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The effects of ESL : a case study of mainstream teachers’ perceptions of ESL students and the ESL program… Garnett, Bruce William 1999

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THE EFFECTS OF ESL: A CASE STUDY OF MAINSTREAM TEACHERS' PERCEPTIONS OF ESL STUDENTS AND THE ESL PROGRAM AT A JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL by BRUCE WILLIAM GARNETT B.A., University of British Columbia, 1990 B.Ed., University of British Columbia, 1996 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGE EDUCATION We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA MARCH, 1999 ©Bruce Garnett, 1999 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. 1 further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Department DE-6 (2/88) ii Abstract This research documents one junior high school's mainstream teachers' perceptions of the ESL students in their classrooms and the ESL program that services these students. Using qualitative methods appropriate for descriptive case study research, the open-ended questionnaire and the semi-structured interview (Johnson, 1992), the study sought to discover the emic perspective of mainstream teachers who taught ESL students on a daily basis. It was found that a variety of "effects" surrounded the ESL phenomenon at the research site both at the classroom and programmatic levels. At the classroom level the diverse cultural backgrounds and attitudes of ESL students were seen to have both beneficial and challenging effects on mainstream teachers and classrooms. Conversely, mainstream classrooms had effects on ESL students which were manifested in both desirable and undesirable ways. At the programmatic level, it was found that the model of ESL service delivery, wherein mainstream teachers were responsible for a substantial percentage of the ESL students' education, effected perceptions of particular responsibilities and needs among mainstream teachers, most notably more communication with ESL "experts". Respondents in the study also suggested ways ESL service could be delivered more effectively, given the cognitive and affective needs of ESL learners and the communication and ESL expertise needs of mainstream teachers. The study has a number of implications at both practical and theoretical levels. In practice, a number of useful functions for the ESL classroom have been suggested, specifically as a place for the fostering of self esteem, social networks, social and cultural skills and academic remediation. The ESL program is also implied to be in need of more funding, and a recommendation is further made for increased ESL training in pre-service teachers. The study concludes by reiterating a call for more ethnographic research describing different facets and perspectives of the ESL students' experiences in mainstream classrooms. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT n LIST OF TABLES VH CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1 RATIONALE 1 T H E RESEARCH QUESTIONS 2 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY 3 DEFINITIONS 4 ORGANISATION OF THE PAPER 5 CHAPTER 2: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 6 PROGRAMMATIC OPTIONS FOR E S L STUDENTS 6 PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE MAINSTREAMING 10 T H E E S L STUDENT IN OUR SCHOOLS 13 Academic domain 13 Theory 13 Practical examples 15 Social domain 16 Theory 17 Practical examples 18 Cultural domain 19 Theory 20 Practical examples 21 Language domain 23 Theory 23 Practical examples 25 RELATED STUDIES 26 CHAPTER 3: CONTEXT AND METHODOLOGY 28 RATIONALE FOR A CASE STUDY APPROACH 28 T H E RESEARCH QUESTION 29 T H E CONTEXT OF THE RESEARCH 29 Local policies and models 30 Provincial level.' 30 District level 31 School level 32 Description of the site 32 The school 32 The ESL program 33 The participants 34 T H E ROLE OF THE RESEARCHER 35 Theoretical orientation 35 D A T A COLLECTION 37 Enhancing design validity 39 D A T A ANALYSIS 40 ETHICS AND RECIPROCITY 41 CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS- PERCEPTIONS OF CLASSROOM EFFECTS 43 WHAT ARE MAINSTREAM TEACHERS' PERCEPTIONS OF THE EFFECTS OF HAVING E S L STUDENTS IN MAINSTREAM CLASSROOMS? V Benefits ^ The multicultural contribution 45 Exposure to other cultures 45 Exposure to other perspectives 46 Disadvantages as advantages 48 Other assets brought by linguistically diverse learners 49 Capitalising on diversity 50 Attitudes towards schooling 51 Satisfying experiences 52 Satisfaction with academic subject-matter success 53 Satisfaction with affective success 54 Satisfaction with social/socialisation success 55 Challenges 57 Cultural mismatch 57 Aggressive behaviour 59 Defensive behaviour 60 Distant behaviour 61 Assessment and evaluation 63 What to assess 63 How to assess 66 Counter examples 67 Time 68 WHAT ARE MAINSTREAM TEACHERS' PERCEPTIONS OF THE EFFECTS OF MAINSTREAM CLASSROOMS ON E S L STUDENTS? 70 Challenges faced by ESL students 70 Academic content difficulties 71 Vocabulary 71 Building conceptual knowledge 71 Background knowledge 72 Meeting the challenges 75 Social difficulties 77 Peer interaction in small groups 77 Fitting in to the school 80 Counter opinions 85 Successful students 86 Meeting standards 87 Work habits 88 Extra effort 88 Getting extra help 89 CHAPTER 5: FINDINGS- PERCEPTIONS OF PROGRAM EFFECTS 94 HOW DO TEACHERS PERCEIVE THE EFFECTS OF THE PROGRAM DELIVERY MODEL ON THEIR OWN RESPONSIBILITIES TO E S L STUDENTS? 94 Levels of responsibility 95 Types of responsibility 97 Perceptions of responsibilities for academic development 98 ESL academic support strategies 98 Perceptions of responsibilities for affective development 99 WHAT NEEDS DO MAINSTREAM TEACHERS PERCEIVE THE E S L PROGRAM DELIVERY MODEL AS EFFECTING? 102 Communication 103 Pre-entry 103 Ongoing 104 Communication is needed due to a perceived lack of expertise 106 Barriers to communication 107 Models for improving communication 107 Class work support. 109 How DO MAINSTREAM TEACHERS THINK E S L SUPPORT COULD BE DELIVERED MORE EFFECTIVELY? 110 ESL content classes with gradual mainstreaming Ill vi Reducing the social shock ^ I l l Reducing the cognitive burden 113 Regular classes plus support block- the current approach 113 In class ESL teacher participation 114 Other Options 115 CHAPTER 6: DISCUSSION 118 WHAT ARE MAINSTREAM TEACHERS' PERCEPTIONS OF THE EFFECTS OF HAVING ESL STUDENTS IN MAINSTREAM CLASSROOMS? 118 Benefits 119 Challenges 122 WHAT ARE MAINSTREAM TEACHERS' PERCEPTIONS OF THE EFFECTS OF MAINSTREAM CLASSROOMS ON ESL STUDENTS? 125 Academic difficulties 125 Social and cultural difficulties 126 Successful students 129 How DO MAINSTREAM TEACHERS PERCEIVE THE EFFECTS OF THE ESL PROGRAM DELIVERY MODEL ON THEIR OWN RESPONSIBILITIES TO ESL STUDENTS? 131 WHAT NEEDS DO MAINSTREAM TEACHERS PERCEIVE THE ESL PROGRAM DELIVERY MODEL AS EFFECTING?133 How DO MAINSTREAM TEACHERS THINK ESL SUPPORT COULD BE DELIVERED MORE EFFECTIVELY? 136 IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE 138 Program 138 Classroom 139 IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH 141 CHAPTER 7: CONCLUSION 144 REFERENCES 147 APPENDIX 1: INITIAL QUESTIONNAIRE 152 LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1 The Participants. 35 Table 4.1 Frequency of teachers 'perceptions of the benefits of having ESL students in their classrooms 44 Table 4.2 Frequency of teachers' perceptions of the challenges of having ESL students in their classrooms 58 Table 4.3 Frequency of teachers 'perceptions of challenges faced by ESL students. 70 Table 4.4 Frequency of teachers 'perceptions of challenges faced by ESL students. 87 Table 5.1 Frequency of teachers 'perceptions of their responsibilities toward ESL students. 95 Table 5.2 Frequency of teachers' perceptions of the needs effected by the program model. 103 Table 5.3 Frequency of teachers' perceptions of how ESL support could be delivered more effectively. 111 Table 6.1 Summary of major findings and related literature for effects of having ESL students in mainstream classrooms. 119 Table 6.2 Summary of major findings and related literature regarding the effects of the mainstream class on ESL students. 126 Table 6.3 Major findings and related literature regarding teachers 'perceptions of the responsibilities placed on them by the ESL program 131 Table 6.4 Summary of major findings and related literature regarding needs effected by the ESL program 133 Table 6.5 Summary of major findings and related literature regarding how the ESL program could be more effectively delivered. 136 1 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION The Lower Mainland has seen unprecedented growth in the numbers of ESL students enrolling in public schools in the last ten years. Although school districts have coped with this challenge in a variety of ways, it is undeniable that in nearly all schools mainstream classroom teachers have faced increased exposure to ESL students. Indeed, in many schools both elementary and secondary, the task of educating ESL students, in academic content, in language, and in socio-cultural norms, has fallen chiefly on the shoulders of these regular classroom teachers; often, ESL students see an ESL specialist for only part of the school day, if at all. What do mainstream classroom teachers make of this phenomenon and the additional dimensions it has brought to their jobs? Rationale Research has shown that teacher beliefs are an important determiner in teachers' instructional decisions and classroom behaviour (Pennington 1995; Richards & Lockhart 1994). Thus, the perceptions mainstream teachers have of their ESL students undoubtedly influence their practices therewith, and affects the education these students receive. Nonetheless, the literature presents us with few accounts of regular teachers' attitudes toward ESL students specifically, and none with a focus on post elementary education. Penfield (1987) and Clair (1993) for example, both conducted qualitative studies to investigate mainstream teachers' perceptions of ESL students, but both studies focussed predominantly on elementary school teachers, and occurred in contexts in which the influx of ESL students was not as great as it has been in the Lower Mainland in the 1990s. There is a need, therefore, for a study at the secondary level in the current Lower Mainland context. 2 Of particular interest are teachers in the secondary schools, such as the research site in this study, which follow the "regular classes + ESL support class" model, wherein even the lowest functioning students are mainstreamed into academic courses such as Math, and often even more language intensive courses such as Science or Social Studies. Unlike the content-based language instruction, sheltered instruction and language across the curriculum models identified by Crandall (1993) and others, ESL students rarely, if ever, receive explicit language training in content based subjects under this model, unless it is provided by the ESL teacher to whom the students may have only limited exposure. Furthermore, the academic content of the classes may not be adapted or modified to make it more accessible for ESL learners. Certainly the bulk of ESL student instruction does not come from teachers whose first priorities are to focus on ESL students' language development, or to adjust their curricula for non-native speakers. Nonetheless, because most student time is spent with regular teachers in this model, if the education of ESL students is to continue to develop in a positive direction, it is important to know what these teachers' perceptions are of the ESL students in their classes, of their responsibilities to these students, and of the ESL teacher's responsibilities to both these students and the mainstream teachers. The research questions Given the rationale outlined above, this study responds to the following broad research question. What are the perceptions of mainstream junior high school classroom teachers, both of the ESL students in their classes, and the ESL program (regular classes + ESL support class) in which these students are enrolled? 3 This question subsumes five specific questions to which the findings reply directly. These questions are phrased in terms of the "effects" of the ESL phenomenon; they address it at the classroom and programmatic levels: • What are mainstream teachers' perceptions of the effects of having ESL students in mainstream classrooms? • What are mainstream teachers' perceptions of the effects of mainstream classrooms on ESL students? • How do mainstream teachers perceive the effects of the ESL program delivery model on their own responsibilities to ESL students? • What needs do mainstream teachers perceive the program delivery model as effecting? • How do mainstream teachers think ESL support could be delivered more effectively? Significance of the study The results of this study will be significant in several ways. The knowledge of the mainstream teachers will be useful in the planning of ESL service delivery in the site where the research was conducted and will yield important insights for teachers and administrators in similar educational contexts, though it is recognised that this small scale qualitative study is not meant to be generalisable. Specifically, the findings will: • increase our understanding of the benefits and challenges mainstream teachers see as arising from teaching ESL students, thus suggesting courses of action for assisting these teachers; • increase our understanding of the challenges and successes of ESL students in the mainstream classroom, thus suggesting courses of action for assisting them; 4 • increase our understanding of how regular teachers perceive their own responsibility for ESL students, thus suggesting constructive courses of action for the ESL teacher; • yield insights on how the ESL specialist can work more effectively with regular teachers by clarifying regular teachers' expectations of the ESL specialist and the ESL program; • yield insights on what ESL programmatic option would be most satisfying for mainstream teachers given their perceptions of the current model. Definitions In this study the term 'ESL' is used both to refer to students and a program offered at the research site. Following the draft policy framework of the BC Ministry of Education (1998), ESL students are defined as "those whose primary language(s) or language(s) of the home are other than English and who may therefore require additional services in order to develop their individual potential within British Columbia's school system." This term is used rather than the perhaps more accurate terms "Limited English Proficient", "Language Minority", and "EAL" because it is the common parlance in BC and it avoids the 'deficit' connotations of the former two terms. "Mainstream" classes are sometimes also referred to as "grade-level" classes (Enright & McCloskey 1988) or "regular classes" (Penfield 1987); The term "regular" is sometimes used for variety but, following Carrasquillo & Rodriguez (1996), generally the term "mainstream" is employed for clarity and convenience. It is widely understood that these are classes where curriculum and instruction are designed and planned for native speaking students. "Mainstreaming" in the current study refers to the practice of placing 5 ESL students in mainstream classes for all or part of the day whether or not they receive ESL support classes as well (cf. Carrasquillo & Rodriguez 1996). The "junior secondary school" in this study consists of grades eight to ten, and should not be confused with "middle schools" which consist of grades six to eight, or other models of junior secondary school which consist of grades seven to nine. Organisation of the paper This paper is divided into seven chapters. Chapter one, the introduction, provides a background and rationale for the study, states the research question and defines some of the relevant terms. Chapter two reviews the literature in order to place this study in its broader context. The literature review examines models of support for ESL students in high schools, four dimensions of the ESL student experience in theory and in practice, and describes some similar studies. Chapter three, describes, and provides a rationale for, the research procedures used in this study and specifies the context in which the research was undertaken so that the findings may be more accurately understood. Chapters four and five report verbatim accounts of teachers' responses to the questions put to them in questionnaires and interviews. Chapter four reports on the "classroom effects" of the ESL phenomena and thus addresses the first two specific research questions listed above. Chapter five documents teachers' perceptions of the "program effects" of the ESL phenomena and thus addresses the latter three specific research questions given above. Chapter six, the discussion, summarises the findings and compares them to other relevant studies. It also suggests some of the implications for further research and further practice at the research site. The conclusion briefly recaps the study and its significance. 6 Chapter 2 : A review of the literature As the numbers of ESL students in English speaking countries have grown in the past two decades so has the body of literature addressing the ways these young people might best be supported in our public schools. The great majority of the literature is prescriptive; it documents the best practices for ESL student support based on second language acquisition, educational and social psychological research. Unfortunately, there is very little descriptive literature showing how ESL students actually experience school and how teachers perceive these students in their classrooms. This study is a small contribution toward illuminating this issue. The literature review will provide a context for the study by beginning with a description of the models that exist for supporting ESL students and what local policies are for using them. Then, it will examine what the challenges of attending a school in a second language encompass and summarise what the literature says about meeting them. It will conclude by describing the few similar studies that exist. Programmatic options for ESL students The first step to providing context for the study is to summarise the wide variety of service delivery models that may be provided to ESL students. Clegg (1996) offers a current description of options for ESL provision. He notes that most options have historically involved separating ESL students from their peers so that they may follow a language led curriculum in withdrawal or pull out classes, or at off site centres. This separation may take place previous to entering the mainstream, or more commonly, concurrently with mainstream education so that students have a "part separate, part integrated timetable until they are considered ready to be fully mainstreamed," (p. 2). 7 Historically, withdrawal classes have offered teaching predicated on a structural model of language and an audio-lingual method of teaching and been divorced from the mainstream curriculum. Since the 1980s a communicative approach has become favoured, and more recently a curriculum related or language and content approach has become more widely accepted. This latest innovation is significant because mainstream teachers and students, and ESL students themselves, have often accorded lower status to ESL classes than mainstream classes largely due to the perceived lack of academic endeavour in the ESL class (Clegg 1996; Harklau 1994; McKay 1988). Withdrawal classes can therefore be classified into purely language focussed classes and content based classes. Language focussed withdrawal classes may fall into the type described above which have little relevance to the mainstream curriculum and, while still existing, are, Clegg asserts, "on their way out," (p. 24). On the other hand, they may be language focussed courses within a "mainstream orientated policy framework," which includes liasing with the mainstream teachers, defined curricular targets and sensitive timetabling that includes ESL students in important school events (Clegg, 1996 p. 22). Content-based language classes have been described by Crandall (1993) as well as Clegg (1996 ). Crandall (1993) notes that ESL teachers in these classes "use academic texts, tasks and techniques as a vehicle for developing language, content and thinking/study skills," (p. 114). Clegg subdivides these classes into three types: "content-related" classes in which teaching is not related specifically to mainstream lessons and content is used as a "hook to hang language development on"; "adjunct" classes, in which the ESL teacher liases with the mainstream teacher in order to prepare and/or debrief ESL students for the mainstream class; and "pre-mainstream" in which the ESL teacher collaborates with the subject matter specialist to offer a content course as part of an ESL program that prepares ESL students for mainstream work. Crandall (1993) also describes adjunct classes but considers them separate from, rather than a type of, "content based language teaching." Finally, withdrawal classes may offer "sheltered subject matter teaching." In this type of class, the content is made accessible to students through instructional and linguistic adaptations (Crandall, 1993). It is different from content based language teaching in that it is "content-led" rather than language led. As such it is generally taught by a subject specialist rather than an ESL specialist. Students in sheltered courses can usually get credit for the class on par with a mainstream course (Clegg, 1996). Thus far, models of pull out classes for ESL students have been described. With the exception of the sheltered subject matter classes, all classes are language led, which is to say they are determined by a language syllabus and pedagogy and taught by a language specialist. Sheltered subject matter teaching is a kind of "language sensitive" (Clegg 1996; Crandall 1993) content led teaching. Other examples of language sensitive content teaching occur in the mainstream class by sympathetic and informed mainstream teachers rather than withdrawal classes. Clegg ( 1996) also identifies "language supported classes". In these mainstream classes the mainstream teacher either forms a partial or thorough partnership with the ESL teacher who either tends to the language needs of the ESL students in the class, or shares all responsibilities equally with the mainstream teacher, depending on the nature of the partnership. These partnerships may be implemented school wide, or as they are deemed 9 necessary. This model parallels what Crandall (1993) describes as the "language across the curriculum approach." Finally, ESL students may be placed in mainstream classes with no formal language support either in class or by way of withdrawal. Other researchers (cf. Skuttnab-Kangas 1988; McKay 1988; Cohen & Swain 1979) have referred to this model, generally negatively, as "submersion." This model is thought to produce insecurity in ESL students and not to provide any of the types of support an ESL student needs, for example, a teacher that can understand the student's first language, comprehensible input, or an effective promotion of first language skills (Cummins 1988). Moreover, Carrasquillo and Rodriguez (1996) add that ESL students simply "do not have the communicative and necessary academic English skills" (p. 10) for these classes. Nonetheless, Clegg (1996) asserts that it is possible for unsupported mainstream classes to be positive places for ESL students if the teacher is one who "inherently provide[s] a facilitating environment... [and the] subject or teaching style happen to offer what ESL learners need," (p.24). There is no one model thought to be best for supporting ESL students, although arguments in the current literature in favour of submersion or non-curriculum related language withdrawal classes are unlikely. Different contexts demand different solutions (August & Hakuta et al 1997); however, the common goal is to develop the students' English language skills while allowing them access to the mainstream curriculum and classroom. In practice, this means either supporting the ESL student in the mainstream class, or providing pull out classes that work within Clegg's (1996) "mainstream orientated policy framework." 