results of the case study give the teacher flexibility in the culturally diverse middle grade class the teacher will be instructing.  

Day 1: Beginning instruction

On the first day, the strategy that will work best for the class is slowing things down to gain control and respect from the class (Nemeth, 2009). As soon as I set my eyes on the students arriving at the door, I slow them down and do not let them proceeded further until they get quiet and attentive. Slowing down has a calming effect on students that gets most students to accomplish tasks (Nemeth, 2009). During the first day, I will speak softly and slowly so that students do not strain when listening to me. No matter what, instructions only continue when students are quiet and attentive. Pausing a bit longer than is natural is a supernatural way of drawing the student’s attention.


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