Exciting News and More Reading

Hi and welcome back to another week! Thank you so much for stopping by. With the holidays coming up and thanksgiving day tomorrow, I am feeling so thankful for many things! This weekend November 21st my boyfriend proposed to me in front of my family and closest friends. The entire day was exciting and eventful! I am excited and happy about this new journey in my life! Please take a peek of the weekend below.

With all the excitement happening for me this week it has given me all the energy I need to put in more work towards my thesis project. I read more articles for my Lit review and continued working on my thesis research.

Cultural Adaptation in the ESL classrooms

Ernst-Slavit, Gisela, et al. “Changing Lives: Teaching English and Literature to ESL Students.” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, vol. 46, no. 2, 2002, pp. 116–128.

Ernst-Slavit is a Ph.D. professor of education at Washington State University Vancouver where she teaches courses in sociolinguistics and conducts research on second language teaching and learning. In most of her work, she investigates language teacher education in culturally and linguistically diverse settings using ethnographic and sociolinguistic perspectives. The reason I selected to read her articles is because of her rich background in the field of ESL/ELL studies. I was so proud of her accomplishments and awards. She also co-authored the book Academic Language in Diverse Classrooms: English Language Arts, Grades K-2: Promoting Content and Language Learning, which I did not read but was able to skim through most of it and there were many key points and suggestions critical for ESL teacher success. 

In this article, she provides many of the same strategies. The purpose of this article is to tools to enhance learning for ESL students as well as providing teachers with the knowledge they need to enhance the learning process for ESL students in secondary classrooms. The article presents program models, outlines important linguistic and cultural processes and effective activities are suggested for students in various stages of the learning process. There is a constant repetition of the importance of cultural adaptation in the ESL classrooms. Ernst-Slavit stresses that schools should demonstrate appreciation and respect for cultural diversity. In one section of the article, she goes more in depth describing why ESL students need this for success. She states, “Educational programs need to include what students bring with them. Educators need to focus on what students have rather than what they lack. Teaching and learning can be extended and enhanced when participants’ own experiences (language and culture) are mixed with those generalizations and conceptualizations offered in schools. Such acknowledgment often stimulates learning and helps students construct meanings by connecting what they already know and what the new environment offers them ( Ernest, 1993).” Learning a second language in an academic setting is a long and difficult process. Ernst makes the point that this can be easier with cultural adaptation and teachers understanding the different stages of learning development that all second-language learners navigate through. I enjoyed his article because there is a point in my autoethnography writing where I recall the times when my elementary school would hold an annual multicultural day event in honor of all the ESL students and everyone in the school would participate. This showed me that my school environment was supportive and interested in my culture and the cultures of other immigrant students. As a result, this annual event helped me to be happier at school and learn better. Ernst makes this point in her article and although these points are targeted to the high school level, the same can be used to educate teachers in the elementary grades. 

Goals for the coming week:

They Say/ I Say- By Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstien

I pulled out one of my favorite books on my bookshelf. They Say/ I Say have gotten me through so many college essays and practically saved me most nights in undergrad, so I’m hoping it will do the same this time around. Since I am starting the discussion part of my thesis I am using this book to outline some of the things I want to say. This book has a collection of sentence starters and templates for every circumstance, including a section devoted to transitions which I love to use. I would recommend this book for any essay writting or discussion. Click this title section to purchase your copy on Amazon!

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving day!

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