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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    16 May '10 22:03 / 6 edits
    SEI is Structured English Immersion education for minors.

    The English language is the main content of SEI instruction. Academic content plays a supporting, but subordinate, role

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structured_English_Immersion


    I think it is a poor idea. I think it is more useful teach content primarily in English with bilingual teachers assigned to populations that tend to have difficulty with Standard English so that other languages may be used as needed to teach the students.

    Denying teachers the ability to use other languages or dialects as they choose damages their ability to educate. Insisting content teachers teach English instead of content means content will not be learned. This is in violation of the No Child Left Behind idea...Arizona chooses to deny content instruction to non Anglos who are not familiar with "Standard English".

    I do not advocate forcing teachers to do anything. I suggest we allow them to do something Arizona is currently forcing them to refrain from - that is, educate their students in their content as best they can!

    See also

    Thread 130134
  2. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    16 May '10 23:14 / 4 edits
    An excellent response from beyond the grave...

    ATY: SEI prohibits teachers from teaching them anything else. Even if they teach content in English only (which is not SEI) they have a much harder time getting the kids to learn.

    Sam the Sham: Uh...no, it doesn't. Arizona also has classes in which the students are identified as English being their second language and the teacher is required to be proficient in Spanish. Some of the schools in Tucson the student body is virtually 100% hispanic. (i.e. Mexican) and so are the teachers and administrative staff.

    After evaluation they can then go on to mainstream classes when it's determined they don't have a language barrier to overcome.

    This might shock you but they have a pretty good handle on how to do things down here, and the hispanic educators around these parts would be pissed-off at your accusations of racism on the part of the school system they had a hand in setting up.

    ATY: Let me do some homework and get back to you.

    Speaking of homework:

    http://www.ade.state.az.us/ELLTaskForce/2008/SEIModels05-14-08.pdf
    http://www.ade.az.gov/oelas/downloads/DSIAllLevels.pdf
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona's_Instrument_to_Measure_Standards

    EDIT - Full text of the law regarding the responsibilities of the Task Force and the development of the SEI models is located in Title 15, Chapter 7, Article 3.1. ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, §§ 15-751 through 15-757, Arizona Revised Statutes.

    SEI Models document above


    EDIT - My concern is not that the students are learning English. My concern is that (from what I understand) they aren't allowed to take anything else until they pass an English test.
  3. 17 May '10 01:58
    In elementary school, the students who don't pass the AZELLA are required to take a four-hour dedicated block of time for English. Our district uses a crappy program called Avenues. However, our two-hour reading block for the whole school is allowed to be included in that four-hour block. That means that those children who are ELL at that level are doing the English and math (math being the rest of the time). Sometimes they can find a way to squeeze in science. We have protested mightily, because the students aren't being taught the same content as the rest of the state, but are required to still pass the same tests as the rest of the state. Thus, each year we get slapped with an Underperforming label.

    I do incorporate Spanish when I need to, since all my English Language Learners speak Spanish. Although I'm not in one of the ELD classes, I do whatever it takes to help my children make connections and understand concepts. For example, yesterday we talked about past, present, and future tense verbs in English, and I put Spanish examples on the board to help them understand the concept of verb tenses better. I assure you that I'm not going to jail for writing a few words in Spanish on my chalkboard.
  4. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    17 May '10 17:09 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by pawnhandler
    In elementary school, the students who don't pass the AZELLA are required to take a four-hour dedicated block of time for English. Our district uses a crappy program called Avenues. However, our two-hour reading block for the whole school is allowed to be included in that four-hour block. That means that those children who are ELL at that level are do I assure you that I'm not going to jail for writing a few words in Spanish on my chalkboard.
    OK. Well, it sounds like I overreacted a little bit (though not entirely). I thought non-English was banned from the classroom. "English is to be the language of instruction" ... "English immersion"...etc. When I took a Spanish class and the teacher was using the immersion model no English was permitted at all.

    However, it does seem that students who don't pass the AZELLA don't get the same number of instructional hours in math and science as students who do. And yet you verify that they do need to pass the same tests. Even if they didn't, they will not be properly prepared for college.

    Clearly this is not fair and will lead to ethnically determined educational outcomes on a statistical level. Isn't Arizona second to last in students passing the high school test?

    What are the numbers for AIMS passing by ethnicity?
  5. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    17 May '10 17:12 / 1 edit
    My studies of the Arizona SEI model suggest to me that there are no standards for anything but English. Zero.

