I. Description of Learners
This private tutoring course has been developed for three elementary school girls, ages 8 – 11. They are sisters, recent immigrants from Saudi Arabia, who will be living and attending school in the U.S. for approximately two years. These students have been assigned a private English language tutor by Cartus Intercultural Language Solutions on behalf of Chevron Corporation, as part of their family’s transfer package. The students have a language background in Arabic, which is the primary language spoken in their home.
They each attend a small, private, international school, where their teachers allow them certain “ESL modifications”. Information gathered from these students’ needs assessment evaluations (to be discussed in section three) showed them to be in the early production stage of English language development. They have limited listening and speaking proficiency, a firm grasp of the Latin alphabet, and the ability to read and write at about a kindergarten level. The students were very hesitant to speak English initially, which made assessment difficult.
II. Course Rationale
Cartus’ language trainers develop individualized programs to meet the needs of each participant, based on the results of the initial needs assessment process. Language trainers design programs for such practical applications as function-specific skills and vocabulary and conversational proficiency in order to increase your participant’s competency and confidence. Every aspect of the training program is customized. Considering this scenario, there is no standardized curriculum. Once students’ needs have been assessed, and reachable goals have been determined, then materials must be purchased in order to meet course objectives. The primary stakeholder is the children’s father, the students themselves are the secondary stakeholders, and their elementary teachers could be considered as tertiary stakeholders.
III. Needs Analysis
Cartus leaves analysis and evaluation up to the individual language instructor. An interview was conducted with the father over the phone to determine his goals for each child. During this conversation he also provided insight into each child’s personality and individual English proficiency. It was then discovered that a previous trainer had conducted an English language assessment while the children were still in Saudi Arabia. This assessment can be seen in Appendix 1.
Considering the results of the previous assessment, the instructor conducted one on one interviews with each child trying to gauge their levels of proficiency in the following areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The instructor sought to identify any gaps between what students are able to do and what they are required to do at school. Low beginning level questions, such as the ones listed below, were asked in order to define both preliteracy and literacy skills the students possessed. These initial questions were asked orally.
How many brothers do you have?
How many sisters do you have?
What is the name of your teacher?
What is the name of your baby sister?
How many fingers do you have?
What is your favorite toy?
In addition, during the course of the program, one of the children’s teachers was consulted in order to identify more specific goals.
IV. Goals and Objectives
The students’ father is the primary determiner of their educational goals. He stated, “They each need to be able to read passages at a faster rate and be able to speak and conversate.” (sic) In order to achieve these goals, the instructor took into account the students’ needs and abilities and set the following objectives to meet the father’s fairly broad goal:
* Know the names and sounds of all the consonants and vowels
* Understand phonics concepts such as consonant combinations
* Follow along, reading, and summarizing simple stories with pictures
* Demonstrate understanding of everyday vocabulary
* Follow simple oral instructions
* Demonstrate understanding of the most fundamental, specialized vocabulary in content areas (e.g., shapes, colors, alphabet, numerals, animals)
* Understand nouns, verbs, and punctuation
* Understand singular and plural
* Understand common and proper nouns
* Understand simple past, present, and future tenses.
V. Course content
Lessons are conducted in the students’ home for three hours four days a week. The instructor has purchased all study materials and supplies to be used for the program. The materials are kept at the students’ home for them to use on their own over the weekend. Occasionally a student will have a homework assignment that needs to be addressed by the language instructor. In those instances the subject matter is incorporated into the curriculum and each student will learn key aspects of the material in a situational capacity. Although the students are of varying ages, due to their intimacy and language background, lessons are often conducted as a small group. It has been established that they challenge one another to speak English and are competitive when it comes to reading and responding to questions in English.
