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Pat MacKenzie Spring 2007 M.A. TESOL Conference May 4, 2007 Smoothing the Transition from ESL to Mainstream English Classes in the Community College: A Case Study Pat MacKenzie Email: email@example.com Have you ever wondered about your former ESL students who have made the transition to mainstream academia? Can you imagine making this transition yourself, academically and culturally? Find out what instructors and students can do to make this transition a more successful one. ESL Student Challenges: Inadequate preparation for academic culture Inadequate preparation for academic writing Isolation in mainstream classroom Fear of speaking up in class English Instructor Challenges: lack of pedagogical ESL training lack of sensitivity to ESL learners and ESL writing unrealistic grammar expectations ESL Instructor Challenges: Offer writing assignments that require the students “to demonstrate knowledge of a source text” not to just generate ideas “from within themselves and their own personal experience” (Leki and Carson, 1997,p.62-3). Recommendations for smoothing the transition: Students must take risks, find support, and persevere (Allen; Rodriguez, 2007). English 1A instructors need training to develop sensitivity to ESL students’ needs (Silva, 1997). English 1A instructors must not weigh heavily on assignments that disadvantage the ESL student e.g., in-class writing tests (Silva, 1997; Allen, 2007). ESL instructors must prepare their students with text-responsible writing and critical thinking assignments (Leki &Carson, 1997). ESL programs must maintain standards for passing students to the next level (Allen, 2007). The ESL and English departments must work together to get calibrated on academic writing expectations and student outcomes (Allen, 2007). Pat MacKenzie Spring 2007 M.A. TESOL Conference May 4, 2007 References The Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges (2006).Item 7.2, Revised resolution concerning proposed changes to graduation competency requirements. Retrieved April 25. 2007 from http://www.asccc.org/Archives/MathEnglish/BoGrevisedresn9061.pdf Braine, G. (1996). ESL students in first-year writing courses: ESL versus mainstream classes. Journal of Second Language Writing, 5 (2), 91-107. Curry, M.J. (2004). UCLA community college review: Academic literacy for English language learners. Community College Review, 1-21. Retrieved April 24, 2007 from http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-125488673.html Leki, I. and Carson, J. (1997). “Completely different worlds”: EAP and the writing experiences of ESL students in university courses. TESOL Quarterly, 31 (1), 39-69. Matsuda, P.K. (1999). Composition studies and ESL writing: A division of labor. College Composition and Communication. 699-721. Retrieved April 25, 2007, from http://inventio.us/ccc/archives/1999/06/13_paul_kei_mat.html The Executive Committee of the Academic Senate (2004). Issues and options for associate degree levels in mathematics and English. 1-50. Retrieved April 24, 2007 from www.asccc.org/Events/sessions/spring05/materials/AppendixB.doc Silva, T. (1997). On the ethical treatment of ESL writers. TESOL Quarterly, 31 (2), 359- 363.
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