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ELL Program Plan in Library Media Centers, Sweeney 1 RUNNING HEAD: ELL Program Plan in Library Media Centers LMC Program Plan for ELL Students Patrick Sweeney San Jose State University ELL Program Plan in Library Media Centers, Sweeney 2 Abstract Within my own school library media center there is a clearly defined growing need for the development of a program targeted at English as a second language (ESL) and English Language Learners (ELL) students that will work in partnership with the language teachers (Paine, 2005). More pressure is being placed upon the library to provide the resources and information that is necessary for a successful program. Also, pressure is being placed on the library to provide its own programs to ELL students. Within the Green Acres school population nearly 50% of the students have Spanish as their first language and 12% list other Asiatic and European languages as their first language. This totals a population of 62% that do not speak English as their first language. With this language barrier in place students must be encouraged to take an active role in learning English to succeed in school and current resources must expand to include this ideal within their own programs. The library is an excellent example of a resource that is successful at encouraging independent language learning through voluntary reading and curriculum development as well as engaging students in language learning activities (Woolls, 2004) ELL Program Plan in Library Media Centers, Sweeney 3 The Program Mission To include all students equally in the learning process and to encourage the independent learning of the English language and to reinforce the curriculum of the language teachers. Vision With a full time librarian the library will offer a flex and fixed schedule for ESL and ELL students. The extra time that will be provided with a full time librarian will allow for ELL teachers to utilize the library for other extra activities that will support and reinforce the lessons learned in class. They will be allowed to sign up for extra time throughout the week to do research on special topics, book reports, learn about story construction, assist in language learning to ELL students, or for projects that would be too large to do solely within the classroom and require extra research and ease of access to specialized information that logistically could not be kept within the classroom. Space will be used to display and present projects to other classes thus developing a sense of community and interactive learning among the ELL students. Also, activities that encourage independent reading and writing will be presented. The computers will be used and activities both online and through the use of language programs will be led by the librarian as an (information specialist) in joint partnership with the ELL teachers. There will also be ample time to listen to books on tape at reading stations or watch educational language videos and reinforce the ELL curriculum. The extra time will also allow for ELL parents to gain access to all the resources of the library to encourage ELL Program Plan in Library Media Centers, Sweeney 4 independent english reading and learning at home as well as providing to parents books about the home, parenting, and life issues such drugs, alcohol, divorce, violence, and encouraging the use of proper language skills at home. These extra resources available to students, teachers, parents, and the community will only work to improve our current educational system Goals and objectives Gain the employment of a Full-time Librarian Establish a fixed/flex schedule Acquire media resources applicable to Language learning such as computer programs, videos, audio tapes, and books and games. Develop a library collection that is proportionally reflective of the student body racial composition Establish the library as a destination for English language learners and ELL teachers to participate in activities and projects aimed at encouraging English learning Budget In order to accomplish these goals there would need to be an increase in library funding by an extra $11,866.00 per year. The total will give the library the resources for the accomplishment of all goals. The money would allow for a full time librarian at the current pay of $10.56 per hour and this allows for the time needed for a flex fixed schedule. Also, it allows for approximately $4,000.00 per year for books and supplies. Books average thirteen dollars each therefore 100 books will cost 1,300. The current 200 new books per year goal will be accomplished and allow for the usual $400.00 per year goal for various library supplies including but not limited too: labels, barcodes, stamps, ELL Program Plan in Library Media Centers, Sweeney 5 ink, paper, book repair supplies, and light bulbs. This leaves a surplus budget of $1,000.00 per year especially designated for acquiring the resources needed for a successful program. Marketing Marketing tactics will be especially important in order to encourage the ELL teachers and parents of ELL students to take full advantage of the resources available to them in the library. These tactics will include: For parents (in both English and family language when possible) Advertising in school newsletters Reminders to parents during parent-teacher conferences and open house Student information packets Letters home After school library hours PTA meetings For faculty Advertising in school Newsletters Faculty meetings In school memos Face-to-face discussions Activities There will be a number of activities that could be provided by the library and the librarian in conjuncture with the ELL teacher and the establishment of a flex/fixed schedule. A flex fixed schedule is a library schedule in which students have a fixed ELL Program Plan in Library Media Centers, Sweeney 6 designated day and time in which their class visits the library for the singular purpose of returning and checking out of books. During this time, usually one half hour blocks per class, the kindergarten through 3 grade students will have a short picture book read to them that reflects the values of the school, reinforces the lessons taught in class, or encourages the students to read above their level. The fourth and fifth grade classes usually will be read the first chapter of a book that reflects those same goals. This time may also be used to teach the students the proper techniques for finding resources within the library. This usually amounts to one half or fifteen minutes of the library time and the last 15 minutes is dedicated to checking out books. ELL students will be encouraged during this time to find books in English at their current English reading level. The flex schedule allows for students to have extra time within the library and use its resources. The teachers will be encouraged to sign up for open blocks of time using a sign up sheet posted in the teacher lounge. Not only will this time be used by regular teachers but ELL teachers will be encourage to designate days in which they will use the library resources. They will be encouraged to use the interactive English teaching computer programs that are installed on the computers in the computer lab. They will also gain access to the books in both English and other languages and participate in reading circles targeting groups of ELL students and therefore encouraging interactive learning. They will be encouraged to find books in their native language that reflect the lessons taught in their regular classrooms to disallow them from falling behind the English speaking students in learning math, science, and history. Interactive language learning games and group research projects can be utilized with the extra information ELL Program Plan in Library Media Centers, Sweeney 7 provided in the library and encourage the campus ideals such as cooperation, sharing, and leadership. Dissemination of the results The success of this program will be measured on the current standardized tests for ESL and ELL students as well as state and national standardized tests. It is important to recognize that Green Acres Elementary School currently has a nationwide rating of 6. This score places Green Acres well above average and is currently out of danger of becoming a special needs school. However, with a constantly growing population of non-English speaking students there is a growing concern for decreasing scores on standardized state and national tests that are given in solely English. This means that each year green acres must work harder to achieve the same results. If the library ELL program is successful then we should not see a significant drop in standardized scores and show the success of the program. The program will also be shown to be successful through the use of internal school wide tests for ELL students that will be used to compile the data on the success of the program. ELL Program Plan in Library Media Centers, Sweeney 8 References Pain, David (2005, Fall). Message from the superintendent. Live Oak Tribute. Wools, Blanche (2004). The school library media manager (3rd ed.). Westport: Libraries Unlimited.