10 Principles of effective mainstreaming Regardless of what may be the best method of support, mainstreaming is a fact of life for ESL students in most Canadian schools. The literature describes some principles that must be adhered to if mainstreaming is to be beneficial to ESL students. The following is a synthesis of these minimum necessary conditions. Firstly, the entire school must be supportive of the ESL student. Support includes, but is not limited to, school-wide policies that fight racism and support multiculturalism (Clegg 1996; Carrasquillo & Rodriguez 1996) and allow ESL students opportunities in education and school life equal to their native-speaking peers (August & Hakuta et al 1997; Clegg 1996; Carrasquillo & Rodriguez 1996). It also means preparing mainstream teachers with ESL methodology (Faltis & Hudelson 1994) in order to give them the skills they need to legitimately have high expectations for their ESL students (August & Hakuta et al 1997). High teacher expectations are sometimes considered another separate ingredient in ESL student success (Faltis & Hudelson 1994). Secondly, the students' first languages must be respected resources "fundamental to ... children's education,"(p. Clegg 1996; August & Hakuta et al 1997). First languages may be exploited either in fully functioning bilingual programs, or merely as aids in the transition to English fluency in English classrooms. First language understandings of concepts help students participate in English discussions (Faltis & Huddelson 1994) and contribute to their cognitive development (Cummins 1994), later academic achievement (Collier 1994), and positive self identity (Clegg 1996). Lucas and Katz (1994) also document cases indicating first language use is desirable and, in any case, unavoidable amongst ESL students. 11 Thirdly, mainstream teachers must thoughtfully structure activities to maximise interaction between ESL students and their mainstream peers (August & Hakuta et al 1997). In particular, small group co-operative work is beneficial. Small groups allow the chance to use language for authentic communication (Carrasquillo and Rodriguez, 1996) and for the negotiation of meaning, both fundamental in SLA (Gass 1997; Clegg 1996; Long 1983). Moreover, co-operative learning promotes social development and builds self esteem along with academic and language skills (Carrasquillo and Rodriguez, 1996). Skehan (1992 in Clegg 1996) warns, however that successful small group work demands the careful structuring of the task on the part of the teacher. Such thoughtfulness characterises the fourth principle which Faltis and Huddelson (1994) describe as "responsive teaching" or "demonstrat[ing] particular sensitivity to the realities and needs of the learners... and engaging] in teaching behaviours that... [take] students into account," (p. 463). August and Hakuta (1997) similarly advocate for a "customised learning environment" which meets the needs of its particular students. Manifestations of this outlook may include adapting the curriculum to include learners' cultural backgrounds (Faltis & Huddelson 1994; August & Hakuta et al 1997), using appropriate pedagogies such as the co-operative learning described above, and simply using techniques familiar to ESL specialists such as modifying teacher talk to meet learner needs, and ensuring "embeddedness in discourse" (both in Clegg 1996 and August & Hakuta et al 1997) so as to provide Krashen's (1981) comprehensible input. The fifth principle may be broadly described as "attention to language". Clegg (1996) asserts that school language demands are complex. The ESL teacher must therefore provide relevant language support tasks across the curriculum to assist the ESL 12 student who cannot succeed alone. Formal specialist support is necessary. Furthermore, because language development is related to academic and content development in all students, teachers must "find ways of linking language and academic work which are successful and user friendly,"(p. 15). Mohan's (1986) Knowledge Framework and Chamot and O'Malley's CALLA (1987) are two approaches for accomplishing this task. That attention to language benefits all students is relevant to Carrasquillo and Rodriguez (1996) who assert that teachers must take the varying degrees of English proficiency among all their students into account when planning cognitive tasks. Attention to language must furthermore extend beyond individual classrooms and manifest itself in successful articulation between ESL and regular programs; articulation means smooth transitions between levels of ESL support (August & Hakuta et al) and collaboration between language and content teachers (Short 1994). In sum, mainstream teachers must be sensitive and responsive to the language demands of their classes and ESL teachers must provide appropriate formal language support to the ESL students in these classes. The final principle is that ESL students must be comfortable in the mainstream class (Clegg 1996). Krashen (1981) long ago raised the importance of lowering ESL students' affective filters to absorb and process comprehensible input. Classrooms and schools which adhere to the above principles will obviously be much closer to attaining this goal; however, ESL student comfort is not easy to achieve. Carrasquillo and London (1993) and Hamayan (1990) have both noted that initially mainstreamed students often have low self esteem and poor social skills. Moreover, culture shock is a strong possibility in ESL students. Oxford (1992) points out that this phenomenon can lead to panic, anger, alienation and a loss of identity. The ESL student in our schools Thus far, this chapter has summarised the kinds of programs available for supporting ESL students and what schools must do to serve their ESL students effectively regardless of which program they choose. This review will now turn to the literature documenting what the supposed challenges facing ESL students in public schools are and how they are best met. Faltis and Arias (1993) note that as well as language, ESL students have academic, social and cultural experiences which are different, that is more challenging, than their mainstream peers. All four considerations clearly impinge on one another. In the absence of much literature documenting specific ESL student experiences in mainstream classes, we will look at what the literature tells us ESL students might expect from these four domains. Academic domain Theory ESL students have to learn not only language, but also academic content through their new language. Thus, they must acquire conceptual knowledge and the language through which to express this conceptual knowledge. In his oft cited studies, Cummins (1981) refers to this type of language use as "cognitive academic language proficiency" (CALP), which he distinguishes from basic interpersonal communications skills (BICS). Cummins (1983) further proposes that language may be conceptualised along two continua: from cognitively undemanding to cognitively demanding, and from context 14 embedded to context reduced. He says, "a central aspect of what I have termed 'academic' language proficiency is the ability to make complex meanings explicit in either oral or written modalities by means of language itself rather than by means of paralinguistic clues,"(1989, p. 30). Cognitively demanding, context reduced language is the most challenging for ESL students and typically that which is found in academic subject areas such as Social Studies, Literature and Science. Of central importance in Cummins' work is that it takes ESL students from 4- 7 to 5-7 years to reach grade level academic skills in CALP (Cummins 1981; Collier 1989 respectively). Children with no schooling in their primary language may even take up to ten years (Collier 1989). This time factor has implications for students, teachers and parents who must understand that native like proficiency in English is more than a matter of one or two years. Furthermore, more quickly developing BICS language skills must not be misconstrued as academic language proficiency. Cummins (1996) asserts this mistake has been made, resulting in perceptions of cognitive disabilities and laziness as well as premature exiting from language support programs. Even more dangerously, adolescent students may not have enough time to catch up on their academic instruction before being forced to leave school, or indeed choosing to drop out on their own (Collier 1989). As well as the language demands of academic work, Faltis and Arias (1993) assert that only a small amount of immigrants enter American schools with parallel schooling experiences in their home countries. The percentage in Canada may be larger with large scale immigration from East Asian countries; nonetheless "significant academic gaps in certain content areas" (p. 11) are likely in the majority of ESL students, or as Carrasquillo and Rodriguez (1996) say, "curricular sequences, content objectives and instructional 15 methodologies may differ dramatically" (p.4) from what goes on in North American classrooms. This is not to say however, that all ESL students are at an academic disadvantage because of differences in background knowledge; indeed, one of the reasons Clegg (1996) advocates mainstreaming is that ESL classes do not tend to serve academically strong students well. Not surprisingly, given the vast body of research that ties LI proficiency to L2 proficiency, the level of CALP in the students first language predicts the level of academic success the student is likely to have in English (Olshtain et al 1990; Collier 1987). Practical examples Some studies have been undertaken which illustrate how students experience the challenge of learning content in mainstream academic classes. Early (1992) interviewed 26 high school students, fifteen of whom were considered "successful", having attained C or higher in mainstream courses, to discover their perceptions of the reasons for their levels of success. Four general themes arose. Firstly, successful students put more time into their study than their unsuccessful counterparts, often putting in extra hours even when their assignments were complete. Secondly, successful students sought out extra help from their mainstream and ESL teachers rather than from family and friends. Moreover, students were also able to help themselves both by way of their background knowledge in the content areas, which was sometimes greater than their peers, and by their "inner resources [of]... adaptability courage and confidence," (p.271). Specifically, these resources allowed students to learn the Canadian way of learning and to risk participation in the class. Thirdly, more successful students tried to get a deep understanding of the content knowledge, rather than be satisfied with rote memorisation 16 as their less successful colleagues tended to be. Lastly, successful students tended to have long term goals, such as becoming doctors, and a belief in their power to reach them. In a frightening 1994 paper that attests to the academic demands on ESL students, Watt and Roessingh report a drop out rate of 74% among 232 ESL students in a Calgary school between grades 10-12 over a five year period. The most significant predictor of academic success was students language ability at their time of intake; fully 95.5 % of students who were "beginners" at intake dropped out of school. 86% of eventual graduates were initially intermediate or advanced. Furthermore, ESL students took an average of 4.5 years to complete successfully the three year program; half were over the age of twenty and 90% received a general rather than advanced diploma compared to a ratio of 42.55 among all graduates in the system. Critical for this study are the proposed "types" of drop out, the first of which is the student who is "pushed out" of the system by a premature discontinuation of ESL support (as described by Cummins 1996), or of school itself due to an age cap (as predicted by Collier 1989), and another of which is the student who drops out because of a perceived lack of teacher interest or care. These findings testify to the importance of discovering how teachers feel about their ESL students and the sufficiency of the E S L program. Social domain Schools and teachers perform a socialising role as well an academic-cognitive one. ( Clegg 1996; Faltis & Arias 1993; Harklau 1994). Socialisation can be considered both in how it affects language acquisition and in the broader context as an end unto itself. First we will review two prominent theories explaining the relationship between social 17 interaction and language development, then some examples of social phenomena in schools as documented in three studies. Theory Social integration and language development are inextricably bound in Ochs (1986) language socialisation theory under which newcomers to a society are socialised through language and socialised to use language by the "experts" in the society. ESL students must thus use English to gain knowledge about their new environment and learn how to use English appropriately in the environment. This theory accords with the thinking of Vygotsky (1978 in Ochs 1986) who believes that social interaction with others is necessary for the construction of meaning. According to August and Hakuta et al (1997), ESL students are socialised in and through language for two purposes: they must learn the rules of how to talk in the classroom; and they must construct their actual content knowledge through this talk. Because they are performing these feats in a second language and an unfamiliar culture, their task is very difficult. In order for ESL students to integrate socially their peers and teachers must provide "explicit instruction" (Ochs 1986 p.3) to teach them what to say and how to act in particular contexts. Peirce's (1995) work also provides useful background in considering social issues of students in mainstream classrooms. While the crux of her work supports a notion of "investment" rather than motivation, two other important considerations for this study emerge. Firstly, "power relations play a crucial role in social interactions between language learners and target language speakers" ( p. 12). Therefore, if language learning depends upon social interaction, power relations must be considered. It is easy to imagine who, the ESL or the mainstream student, has more power in mainstream classrooms. 18 Secondly, language is "constitutive of, and constituted by, a language learner's social identity" (p. 13). ESL learners are thus defined by their lack of English proficiency, and denied access to "powerful social networks [e.g. peer groups] that give learners the opportunity to speak" (p. 13). A further significant discovery is that the participants in Peirce's study felt most uncomfortable speaking around those in whom they had some kind of emotional investment, or put plainly, people around whom it was important to make a good impression. The parallels to the ESL student in the mainstream class are evident. Practical examples In one of the few studies that actually documents ESL experiences in mainstream high school classes, Harklau (1994) asserts that ESL students were "intimidated by the sociolinguistic environment" (p.263) of mainstream classes and uncomfortable and sometimes unable to function in group work. Indeed, she finds, "the single most salient aspect of observations of ESL students in the mainstream classes was their reticence and lack of interaction with native speaking peers" (pp.262-263). Reasons for this included frustration and embarrassment with English ability, a phenomena supporting Peirce's (1995) findings, and the lack of a common cultural background to build a friendship upon. Furthermore, overworked mainstream teachers were unable to spend much time getting to know the diverse background of each student, much less help them to integrate socially. In an ethnographic study of teachers' perceptions, Gougeon (1993) discovered that most teachers also thought that ESL students had a difficult time making friends, describing them as "alienated" from their mainstream peers. The teachers believed that the boys tended to exhibit a higher degree of alienation than the girls. 19 Clegg (1996) cites an obvious concern for social integration; "there is plenty of evidence which shows that language minority children can suffer from personal and institutional racism at school" ( p.9). Indeed, in a California study of ESL students from Vietnam, Davis and McDaid (1992) found that despite students' positive perceptions of school overall, 25% of them "often" and 61% of them "sometimes" experienced racial discrimination from their peers. Olsen (in Minnicucci 1992) also reported overt conflict and violence between immigrant and non immigrant groups in California Bay Area schools. The teachers Gougeon (1993) interviewed asserted that ESL students were also racially prejudiced toward one another, an attitude they ascribed to frustration and typically homogenous home cultures. The ESL students in Harklau's (1994) study did not suffer from personal discrimination, but from institutional discrimination within a school system which clearly could not meet their needs. Trueba (1989) also argues that it is impossible for ESL students to socialise fast enough to be given a fair chance to succeed within the competitive American education system and Spener (1988) moreover, asserts that institutional discrimination is desirable to the mainstream majority as it provides a pool of workers for undesirable jobs. Cultural domain While all these domains interconnect, the distinction between social and cultural may seem the most tenuous; however, we will consider social challenges to be largely fitting in with a peer group and cultural challenges to be fitting in with society as a whole. Clearly however, each one is part of the other. It is beyond the scope of this literature review to visit the concept of culture in any depth, so we will consider what the challenges may be in reconciling the home culture with the new one. 20 Theory Kramsch (1993) asserts that people who emigrate to a new country find themselves in a culture of a "third place." This site is "at an intersection of social roles and individual choices" (p.234); that is to say there are not monolithic distinctions between their old cultures and their new ones but rather a process of self discovery through the crossing of cultural boundaries. This theory complements Peirce's (1995) notion of social identities that differ across time and space, and may help illuminate the different ways ESL students react and handle situations. While she says it is too simple to say the student was in the old culture, now he is in the new one therefore life is difficult, Kramsch does not deny the discomfort these students face; rather, she illustrates what a complex issue it is to move from one culture to another. Kramsch's theory is far more sophisticated than the concept of "culture shock"; however this construct still bears examination as it is widely employed and indeed surfaces in this study. Moreover, we cannot deny that students at some level feel discomfort in their new cultures regardless of how post modern an analysis we choose to use. Hernandez (1997) describes culture shock as the feeling of finding the new culture incomprehensible; this encompasses a failure to communicate and a failure to understand behaviours. Culture shocked learners are likely to feel estrangement, hostility, indecision, frustration, sadness, loneliness and physical illness. Brown (1992 in Hernandez 1997) notes that culture shock emerges when learners feel the new culture is intruding on their own images of themselves and their security. Culture shock is generally described as the second of four stages of "acculturation", the process of learning to adapt to the dominant culture (Damen 1987). 