smoothing_transition by mudoc123


									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

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


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Curry, M.J. (2004). UCLA community college review: Academic literacy for English
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Leki, I. and Carson, J. (1997). “Completely different worlds”: EAP and the writing
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Matsuda, P.K. (1999). Composition studies and ESL writing: A division of labor. College
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Silva, T. (1997). On the ethical treatment of ESL writers. TESOL Quarterly, 31 (2), 359-

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