They have a positive effect on one another, so the occasional situational content can be either elaborated upon or simplified as needed. Over the first months of the program, lessons were focused on advancing the students from the silent period to initial stages of speech. The students were introduced to concepts of consonants, vowels, and phonics before additional topics were explored. Once students began to speak and read with increasing frequency, they began reading sentences and discussing stories. Recently they have been able to volunteer information about themselves, their day at school, and other activities. Below are examples of lessons on vowel sounds, consonant blends, rhyming, and reading
VI. MaterialsThe instructor has purchased compatible study materials to be used and shared by all of the girls. There is no one overaching core book, rather many workbooks, puzzles, games, and story books are used throughout the lessons. In addition to some of the worksheets shown above, those materials include the following: This book introduces consonant combinations such as “sl”, “st”, and “sk”. Students read the instructions and follow the instructions to fill in the blank, match sentences to corresponding pictures, and fill in crossword puzzles. This book introduces consonant combinations such as “sl”, “st”, and “sk”. Students read the instructions and follow the instructions to fill in the blank, match sentences to corresponding pictures, and fill in crossword puzzles. This phonetic puzzle reinforces students’ understanding of long and short vowel sounds, and is also used to increase vocabulary.
This phonetic puzzle reinforces students’ understanding of long and short vowel sounds, and is also used to increase vocabulary.
This pack of cards is used to refresh student’s memory of past lessons, and also to make short sentences or phrases. This pack of cards is used to refresh student’s memory of past lessons, and also to make short sentences or phrases. These beginning reading books provide pictoral cues to accompany the sentences. Students are able to recognize animals and food in the books and learn their English names. They are also able to practice phonetic reading skills. These beginning reading books provide pictoral cues to accompany the sentences. Students are able to recognize animals and food in the books and learn their English names. They are also able to practice phonetic reading skills. Magnetic letters are used to create words and fascilitate reading phonetically. Students make rhyming words and create new words by adding “sneaky silent e” to the ends of short vowel sound words. Magnetic letters are used to create words and fascilitate reading phonetically.
Students make rhyming words and create new words by adding “sneaky silent e” to the ends of short vowel sound words. VII. AssessmentBecause these students are not graded or scored, their knowledge and ability must be assessed in less structured, more organic ways. The students attend English language school every day and have certain anxieties in regard to tests and quizzes. Assessment is performed during every lesson to determine what tools and materials are meeting the students’ needs, as well as how the students respond to the materials. The students’ father, as well as comments from classroom teachers provide vital information that the language instructor uses to assess the students, to inform future lesson content, and to raise the bar for students’ objectives.Students are on a break for the holidays, but during their last lesson they were asked some of the following questions:What is a noun?Can you each name three common nouns?What is a proper noun?
How do you write a proper noun?If one is a “fox”, what are two called?If one is a “foot”, what are two called?Can you name three words that rhyme with “cat”?Can you name three words that start with “sk” like “skip”?The word “dime”, does it have a short or long vowel sound?What gives it that sound?How much is a dime worth?What is the opposite of “up”?What is the opposite of “hot”?If your body needs food you are _______If your body needs water you are _______Their answers were used to set homework assignments and to establish new goals once lessons resume in January.Observation and interview results have indicated that the students are progressing well into “high beginner proficiency” and are beginning to understand language and use it in a limited capacity.
Typically, they memorize words and phrases and can comprehend and utilize language that they havebeen taught. The curriculum focuses on applying literacy skills to the development of new knowledge. In second language acquisition, social language usually precedes academic language development.Appendix 1.
Dept. of Education, State of Tennessee. 2005. ESL Curriculum Standards: Proficiency Levels. Retrieved December 22, 2012, from http://www.fentress.k12tn.net/ESL Cartus, 2012 Intercultural and Language Training Worldwide. Retrieved December 22, 2012, from www.cartus.comFerlazzo, L., and K. Hull Sypnieski. 2012. The ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.FlashKids Editors, 2010. Phonics Blends. U.S. FlashKids Books.Magnetic Letters, 2012, Lakeshore Learning Materials.Richards, J.C. 2001. Curriculum development in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Sight Words, 2012, Lakeshore Learning MaterialsWho Lives at the Pond? Parents. Minibook. Activities: Science & Nature: Ages 3-6. Retrieved December 22, 2012 from
www.scholastic.com Worksheets for Young ESL Learners. Retrieved December 22 from 2012,www.bogglesworldesl.com Vowel Sounds Match Ups,