21 Brown (1992 in Hernandez 1997) describes the four stages as initial euphoria at the new surroundings, culture shock, the critical period or acculturation wherein the learner begins to function and must, according to Brown, "synchronise language and culture learning," and finally acculturation wherein they function in society comparably to educated learners. This description of acculturation is rather too linear and does not allow for the kinds of construction and reconstruction of identities offered by Kramsch (1993) and Peirce (1995) but the broad concepts of culture shock and learning how to adapt in a new society are useful. Practical examples Gougeon (1993) interviewed twenty seven mainstream teachers and discovered that they perceived ESL students as suffering from cultural-adjustment problems. Firstly, students feel "displaced" from phenomena such as living within a new familial structure, or having experienced traumatic events in the home country. Secondly, they feel alienated: from other students with whom they have a difficulty making friends; from their parents who enforce upon them different demands than the new culture - indeed, Gougeon asserts many students reluctantly lead lives unknown to their parents in order to gain peer acceptance; and from the school which is not tailored to support them. Thirdly, they have difficulty understanding and therefore accepting Canadian culture, ironically disapproving of the tolerant school system and mixing with other minorities. Coelho (1994) supports these findings, in particular noting that in school, immigrant students have difficulty understanding the "invisible discipline" of our classrooms, and our value of "active learning". At home, she asserts that students are either separated from, or reunited ynth unfamiliar, family members, many of whom have 22 values that conflict with those visible in school, causing students to choose between feeling disloyal to family or isolated from peers. Accordingly, she asserts that children have trouble integrating with their peers as they do not know the rituals and symbols of peer culture. They will therefore tend to remain in their own cultural peer groups, especially as they get older. Huss-Keeler (1997) also shows that students may suffer from cultural misunderstandings between their teachers and their parents. In her ethnographic study she found that British teachers incorrectly perceived Pakistani parents to be uninterested in their children's education when in fact cultural differences inhibited Pakistani parents from attending school events; rather they preferred to help their children quietly at home. As a result, valuable home school communication, and different parental participation models were neglected by the teachers., obviously to the students' detriment. Phelan (in Minnicucci 1992) identifies four types of immigrant adolescent based on two variables, congruent vs. different worlds, and smooth vs. difficult transitions, which indicate different potentials for acculturation. Type I were from a congruent world and had made a smooth transition to American society; type II, different world, smooth transition; type III, different world, difficult transition; and type IV, congruent world, difficult transition. All students faced school pressure, family pressure and peer pressure. Type I students reported facing tremendous pressure from parents to achieve academically and sometimes experienced emotional stress and depression. Type II students also experienced extreme parental pressure to achieve in school and often felt isolated from their native language peers because they felt they had to downplay their cultural identity in class. They were often high achievers in their native countries. Teachers 23 tended to perceive them as well adjusted, assimilated and problem free. By contrast, type III students reported having difficulty understanding classroom talk and material and did not do well in most classes. Teachers often viewed these students as lazy and unambitious. Type IV students were concerned about graduating and their future and although finding school difficult, had not adopted an oppositional attitude. Most of these students reported parental pressure to succeed but also that their parents did not know what to do to help them. As for peers, students reported feeling comfortable with them but types II III and IV all reported having experienced discrimination. Language domain Obviously the three domains discussed are inextricably intertwined with language acquisition. The purpose of this section is to summarise what the literature regards as the conditions under which a second language may be acquired and compare it to studies that illustrate the language experiences ESL learners may have. Clearly, it is beyond the scope of any thesis to describe the dizzying array of variables that have been identified as affecting second language acquisition (cf. Ellis 1994); however, there is some general agreement on broad principles; these will be outlined. Theory Firstly, most scholars and practitioners would agree with Genesse (1994) who states "languages are acquired more effectively when they are learned in conjunction with meaningful content and purposive communication... Everything we know about language learning indicates that success is likely if it serves social and cognitive goals," (p. 9-10). 24 Indeed we would be hard pressed to find any literature in the last twenty years that did not advocate "meaningful, authentic" language use. That language is used for purposive communication indicates that language use is social. This belief is reflected in Schiefflin and Ochs (1986) language socialisation approach. Students learn language as part of being accepted into a new culture and as part of accepting that culture into themselves. In the context of this study, this means both the narrow culture of academic subject area and the wider cultures of classroom, school and society. In order to learn language then students must be ready to accept the culture and the culture must be ready to accept them. Thirdly, the social nature of language requires that students interact in language situations in order to learn to use language effectively (Long 1983; Gass 1997). In these language situations students need to receive comprehensible input (Krashen 1981; 1985;1989). Although some researchers believe the importance of comprehensible input is overstated, (cf. White 1987a and Gass 1988 in Ellis 1994) common sense indicates it is at least necessary if not sufficient. Fourthly, the learner has to be comfortable in the environment in order to learn. This comfort may be considered in terms of Krashen's (1981) affective filter or Peirce's (1995) willingness to invest in speaking but, clearly, participating in language learning involves risk taking (Brown 1994) which cannot be undertaken without student comfort. This principle subsumes the myriad affective variables, such as self-esteem, culture shock, perception of a caring teacher, minority status and so on. The social and cognitive goals to which Genesse refers in the first principle reflect the distinction Cummins describes between BICS and CALP (1981, 1983, 1989, 1996). 25 Although this dichotomy may be more ambiguous than originally thought, most researchers still believe there are differences between the kinds of English students must learn for academic and social purposes. Continuing to follow Cummins, there is a well documented link between first language and second language development (Cummins 1991, 1994). A healthy first language helps promote second language acquisition. Finally, Clegg (1996) asserts that formal language instruction is necessary for language learning. Instruction may include but not be limited to grammatical, lexical, phonological, functional, and stylistic concerns. Practical examples In her three year ethnographic study focussing on four Chinese speaking students moving from ESL classes to the mainstream in a Bay area high school, Harklau (1994) discovered the pros and cons of language learning in the mainstream class. Most positively, the mainstream class provided plenty of meaningful authentic input and copious interactions in the written mode. On the negative side, students received little explicit language feedback, little chance for extended interaction with teachers and were unable to take advantage of the opportunities for social interaction with their native speaking peers. While spoken input from teachers was "authentic" it was seldom adjusted, or augmented with visuals, to bring it to a comprehensible level. ESL students were often left confused and frustrated. Similarly they were rarely called upon to produce any output. Interactions with the teacher were rare, and ESL students often quit paying attention to the class altogether. Written input and output was plentiful though sometimes cognitively undemanding, such as fill in the blanks exercises. ESL students were often able to "bluff' their way through such work with little conceptual understanding. 26 Short (1994) reports on a project that successfully integrated language with Social Studies content. Students were able to improve reading and writing skills and vocabulary through the use of graphic organisers as described by Mohan (1986) and Early and Tang (1991 in Short 1994). Communication skills were developed through interactive co-operative strategies such as role plays and art projects, and "relationship signal words" were explicitly taught. All these outcomes occurred within the framework of content learning. However, the implications of this study, according to Short, are that such a program is suitable for transitional ESL classes rather than mainstream classes. Certainly, the lessons and classroom contexts she describes as successful for ESL learners are planned around ESL learners, unlike mainstream classes in Harklau's (1994) study. Related studies Only three studies emerged with similar purposes to this one. Penfield (1987) surveyed 162 mainstream teachers for their perceptions of ESL students and the ESL programs at their schools. Most preferred the model of mainstream inclusion with a pull out support block. These teachers found these students challenging in that traditional curriculum and methods did not always suit their needs but report that they were an asset for their diligence and cultural diversity. Social integration was perceived as a challenge for ESL students but one which could be met with teacher engineering. As for responsibilities however, overall, most of the respondents felt that it was not their duty to learn how or to know how to teach ESL students. Penfield's study was very influential for the present one but salient differences in scale and numbers and type of respondents should be noted. Penfield's 162 respondents were 85% elementary school teachers and 15 27 % high school. The following small study reports only on the perceptions of junior high school teachers in one school. Clair (1995) also conducted an ethnographic study of teachers' beliefs, self reported practices and and professional development needs vis a vis ESL students. Her work comprised three in depth case studies of a grade four, a grade five and a grade ten mainstream teachers. She found that these teachers' pre service preparation and in service professional development for dealing with ESL students was inadequate, that the teachers desired quick fixes to the complex problems of dealing with ESL students and that they denied the usefulness of specialist knowledge in second language acquisition, believing instead that "good teaching is good teaching" (p. 193). While Clair's study is relevant to this one, major differences again lie in the focus on predominantly elementary rather than secondary teachers and the methodology. The most similar study to this one in scale and context was undertaken by Gougeon (1993). As part of a larger study, he interviewed twenty seven high school teachers with open ended questions to uncover their perceptions of ESL students. He discovered that teachers thought ESL students and parents feel alienated from school and their new culture, and that they need to develop a sense of connection to their new surroundings. He also found that teachers thought the school system itself was ethnocentric. 28 CHAPTER 3: CONTEXT AND METHODOLOGY This chapter outlines the context and methodology of the research. It begins with a rationale for the case study approach followed by a review of the research questions. It then discusses the context and methodology of the study directly by following a framework suggested by Johnson (1992). It concludes with a discussion of ethics and reciprocity. Rationale for a case study approach Stake (1988 in Johnson 1992) defines a case study as the "study of a 'bounded system', emphasising the unity and wholeness of that system, but confining attention to those aspects that are relevant to the research problem,"(p. 258). This research obviously lent itself to a case study approach in that its purpose was to discover the perceptions of mainstream teachers of the ESL program at a single junior secondary school. The ESL program at the research site, including the ESL teacher, the students, and the experience of the ESL students' mainstreaming, constituted the bounded system, and the perceptions of the mainstream teachers were the relevant aspects. Furthermore, the purpose of this research was primarily descriptive, as Johnson (1992) asserts case studies generally are. More specifically, it aimed to "provide a detailed description and analysis of... themes voiced by participants in a particular situation"(p.395) which McMillan &Schumacher (1997) state is one of the primary purposes of case study research. On a personal level, I wished to undertake a case study of this school, rather than a widely generalisable study of teachers throughout the district, as I was working there as a beginning, and sole, ESL teacher at the time the research was conducted. Aside from 29 obvious issues of ease of access to the research site and participants, the results were of great interest to me as indicators of more effective ways to carry out and understand my various duties at this particular school. The research question The research question driving this study was, "What are the perceptions of mainstream junior high school teachers on the ESL students and the ESL program at their school?" Following the "emergent design" model described by McMmillan and Schumacher (1997) it became apparent that the research had addressed five questions that may be subsumed by the research question. These questions could be conveniently considered in terms of the "effects" of the ESL phenomena. They were: • What are mainstream teachers' perceptions of the effects of having ESL students in mainstream classrooms? • What are mainstream teachers' perceptions of the effects of mainstream classrooms on ESL students? • How do mainstream teachers perceive the effects of the ESL program delivery model on their own responsibilities to ESL students? • What needs do mainstream teachers perceive the program delivery model as effecting? • How do mainstream teachers think ESL support could be delivered more effectively? The context of the research The section will begin by examining the policies affecting the delivery of ESL service at the research site. It will then describe the research site and the ESL program. Participants will be described in the following section. Local policies and models Provincial level Despite the fact that ESL enrolment in British Columbia has more than tripled since 1990 and become predominantly a Pacific Rim, rather than a European population, policy in the province was stagnant from 1985 to 1996. Previous to these years, language policy in BC was, according to Reeder et al (1997), "nearly non existent," (p.374). During this time the goal of ESL was to "provide additional support services to students... so that these students may adequately cope with the school curriculum," (Manual of policies procedures and guidelines 3:30: 1). As the need for new policy became clear, an interim "Language Education Policy" policy was developed for the 1996-97 school year in which the goal of ESL service was still "to ensure the integration of these students into regular classes as soon as possible"( quoted on p.2 in English as a Second Language Policy Framework Draft). The Language Education Policy, however, was criticised by Reeder et al (1997) for not being specific enough in terms of language objectives. 1998 has seen the creation of the English as a Second Language Policy Framework (Draft) in which roles and responsibilities of the Ministry, school districts, schools, and teachers are articulated along with goals, principles, and general policy statements. Interestingly, this document defines the role of ESL services as "to prepare [ESL students] to achieve the expected learning outcomes of the provincial curriculum" (p. 3). In this statement we see more leeway for a range of support models; specifically, integration into the mainstream class is not a stated goal. As of this writing, the policy framework has not become official and no clear guidelines yet exist around entry and exit 31 criteria to ESL programs, how to allocate and develop resources, or how to evaluate ESL programs. Positively, however, ESL students have the rights to the same services and opportunities as all other students. These rights thus require attention to language proficiency, intellectual development and citizenship within a school that values diversity and deters racism. Importantly, the need for consistent provincial ESL policy is recognised in the document which advocates "consistent provincial language which articulates a student's place along the ESL service continuum" (p. 6). ESL PSA president Beryl Botham concurs that "ESL policy is long overdue in this province." (p. 1 1998) District level In the absence of provincial leadership, individual school districts have responded to the demands of ESL enrolment in varieties of the different models outlined in the literature review. Like the provincial documents described above, the policy of this study's school district is necessarily flexible, if vague, in efforts to fit the diversity of its schools. The ESL program, as outlined in the district staff job description, is expected to "support" ESL students by way of the following ESL teacher duties. • The ESL teacher will collaborate with classroom teachers in order to: develop individual learning plans; select strategies to meet ESL student needs in the regular class; provide information and in-service training. • The ESL teacher will deal directly with the student by instructing, in pull-out and in-class contexts, intensive lessons in language and culture; administering assessments to share with interested parties; and by using different instructional techniques, strategies and assessments in monitoring group and individual work. 32 • The ESL teacher will communicate regularly with parents and school personnel to support the student. Individual schools have the freedom and responsibilities to develop appropriate programs which fulfil these guidelines. School level At the research site the goal of ESL, according to the school agenda, is to "help each student function with their (sic) peers as easily and quickly as possible... to develop the students understanding of English vocabulary and structure and Canadian custom." Thus we can see the ESL program is meant to address directly the students' social, cultural, and somewhat narrow language education, but not their academic education. Description of the site The school The site was a junior high school with a total student population of under 450 in a large suburban school district in the Lower Mainland. While in the suburbs, the school was, in fact, in one of the poorest socio-economic areas in the Lower Mainland and had an "inner-city" designation. Teachers at the school taught students who had not eaten properly, and who came from homes with all the problems attendant to poverty on a daily basis. About ten percent of the student population in any given year was transient; they either did not begin or did not complete the year at the school. Despite the inner city locale of the site, many more affluent families were attracted to the school by its French immersion program which served about one quarter of the students. Most of the staff of about 30 teachers were very active in extra-curricular activities; the school fielded a wide variety of sports teams and hosted a number of clubs 33 and events despite its small population. Overall the staff were quite young; the average age was under forty and many teachers were still in their twenties. The ESL program The ESL population at the school was small but considerably larger than the number who actually received support classes. While more than sixty students were designated as having a first language other than English, only fifteen students were allowed in the caseload of the ESL teacher who was funded to teach two blocks of ESL in a four block day. Those receiving ESL class support usually attended one ESL class a day, though the least proficient beginners attended two. As a result, all ESL students were placed into at least two, and often three, mainstream classes a day regardless of proficiency level, while many more non native English speakers took solely mainstream classes. Each ESL class was multi-level, from reception level to upper intermediate. Students were generally exited from the program on the basis of numbers. If a new beginner student enrolled, the most language proficient student was exited to keep the ceiling at fifteen. The ethnic background of the ESL population was more greatly varied than some schools; there were East Asian (predominantly Taiwanese and Korean), South Asian (predominantly Indian), Central American and Eastern European students represented. At least two students were international students who had paid large tuition fees to study at the school. Some of the students in ESL had French language backgrounds and were attracted to the school for its large French immersion program. Even these students, 34 however, had to take some classes in English. With the exception of the international students, the ESL population did not represent wealthy immigrants. The participants From the staff of thirty, fifteen were asked to participate in this study. These were the mainstream teachers of the English medium subject areas. By definition then, this study did not include special education or learning assistance teachers, librarians, counsellors, or French immersion teachers. At least one teacher representative of every major subject area except technology education was asked to participate. All agreed, although one eventually failed to return his questionnaire. Table 3.1 on the following page gives some background information on each participant. All of these participants completed the initial survey questionnaire, with the exception of teacher 5 who completed her questionnaire orally with me, as she had lost the disk on which she responded. The first five of these participants including teacher 5 became key informants due to their willingness to participate and interest in the topic. I interviewed all five of them for between forty minutes to well over an hour in the case of teacher 1. In teacher 5's case, I posed the survey questions and asked follow up questions when the survey questions were completed. A further four participants were willing to be interviewed more briefly in order to clarify and expand upon their survey answers. 