In our past ECS 410 class, I really enjoyed the guest speakers topic around EAL students. During my ECS 300 placement, I had the opportunity to work with a student who spoke little to no English at all. This student was in a grade 8 classroom, but had a very low reading level. Working with this student it was apparent that she was not being given the right supports. She relied mainly on memorization. During class this student was either working on other assignments alone, or she was sitting in on the class discussion, but she was not gaining any knowledge. For the guest speaker, I learnt a lot around how we can adapt for EAL students. It is important that as teachers we make the outcome clear, and students are able to understand at least 5 important words. It is important to make instruction clear, and it is beneficial to give the student a variety of options on how they can demonstrate what they know.
From chapter 5, I learnt the importance of assessing students by observing. Some learning can only be observed. Some students are also better at showing what they know by doing it. This is where I believe it is important that students are given a variety of ways to demonstrate or show their learning. This is a teaching strategy that I want to develop, I hope to provide students with a variety of options in which they feel they can best explain themselves. If students can show they know, and are meeting the outcome, I believe that is what matters the most, its not how they do it. I wish this was something that my high school incorporated into learning. In my high school we were given one option, and that was it. I believe this had a negative impact on most kinaesthetic learners.
One thing that I have learnt from previous classes this semester was involving students in the assessment process. I believe that students who are involved in assessment allows teachers to understand more about what the student know, and it allows students to realize and understand the importance of what they have learnt. Another strategy I would develop into my teaching is providing students with examples. I believe that this would be a great way in guiding students with their learning and showing students what the expectations are of the assignment/project.
Overall, I really enjoyed the chapters and plan to develop many of these strategies within my own teaching.
Questions for you:
What was your favourite part about the guest speaker on EAL students? Have you had an experience with an EAL student?
What did you take away from chapter 5 and 6?
Have a great day!