Sounding Like a Scholar: Examining the Journey of English Learners in an Era of New Standards and Assessments
Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | International and Comparative Education
During my sabbatical of 2016-2017, I lived in South America to walk the walk of my Linfield college students who are preservice teachers – planning, instructing, and assessing the instruction for English Language Learners (ELLs) in a preK-12 school setting. For about seven months, I taught in a private bilingual school in Cuenca, Ecuador as a middle/high school English Language Arts teacher. The school (CEDEI) offers bilingual instruction in subject areas rather than as an isolated subject. At the school, there were both national and international teachers who taught science, language arts, social studies, math, music, and PE. For students enrolled in this school, they receive instruction in both English by native English-speaking teachers, and Spanish by national native Spanish-speaking teachers. The international teachers not only taught subject classes but also were active native role models of English, which made this a unique school.
I taught the equivalents of 8th grade through 12th grade English Language Arts for four blocks of six weeks each and developed seven different units of instruction based on perspectives from international authors of young adult books on issues of social justice around the world. I developed curriculum aligned to Ecuadorian standards (destrezas) and Common Core Standards, developed project-based assessment rubrics, focused on developing academic language with a focus on argumentation (which is a cross-cutting standard in the U.S.), taught five different levels of students from middle school to seniors in high school, and worked as a collaborative team with eight other international English-dominant teachers. The majority of my students were ELLs, whose primary language was Spanish, and they were learning English through content courses from kindergarten to high school. A few of my students in each class were international students whose primary language was English.
Avila, Kena, "Sounding Like a Scholar: Examining the Journey of English Learners in an Era of New Standards and Assessments" (2017). Post-Grant Reports. Report. Submission 131.