35 Table 3.1: The participants Teacher (male or female) Subject Area Age Range Years of Public School Experience Teacher 1* female Art 40-49 11-20 Teacher 2* male English/ Computers 30-39 6-10 Teacher 3* female Social Studies/English 40-49 6-10 Teacher 4* female English/French 40-49 11-20 Teacher 5* female Math/ Home Econ./Computers 30-39 6-10 Teacher 6** female English 30-39 6-10 Teacher 7 female English/ Drama/ Social Studies under 25 under 5 Teacher 8** male PE/ Science 26-29 under 5 Teacher 9 male PE/ Social Studies 26-29 under 5 Teacher 10 male Social Studies/ English/ PE under 25 under 5 Teacher 11 female Band/PE 30-39 Not available Teacher 12** male Math over 55 over 20 Teacher 13 female Home Economics 50-55 over 20 Teacher 14** male Science 40-49 11-20 *denotes key informant: extensive follow up interview 40-75min. ** denotes brief follow up interview 15-20 min. The role of the researcher Theoretical orientation This research was undertaken within the constructivist paradigm described by Cruba and Lincoln (1994). It is my ontological view as a researcher that reality is a construct of the participant in a given situation and as such, may vary across people, time 36 and locales. Contradictory constructions of reality were expected among and within participants, and it is recognised that their responses to the same questions may have differed if they were elicited at a different time. This philosophy is consistent with my belief upon entering this study, that individual mainstream teachers had worthy insights to offer regarding their personal experiences with ESL students, and that there was value in providing a forum for these multiple voices to be heard. Epistimologically, I recognise the transactional and subjective nature of how the findings were discovered. That is to say, as the researcher, I was "interactively linked" to the participants, and we "literally created" the findings together (both p. 111 Guba and Lincoln 1994). There were three concrete ways in which my role as researcher shaped the findings. Firstly, the participants' responses were shaped by my choice of questions and what I deemed valuable both in the survey and the interview phase of the study. Secondly, as can be seen in some of the data, the very act of asking questions to the participants occasionally forced them to consider or reconsider their beliefs and perspectives more critically and reflectively than they had previously, and thus the research itself may have produced and altered perspectives within the participants. Finally, and probably most importantly, as I was a practising colleague of the participants for seven months before the study commenced and during the three months it was underway, the personal and professional relationships between and the participants and myself were bound to have some effect on the results. Such effects may have included a reluctance to criticise the ESL program that I ran, a reluctance to criticise the students for the whom I was seen as an advocate, or conversely, an overstatement of the positive nature of the ESL phenomenon in their classes. More positively however, researcher-participant relationships 37 almost certainly had the effect of creating more willing and informative participants among those with whom I had the closest personal and professional relationships. The effects of my role as a researcher illustrate that although I endeavoured to locate myself at the "detached observer" end of the researcher role continuum described by Johnson (p. 94, 1992), in an effort discover the unbiased opinions of the participants, it seems unlikely that my dual status as researcher and colleague did not colour their responses to some degree. Data collection Although I have noted the possibility of the findings being coloured by my role as researcher, every effort was made to minimise any bias I may have induced. The data collection methods reflect the phenomenological approach of the research; they were designed to discover the participants' constructions of their realities. The initial data collection instrument was a survey questionnaire of eleven open ended and two closed questions. A survey was chosen as Johnson (1992) asserts that "survey methods could be used to gather data on .... the focus of a case study... [for example] a researcher may decide to survey the entire teaching staff," (p. 129). Furthermore, I believed this method would be the most convenient for busy teachers to follow, as they could complete it and return it to me at their leisure. The survey consisted predominantly of the open-ended question type, which Penfield (1987) states "is more flexible and lends itself to less distortion of the respondents reality,"(p. 24). Furthermore, the questions were worded so that participants could impose their own meaning on them. For example, "Describe what successful ESL students in your class are able to do," allowed participants to comment on academic success, social success 38 or any other construction of success that they felt was relevant. The survey was pilot tested on one participant, and revised slightly according to her feedback and her responses, to elicit longer responses and lessen participant confusion. After agreeing to participate in the research, each teacher was presented a survey questionnaire and consent form. Some teachers returned their surveys within one or two days of receiving it. Many more took closer to two or three weeks to complete it and a few took more than one and even two months. Responses ranged in length from one and two word answers in two cases to multiple single spaced typewritten pages in others. Typically, I asked those who provided shorter responses to agree to brief follow up interviews in order that I could clarify what they said and elicit further insights. Those who provided longer responses agreed to become key informants and participate in longer interviews. All survey responses were transcribed by me onto individual word processing documents to facilitate later analysis. The five participants who agreed to be key informants were interviewed for between 40 and 75 minutes. These interviews were tape recorded and supplemented with handwritten notes. The tapes were fully transcribed onto word processing documents subsequent to each interview. Another four of the participants agreed to informal follow up interviews of about twenty minutes each. These interviews were recorded only with handwritten notes in an effort to maintain a more comfortable and informal atmosphere. The notes were transcribed immediately after each interview while all the information was still fresh in my mind. Interview questions were devised on the basis of the survey responses. All interviewees were asked to comment further on themes that were common throughout 39 most or all the surveys, for example the trouble ESL students had adjusting socially and the difficulties in assessing and evaluating ESL students. All interviewees were also asked to comment further on potentially relevant themes that were more specific to their own responses. This often proved fruitful. For example one teacher responded briefly on her survey that she recognised three types of negative ESL student behaviours. After she described these types thoroughly in the interview, her definitions served as a framework for analysing other teachers' responses. All interviews consisted of open- ended questions with fairly specific intent in the "semi-structured approach" described by Mcmillan and Schumacher (1997) to "allow for individual responses" (p. 265) and to allow me to "respond to ... the emerging worldview of the respondent" (Merriam 1988 p. 74). This type of interview is most consistent with the phenomenological nature of the study. Enhancing design validity McMillan and Schumacher (1997) suggest a number of ways qualitative researchers may ensure their interpretations have mutual meanings with their participants. The main strategy employed in this study is extensive use of verbatim accounts of participant language. Responses are reported in most cases exactly as participants wrote them on their surveys. Similarly, key informant interview responses were mechanically recorded and faithfully transcribed so that verbatim quotes could be used in the analysis and appear in the findings. As I was working at the research site on a daily basis I was also able to "member check" with participants for accuracy during data collection and initial analysis, both during follow up interviews and on an informal basis when the need arose. 40 Finally, negative cases are also presented in the findings in order to mitigate some of the broad patterns that emerged. Data analysis As befits a qualitative study, the data were analysed inductively. Although the survey questions provided an initial organiser for examining the data, the patterns and themes that emerged came from the data themselves. Data analysis occurred mostly in two distinct phases. In the first phase, I transcribed all the survey responses on to word processing documents and analysed them for common and interesting themes that could be raised during the interviews. Following the interviews, the main phase of analysis occurred wherein all the data were extensively analysed and reanalysed following the inductive method described by Bogdan and Biklen (1992) and McMillan and Schumacher (1997). Data analysis in phase two followed these procedures. The data were segmented according to the questions on the survey. For example, all question two responses were copied on to a common word processing document. Then, I re-read all the interview transcripts to discover the responses that seemed to address the question under analysis. These were also copied on to the same document. At the end of this procedure I would, have five to ten pages of responses addressing the question of, for example, how ESL students benefit the mainstream class. The responses of the different participants were thus easy to "constantly compare." From this comparison I was able to develop a system of codes that denoted topics generated by the data. Subsequently, these topics were subsumed into categories specific to the survey question under analysis. Following this procedure I eventually had thirteen different data sets, one for each survey question and relevant interview response, excluding the demographic information question. 41 Following the coding of these thirteen data sets for topics and categories, I compared each set with the others to discover where different data sets, i.e. different survey questions, had generated categories that addressed related themes. In the end, the data themselves, which is to say the thoughts of the teachers, indeed dictated the shape of the findings. For example, although the survey questionnaire distinguished between challenges ESL students presented to the class, and challenges they presented to the teacher personally, most respondents did not consider the two separable. Similarly, when teachers were queried about their view of the ESL teacher's role at the school, much relevant information concerning their views of their own responsibilities emerged. This phenomenon was repeated throughout the responses so the themes that were finally generated through the comparison of categories and topics cut across the initial survey questions rather than being dictated by the survey questions. The results of this analysis are presented in the findings as a "theme analysis," that is to say a description of the "specific and distinctive... subjects of discourse [and] concerns expressed," (p.533 McMillan and Schumacher 1997) by the teachers. Ethics and reciprocity All participants were given the opportunity to withdraw from the study at any time, to decline to answer any questions, or to review their responses and edit them if they were dissatisfied with the way I interpreted them. However, no one took advantage of the former two rights and all but one declined the latter opportunity. In this thesis all participants are referred to by number and the name of the school does not appear. Every effort has been made to ensure confidentiality. Even teacher numbers and subject areas are 42 not mentioned in the findings unless they are germane to what the respondent said. Similarly, the student names when mentioned by teachers have been changed. It was my hope at the outset of this study that the teachers who participated would eventually benefit from the service of an ESL teacher who had a better understanding of their expectations and needs, and in this way a degree of reciprocity would be attained. While I unfortunately no longer work at the research site, I will present a summary of the findings to the current ESL teacher and interested staff members in hopes that it might be found useful or enlightening to them. Aside from this possible benefit, many participants in the study, particularly the key informants, seemed to appreciate the opportunity to express their views on the research question, and I hope in some way the valuing of their professional opinions in this area, where they may not often enough be heard, has provided some level of satisfaction for them. 43 Chapter 4: Findings- Perceptions of c lassroom effects This chapter will report on the first half of the research findings. It documents teachers' perceptions on two symmetrical questions: "What are the effects of having ESL students in mainstream classrooms?" and "What are the effects of the mainstream classrooms on ESL students?" The first question illuminates teachers' perceptions on how ESL students enhance and abate their classrooms and teaching. Accordingly, it is addressed in two subsections, the "benefits" and the "challenges" of having ESL students in mainstream classes. The second question addresses teachers' perceptions of both how ESL students fare in mainstream classrooms, and what characteristics successful ESL students must exhibit in mainstream classrooms. These responses are thus also divided into two parts, the "challenges faced by ESL students", and the "characteristics necessary for success" in the mainstream class. What are mainstream teachers' perceptions of the effects of having ESL students in mainstream classrooms? The perceptions of mainstream teachers on the phenomenon of ESL students in their classrooms were complex and often contradictory both within and across the participants. While all respondents were able to name some benefits to having these students in their classes, they were also keenly aware of the challenges posed by students whose mother-tongue was not English. The benefits centred largely on the diversity and attitudes these students brought to the school, and the feelings of teacher- efficacy in helping them succeed. The challenges paradoxically arose from the problems diversity entailed, the undesirable attitudes that were seen as resulting from a student's ESL status, 44 and the teachers' perceptions that they did not have the time or ability to meet the needs of ESL students adequately. Benefits All teachers provided examples of positive contributions ESL students made to their classes. ESL students were perceived to be assets in the functioning of the classroom, and contributed to the teachers' personal job satisfaction. With regard to the running of the classroom, two general themes emerged. Firstly, the teachers valued the ESL students for their multicultural backgrounds which provided a rich resource from which the whole class could benefit; secondly, the positive attitudes toward schooling exhibited by the ESL \ students were highly valued. As for the teachers' personal satisfaction, they felt that through their ESL students' academic, social and cultural achievements. Before relating the findings in detail, table 4.1 is presented to provide an overview and to show the frequency of responses supporting the discoveries discussed. Table 4.1 :Frequency of teachers' perceptions of the benefits of having ESL students in their classrooms. Findings T l T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T i l T12 T13 T14 Exposure to other cultures X X X X X X X Exposure to other perspectives X X X X Disadvantages as advantages X X X X X X Other assets brought by ESL X X Capitalising on diversity X X X Positive attitudes toward schooling X X X X X X Exploitation of positive attitudes X Satisfaction with academic success X X X X X X Satisfaction with affective success X X X X X X Satisfaction with social success X X X 45 The multicultural contribution A number o f teachers suggested the multicultural contribution o f ESL students to their classes was a benefit to all their students, both for the exposure to the people and knowledge o f other cultures, and the exposure to diverse perspectives that it entailed. While one might expect this from Social Studies or English teachers for whom matters o f race and ethnicity impinge directly on the content area, this phenomenon was not restricted to the accounts o f humanities teachers. Exposure to other cultures There were many specific ways in which the multicultural heritage o f ESL students positively affected the learning in the mainstream classes. Most obviously, the ESL students exposed mainstream students to the knowledge, values and beliefs o f their varied socio-cultural backgrounds. Teachers in a variety o f subject areas asserted their appreciation o f this diversity in the following responses. [ESL students] bring diversity o f language /culture and tradition to the gym. (PE) [ESL students] show... insight from their country in [written] pieces and in in-class activities. (English) I f confident, they wil l tell us about their home country, their coming here, their first impressions etc. (Social Studies) One teacher lauded the benefits o f multicultural interaction more specifically and mentioned the larger positive implication: Generally-1 believe this is the benefit o f a multicultural public school- that all students interact with one another. They are expected to get on in a classroom setting and by and large they do. This is positive for society as a whole. Another English teacher offered a dramatic specific example o f the richness to be tapped in ESL students. He described a "wonderfully rich poetry reading by an El 46 Salvadorian poet, read in Spanish, by a student of that country." When queried further about this activity he noted: [H] e read this poem in Spanish, and he read it so beautifully ... he could make meaning in the reading and he could talk about what the poem meant from a cultural context and a linguistic context and from the text... Clearly this teacher valued the student's culture, not only in encouraging the poetry of that student's country, but also in encouraging the reading in the student's native Spanish; this attitude not only contributed to this student's success in the activity, but also fostered an appreciation for that student and his culture among his classmates. Teachers felt that the exposure to other cultures was important because of the diversity of the society we live in and the likelihood that mainstream students would not experience the culture first hand if not for the classroom interaction. [I] t's as if we are able to travel with them you know, they are our video machine and television and video tape that many of us that barely leave our community you know [or] back yard at least are able to experience it. So I think that's an activity right there. Similarly, another teacher commented on how activities that facilitated learning about other cultures represented by ESL students served to widen the perspective of mainstream students and provided them with material for their own academic endeavours. [OJther students hear 'why I came to Canada' or uh "my experience in the village" so that they are aware that there is more than just us here in [this suburb] and I believe this is a good thing to broaden their notion of what constitutes a good writing topic and also what constitutes an interesting person in their class. Exposure to other perspectives While these teachers expressed the value of exposing students to new cultures, one of their colleagues appreciated the fact that a different background led to different 47 perspectives on the content in his Social Studies room. A positive contribution from ESL students for him was that they "cause [mainstream] students to see world events from different students' perspectives". Other responses also specifically contained the word 'perspective' and implied that the diversity of perspectives that ESL students brought to the class contributed to a positive educational environment. [T]hey interpret North American art and culture from a slightly different perspective due to language difficulties and expression.... how they interpret a painting or a drawing or an activity depends on their own culture. Their colours are different than ours- what they like for different colours. Their choice of materials may be different. If they are doing something with metal or sculpturing or whatever and you ask them to bring in found objects, the found objects they bring in will be different than what we bring in. Um they'll bring in possibly more gold. They'll bring in more traditional kinds of things. They will add a flavour almost like when you cook... their art work stands out. To use this teacher's metaphor, ESL students added a flavour to the classes they were in, just by virtue of being there. They allowed other students chances to learn about them and their countries, and they afforded their classmates a chance to examine life from other points of view. Not all, indeed perhaps not most, of this background sharing was self conscious on the part of the student. While an activity like the poetry reading mentioned above was clearly an overt sharing of the student's background, the way students viewed and talked about world events in a Social Studies class was not. Similarly, the kinds of artistic choices discussed above were not self conscious efforts by ESL students to show who they were, but rather an inescapable illustration of the fact. And if it's something totally new, say they've never worked in clay or they've- like say Jagdeep is colouring and stuff um they will go off by watching what other people are doing and try to do the same but they will still bring some of their own kind of ideas and what they may have had when they are at school there. 48 It is easy to agree with the teacher who asserted that this exchange of, and exposure to, a diversity of ideas is "positive for society as a whole." Disadvantages as advantages Along with exposing their mainstream classmates to a variety of perspectives on world events and auricular subject matter, ESL students also performed the striking function of "making the familiar strange"; they forced mainstream students and teachers to reconsider the "taken-for-granted" aspects of their own culture. Several teachers commented on this occurrence in varying degrees. Social Studies teachers particularly appreciated that ESL students "highlight the 'strange' qualities of our countries and culture," and a PE teacher offered a specific example of the phenomenon. They help the other students understand the rules of games we play more clearly. Other students have to explain things to them. Things we take for granted in our understanding are brought to light. Just as researchers are forced to try and remove themselves from their common sense understandings of things to comprehend how they work more profoundly, so teachers noted their ESL students perform this function for their classmates. This phenomenon however, was not the only way a disadvantage was reconstructed as an advantage. A memorable example of how a deficit in ESL knowledge helped the whole class came from one of the teachers of English. Occasionally a question will be asked which sounds like it is out of left field-but when I think about it, there are certain assumptions I make about all students' background knowledge. When a student asks a question which reveals the error in making these assumptions I realize it is probably not just the ESL student who is lacking such knowledge but more students in the class, eg. "Is Shakespeare still alive?" 