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Linking Language and Content Courses to Support Non-Native English Speakers 19th International Conference on The First-Year Experience July 24-27, 2006 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Dr. Maureen Andrade Brigham Young University Hawaii Overview The Context Terminology Literature Review

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linking language and content courses to support non native english speakers

Linking Language and Content Courses to Support Non-Native English Speakers

19th International Conference on

The First-Year Experience

July 24-27, 2006

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Maureen Andrade

Brigham Young University Hawaii

overview
Overview
  • The Context
  • Terminology
  • Literature Review
    • Adjustment Factors
    • Programming
  • Linked Courses - Adjunct
    • Administrative Factors
    • Course Activities
  • Assessment Measures
the context
The Context
  • Private, religiously-affiliated, 4-year undergraduate
  • 2,400 students - 50% international/ESL
  • 70 countries - Asia, South Pacific
  • Admitted with a minimum TOEFL score of 475
  • Tested for enrollment in credit-bearing EIL courses
terminology
Terminology
  • NNES/NES – nonnative/native English speaker
  • CBI – content-based instruction; language skills practiced in the process of studying a content area (theme-based, sheltered, adjunct)
  • Adjunct – concurrent enrollment in a content course and a language course
  • Content Course – subject area/discipline
  • International Students – temporary student visa status; English not the first language
  • L1/L2- first language/second language
  • ESL – English as a second language
  • EIL – English as an international language
literature review adjustment factors
Literature Review – Adjustment Factors
  • TOEFL scores do not guarantee sufficient competency
    • Difficulties understanding lectures & reading materials, completing writing assignments, taking tests
    • More time needed to complete assignments and tests
    • Vocabulary & native-speaker discourse challenging
  • Sensitivity to language ability or cultural background may hinder class participation, social interaction
  • Excellent English skills/education levels by standards of home countries
  • Level of formality/classroom customs
  • Financial pressures
literature review programming academic social
Literature Review – Programming: Academic/Social
  • English language fellows
  • Lecture buddies
  • Peer partnerships
  • Supplemental instruction
  • Content-based courses
  • Learning communities
  • Technology supplements
linked courses adjunct
Linked Courses - Adjunct
  • ESL students concurrently enrolled in a a content course (academic subject) and a language course (adjunct)
  • ESL instructor attends content course & identifies language skills needed by students
    • reading & writing skills
    • vocabulary
    • note taking & lecture comprehension
    • test-taking & study skills
    • presentation/discussion skills
  • Collaboration between language and content instructors
  • Peer tutoring/mentoring
benefits
Benefits
  • Linguistic
  • Psychological
  • Pedagogical
  • Collegial
linguistic benefits
Linguistic Benefits
  • Meaningful language input
  • Vocabulary recycling
  • Access to native speakers
  • Authentic content
  • Integration of language skills
psychological benefits
Psychological Benefits
  • Motivation
  • Increased interest
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Elimination of the artificial separation between language and content courses
  • Attention to acculturation skills
pedagogical benefits
Pedagogical Benefits
  • Content learning
  • Development of critical thinking skills
  • Involvement in academic activities
collegial benefits
Collegial Benefits
  • Strengthened relations between ESL and non-ESL instructors
linked courses adjunct historical background
Offered first adjunct course as a pilot in 1992

Asked for 15 seats in a content course; permission for ESL instructor to attend

Released time for ESL instructor

Piloted 3 different courses, different ESL/content teachers before adopting

Introductory level general education courses

Political science

Biology

Humanities

Health

Music

Psychology

International Cultural Studies

Sociology

Theatre

Communications

Business Management

Economics

Astronomy

Physical Science

Art

Linked Courses – AdjunctHistorical Background
administrative factors
Administrative Factors
  • Selecting Suitable Courses
  • Selecting Content & Adjunct Instructors
  • Identifying Instructors’ Roles
  • Determining Course Load
  • Reserving Seats
  • Being Prepared for Changes
selecting suitable courses
Selecting Suitable Courses
  • Improve students’ English skills
  • Address study skill needs
  • Strengthen mastery of content
  • Improve course failure rate
  • Increase retention
  • Consider enrollment caps & scheduling
selecting content adjunct instructors
Selecting Content & Adjunct Instructors
  • Content Instructors
    • willingness
    • interest in/experience with NNES
  • Adjunct Instructors
    • experienced
    • flexible
    • interest in/knowledge of the content area
identifying instructors roles
Identifying Instructors’ Roles
  • Content Instructors
    • collaboration
    • adjust course content
    • emphasize English
    • change pedagogical techniques
  • Adjunct Instructors
    • language skills vs. content
    • complementary assignments
    • needs of course/students
determining course load
Determining Course Load
  • Content Instructors – no change unless collaboration, extra meetings involved
  • Adjunct Instructors – attend content course, develop own materials
    • EIL course = 3 credits
    • 2 additional credits first time course is taught
    • 1 additional credit subsequent semesters
    • if course text/instructor change, additional credit may be given
reserving seats
Reserving Seats
  • Create two sections of the content course – 1 & 1A
  • 40 seat capacity – reserve 20 seats for section 1 & 20 for 1A; all in the same class
  • 1A section restricted to EIL students
  • Allows tracking of students & comparisons
  • Content instructor may prefer to combine students onto one roll
being prepared for changes
Being Prepared for Changes
  • Instructor changes at the last minute
  • Instructor not identified until the last minute
  • Time changes
  • Course cancelled
  • GE requirements change
  • Enrollment fluctuations
course activities
Course Activities
  • Organize syllabus around objectives
    • note-taking techniques
    • using a textbook
    • vocabulary skills
    • writing skills – writing a performance critique
    • test-taking skills –multiple choice, short answer, essay
    • reading – previewing, increasing speed, study maps, paraphrasing, skimming
  • Emphasize applicability of skills across courses
  • Provide cultural information
assessment measures
Assessment Measures
  • Adjunct Course Instructor Journals
  • Informal Student Feedback
  • Informal Content Course Instructor Feedback
  • Comments from Across Campus
  • EIL Advancement Rates
  • GPA Comparisons
informal feedback
Informal Feedback
  • Awareness of the linguistic demands of university courses
  • Greater relevance of ESL course objectives
  • High interest & motivation
  • Strong teacher-student bond to learn a new subject
  • Effective bridge between ESL course work and actual university courses
discussion
Discussion
  • Results have varied among semesters
      • instructors
      • students – diligence, preparation
  • Cumulative results
    • significantly different (p<.05)
      • political science
      • humanities
      • sociology
discussion28
Discussion
  • Convince administrators of value of the model
  • Evidence of student readiness for mainstream courses
  • Evidence that ESL instruction needed & useful
  • Public relations – other faculty
  • Consistent results
  • Possible need to modify some courses
future research
Future Research
  • Formal data on student & instructor views
  • NNES in the GE courses without adjunct support
  • Students subsequent performance in GE courses
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Increased validity of ESL instruction for students
  • Opportunities for collegial interaction
  • Meaningful language support
  • Academic success