English as a Second Language
In the 2007-2008 academic year, the ESL department received funding from the Partnership for Student Success to work on four main projects:
ESL Course Redesign
PSS funding has allowed the ESL Department to create an alternative, integrated pathway for students to complete their ESL studies. Several new courses, dubbed Foundations, incorporate multiple skills in a single course. These classes reflect the most current methodologies in Second Language Acquisition research and were offered for the first time in Fall 2008.
The goal in offering these new classes is to allow students more alternatives in the ways that they prefer to study, both in terms of skill distribution and class hours. Including grammar study in all courses gives students more applied practice in this crucial skill. Turning the traditional three 4-unit classes into two 6-unit classes also allows many students a more efficient completion of their program of study. Recognizing that students have diverse goals, the ESL department wants to give them a choice of pathways to English proficiency. In keeping with this philosophy, the traditional courses are still being offered for students who prefer that model.
ESL Literature Circles
Literature Circles are a method of reading instruction that allows students more extensive reading practice and more active involvement in the reading process as well as a choice of material based on their own interests. ESL instructors often observe that many students have little experience with book-length works in English and/or interest in the reading process, particularly in Reading Levels 3 and 4. In Literature Circles, students do complete an entire level-appropriate English book and work in small groups to process their readings. Reader Response and cooperative learning help increase student engagement in the reading process.
Literature Circles are offered for ESL Levels 3, 4, and 5. Partnership for Students Success funds and cooperation with the Library have allowed the purchase of multiple sets of level-appropriate books to supplement required texts.
English Skills/ESL Workshop