49 In this case, an ESL student reminded the teacher not to take the background knowledge of any student for granted. Another, more direct way in which a student's lack of knowledge benefited peers was reported by a teacher, who said, "many ESL students are tutored by regular students (paired up) which increases the tutor's knowledge as well as the ESL student's knowledge." In other cases, what may have seemed like a deficit in ability to express oneself may actually have worked to the student's advantage. One English teacher valued "the recognition that some of the idiomatic remnants of their mother-tongues can be used effectively while communicating in English." This phenomenon has been referred to as the "poetry" of ESL. Similarly, the Art teacher asserted, "they interpret North American art and culture from a slightly different perspective due to (italics mine) language difficulties and expression." In both these teachers we see a high regard for the student's first language and an appreciation of English spoken in non- standard form. Other assets brought by linguistically diverse learners Of course there were also cases when ESL students were directly knowledgeable in skills that benefited their classmates, both because they were intelligent students who came from countries that prioritised education, and because the act of studying a second language enhances one's cognitive abilities. One teacher of French as a second language noted the ESL students whom she has taught were very language-aware. Many recent immigrants have had grammatical instruction in their country of origin. They can discuss grammar, use a dictionary and have already an understanding that more than one word exists to name an object. Unilingual students benefit from seeing the ease with which these skills are unveiled. The metalanguage that ESL students came with provided an example for other students to 50 emulate and increased their awareness about the ways languages can work. ESL students may also be especially adept in other areas not directly related to language. One English teacher stated that he had academically successful ESL students tutor less successful native speaking kids and considered this to be one of their major contributions to his class. In another relevant case at the research site, the teacher of a mathematically gifted ESL student related, "he was very good at showing different methods for Math besides my own methods I was showing." Capitalising on diversity The teachers who valued the contributions ESL students made to their classes indicated that they structured activities and used strategies that overtly played to the strengths of their students as individuals. English teachers allowed freedom in writing topics that allowed for personal backgrounds to arise, and in the case of the aforementioned poetry reading, made use of the students' first language. The following two responses refer to teachers' curricular choices that value ESL students as diverse individuals and their contributions to the mainstream classroom activities. Art allows them to relax and be themselves... They're not under the gun you know they're allowed to experiment and have failure and it's not a big deal and they're allowed to really sort of show their personality. [Ojne of the early [stories] it's called Ashes in the Wind and its a wonderful story to have students who grow up in a democratic country realise that not all countries are democratic, and that's when you're able to explore that theme with students in the class who have felt growing up or had a childhood in that sort of environment. It's remarkable... The instant recognition those students have for the situation of that protagonist is terrific for their learning and builds a bridge between what's a short story and what do we believe is a real experience. 51 This latter teacher also wished for more relevant multicultural literature in the curriculum, significant in her case as she also unabashedly asserted the significance of the "canon" and said and we would be doing students a "gross disservice" by not teaching Shakespeare. Nonetheless, she was willing to conduct activities that integrated "new" cultures with the established one, rather than the perhaps more likely extremes of resisting the new cultures or abandoning the old one. Attitudes towards schooling While some teachers were careful to dispel stereotypes, most noted that generally speaking, ESL students' attitudes toward schooling benefited their classrooms. These attitudes manifested themselves both in classroom behaviour and work habits, and allowed the ESL students to act as role models for the mainstream students, and to contribute to a positive learning environment. One Math teacher simply stated that ESL students were usually "well behaved and very willing in most cases to complete all assignments". While this may sound like the minimal acceptable standard for any student, it was not necessarily the case at the research site, which serviced many disadvantaged and troubled youths from families that were not always explicitly supportive of education. When questioned further this teacher replied that this behaviour "adds to the environment and it's a positive sign for others". Other teachers echoed these sentiments. My experience with most of my ESL students is that they are eager to learn, seem to be very positive-1 feel that this inspires the non ESL students. They're willing to work and improve. They don't take things for granted. They always do their best. Other students benefit from the role model. 52 In addition to the role model theme, these comments reflect an appreciation for the natural curiosity and willingness to learn that the teachers perceived in their ESL students. That these qualities needed to be exhibited as examples, seemed to imply that they were not enough in evidence in the mainstream. One teacher unhappily noted the following. ESL students in many cases provide role models for other students through learning styles. The ESL student may provide a setting for traditional consideration of others no longer modelled in our society. The ESL student may also set a standard for learning which is slowly becoming extinct in our classrooms. Overall, teachers replied that ESL students brought a desirable multicultural element and different perspectives to their classrooms. Not only did mainstream students benefit from learning about new cultures, they also had their own cultures illuminated by ESL students. The teachers who most valued the cultural diversity and different stores of background knowledge brought to their classes by ESL students tended to find ways to exploit it positively. ESL students were also held in high regard for their work ethic and exemplary behaviour. Negatively, though, one teacher perceived some of her colleagues as exploiting these good qualities to the disadvantage of the ESL students. Satisfying experiences As well as recognising that ESL students benefited their classes, teachers felt rewarded by their opportunities to work with these students and help them succeed. Broadly speaking, teachers' satisfying experiences with ESL students can be classified into three types; those in which the student experienced academic content-based success; those in which the student experienced affective success; and those in which the student experienced social success. These boundaries, however, are not so neat, as the two latter 53 types of success were often a result of the former. What is interesting is the importance the individual teachers placed on each. Some clearly valued subject matter success in and of itself, and enjoyed the sense of teacher efficacy it brought. Others liked to see their ESL students succeed academically for the sense of accomplishment and pride it gave the student. Still others enjoyed the sense that this success indicated the student was adapting to the new cultural setting. Finally, there were those teachers who did not mention academic content-based success at all, and directly acknowledged their satisfaction in the social and affective success of the ESL students. Satisfaction with academic subject-matter success Some teachers emphasised the value of achieving subject matter success as an end in itself. Last year I worked with a Punjabi student who had a good spoken facility with the language but whose work was pretty error-ridden... Eventually I told he (sic) would have to re-do work that he handed in with those basic errors. I would put a huge exclamation point on it and return it to him. He did learn to pay more attention to revising work for these small but troublesome points. A satisfying experience I have had is when I see excellent lab work, quiz and test results. These teachers, among others, were happy that their students were able to achieve mainstream standards in their work. A sense of efficacy often accompanied responses describing the satisfaction in helping ESL students achieve success in the subject area. I was able to show the student the correct way of doing something... we both worked on the problem, and were able to solve the problem without frustration by either of us. I am careful to point out the progress and she is happy to see it; this is very satisfying. 54 [Academic success] shows me that he does understand and my efforts my were not misinterpreted. Clearly, the academic success of ESL students and the correlated teachers' senses of personal efficacy were significant causes of teacher satisfaction. Satisfaction with affective success Other teachers, however, enjoyed seeing their ESL students succeed in their subject areas because they could see how it increased the student's self esteem. [W]hen a foods lab culminates with a successful product and the student "beams" so do I. I recently gave a class playing test to an ESL student and he played his part perfectly- all the other kids clapped and congratulated him after he played. He did that so well. And he went home and he memorised it and memorised it and came back and he said "Look at this I can do this test" and he did it and it was excellent. In all the above responses ESL students were able to demonstrate their abilities to their teachers and their classmates and themselves. In these ways teachers perceived subject matter success, at least in part, as a vehicle for ESL students to increase their self esteem. Some teachers found the affective success of their students satisfying but did not relate it to academic or subject matter achievement. One teacher of Art, for example, described her class as an ideal place for ESL students to begin getting comfortable in their new environment. I have many ESL students who have been successful in Art and Art related studies. It has given them a sense that there are people in the community and school who understand that they have dreams... It is important to validate ESL students as individuals... 55 To her it was satisfying that she and her subject could play a role in helping ESL students "find themselves" in their new culture and that she could show them that there are people in this new country who valued their aspirations. In her interview she continued to provide an example of a student who was eventually able to find solace in the school through her Art class. Pavel, he came in being a scared sheep and you could see how he was desperately trying to fit in with all the jokes and the different activities but in the end he calmed down and he actually sits quite quiet and he enjoys his art... but he was just all over the place in the beginning. You could see he wasn't- he couldn't find himself and when he found himself, he was quite comfortable in here. Like this is where he always shows up. If he's not in the ESL room he's here! This is where they show up. Another teacher even recognised that he may not even be offering his students anything new in the way of content but appreciated the self esteem that was built from learning the "old information" in a new language. Some have learned the materials before, but are now learning it again in English. They felt great about it! Satisfaction with social/socialisation success In the Art room example above, we can begin to see not only satisfaction with the student's comfort level, but also satisfaction that the student was beginning to socialise into the new culture. A teacher of PE also found it satisfying that subject matter success in his class meant the student was learning part of his new culture. [I feel satisfied w]hen a student from a different cultural or ethnic background plays and experiences success in a "new" sport for the first time! Similarly, another teacher, although in a highly academic subject area, provided socialisation, rather than academic, success stories as his main sources of satisfaction. 56 It is satisfying when a student at the end of the course interacts with other students and myself. At the beginning they are self-conscious etc. won't speak or laugh. It is satisfying to me to see this change. The most detailed example of satisfaction with a student's socialisation however, came from a teacher who taught an ESL student who had a large social barrier at the beginning of the school year. Through his academic success and her engineering, he was able to attain social success. I made him go with the other students. And the fact that he was so intelligent in Math of course made him a great asset. The fact that he was socially inept made a downfall. But the students recognised that by getting Jim they would get more marks. A really big issue came in and it was you know "Jim will answer Jim will answer" and as soon as I showed the group that "no if Jim does all the work then he gets all the marks, you have to work together" And as soon as I rewarded them for being socially with him that was it. The success level was phenomenal. "Jim come in our group; Jim come in our group". It wasn't for the marks anymore it was for the sense of humour that he started developing in the class. It was for overall. They knew still that he was gonna get them a higher mark, but the it was more of an acceptance. One of my students even apologised because they were nasty at the beginning. She apologised. And this was two months after the fact. And in the end when Jim got the award and my students that were in my class found out about it, this is after the term was over after I didn't have them any more, they went up to him and they congratulated him... It was a very big event that happened there, and it gave him a lot of confidence and the change in his personality from the first year to the sec- from the first term to the second term was really acute. You could even tell in a months time when that click happened socially, he took off. Teachers felt satisfied when students had academic content-based success, affective success and social or socialisation success. Academic success was valued sometimes as an end in itself where it was often correlated with teachers' senses of efficacy, and sometimes as a pre-existing condition to the latter two types of success. The latter two types of success were sometimes, however, valued by teachers independently of academic success. 57 Overall, there were many ways in which teachers felt ESL students were a benefit to them and their classrooms. ESL students brought richly diverse backgrounds and positive attitudes toward school in general. They often had stores of knowledge that helped their classmates. Teachers felt satisfaction when they could see these students overcome their challenges and achieve academic, affective and social success. Nonetheless, the challenges that needed to be overcome were significant and it is to that issue that we will next turn. Challenges This section documents teachers' perceptions of the challenges ESL students posed in their classes. Three domains of difficulty emerged. The first and broadest was "cultural mismatch" wherein the student behaved in ways unacceptable, unfamiliar or incomprehensible to the mainstream teachers and students. The second was "assessment and evaluation" and the last was "time demands." Deficiencies in the way the ESL program was offered at the school and teachers' perceived lack of ESL expertise were also significant challenges but they will be discussed in the following chapter as separate issues. As above, because not all responses can be included, table 4.2 on the following page illustrates the frequency with which each finding occurred in the responses. Cultural mismatch Teachers often had problems reconciling ESL student behaviours with their own expectations. A very obvious example occurred where a student failed to understand the teacher's academic expectations of her. 58 I had an ESL student plagiarise an essay last year. She did not understand what she had done. The ESL teacher worked with me to explain the situation and we had the student re-do the essay. Table 4.2: Frequency of teachers' perceptions of the challenges of having ESL students in their classrooms. Findings TI T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T i l T12 T13 T14 Cultural mismatch X X X X X X X X X X • Aggressive behaviour X X • Defensive behaviour X X X X X • Distant behaviour X x X X X X Assessment and evaluation X X X X X X X Assess./ eval. not a problem X X X ESL students demand more time X X X X X X X Other ESL students did not understand the social expectations of how people are valued in Canadian society. One teacher raised the social problem of male chauvinism. The following response describes the intimidation she felt in one of the two negative experiences she related pertaining to this problem. [I]t was very obvious that I was a female teacher and they, uh, did not want to move desks. They were talking... and refused to move, and played as if they did not understand the language, and eventually they did move but not without a tantrum and a protest and a threat of a referral, and at the end of the class they both came up to make sure that I wouldn't submit the referral by standing on either side of me to sandwich me between them. Now they would have never done that... to a guy... But I felt like I was just like the- uh -cheese between these two guys... While the above examples are identifiable discrete cases of cultural mismatch, this phenomenon also led to broader problems. Specifically, adolescent ESL students faced 59 with negotiating a new culture, may react in a variety of undesirable ways. Teacher One offered a succinct initial definition of what she perceived to be the negative ways ESL students could affect classrooms. ESL students have a tendency to relate to the classroom in a number of ways; aggressively, defensively or distant. At times, the classroom may become an unsafe place for all students trying to cope with change. Aggressive behaviour When we examine other teachers responses we can find examples throughout of aggressive, defensive and distant behaviour. Teacher One volunteered specific examples of each beginning with aggressive: Aggressively is the way Pavel responded. He was trying desperately to fit in so he became an aggressive clown. Jagdeep is also aggressive. He's rude but he doesn't know it. He comes from a culture where if you don't push to the front of the line you don't get anything, so he would often follow me around asking questions when I was trying to do other things. Pavel was also mentioned by other teachers, most of whom attributed his behaviour to a desire to fit in and make friends. A PE teacher offered further examples of his aggressiveness that showed his behaviour was not only disruptive but unsafe. [He] is very disruptive, rude to other students, and often ignores my instruction...[He] insults the other students. He says things like "You dog, you dog" or other insults that he hears. He makes fun of other students too. He often throws the bat when we're playing baseball. It's really dangerous. He does it because he wants attention. The type of "culturally caused" aggressive behaviour exhibited by Jagdeep was not related by other respondents though this student certainly exhibited the same type of behaviour in my classroom. Other respondents much more frequently provided examples of defensive, or distant behaviour. 60 Defensive behaviour According to the teachers, defensive behaviour could be a quiet resistance to doing the work or to carrying out the teacher's instructions, or a more direct challenge to the teacher's instructions. Teacher One described the defensive behaviour of one ESL student who was actually very well liked by most of the teachers in the school but whose initial enthusiasm for school had eroded somewhat due to tremendous struggles with English and a family decision to return to Taiwan at the end of the school year. Winston is an example of defensive behaviour. It's like he would choose not to participate. He would just sit and read comics under his desk or make scowly faces when something displeased him. He wouldn't challenge you outright. Some teachers noticed a resistance to doing work but attributed it less to a choice not to participate than to an inability to participate. A math teacher replied that behaviour problems resulted from boredom, "simply because there's a language problem they can't bridge. There is a reading problem so they can't participate. There is also an oral problem with following instructions." Other teachers related defensive behaviours resulting from the students' perceived teacher perception of the student. In a graphic example, an English teacher responded that she perceived a group of her ESL and 'Yormerly ESL" students having difficulty participating in her class, just as the math teacher noted, so she decided to have them work together. [Grouping them together] was a complete bomb. I could just see the resentment oozing out of them like that they should be all in one group and "What do I have in common with this person anyway?" and the poor peer tutor had no idea how to pull this together... eventually one of the students just kind of started working on her own. 61 Defensive behaviour here resulted from the offence caused by the teacher misjudging the 'Yormerly ESL" students' self perceptions of their linguistic and, by definition, cultural status. Similarly, another English teacher discussed the need to invite ESL students after school for help, but recognised that this sometimes caused the students to feel stigmatised and react defensively. I mean its been my experience in a couple of cases [of inviting the student for extra help] where the student says " I'm not stupid" and you have to say T didn't say that you were'. One of his colleagues also responded that when she questioned one of her ESL students on his comprehension of the problems with his writing, "[he] gives me that look like 'don't think I'm stupid'." In both these latter two cases students were reluctant to respond positively to their teachers for fear of appearing "stupid". Ironically, this very defensive behaviour prevented them from achieving the success that would dispel erroneous notions of stupidity. Like most of the respondents in this study, both these teachers were careful to draw the distinction between language ability and academic capability. Nonetheless, their responses indicated that they believed their ESL students were not always aware that this distinction had been drawn. Distant behaviour The third kind of negative behaviour listed by Teacher One, and described by other teachers was "distant." Teacher One discussed two Korean female students as examples. Kim was distant. She was so quiet and timid and you can see she almost hides behind her hair like she's hoping you won't see her... June is very polite but if you happen to come a little bit too close she'll pull away. When they 62 get to know you- like June knows me now, she'll come and give me a hug and you know put her arm around me or whatever, just as if they were at home kind of thing, but in general they- they're- they may even take a step back from you ... they have a tendency to relate that way. This sort of behaviour, which most teachers characterised as shyness was a source of great frustration to many respondents. The inability of students to relate comfortably with their new culture sometimes resulted in communication breakdowns that left teachers bewildered. Someone like Patrick couldn't communicate with other students at all... [He] didn't say anything during his group presentation. He just stood there with his head down...