What are the most widely implemented models of instruction in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)?
Shawn Grant, Regina Meeler, and Leah Misak

Poster Format

    Four models of instruction are listed: Submersion; Immersion, Sheltered Immersion and Bilingual Education and their definitions. Included with each model are pictorial illustrations, along with a "phrase" that will aide in remembering what each model represents. The advantages and disadvantages for each model are also listed. The Georgia ESOL Guidelines are presented to explain which model Georgia embraces.

Summary

    Living in a nation constructed of many diverse cultures provides public school teachers many unique conditions to their already challenging world of education. Our country, as it is known today, was founded by immigrants and the influx of immigrants continues 200+ years later. Students that speak other languages are increasing in our public school system. Teaching English for Speakers of Other Language (TESOL) is a very progressive field of education that attempts to meet the needs of these students in the public school setting. As in all education arenas, there are a huge variety of opinions of what works best to teach the English Language Learners (ELL).
    We originally began this project trying to distinguish between an immersion and pull-out program for the ESOL students and the advantages and disadvantages of both. We found many articles, books and internet searches on the subject of approaches, programs and models. In addition, there were not adequate distinctions made between them. The words "programs" and "models" were often used synonymously at times. In addition, many other programs had "sub" categories, such as, Early-Exit Programs, Late-Exit Programs, etc.
    There is an overshadowing amount of information concerning the debate of the pros and cons of bilingual education in California, while not a lot of explicit information describing the other currently implemented models. In addition, the approaches, programs and models are often all grouped together with "Teaching Foreign Languages". After careful consideration, we determined that there were four main models of instruction used specifically with the English Language Learner. The four models presented are: Submersion, Immersion, Sheltered Immersion, and Bilingual Education.When discussing the models of instruction, they all have the same goal, "the acquisition of English language skills so that the language-minority child can succeed in an English-only mainstream classroom" (Cazden, 1992). However, there are three main factors that provide the distinctions between them: whether the first language is utilized in instruction; how long the student receives ESL support; and the training of the teachers. In addition, many issues often have a large impact on these three factors such as money, availability of ESOL trained teachers, availability of bilingual teachers, number of LEP students, and beliefs of the administration and public. With this in mind, one understands fully the controversies that follow this field and the instructional models that are utilized.
    The four models of instruction are defined as follows:
 
    Submersion
    takes place in an environment in which only one language is used. The student is in a "sink-or-swim" situation. There is no attempt to aid the student in understanding the "new" language.

Submersion Advantages and Disadvantages
"Sink or Swim"
Advantages
Disadvantages
Students are provided many examples of the second language.  Studentís first language is never spoken and adequate amounts of individualized instruction are not given in second language.
It is cost effective for School Boards and no teacher training is needed.  Teachers may not be familiar with studentís language or culture.
 
 
Students may be treated as intellectually inferior because they do not speak, read and/or write adequately in second language as soon as expected. 
 

 

 

Students may experience frustration, low motivation, and/or high anxiety due to the demanding content and instruction.

 

 

 

No modifications are made for students.



Immersion
    takes place in an environment in which only one language is used; however, there are attempts made to adjust the learning experience for the student.
Immersion Advantages and Disadvantages
"Throwing You a Life Line"
Advantages
Disadvantages
Students are provided many examples of second language.  Studentís first language is never spoken and adequate amounts of individualized instruction are not given in the second language. 
Focus is on studentís construction of knowledge.  Students may not understand the language enough to be able to construct knowledge. 
Classroom discourse is adjusted to studentís needs, such as, simplified sentences, pictures, etc.  Studentís may not understand classroom discourse as soon as expected . 
It is cost effective for School Boards and minimal teacher training is needed.  Teacherís may not receive the support they need for aiding the LEP student. 
Students feel more comfortable in the Immersion classroom than the Submersion Classroom and may take more risks.  Lack of models for 2nd language acquisition.
 
 
Students may be treated as intellectually inferior because they do not speak, read and/or write adequately in second language as soon as expected. 


Structure Immersion
    is an environment in which students are taught lessons in a protected manner and are gradually mainstreamed totally in the regular classroom. ESOL pull-out classes are a method of structured immersion.
Structured Immersion Advantages and Disadvantages
"Pulling You In"
Advantage
Disadvantages
Students are provided many examples of second language in the regular classroom. There are no native speakers of the target language in the pull-out classroom besides the teacher. 
The focus is on content knowledge with support in the acquisition of the second language.  Studentís may not be acquiring second language fast enough and fall behind in grade levels. 
English is used, modified, and taught at a level appropriate to the class of English learner.  Students may still need explanation and/or clarity provided in their first language. 
The teacher is trained in ESOL and is familiar with the culture. However, they may not be fluent in the studentís language.  The school board must have qualified teachers and must provide resources for the modifications of the second language learners. This may be costly to a struggling school board. 
Students are gradually mainstreamed into the regular classroom. The students may be mainstreamed before they are ready.
The students may feel comfortable in the ESOL classroom and more willing to take risks.  Studentís may be stigmatized for going to ESOL class in the "Pull-out" model.