    SEI students are not required by law to be assessed in math or science before the AIMS is that correct? Those students have their own special "discrete skills list" which has nothing but English on it. If they don't learn anything about math in school they won't know it until they fail the AIMS and can't get into college.
  6. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    17 May '10 17:17 / 7 edits
    A highly relevant document:

    In addition, research increasingly shows that children’s ability to learn a second or additional
    languages (e.g., a lingua franca and an international language) does not suffer when their
    mother tongue is the primary language of instruction throughout primary school. Fluency and
    literacy in the mother tongue lay a cognitive and linguistic foundation for learning additional
    languages. When children receive formal instruction in their first language throughout
    primary school and then gradually transition to academic learning in the second language,
    they learn the second language quickly...

    Though exceedingly common, these majority language
    educational programmes do nothing to support minority language children to develop
    competence in L1. Moreover, the language policies that inform these programmes devalue
    the cultural backgrounds and knowledge associated with minority children's L1. Persistent
    early school leaving and low academic achievement among minoritised children stem in part
    from these language-in-education policies (UNESCO, 2000)
    ...

    In northwest Cameroon, a
    longitudinal study of academic performance of children in Kom-medium classes found that
    children in first grade scored substantially higher on the test of oral English and on a general
    test of achievement than did children in the English-medium schools (Walter & Roth, 2008).

    In Mali, where a ‘Pedagogie convergente’ bilingual education programme has been operating
    since 1987, both language and mathematics achievement were superior in bilingual schools
    compared to monolingual schools (UNESCO, 2008c)
    .


    http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001869/186961E.pdf


    In short - four hours a day of English is unnecessary. Students will learn the relevant academic English anyway IF THEY HAVE THE CONTENT.
  7. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    17 May '10 17:32 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    SEI is Structured English Immersion education for minors.

    The English language is the main content of SEI instruction. Academic content plays a supporting, but subordinate, role

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structured_English_Immersion


    I think it is a poor idea. I think it is more useful teach content primarily in English with bilingu e their students in their content as best they can!

    See also

    Thread 130134
    So this is like an alternative educational path? It may be sensible as a complement to normal education. If it's an alternative which leads to neglecting content then it sounds less sensible from a purely common sense view.

    Ultimately, the only way to settle this is to assign students randomly to one or the other approach and then check results.
  8. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    17 May '10 17:37
    Originally posted by Palynka
    If it's an alternative which leads to neglecting content sounds then it sounds less sensible from a purely common sense view.
    Exactly. That's why proponents never seem to want to talk about math, science or history education.
  9. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    17 May '10 17:43
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Exactly. That's why proponents never seem to want to talk about math, science or history education.
    But are we talking about extra hours or another educational path entirely?
  10. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    17 May '10 17:45 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Palynka
    But are we talking about extra hours or another educational path entirely?
    I believe the latter - until they pass the English test.
  11. 17 May '10 18:22
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    A highly relevant document:

    [i]In addition, research increasingly shows that children’s ability to learn a second or additional
    languages (e.g., a lingua franca and an international language) does not suffer when their
    mother tongue is the primary language of instruction throughout primary school. Fluency and
    literacy in the mother tongue lay a ...[text shortened]... nnecessary. Students will learn the relevant academic English anyway IF THEY HAVE THE CONTENT.
    what's the probability of these studies being accurate?
  12. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    18 May '10 18:23 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    what's the probability of these studies being accurate?
    Upshur's statistical analysis revealed "no significant effects on language learning attributable to amount of language instruction", and concluded that "foreign language courses may at this time be less effective means for producing language learning than the use of language in other activities".

    http://sdkrashen.com/SL_Acquisition_and_Learning/index.html

    Page 41
  13. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    18 May '10 18:32 / 1 edit
    Mason (1971) is also interpretable in these two ways. In this study, certain foreign students at the University of Hawaii were allowed to follow regular academic programs without extra ESL, despite the fact that their English placement scores indicated that they should be enrolled in English for foreign student classes. Post-tests given at the end of the semester showed no significant difference in increase in English proficiency between those excused from ESL and controls who took the required ESL classes...

    Page 42

    The child relies primarily on acquisition. Thus, "intake" informal environments are sufficient. The class can provide only additional intake, and it appears to be the case that when children have access to rich intake environments, extra classes in second languages are not necessary (Fathman, 1975; Hale and Budar, 1970).

    Page 49

    http://sdkrashen.com/SL_Acquisition_and_Learning/index.html

    See also

    http://www.kidsource.com/education/ten.fallacy.biling.ed.html
  14. 18 May '10 18:50
    presumably the Supreme Court has examined your theory and found it wanting.
  15. 18 May '10 18:51
    cherrypicking studies claiming to prove the value of bilingual ed is not going to prove anything, after that.