[He] is very quiet and I find it difficult to get him to talk and communicate whether he understands what I am teaching... I'm wondering if he does understand, or if he even knows what I'm saying. This teacher was by no means alone in this type of experience. Other teachers described non responsive ESL students as a "big problem" that they did not know how to handle; one provided this example. A frustrating experience that I have had concerning an ESL student is that he pulls himself away from the class, and will not participate. When I go to speak with this student he gives me a blank stare in return, which I take to mean he doesn't understand. Some days he appears to understand everything I that I am saying and asking and other days he appears to be very confused by what I am saying. As can be seen, a major frustration with non responsive, distant behaviour was teachers did not know if the cause was lack of comprehension or a general unwillingness to work. I ask the question I'm trying to get so much done, the student's not answering I can hear my voice getting higher as I ask again. I don't know, "Do you not understand the question? Do you understand but not have the ability to answer the question? Do you know but not want to tell me?" 63 [A difficulty is] [k]nowing if they really don't understand or if they are using ESL as a crutch. These distant and non-responsive behaviours were some of the greatest sources of frustration for the mainstream teachers. They felt helpless to handle these ESL students effectively because they were unable to ascertain the root of the problem. Defensive and aggressive behaviours were other significant, though perhaps more manageable, challenges that could be attributed to an inability of the ESL student to function appropriately in the new cultural setting. Assessment and evaluation The second domain of difficulty described by the respondents was assessment and evaluation. It presented a host of problems to the teachers including the five key informants who all affirmed it as an area of particular challenge. The problems were twofold: mainstream teachers did not know what to assess in their ESL students, and they did not know how to assess it. What to assess One teacher noted that with ESL students she felt obligated to give marks for effort rather than performance. It seems that I must give them extra time and/or extra consideration for marks based on effort rather than performance. This dilemma was problematic for her because she believed that the "product" of learning was as important as the process. She did not feel it appropriate to give marks just because a student tried hard or improved from an unsatisfactory level to a less unsatisfactory level. Nonetheless, she felt guilty for enforcing this belief on students who clearly could not measure up to the her standards despite their best efforts. 64 It's the reason I switched from elementary to secondary quite frankly because those kind of decisions are too hard, they're too guilt producing to the instructor. The question of what standards to judge an ESL student by could be addressed with modified programs, and the concurrent modified evaluation criteria. However respondents were very unclear about the options and appropriateness of modifying programs for ESL students. The teacher above was unaware it was an option at all. I think if I had known about the comment 106, "passed on a modified program", I would have felt better about giving a C minus to a student who really had not done C minus work and ... if the computer can spit out that comment I guess I can too. Another teacher's comments show that she was aware of the option to modify programs but unaware both if and how she should do so for ESL students. I don't know what's fair. If the stuff they hand in is not at the same level as the other students, what's- what's fair? Or do I give them a modified mark? I'm not really clear on that. Um to my way of thinking, if it's an English course that I'm teaching and they aren't passing the course doing the same stuff as everybody else then they shouldn't be passed. You get guidelines from CELD (students with learning disabilities). You know don't mark spelling, don't do this don't do that and so it's ... much clearer with a CELD student that these are the guidelines in which you can give a pass for a regular program but if you do this then you must covert it to a modified. With ESL... there's no question about intelligence level or... level of ability or disability in learning. It's simply they don't know the language. And so-1 don't think that it's fair to modify the program at all for them because they need to meet the standard in English. So I'm not really clear at all on that. Whereas this teacher above thought that modified marks were unduly easy on ESL students, one of her colleagues had just the opposite opinion; she thought modified grades put them at a disadvantage. [Ajssessing them I think is out the window. It's really really hard to assess them and I think we assess them unfairly in fact I - It burns me up when you come to fill out a report card and what we say is "OK we modified this program for this guy," so he's done fifty percent of the work so put him through. You know, we give him 65 a C minus based on that amount. We can't assess like that..."Oh well he's ESL we'll just modify it, just give him a modified grade it doesn't mean anything anyway." It means a lot to them. It means a lot if they decide to go to UBC... Beyond evaluating ESL students by the same criteria as mainstream students and modifying their programs and thus using different criteria, teachers were aware of the option of evaluating them for personal progress and not officially calling their grade "modified" on their report cards. However even this option presented difficulties, firstly, because teachers could not ascertain the level of knowledge at which the ESL students were beginning their classes, and secondly, because assessing for "effort" and "progress" in any student is a difficult task. [W]e are not sure what their education system is like 'cause not everybody has spent two years sitting as a student in Hong Kong. Uh I've never been a Japanese student before in an elementary school. I don't know what my level is as a Japanese student to another Japanese student... we're unfamiliar with their backgrounds. The frustrating part about teaching ESL students is you do not know what they are capable of doing. There is no "report" as to what skills they have mastered. Whereas, a regular student from grade 8 in your grade 9 class should know x, y and z. I mean how much effort is a passing effort. I can more accurately assess how good is a standard of writing or a standard of reading comprehension, process thinking or whatever but I can't determine how much effort is a C minus effort a C effort and so on. We see in these responses that teachers felt that they lacked guidelines that told them both what their ESL students should know already, and what it was reasonable to expect them to achieve. With regular students if they are not succeeding you have some clear guidelines as to how much is the student's job to get on with the work and how much is your job to teach them. This clarity of equation- time spent for results earned, just never seems apparent with ESL students. 66 Thus, the problems in what to assess are apparent. Teachers were unclear whether they should assess for product or for effort. Assessing for product led to ambiguity about what standards to use; should ESL students meet the same criteria as their mainstream peers or should their programs be formally modified? If they are to be modified, how so? Assessing for effort and progress presented a different set of challenges because a lack of background knowledge about the student prevented teacher awareness of the student's potential relative to the student's performance. How to assess Even when a teacher was able to come to a decision about what to assess, it was still not always clear they were assessing what they wanted to. A teacher of reading gave the following example: [I]n reading writing workshop when we're doing comprehension through journals for example, I'm marking their journals what am I assessing here? How many times have they read this piece? Have they read it a dozen times ? How would I know? In this case it was not clear whether the ESL student was able to comprehend a reading passage at the same level of proficiency as a mainstream peer or if more time and readings had been required than would be the norm for a native English speaking student. Teachers also faced challenges of how to assess once they had decided the criteria they were using. They had to be able to overcome the language barrier, but still assess the student's knowledge of content skills in a meaningful way. One teacher described the problem. [J]ust in the measure itself I have to be thinking about level of language um just the measure- there's always this line. I know this ESL student is bright. I know when 67 they're not in the trappings of the classroom or in the suspended trappings of school they're successful; they do very well but so when I'm creating a measure I have to be thinking about how do I make this an easy thing for them to do on an emotional level but without pandering to them intellectually. So level of language is a problem. This problem was reflected in another teacher's response. She asserted that she had to modify her assessment instrument to make it comprehensible to the student. I would have to have a diagram saying this is what its supposed to turn out like. So that was no problem. But with just the instructions then of course the assessment wasn't accurate because he couldn't understand what I asked him to do. Significantly, this teacher thought assessment was more accurate when modifications were made for ESL students, whereas others may have thought modifications made the measure less realistic. The previous teacher also decided to make adjustments for ESL students in assessment and evaluation. If I give them a piece in class to read as a benchmark assignment and I see clearly that they can't process themselves through this piece as quickly as the others, what do I do? How do I assess it? ... So for me I say my assessment has to be their ability to make sense of what they've read and then to communicate that in a clear way. If it takes them a little bit longer because they're ESL, then I give them a little longer but I provide the same feedback or I try to at least... and it ain't easy... Both these teachers recognised the need to separate the language barrier from the skills they were trying to assess and to take the time to make adjustments to lower that barrier. Counter examples Not all teachers, however, thought that it was a problem assessing and evaluating ESL students. Three specifically said it was no problem when queried and the remainder did not mention it as an issue of concern. Those who did not find assessment of ESL 68 s tudents d i f f i cu l t w e r e n o t i n the h u m a n i t i e s a n d t a u g h t i n c lasses that r e q u i r e d less w r i t i n g a n d o r a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n . T h e y r e p l i e d . T h e y d o n o t rea l l y p r e s e n t m a n y p r o b l e m s [ in a s se s sment a n d e v a l u a t i o n ] . I j u s t u s e a s c a n t r o n f o r c o u r s e tests. A s s e s s m e n t a n d e v a l u a t i o n is n o t a p r o b l e m . O n the e x a m s t h e y h a v e a d i s a d v a n t a g e . O n the a c t i v i t y par t t h e y h a v e a c h a n c e t o m a k e u p f o r it. T h a t ' s w h y i t 's h a l f a n d half . , O v e r a l l , a s se s sment a n d e v a l u a t i o n w a s a m a j o r a r e a o f d i f f i cu l ty f o r m a n y , b u t n o t a l l , o f the r e s p o n d e n t s . T h o s e that n a m e d it a s a c h a l l e n g e w e r e c o n f u s e d b o t h b y t h e i s sues o f w h a t t h e y s h o u l d assess a n d h o w t o d o so e f f ec t ive ly o n c e that d e c i s i o n w a s m a d e . Time W h e r e a s a f e w r e s p o n d e n t s d i d n o t a g r e e that a s se s sment a n d e v a l u a t i o n w a s a p r o b l e m , n o n e s a i d that E S L s tudents d i d n o t p l a c e e x t r a d e m a n d s o n the ir t i m e . T h i s w a s the t h i r d m a j o r c h a l l e n g e d e s c r i b e d i n the r e s p o n s e s . T h e t i m e d e m a n d s c a u s e d b y E S L s tudents m a n i f e s t e d t h e m s e l v e s i n three w a y s , e x t r a t e a c h e r t i m e after s c h o o l , e x t r a t e a c h e r t i m e i n c lass a w a y from o t h e r s tudents , a n d a g e n e r a l r e d u c t i o n i n the s p e e d i n w h i c h the c u r r i c u l u m w a s c o v e r e d . T h e s p e e d o f m y i n s t r u c t i o n has t o b e s l o w e d d o w n . E S L s tudents a r e a h i g h e r w o r k l o a d : F r o m m o d i f y i n g w o r k , f i n d i n g w o r k that t h e y c a n a s s o c i a t e w i t h a n d l e a r n from t o m e e t i n g w i t h E S L t e a c h e r a n d t r y i n g t o c o m m u n i c a t e w i t h p a r e n t s . I d o n o t h a v e e n o u g h t i m e t o m e e t the ir n e e d s i n the framework o f a 5 h o u r d a y . It 's f r u s t r a t i n g b e c a u s e y o u c a n ' t m e e t al l t h e i r d e m a n d s . I h a v e e n o u g h t r o u b l e m e e t i n g a l l the d e m a n d s o f a l l the r e g u l a r s tudents . . . 69 These [ESL] problems were far and away too time-consuming for me to deal with in a challenging gr. 9 class of 25 students. These responses reflect both a concern that ESL students cost the teacher extra time out of their own lives, and also efficacy issues in that teachers were frustrated by the lack of time they had to fulfil their responsibilities to ESL students, regular students and the curriculum to the extent they would like. ESL students posed challenges to their mainstream teachers in three major ways. In the first, the mismatch of cultures led to three types of ESL student behaviour that teachers were ill prepared to handle; these types were defined as aggressive, defensive and distant. Secondly, assessment and evaluation presented problems; ESL students were difficult to assess because teachers were not sure what to assess, what criteria to use in assessment, or how to know if their assessment was accurate. Lastly, ESL students demanded more time from the teacher to be properly served and most teachers felt unable to provide it. Thus far the teachers' perceptions of the effects of the ESL student on the mainstream teacher and mainstream class have been illustrated. Both the benefits and challenges contributed by these students have been outlined. The next section of this chapter examines the opposite side of the equation; how do mainstream teachers perceive the way mainstream classes affect the ESL students? How are ESL students faring in these classrooms? 70 What are mainstream teachers' perceptions of the effects of mainstream classrooms on ESL students? ESL students at the research site spent between 50% and 100% of their days in mainstream classrooms. Therefore teachers were queried about how these students were faring in their classes. The responses can be divided into two subsections, the challenges faced by these students and how effectively they were able to meet them, and what the teachers perceived to be the characteristics of ESL students who were successful in their mainstream classes. Challenges faced by ESL students The mainstream classroom confronted ESL students with significant challenges according to the teachers. Responses could be divided into academic and social challenges. Table 4.3, below, presents an overview of how, and with what frequency, the challenges were described. Findings TI T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T i l T12 T13 T14 Academic difficulties: vocabulary X X X Academic difficulties, building conceptual knowledge X X X X Academic difficulties, gaps in background, knowledge. X X X X Inability to meet academic challenges. X X X X X X Social difficulties-peer interaction X X X X X X X Social difficulties-"fitting in" school X X X X X X Social difficulties-counter opinions. X X 71 Academic content difficulties Not surprisingly, many teachers noted that ESL students had difficulty with the academic content demands of their classes. These concerns ranged from specialist vocabulary, to ability to keep up with fast paced instruction, to more sophisticated concerns with the challenge of simultaneously combining new conceptual knowledge with new language. Vocabulary Many teachers understood that the vocabulary in particular, of their subject areas caused difficulties for ESL students. Teachers in Science and English reported the following. In science, the terminology can be very difficult to understand thus, it is possible for ESL student (sic) to miss the key ideas of a lecture. They have trouble with the vocabulary, understanding what an "audience" is... Vocabulary was also perceived as a troublesome area for instruction in physical education. The content specific and context reduced vocabulary on PE handouts caused one respondent to note that his ESL students had trouble "writing written tests that are based on PE unit handouts." Building conceptual knowledge While the above teachers understood that academic vocabulary was troublesome for ESL students, other teachers alluded directly to the challenge of developing conceptual understanding while learning new language. Social Studies ... is ... text dense and content dense material; ESL students have the added challenge of decoding language while they grapple with concepts. 72 Similarly, an English teacher discussed the difficulties involved in teaching the students about how to understand the concept of "purpose" in writing. Understanding purpose is not a particular ESL problem but I think they have a harder time coming to know it. They have conceptual difficulty. It's harder for them to understand what you're getting at. i.e. Although all students have trouble understanding that they are writing for a purpose other than to please the teacher, ESL students take longer to catch on to this when it is explained to them... The concept is more difficult to grasp when it is being explained in a second language. We can see in this response an illustration of the difficulty of learning concepts as well as new language. The students have to understand both what an audience is, and what this concept means in the context of an English class. Furthermore, they have to "come to know" this concept through the medium of English. As if these challenges were not problematic enough, another teacher responded that there was sometimes the added problem of ESL students who were cognitively low functioning as well; i.e., those who would have been classified as special needs even had they been learning in their own languages. Having had a very difficult experience with a student who fit this description she offered the following: [I]f they are low academically in any area as well as they're having problems with you know the language then its a humungous humungous difficulty. I mean look at the math, Harry and math. That was not a success, not at all a success. I had to call in an aid. I got a tutor to help him and even though she was so open and welcoming ... I think it was a combination of ESL and mentally xxxx student. Background knowledge One of the other reasons conceptual knowledge is harder for ESL students to build is they have deficits in the necessary background knowledge. While the previous section of this chapter illustrated the advantages to the class of ESL students' different stores of 73 background knowledge, respondents also recognised that these differences could put the ESL students at a disadvantage. In some cases ESL students may not even be aware of what valued academic genres are, much less how to use them. Terms such as "essay", "journal", "fictional story", etc. may not have been learned or practised in the country of origin so they must learn the form as well as the language to fulfil the form. This teacher recognised that it was not just a matter of terminology that prevented the ESL students' success. The terms denote unfamiliar concepts; the students must learn not only what concept the term denotes, but also what that concept means, and then how to go about doing something with that meaning in a second language. Thus, they have to learn the "form", or genre, and the "language" or conventions to fulfil it. And again, these students must come to all this knowledge within the medium of the second language. Lacking mainstream background knowledge is troublesome in content as well as form, especially when a teacher believes, as the following respondent does, that schooling is largely a matter of learning content and expanding cultural knowledge. I have developed learning objectives around [content]... for example I happen to believe that you can't take part in Western North American society without having some conversant knowledge of Shakespeare. So many cultural references pass them right by. I cannot use nursery rhymes, folksongs, legends, Bible stories as reference points to illustrate a point. If I do they tune it out, become confused and/or require additional time for me to elaborate. Many educators rely on an attention to process rather than content in order to combat this type of problem. The current HAPs are filled with process-oriented goals that reflect a philosophy that learning to learn is at least as important, or perhaps more important, than what students learn in school. One of the advantages of this philosophy is 74 that it allows for the teaching of relevant knowledge to a diversity of students and it puts all students on a more equal footing as they try to develop thinking skills rather than build on a hypothetical set of common knowledge which is in reality not shared by everyone. However, because of differences in the very structures of schooling between cultures, according to some teachers, ESL students were likely to be less adept than their peers at certain thinking skills. Specifically, teachers discussed what is variously termed reflection, self assessment or metacognition, a core value in process oriented classrooms. Unless they're at a very advanced level in their language skills they can't do it, the metacognition as I would call it. They don't even know what self evaluation means...I think their schooling is probably more a top down teacher evaluates pray that you make the grade kind of thing. I have to pull more out of them. They are not used to reflecting on their own work compared to Canadian students. Other teachers agreed that ESL students were not very capable of reflecting on their own work but added that a lot of their mainstream peers needed to improve this area too. [ESL students have] never had to do it. They've never ever had a say in what their own work was like. They've always presented it to someone to say yes you did well or no you didn't do well and I think that's part of their discipline um but they're not alone. My own so-called 'normal' classroom students have never had the ability to assess themselves. Finally though, one English teacher had a somewhat dissenting opinion. He believed ESL students were just as able to reflect meaningfully upon their work as regular students but that all students had to be taught within a system that explicitly valued and instructed in reflection and made it a core value of the curriculum. 