Bilingual Education
    is an environment in which all students are taught using a combination of first and second languages.
Bilingual Education Advantages and Disadvantages
"Swim with a Buddy"
Advantages
Disadvantages
All students use their first language in order to learn their second.  Usually this is for Spanish and English speakers. Speakers of other languages are not provided for adequately. 
Both groups of language users serve as models for each other.  Students may be become dependent on instruction in their first language and not try to understand content in the 2nd language.
The classroom teacher is proficient in both languages and will instruct knowledge in both languages.  Current classroom teachers would be required to learn and become fluent in a foreign language. This would take additional time and money. 
The students all stay in one classroom and the stigma of the pull out class is not present.  School boards must have trained individuals and resources in both languages. 
Students are more successful in acquiring second language because literacy development is fostered in their first language. This provides for a stronger transfer of knowledge.  
 
Students self-esteem is fostered because it is a low risk environment and both languages and cultures are valued.   
 

 
Georgia

    While researching the variety of ESOL models of implementation, we wanted to find out what our state mandates. Georgiaís ESOL guidelines include "the provision of special language assistance provided through a pull-out model program, a cluster center to which students are transported, a resource center/ESOL laboratory, a scheduled class period or an alternative approved in advanced in advance by the State Department of Education. This would be categorized in the "Sheltered Immersion" Model. Those students that are eligible are students who, because their native language/home language/first language is other than English, have so much difficulty speaking, reading, writing or understanding the English language that they cannot successfully participate in classrooms where the language of instruction is English. Students in K-3 are eligible for a maximum of one daily segment of ESOL instruction. Students in grades 4-8 are eligible for a maximum of two daily segments; whereas, students in grades 9-12 may receive a maximum of five daily segments. The curricula should be designed to develop the English language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing and those American culture concepts which students need to participate in regular classroom instruction. Instruction should be adapted to the English proficiency of the student.

Conclusion

    In conclusion, we found that there were four main models of English for Students of Other Languages (ESOL) instruction: Submersion; Immersion; Sheltered Immersion; and Bilingual Education. All had advantages and disadvantages. Factors that aid in deciding which model the districts decide to use include allocated money, availability of ESOL trained teachers, availability of bilingual teachers, number of LEP students, and beliefs of the administration and public. Many controversies surround this field of education as in every field of education. One would hope that the school districts would remember that our focus as educators should be on the child and how best we can educate them.

Answer to Our Burning Question

    There are four main models for the instruction of the ESOL student. The models are Submersion, Immersion, Sheltered Immersion and Bilingual Education. Each model has advantages and disadvantages. The newest model to the United States and the one that is receiving the most attention is the Sheltered Immersion. Included in this category is the pull-out model, cluster program, ESOL Laboratory, etc. The most controversial model is the Bilingual Education model. It is a child-centered approach that fosters the childís first language while teaching the second. This model was used in California, but now the state has mandated "English for the Children," an Immersion Model. Debates continue today.

References

Articles:
    Cazden, C. (1992). Language minority education in the United States: Implications of the
Ramirez report. National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning. [On-Line]. www.ncbe.gwu.edu/miscpubs/ncrcdsll/epr3/
    Chamot, A. U. (1985). A synthesis of current literature on english as a second language: Issues for educational policies. Part C Research Agenda. Rosslyn, VA: InterAmerica Research Associates. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 261 537)
    Curtain, H. A., (1984). The immersion approach: Principle and practice. Milwaukee, WI: Paper presented at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED267 626)
    Krashen, S. (1999, May). Bilingual education: arguments for and (bogus) arguments against. Georgetown University Roundtable on Languages and Linguistics. [On-Line]. Available:
http://www.ourworld. Compuserve.com/homepages/jwcrawford/Krashen3.thm
    Montone, C. L. (1995). Piecing linguistically and culturally diverse learners: Effective programs and practices. Paper presented at Santa Cruz, CA: National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 381 036)
    Wiley, T. G. (1997). Myths about language diversity and literacy in the United States. Washington, DC: Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse for ESOL Literacy Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No ED 407 881)
    Yawkey, T. & Prewitt-Diaz, J. (1990). Early childhood: Theories, research and implications for bilingual education. First Research Symposium on Limited English Proficient Student Issues. [On-Line] www.ncbe.gwu.edu/ncbepubs/sympsia/tirst/early.htm

Books:
    Georgia State Department of Education. (October 17, 1990). Georgia ESOL Resource Guide.
    Lightbown, P., & Spada, N. (1993). How languages are learned. New York: Oxford University Press.

Websites:
www.tesol.edu
www.nabe.org
www.ourworld.com
www.ncbe.gwu.edu
www.ericeece.org/pubs/books/multicul/trepptke.html
www.cal.org