ESL Education Essay
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Facilitating education and learning of English language in developing countries has been a challenge for ESL teachers through the years. The capability of these countries to continually adapt to the globalizing economy has been gradually increasing and this also applies in learning the English language. Thus, the challenge for ESL instructors is to create and improve on mechanisms that will enhance a better facilitation of English language education among students in the developing countries. Continuous development of ESL programs has been prevalent in the recent years.
Also, there is an increased diversity of participants who seek to learn English. Instructors of the language on the other hand have been welcoming these changes. “English language arts teachers are especially open to embracing the richness this diversity brings to their classrooms, yet many feel ill-prepared to teach students for whom English is a second, third or possibly fourth language. ” (Young, 1996, p. 17) However, the proliferation of students who are studying ESL does not evenly match instructors who facilitate their education.
This situation paves the way for ESL students taking part in an English classroom that is handled by non-trained ESL instructors which greatly affects and undermines the development and learning process of students. “Despite the increase in the number of trained ESL specialists over the past 10 years or so, it is no secret that vast numbers of limited English proficient (LEP) students still spend either all or large portions of their academic life with regular or content classroom teachers. (Penfield, 1987, p. 21) Another important issue in ESL education is the facilitation and processes involved in teaching. “Issues surrounding ESL education focus on determining the ‘best’ approach to help non-native speakers of English gain appropriate academic skills. ” (Young, 1996, p. 17) In addition, there have been increased outputs of literature pertaining to enhancing ESL education in schools. One issue that is addressed in studies are listening and speaking capabilities of ESL students.
However there had been discrepancies with application of these methods on the other hand for ESL instructors. “Though these studies have been helpful to EAP teachers, few have looked beyond reading and writing skills to what college/university professors actually require with regards to academic listening and speaking skills and which of these tasks are most problematic for ESL students in a tertiary institution. (Ferris & Tag, 1996, p. 298) Thus, efficient communication, enforcement of strategies, and stabilizing the curriculum are the possible options that institutions can make in addressing these needs. The next section looks into possible strategies that can be implemented to facilitate the challenges ESL teachers face in teaching English among non-native speakers. One possible solution is creating a monitoring criterion for ESL students.
This would entail ESL educators of continuously creating necessary measures and dynamics to enhance learning for their students. “During formal and informal meetings these teachers continually discuss inherent shortcomings of the procedures used in assessing their students, share their shortcomings of the procedures used in assessing their students. ” (Ernst, 1994, p. 323) With this, ESL students are assured that their individual performance are assessed and evaluated to further help them in acquiring and learning the language.
Also, ESL teachers must develop both listening and communication strategies with students to facilitate the learning process and develop efficient mechanisms of education. “Somehow we need to help them bridge the gap between the safe interactions they experience in ESL classes and the activities they find more challenging and threatening in content classes. ” (Ferris & Tag, 1996, p. 312) Creating listening strategies can also make ESL students feel comfortable and secure that their interests are seen and provides them the avenue to express what they really want. ESL teachers should simulate free-form classroom lecture discussions for their students and analyze videotaped classroom interactions with their students so that ESL students can be better prepared for the realities. ” (Ferris & Tag, 1996, p. 312) Another possible alternative is the creation of “ESL Task Group”. “This group should consist of representatives of the total school community, be small enough for efficient operation, and be chaired by most competent person available. ” (Levenson, 1969, p. 1) With the creation of this, the group must follow the necessary phases that includes (1) gathering information, (2) observation and evaluation, (3) surveying and (4) constant communication with important groups and organizations. Another issue that can be addressed is the issue of writing among ESL students. ESL teachers must be keen to adapt and understand the dilemma these students have in the correct and proper way of writing. “ESL writers should neither be treated as completely different from native speakers nor as completely the same, that a middle ground is desirable. (Chan, 1988, pp. 84-85) In addition, ESL writers must not be discriminated of expressing their intentions and ideas in class. “Like native speakers of English, ESL writers can and should be encouraged to write as a means of discovering what they think and know and as a means of communicating their sides. ” (Chan, 1988, p. 85) Lastly, adequate and continuous training must be given to future and current ESL instructors. Recognizing that each one is vital for the success of the program, constant awareness must be made regarding this issue. The most obvious pedagogical solution to students’ dilemma is to train professors to respond clearly and effectively to students’ informal questions and comments. ” (Ferris & Tragg, 1996, p. 312) In addition, there needs to be a collaborative effort between non-ESL teachers and ESL instructors since they both have the same objective – educate. “Collaboration with other teachers who are ‘becoming’ mainstreamed ESL teachers serves as another important avenue for support. “(Young, 1996, p. 19) By being dynamic, issues regarding ESL facilitation can be eased and create learning.