75 It depends on the paradigm, the delivery paradigm of the class. In English in our school in the reading writing workshop paradigm um the entire environment is about assessing one's self, assessing others and getting feedback, one to one small group feedback, taking one's time to process what they read and write so think ESL students, I think ESL students are very comfortable with that and they find some level of success in that type of environment in that sort of delivery. Um I think in a more, quote traditional classroom end quote, that would be-1 mean it's a non starter. While this view seems entirely logical, the paradigm that this teacher described was exactly that used by the teacher above who said that ESL students found it difficult to reflect upon their own work. Nonetheless, regardless of how well ESL students did relative to their peers, clearly these teachers saw the gaps in their background knowledge, of form, content, and thinking skills, as inhibiting factors to academic success. The assertion that mainstream counterparts suffer similar deficits simply supports the scholars who have insisted that explicit instruction in language and thinking skills is beneficial to ESL and mainstream students alike. Meeting the challenges The challenge to cope with all the demands of learning content in a new language may often have been too overwhelming for ESL students according to many of the teachers. The following comments are just some of those that illustrate a concern with the inability of ESL students to meet the requirements of mainstream courses. The amount of output required in a writing class or a reader's response is often beyond them. ESL students have problems in class with respect to the speed with which they can accomplish the reading and writing tasks relative to the non-ESL students. They are frequently working 'behind' the rest of the class and experience some anxiety about being able to keep up. The difficultly] of ESL students in the class... [is]keeping up with the amount of work given. 76 Keeping up with fast paced classes [ is a difficulty]. A "race" metaphor is present in many of these responses. The teachers quoted here felt obligated to get to a certain curricular "finish line" and ESL students were too likely to be in the back of the pack. One of the respondents put the word "behind" in quotation marks, indicating hesitation to use this metaphor and a belief that there may be some danger either in regarding school in this fashion, or in construing ESL students as really being behind mainstream students in the big picture. Nonetheless, he did not deny that within the confines of the school curriculum, most ESL students clearly could not achieve at the same level as their mainstream counterparts. Having a sense of what the reading levels are and using the reading writing reference sets to establish an age appropriate and grade appropriate reading level, they just don't meet those standards. It's pretty much that simple. That would be reading writing and group oral reference sets because there are three that we operate with. Of course it should surprise nobody that ESL students cannot achieve the same mark as their mainstream counterparts on standardised tests, yet they are assessed this way. , Overall, the teachers perceived academic difficulties as resulting from confronting specialist vocabulary, learning new conceptual knowledge through a new language, and gaps in background knowledge of academic forms, academic and cultural content, and valued academic thinking skills. Many perceived that these challenges were sometimes too much for the ESL students to handle successfully. 77 Social difficulties Although the academic difficulties faced by ESL students were significant and plainly observed, they were perhaps overshadowed by the perceptions of social difficulties many teachers had of their ESL students. Roughly speaking, these social difficulties can be classified into two overlapping types: peer interaction in small group classroom activities, and "fitting in" to the school culture as a whole. Peer interaction in small groups The most prominent difficulty noticed was the inability of ESL students to partake meaningfully in small group classroom activities. This observation is especially disturbing because small group co-operative strategies are a cornerstone of most theoretical support models for ESL students in mainstream classrooms. The following comments are succinct statements of what many teachers perceived as a problem. Students do not readily include them in their discussion groups. Group work with ESL students in the class causes major problems. In group work, ESL students are harder to work with for regular students. [I]f you are always having to stop and explain or rely on the other students to -"ok I have to keep going with this lesson but would you please show Johnny how to do this?"- [mainstream students] get really tired of it. They don't wanna do it. You run out of partners. It doesn't take long... They get tired! They want to get on with their own stuff. They want to achieve things, their goals. Different explanations were offered as to why this phenomenon existed and how it might be assuaged. Three of the respondents asserted that mainstream students believed that ESL students lacked the skills or ability to 'pull their weight" in a group, and as a 78 result would either decrease group's mark, or create more work for other group members. One of these teachers contended that this perception was a far more influential factor than the ESL students' cultural or personality traits. Well I don't necessarily put the onus on the ESL student [for exclusion from groups], I think its the mainstream students who are not doing the including, and that's for reasons that they're afraid that the ESL students will somehow lower their grade or don't pull their weight. Another teacher indicated that he believed the mainstream student perception that the ESL student could not do his fair share of work was sometimes a fair one: Other students try to help in groups but often they just end up taking over when they see that an ESL student can't participate. Patrick didn't say anything during his group presentation. He just stood there with his head down. One teacher of the fourteen, however, categorically refuted the notion that students would choose group mates by academic criteria. When asked if mainstream students might be worried about ESL students being able to pull their weight, he replied: No, not at all... I mean there would be all kinds of reasons for students to group themselves the way they would choose to group themselves-I don't think that grouping themselves on basis of a language is what would happen. They would group themselves by friendship bonds rather than racial or linguistic bonds. I guess teachers need to be careful that they ... make occasion for groupings that are inviting and inclusive. The last two responses notwithstanding, many teachers recognised that ESL students had the same levels of capability as their mainstream peers, but had to find ways to demonstrate their capabilities to the rest of their small groups. These teachers said there was no problem with group participation once the ESL students proved that they were assets rather than a liabilities. 79 So now what could the ESL student do to overcome those kind of objections, uh if it is in their repertoire as a student, not just as English speakers, to be hard workers then I think they'll be more readily included then if they use language as a way to withdraw. So if they are perceived to be hard workers, if they demonstrate that they are hard workers, they are more likely to be included in groups. Explicitly in this response, the teacher expected the ESL students to take responsibility for proving their worth to the group. Other teachers however, took that responsibility onto themselves. Any time I've had a weak student in my classroom ESL or otherwise, I [find] some talent they have and then I make it a big point. I make it so that having that ESL student is rewarding... I work more time to try to socially get them together as a group or unit. Once you do that with one group and then you praise that student left, right and centre, then the rest of the groups say "Oh next time we should get this student. Miss Parry really likes her." In this case, it was the teacher's responsibility to demonstrate to the group how useful the ESL student was to them; her engineering prepared for positive future interaction between ESL students and the mainstream. One of her colleagues also believed there could be success in group work if the teacher took a proactive role in carefully structuring the groups. When the groups are engineered and structured with a view to involving [ESL students] in a process of group oral then it can be very effective. They still struggle with communication and it just goes to the chair of that group to say you know "what do you mean" or "could you elaborate" you know. Not only did he believe the teacher had to take responsibility for the structure of the groups, he also expected his mainstream students to take on the responsibility of encouraging the ESL students to elaborate on their answers. 80 These previous two strategies for structuring group work are far different from one described by a teacher who perceived her mainstream students as resentful of working with ESL students. [W]hen you ask the class to do group work, I give them one minute to find somebody to work with, and if you time them then often they'll look around the class and there'll be somebody in the class just as scared as they are looking, and catch the eye. So it's really more of a social thing than anything. I find if I put a time limit on it, it just happens. And sometimes they hit the right person and it's good experience and sometimes they don't. It's the luck of the draw. This teacher opted to give the ESL student the responsibility of finding appropriate peers with whom to work. Her gambling metaphor shows she believed the teacher could not control what kind of experience an ESL student had in co-operative group work. Overall, the differences in the above responses show widely contradictory views on who is responsible for ESL student success in small group interaction; that there was often difficulty in small group interaction, however, was clear . Fitting in to the school The difficulties perceived with small group work were likely symptomatic of a larger problem. Small group work is a focussed example of academic peer interaction but many teachers also perceived a larger difficulty that ESL students have fitting into the social culture of the school in general. This phenomenon was largely attributed to ESL student personality traits and differences in cultural norms and expectations. Shyness was the personality trait described by teachers as one of the main barriers to successful integration into the school society. The root of this shyness was perceived as feelings of inferiority due to an inability to communicate. How ESL shyness affected teachers has been described in the section documenting distant behaviour. The following responses describe how teachers saw shyness as an effect of being in the mainstream class. I know that they're shy. And the ones that I've experienced in a lot of ways feel inferior, feel that their language barrier causes them to be inferior to others, when its not the case. A lot of people don't realise that it's ok for the first six months when you don't speak the language, but after that you start to feel pretty stupid that you still aren't able to use the language effectively. They feel inferior. People don't realise that these are the feelings these kids have. While these feelings of inferiority obviously caused reticence in attempting interaction with mainstream peers, they may also have had the double-edged effect of making these students less desirable potential friends for the mainstream students. A saddening reality is that students who seem the most vulnerable can become targets for their less sensitive peers. Thus, ESL students' very lack of confidence could make them a target for further confidence shattering behaviour. As one teacher wrote, "I feel that kids at this age can be very malicious towards other students, ESL or not." Her worries were supported by a colleague. Their classmates are very immature and not used to dealing with people from other countries so sometimes they experience not the nicest parts of our culture. While their vulnerability may make ESL students a target for some of their mean spirited mainstream peers in and of itself, ESL student lack of confidence may adversely affect their social interaction in another way. Teachers said because ESL students lacked confidence and had trouble constructing a non-ESL social network, they tended to rely too heavily on anyone that responded to them positively. These people included the ESL teacher, as well as sympathetic mainstream teachers, and their own ESL peers. 82 [B]ecause they're shy, there's a constant demand for the teacher's attention. "Can you explain this? can you understand it?" and so on. And when they find that the teacher goes out of their way to help them, then there's that connection because they can't connect socially with the others. I mean the ESL teacher can probably get them to do absolutely anything. If you want to tell them to jump through a hoop they would do it. Because they are so reliant and dependent on you as a teacher and then also they're dependant on the other ESL students who are there who may speak the same language for protection and help and guidance. The consequences of this dependence manifested themselves in two ways according to these teachers. In one way, ESL students were resented by their peers who saw them as being obsequious with, and receiving preferential treatment from, mainstream teachers. Secondly, they were resented for appearing to be too "cliquey" with each other. [E]ven rewarding them- a lot of kids catch on. They say, "oh well, you're not an ESL kid. Ms Parry doesn't like you". Things like that I find difficult. So I think that when they come into the regular classroom [so dependent on the teacher and each other]... what happens is that they are taunted and bullied at times by the other students, "wa wa wa there's a suck," you know and "Oh they're ESL students they're dumb" you know and all this kind of stuff. In the above responses a vicious circle was described. ESL students were seen to stick together and therefore be excluded from the mainstream. Accordingly, they did indeed eventually choose to stick together as it became clear they were not accepted by the mainstream. One more type of resentment-provoking ESL student behaviour rooted in lack of confidence was described. ESL students sometimes overcompensated for their feelings of inferiority by calling too much attention to their strengths. 83 When an ESL student knows the answer to something they say it out loud, they brag about it, not just in words but in demeanour in like the way they act. And if someone else doesn't understand it, without even realising it they're shaking their heads laughing...because of the feelings of insecurity of feeling inferior so on and so forth, any thing that's brought to their attention, anything that they're good at then there's an explosion. Social difficulties resulted not only from feelings of inferiority, but also from cultural differences in behaviours. One of the biggest differences has already been described in the positive contributions ESL students make to the class. Because ESL students were typically more respectful of the classroom and the teacher than their North American counterparts, their peers perceived them as unfriendly, if indeed they noticed them at all. Discipline in the classroom and discipline for teachers and parents um is different than what the North American student is used to. So because of the fact that they may sit quietly in the classroom may not be because of the fact that they are having a difficult time understanding but because its part of their culture to be respectful. And in that way they're not noticed as much by the other kids. Like the other kids aren't as warm and friendly because they feel that they're standoffish when in actual fact their discipline from their culture is different. Um they're not making outbursts and running around the room for you know um attention. They actually have learned the code of "you come in, you sit quietly with your elders." One teacher thought that this good behaviour, as has been shown in the "benefits" of having ESL students in the class, was unfairly exploited by teachers to the ESL students' detriment. She thought that teachers who explicitly used ESL students as positive role models caused them to be resented by mainstream peers. I think the really sad thing about it as far as looking [at] them [as] a teacher and also from an educator point of view is we take advantage of their refined behaviour and their study skills because we like those kind of students... We will use them as examples and I think that's another thing that's very bad. Because of the fact that we use them as examples: "See that student Winston. He 84 sits very still"... And we refer that in front of our North American students and I think that also puts our ESL students at a disadvantage. Teachers noticed ESL students breaking other more obvious social taboos as well. One commented informally on one boy's habit of wearing unfashionable green track pants which his peers found amusing. In another more obvious case, a teacher related that her ESL student clearly had no understanding of acceptable social behaviours. [L]ike I said it's just behaviour. One of my [ESLjstudents was picking his nose in class. That grossed out the other students and caused a rift and everything. While these examples of unacceptable behaviours may seem banal to adults, teachers perceived them as significant to image conscious adolescents. These types of behaviours led the one teacher to assert the following: I feel that there's a big need not so much, although they do need English skills, that the social skills, that the difference between the cultures and everything really has to be more explained to them. Her colleague concurred that the lack of social integration was hugely damaging and that teachers had to take a greater responsibility to ensure that their ESL students "fit in" socially; she said the result of social exclusion was the production of people with little interest in trying to participate meaningfully in out society. [I]t keeps them from wanting to participate as much in our culture. It's not so much we damage them from saying "Oh I'm discouraged and I will never be anybody" and you know we're abusing them. We're abusing them in a way that keeps them as an outsider through their education system and that's why they remain in that separate area because why would you want to go to an area that classes you as something strange and foreign and not acceptable. Counter opinions While problems with small group work and "fitting in" were frequently noted in the teachers' responses, not all respondents shared such a bleak view of ESL students' lack of social integration. While allowing that ESL students suffered from feelings of inferiority, and certainly expressing his own empathy for their situation, one teacher constructed the problem of social integration as an unavoidable but ultimately impermanent inhibitor to ESL student success. They're like in a little shell. They have difficulties with their classmates. They're isolated. It's a process they have to go through. If they're shy in the first place it's even worse...They're too shy and culture shocked... The best way is for them to learn the language as fast as they can and to be made to feel as comfortable as possible. "It's a process they have to go through." indicates a belief in the acculuration process as outlined in the literature; discomfort in a new country is natural and ultimately ESL students will fare successfully. Language acquisition is not intertwined with social integration; rather, it is learned first and is then followed by participation in society. Another teacher also recognised ESL student isolation but suggested that it may be a matter of academic preference rather than any lack of self esteem: They tend to be a bit isolated. That's largely because they're independent. Jim for example just sat by himself and preferred to do everything by himself. Indeed, this student often expressed his belief to me that he could achieve more on his own than with others. On the other hand, however, he was also cited by his English teacher as an example of someone who desired and eventually developed the confidence to achieve some social interaction, much to his own satisfaction. 86 Jim said one of his biggest accomplishments this year was finding other classmates to peer edit his work. He listed 5 people he had talked to. He was proud of that. While these alternate explanations exist as to the root of ESL isolation, teachers undeniably felt that ESL students were not socially integrated in their classrooms or in the school as a whole. Feelings of inferiority and unacceptable social behaviours which caused a vicious circle of non acceptance and isolation from the mainstream were the most commonly cited causes. To summarise, teachers identified two types of social difficulty, that which arose from small group work, and that which arose from trying to fit in with the school culture. Small group difficulties were thought to be caused by mainstream perceptions of ESL incapability and alleviated through the demonstration of ability and thoughtful teacher construction of groups. Difficulties with fitting in arose from negative self perceptions, specifically a lack of confidence in ability to succeed in the environment, which led to overcompensation when successful, and over dependence on sympathetic parties, typically other ESL students and teachers. Others thought these difficulties arose from cultural differences in acceptable behaviours. Still others perceived ESL students' lack of integration as unavoidable or of their own desire. None of these findings were monolithic; dissenting and qualifying opinions mitigated all generalisations. Successful students Although there were clearly many difficulties faced by ESL students in the mainstream classes, teachers also reported on how ESL students were able react successfully to the 87 mainstream environment. Interestingly, while teachers often constructed ESL student difficulties in social and cultural terms, and described their own feelings of satisfaction with ESL students in terms of social and affective achievement, they described "successful" ESL students almost exclusively in terms of academic achievement. Table 4.4 below shows the types and frequencies of the successful characteristics described. Findings T l T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T i l T12 T13 T14 Successful Ss. meeting standards X X X X X Successful Ss. extra effort X X X X X X X Successful Ss. get extra help X X X X ESL unlikely to seek extra help X X X X X X Unlikely to seek help-low confidence X X X X Meeting standards According to some teachers, successful ESL students overall were those who could successfully execute regular class work to the same standards used to evaluate their mainstream peers. As one teacher replied: [T]hey accomplish what non-ESL students accomplish with respect to meeting criteria relative to the IRP learning outcomes. Other teachers offered similar responses and many added specifically the kinds of things that this entailed in their classes. As one might imagine, different classes placed different demands on the students. PE teachers most strongly demanded positive attitudes and behaviours toward the subject and peers. They responded that students must "participate, have fun and bring a positive attitude to class, and contribute to a safe secure learning 88 environment," and "bring strip, participate, understand and follow rules of activities, and display a positive attitude towards the activity and other students." Other classes demanded more cognitive skills. In Science classes ESL students had to be able to take written tests in order to get high marks, as well as perform lab activities with their peers. English classes necessarily demanded that students were able to read in English, and edit their written work appropriately. One of the English teachers who took a reading/ writing work shop approach though, said that students did not have to meet the same standards for an A as their mainstream peers. In this approach all students were marked on individual effort and improvement. Thus, they had to "using the writing process... feel/demonstrate success with the improvement in writing, stressing strengths and weaknesses they work at their own pace." One of the most important skills in this class was the ability to self assess. Work habits Extra effort While not all respondents gave specific examples of the skills and attitudes needed for success in their classrooms, most agreed that the successful ESL student needed to have good general work habits. One aspect of these habits was the willingness to put in an effort above and beyond what would be required of the mainstream peers. They revise their work many times and get me to look at it even though I have not asked for more than one draft. Most successful ESL students are hard working over achievers who are willing to ask you for help and are able to work independently. They will hand in written assignments that are satisfactory after numerous editing sessions. 