ESL: Excerpts from Reviews of TELL by National Experts

Review by Jodi Crandall
Department of Education
ESOL/Bilingual ISD MA Program
University of Maryland, Baltimore

"If the first course is any indication, you will have produced the most innovative, engaging, comprehensive, and theoretically sound program of its kind available in the United States. You have consulted and actually interviewed on screen most of the important scholars in the field today: Virginia Collier, Jim Cummins, Kenji Hakuta, Marguerite Ann Snow, Elizabeth Bernhardt, Ray Graham, Fred Genesee, Margie Berns, Deborah Short, and too many others to specifically name here. This alone is quite an accomplishment!"

"I know of no other educational program which has even attempted to get cooperation of the most important (and busiest) scholars in the field. And you have included with these scholars' interviews representatives of the host stakeholders who are passionately interested in these issues: teachers, administrators, parents, community members, government officials, and of course the learners themselves . . . videotaped [in] a wide range of classrooms, which vividly demonstrate the perspectives offered by the many participants."

Review by Ann Snow, Professor
Charter School of Education
California State University, Los Angeles

"Let me begin by stating my unabashed praise for the products produced for [TELL] up until this point. The overall course package for the Foundations of Bilingual Education course is outstanding; the amount of work that has gone into just one course is mind-boggling. . . . Perhaps the major strength of this project is the multiple perspectives represented in the videos. The teachers in training hear directly from ESL students, practicing teachers and resource specialists 'in the trenches,' and administrators coping with the influx of second language students and the ensuing complexities."

"The interviews with the university-based interviewees reflect an impressive range of sub-disciplines within education. I expected to hear interview segments from key figures in ESL, bilingual education, and applied linguistics, but was particularly impressed to see key educators in such areas as teacher education and reading research represented. . . . This 'cross-pollination' is unfortunately relatively uncommon¬ówe academics tend to revolve in the worlds of our sub-disciplines, reading certain journals and attending certain conferences. The [TELL] producers have made an enormous contribution by bringing these different and necessary perspectives together in one place. . . ."

Review by Roland G. Tharp
Center for Research on Education, Diversity, and Excellence
Santa Cruz, California

"The scope of your program's ambition is so great that it provides the opportunity for solutions that are fundamental to the future of teacher education in America. You have aspired to develop a program that provided all possible excellence in content knowledge, ethical and moral solidity, pedagogical science, technological integration, and community articulation."

"The [TELL] program raises all the fundamental questions of teacher preparation. . . . For each of these fundamental questions, your program proposes an answer that is ground-breaking, theoretically-justified, reasoned from research, and coherent and integrated with the solutions to the full range of questions."

"The encompassing strength of the [TELL] program is in the unity and reach of the vision that produced it. . . . The leading-edge elements of your program include the inclusion of a systematic pedagogy, that you teach and teach by. It includes the systematic use of multimedia high-performance teacher models. And it includes scalability, through your trainer-of-trainers design."