Through TELL courses, teachers and teacher candidates learn the basics of research-based second language acquisition (SLA), with emphasis on how English language learners (ELLs) gain language mastery. With a holistic program design, the curriculum packs courses with relevant content, provides strategic redundancy, and builds knowledge across courses. The sequence of seven courses leads to a Bilingual/ESL endorsement. The following summaries describe how each course contributes to the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of teachers. When they complete the courses, teachers will be prepared to meet ELL students' educational needs and understand the knowledge base and theory behind their practices.
COURSE 1: FOUNDATIONS OF A BILINGUAL EDUCATION
The first course in the series introduces teachers to the Inclusive Pedagogy Framework as a way of learning about linguistically and culturally diverse students, as well as learning about themselves as professionals. Through this course, teachers identify how their attitudes, assumptions, and beliefs impact their interaction with students. They also focus on the historical and current educational and political realities of policy, programs, and practice for language minority students. Finally, this course identifies multiple factors impacting the school experience of language minority students, including cognitive/academic (school and teacher practices), social/affective (personal, family, community), and linguistic development issues. Cultural sensitivity and multicultural issues are stressed.
- Builds understanding of teachers' sociocultural experience in relation to their students
- Focuses on legalities; examines the cognitive, social/affective, and linguistic development of ELL students; and guides teachers to plan and use ELL strategies
- Grounds teachers in the "Inclusive Pedagogy Conceptual Framework," on which the program is based, as a heuristic for educating students and guiding the teachers' professional development
COURSE 2: UNDERSTANDING LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
Educators interact with increasing numbers of language minority students, and they must be able to promote both content and language learning. To do so requires a sound understanding of principles and processes of second language acquisition. This course explores the concepts of communication, pattern, and variability in second language acquisition and explains their defining principles: input, interaction, stages of development, error/feedback, types of proficiencies, and types of performances. Teachers are introduced to foundational literature in the areas of native language acquisition, second language acquisition, and second language acquisition in the academic setting.
- Establishes communication (input and interaction), pattern (stages of development and errors/feedback), and variability (types of proficiency and types of performance) as a framework for understanding the SLA processes
- Prepares teachers to use student work to guide them in learning about SLA processes to support students' language development
- Identifies teacher work for supporting SLA through planning for variety in pedagogy, attending to individual differences, and focusing on language development
- Educates teachers about CREDE's "Five Standards for Effective Pedagogy" as a way to attend to ELL students' development, regardless of district program
COURSE 3: ASSESSMENT FOR LINGUISTICALLY DIVERSE STUDENTS
In this course, students explore the perspective that assessment is about student learning. The purpose of this course is to expand their understanding and repertoire of literacy assessments, specifically in relation to second language learners. They learn about implementing an assessment process and making assessments useful, meaningful, and equitable. They also develop expertise in using ongoing classroom assessment, alternative assessment techniques, and traditional testing to positively impact instruction and student learning. Students also consider issues in high-stakes testing for second language learners.
- Builds on teachers' knowledge of the sociocultural aspects of teaching and learning
- Builds teachers' understanding of assessment by focusing on the concepts of meaningful (relevant and accurate), useful (educative and practical), and equitable (open and appropriate), as well as specific issues in research-based ELL assessment
- Contrasts measurement- and standards-based paradigms of assessment
- Presents a variety of assessment strategies and accommodations
- Guides teachers in understanding the relationship between learning and assessment
- Explores the political nature of knowledge and assessment
COURSE 4: METHODS I: SECOND LANGUAGE LITERACY DEVELOPMENT
This methods course highlights teaching practices that support literacy development. Students explore the role of literacy development in content area learning. Specifically, the course focuses on expanding mainstream teachers' understanding of second language literacy development so they can support second language learners' literacy as well as content learning. Building on knowledge and skills from the previous courses, this course extends the concepts of communication, pattern, and variability to literacy. Using the "Five Standards for Effective Pedagogy" as the pedagogical orientation for teaching, educators are encouraged to use five ESL Guidelines for Curriculum Development that support literacy and content learning.
- Focuses on processes of academic language development and ways of supporting students in developing literacy skills in the different content areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking
- Guides teachers to reconsider the sociocultural context of literacy development
- Deepens teachers' understanding of the concepts of communication, pattern, and variability in second language learners' development of literacy skills in a new language
- Presents numerous reading, writing, and vocabulary development strategies
- Explores ELL students' task in first and second language literacy development
- Examines family literacy and considers literate practices across cultures
COURSE 5: METHODS II: CONTENT-BASED INSTRUCTION
In teacher working groups, participants explore content area learning from a second language perspective. Participants review the conceptual tools and content of previous TELL courses. They explore their pedagogical practices within their disciplines and in second language acquisition. This course engages students in curriculum development that includes integration of language instruction and content in the mainstream classroom. This methods course requires students to use the curriculum to apply and demonstrate what they have learned. Additionally, teachers must apply their knowledge to teaching practices for second language learners. Activities encourage teachers to be more flexible, cognitively complex, self-monitoring, critical, and specific about how they will meet the needs of ESL students in their classrooms. Teacher working groups create community among peers by promoting ownership for learning and creating space for meaning.
- Organizes discipline-based teacher working groups to engage teachers in discussing what they have learned from other courses, how this learning applies to their content areas, and what implications they have found for modifying curriculum and pedagogy
- Develops curriculum units that support ELL students in learning the language of academic domains
- Expands skill in the use of learning strategies, both general strategies and those specific to teachers' disciplines, to support students' content language learning
COURSE 6: FAMILY, SCHOOL, AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
This course explores the standards, principles, policies, and processes of school partnering with parents, families, and communities in fostering and sustaining the development of children and youth. Particular attention is given to the diversity of the school community and ways teachers can capitalize on this diversity in meeting student needs. Educators learn how to organize and function in action teams to carry out partnership goals that view diversity as a strong resource in public school classrooms.
- Reconsiders the content learned in earlier courses as a lens for engaging parents in the education of their children
- Deepens participants' understanding of a teacher's role as a support to parents
- Explores cross-cultural communication between families and schools
- Examines the funds of knowledge that families and communities provide for learning
- Teaches about specific school-based programs that connect schools, families, and communities to promote student learning
COURSE 7: PRACTICUM: FIELDWORK
This praticum is the final course of the Bilingual/ESL endorsement. Through this classroom participation, on-site experience is attached to each of the six video-anchored courses. Upon completion, practicing teachers receive four practicum credits. Teacher candidates are awarded the credits as part of their student teaching.
- Engages teachers in practical work in classrooms and communities, giving them numerous opportunities to apply new learning
- Provides guided practice in assessment, planning for instruction, and use of best practices
- Utilizes CD-ROM-based technologies to demonstrate the best teaching practices and teach participants to apply theory in real-world settings
- Develops strategies and skills for both learning about and educating ELL students
- Provides assisted learning before unassisted performance through in-class activities followed by fieldwork applications