89 Successful ESL students are able hard on assignments; spend time figuring out what is expected. Other specific habits necessary for success ranged from the very basic to the more profound. Successful ESL students were noted to have a dictionary with them in class and were able to take what they learned in class and study it at home. One of the deeper insights was a statement of the "qualities of mind" ESL students must exhibit. Specifically, they had to know how to assess their own problems and be able to use teacher feedback to help correct them even when that feedback was not as positive as they would have liked. ESL students who are successful have the ability to identify ( first with the teacher and then independently) and address their problem areas of language use. The most successful students are able to deal effectively and proactively with feedback from teachers that might not be as much of a validation of what they had produced as they had hoped for. Getting extra help Another prominent component of good work habits was a willingness to get extra help from teachers, both ESL and mainstream. Teachers stated that getting extra help involved both asking questions in class and coming in for help where necessary. A sample of comments follows. Successful students... They ask questions. Successful students are able to ... come after class or after school and ask for help. Successful ESL students come to me for clarification of assignments...Most successful ESL students are... willing to ask you for help. [ESL students] are reluctant to seek help on as regular a basis as they need to. 90 We can see that teachers expected and desired questions from their ESL students. Even the teacher most concerned about the additional time demands ESL students placed upon her expressed the need for them to seek out extra help. Two of the teachers quoted above mentioned a related worry, as can be seen in the last comment; ESL students were not likely to seek out the extra help as often as they needed to. When questioned further on this finding, opinions were divided; while most teachers agreed that ESL students needed to seek out help more often than they did, only some thought they were less likely than their mainstream peers to request it. One teacher even seemed to change her mind while responding. [I]t kind of depends on the personalities. Probably as likely as a regular student would be. I don't see them as being a lot less likely overall. I just think it depends on the personality. What I do see happening though is that they will just sit and wait and hope that you'll come over. Absolutely not. You can't expect them to. They're too shy and culture shocked to do this [ seek out extra help and clarification]. Absolutely! [ they are more reticent to seek out help]... They don't know what to ask... With a student like Patrick they aren't very likely at all. But it depends on their personality. Someone like Jim would sit there all night asking you for help. It's not easy to generalise. Lots of regular students don't ask for the extra help they need either. Teachers offered similar reasons why they thought at least some ESL students were more reticent to come forward. These revolved around the familiar problems of low self confidence and fear. ESL students did not want to look bad in front of their classmates or to their teacher. 91 [It's] fear of putting their hand up and having heavily accented English echoing out into the classroom once again proving to the other students that they're behind it instead of on top of it. I think they're afraid they are going to sound stupid. They're too shy and culture shocked to do this... They will [ask questions] in your [ESL] room. Another teacher offered a deeper analysis of the problem. He asserted that the stigma attached to receiving extra help might be a barrier to requesting it and that the teacher must therefore be very careful of how the student is invited for help. I would speculate that they wouldn't take advantage of the extra help for the same reason that a non ESL student wouldn't take advantage of it - social pressures, "I don't wanna stay after school. I don't wanna be a geek" I mean they have those same concerns just like everyone else does, they maybe don't want to be stigmatised by the teacher or by themselves as a weak student or stupid... it goes really to the teacher and how the teacher invites the student um whether or not they'll actually come. If I say "you need extra help!" I mean what does that mean? It could strike right to the heart of who they are . Or you could say, "Hey, look, you're a bright person. You're obviously bright and capable, would you mind spending some extra time with me after school so we can work on your language." And being very specific that it's a language issue. While this respondent perceived the mainstream teacher's responsibility as both ensuring that the student realises extra help is available and offering it in a sensitive enough way to make it attractive, other teachers believed the extra help should be the domain of the ESL teacher. They thought ESL students felt more comfortable with help from the ESL teacher. As one teacher above stated, "they will [ask for help] in your [ESL teacher's as opposed to his own] room". Similarly, another teacher said "I think they're more likely to go to the ESL teacher to get the help." 92 Although the diversity of responses precludes a generalisation about all ESL students, it appears that at least some ESL students do not get the extra help that may be a key ingredient for academic success. The reasons for this difficulty may be the student's low self confidence and unwillingness to do anything that leads to stigmatisation. However, another critical factor, as illustrated in the final responses above, is the way teachers perceived their personal responsibility to these students, especially vis a vis the ESL teacher and the student's own comfort. It appears overall, that the mainstream teachers believed that ESL students were facing tremendous challenges as a result of being in the mainstream classroom and in the school in general. These difficulties were both academic, which was related to the understanding of vocabulary, conceptual knowledge, gaps in background knowledge, and unfamiliarity with valued thinking skills, and socio-cultural, which was related to small group work and a general inability to fit in with the school wide culture. The ESL students who did manage to achieve "success" in these teachers' eyes, were those who were willing to dedicate an above average amount of time to their studies, were already in possession of good work habits, and were able to overcome the affective hurdles involved with seeking out help both inside and outside of class. And even so, these students were viewed as "successful" solely in academic, rather than social, terms. This chapter has examined teachers' perceptions of the "classroom effects" of ESL students. The first subsection addressed the question of how ESL students affected the mainstream class. Positive effects included the multicultural contribution and positive 93 attitudes toward schooling, both of which enhanced the classroom environment, and feelings of teacher efficacy which derived from helping these new students achieve in the social, affective and academic domains. Negative effects included unacceptable behaviours by the students which were seen as resulting from being an ESL student in a new cultural environment, difficulty in assessment and evaluation, and finally the additional time demands caused by ESL students. The second subsection of the chapter examined how the teachers perceived the ESL students being affected by the mainstream classroom environment. Major findings were that academically these students had difficulty achieving success due to the demands of vocabulary, building conceptual knowledge in a new language and gaps in relevant background knowledge. Secondly, these students had difficulty integrating socially with their mainstream peers, both at the small group level in the classroom and at the school wide level. Shyness and cultural differences in acceptable behaviours were perceived to be at the root of this issue. On a positive note, characteristics of successful ESL students were also described, specifically applying extra effort and getting extra help. Some teachers, however, felt ESL students did not seek out extra help as often as they should. 94 Chapter 5: Findings- Perceptions of Program Effects Whereas the previous chapter described different aspects of the "classroom effects" of the ESL student, this chapter will document how teachers viewed the way the structure of the ESL program affected both teachers and students. Specifically, it will first examine their feelings about their responsibilities toward the ESL students whom the ESL program obligated them to serve; secondly it will discuss what needs the teachers felt were entailed, or effected, by an ESL program structured such as the one under study; lastly it will discuss how teachers thought an ESL program could be more effectively delivered to its students. How do teachers perceive the effects of the program delivery model on their own responsibilities to ESL students? The ESL program at the school obligated ESL students to spend between 50% and 100% of their days in mainstream classrooms. Previous sections of this study have given some indication of the different ways teachers felt responsible to these students. As the degree and type of responsibility the teacher perceives will have a dramatic impact on the ESL student's education, a richer description of these findings is offered here. The responsibilities felt by the teachers toward their ESL students specifically differed across the participants in both "levels of responsibility" and "types of responsibility." Table 5. 1 on the following page offers an overview of the findings and the frequency with which they were reported. 95 Levels of responsibility While all teachers recognised a responsibility toward ESL students to some degree, they had different perceptions of what their levels of responsibility were, and how they felt about them emotionally. For some teachers it was a complex issue with conflicting feelings. One teacher believed that she could, and should, accept responsibility to ensure her ESL students' success. I find I have to remind myself to go and check with them afterwards. It's not that hard a thing to do after all. We have to do it for always for a certain percentage of the students anyway who are less capable students. It shouldn't be that difficult to do. Findings TI T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T i l T12 T13 T14 Differing levels of responsibility X X X X X Differing types responsibility-academic X X X X X X X X Barriers to meeting academic responsibilities X X X X X X Differing, types of responsibility-affective X X X X X X X X However at the same time, she found that in the reality of her day to day classroom life, this extra responsibility proved to be a burden of which she understandably found herself resentful. In a way it is like being an elementary school teacher (I was one for 15 years).. Your responsibility is never finished... It [takes longer]... And I find myself resentful of it. The challenge to do it and still do all the other stuff that you have to do-96 Similarly, others, although hesitant to suggest that they had a different responsibility toward ESL students, went on to describe a different responsibility nonetheless. I feel that my responsibility towards ESL students does not differ from my regular students. I have more of a focus with ESL students. For example, I will ask the class if there are any problems or questions with an assignment. After the class is working, I will go to the ESL students to talk one on one with them making sure there are not any problems. Other teachers however, willingly embraced what they perceived as an extra responsibility to ESL students. Unlike the teacher who felt she should be responsible for her ESL students but found herself resentful of it, the following teacher was happy to be responsible for her ESL students but wondered if it was appropriate. You feel that um you need to give more time because of the social problems, because of the fact of the English barrier and so on and so forth... I don't feel resentment...I feel too much responsibility to tell you the truth. I really feel that I took Jim underneath my wing. I took another one of my ESL students underneath my wing and I took a personal interest all the way through it. Where, to tell you tmthfully, I shouldn't have, but because of what was happening and everything, and because of how the success was good ... I wanted to follow it through. Still another teacher firmly accepted the responsibility for educating his ESL students but recognised that he did not give as much time to them as he could, nor did he feel he was able to teach them as effectively as he would have liked. I think I could spend a great deal of time with ESL students after school at lunch time or before school if I invited them on a regular basis but to be honest I don't um and I don't for a lot of reasons that may or may not be good reasons... I'm thinking of the one who was in my...class... I'm thinking here's a guy who wants feedback, who's a bright guy ...[ who says in response to my written feedback]... "what does this say? what does this mean?" and I think "oh yeah, I've blown it again." You know it's not his problem. It's my problem because I know he's ESL and I have to adapt. 97 While this teacher felt a professional obligation to his students he did not feel he was personally able to serve them as well as an ESL teacher would have been able to. His feeling of accountability for communication with ESL students contrasted sharply with one of his colleagues. [I]f [ESL students] really need help then the teacher needs to work with the ESL teacher and the ESL teacher needs to provide the time factor...The teacher can explain the assignment to the ESL teacher easier than to a student who doesn't speak English. Then the ESL teacher can take the time.... I think the onus is on the ESL teacher to come and see the classroom teacher when there is a student they're both dealing with. Because the classroom teacher doesn't have the time to go find the ESL teacher. This teacher strongly felt the demands on her time were too great for her to assume the primary responsibility of teaching ESL students. As she said, "I don't want to be an ESL teacher...I'm split enough." The samples above illustrate the range in perceptions it is possible for teachers to feel even within themselves in the level of their responsibility for meeting the specific needs of their ESL students. They may feel similarly responsible to ESL students as to other students, differently responsible but resentful of the responsibility, differently responsible but unable to meet the responsibility, "too" responsible, or unable to meet the responsibility and therefore not responsible at all. These different perceptions demand different levels of, and different types of support from the ESL teacher. Types of responsibility Just as teachers' perceptions of levels of responsibility differed, their perceptions of types of responsibilities also differed. Roughly speaking, respondents can be divided into two categories, those who felt responsible for the academic success of their ESL 98 students and those who felt responsible for their affective development, including helping them to socialise in their new environment. Different priorities were related to different classroom strategies for dealing with ESL students, and different concerns about the challenges presented in teaching ESL students. Teachers with an academic priority tended to respond that ESL students required modified content and instruction. Typically assessment issues were problematic for them. Those with affective concerns wanted students to feel comfortable in their class and to begin to socialise with their mainstream peers. Perceptions of responsibilities for academic development Academic concerns centred around the content of the subject. Teachers were worried about making sure their ESL students understood what they were "learning". The following response illustrates this concern. I feel that it is my responsibility to make sure key ideas are understood. They should also be able to apply these ideas to lab work and activities. Teachers also illustrated their academic concerns in the ways they defined their responsibilities. Teachers who viewed their extra responsibilities to ESL students in terms of time, and modification in content and instruction were concerned with student understanding of course content. Often they offered strategies that would help them meet their responsibilities. ESL academic support strategies The most common way to ensure an ESL student was succeeding in classroom work was to check progress during class time. Often this simply meant ensuring instructions were being properly followed. 99 After the class is working, I will go to the ESL students to talk one on one with them making sure there are not any problems. I make a point of going to those two ESL students in the class every time after I've given a mini lesson or every time after I've given some instruction for completing the task. For sure I'm not doing that for every kid in the class, so they're getting a higher percentage of my time. And then I guess I don't necessarily spend as much time with them when they might need my time at other times cause I've spent the time with them all ready. It's so basic it's just "do you understand the instructions?" While both responses show a willingness to give extra time to the ESL student, the latter indicates that it may be quantity rather than quality time. Teachers also modified both their content and their instructional techniques for ESL students. Instructional modifications included setting up peer tutor arrangements and giving simpler instructions. Content modification included finding relevant material and altering assessment materials such as tests. [My responsibilities include] modifying or helping ESL students with unit tests. [My responsibility is]... to modify their work. Sometimes I have to modify materials or bring in support materials. All the above strategies entail a feeling of responsibility for ESL student understanding of academic course content. Perceptions of responsibilities for affective development Another set of teachers tended to stress their feelings of responsibility for the ESL students' affective growth. These teachers were less likely to report feelings of frustration and inefficacy when dealing with ESL students. The most common concern was for the student's comfort in the classroom. 100 My responsibility differs [from the mainstream] for their comfort level in the classroom. I need to ensure they feel comfortable enough to come up and ask questions, clarifications. I feel that I must give extra time for some of my ESL students-1 feel that this is my responsibility as a teacher to better enable them, assist them in any way I can. I am happy to do this. I was once an ESL student and I understand the transition and difficulties in learning a new language. I appreciated kindness and understanding and would like to be able to do the same for others. Teachers were less likely to list methods for ensuring students' comfort in their classes than they were for ensuring academic success. Some, however, indicated that they did so by way of empathy, or just showing a patient and positive attitude toward their E S L students, while others took a more direct approach. I have never gotten to the point with an E S L student (yet) where it has left me frustrated. I do not want my ESL students to see me this way regarding them because I know I did not feel good when people were frustrated with me. I reach out to them. I ask questions like "Do you feel comfortable?" I give a lot of positive feedback on their writing and their reading. It's really helped. Two of the teachers were notable in that a theme of affective responsibility ran throughout their responses; their ESL student concerns revolved around their task of socialising them into the mainstream. Though a teacher of a core academic subject, the first of these respondents asserted the following. It's been a social responsibility more than anything. Academically, English is not that much of a barrier because you explain it and so on and so forth. This was the same respondent who described the engineering she undertook to ensure the integration of socially awkward ESL student in chapter 4, page 62 under "Satisfying Experiences: Social/socialisation success." 101 The kind of social success described there was also crucial to the Art teacher at the research site, who saw her classroom as the ideal place for ESL students to begin their adjustment to a new school. Her stance on her responsibility for helping her ESL students achieve social success was apparent throughout her questionnaire and interview responses and made clear by the following. It's really hard...for us to actually assess how much damage we've actually done by not finding a way to help them fit in. She shared a notion with the teacher above that social success is not only important as an end unto itself, but that it is also a necessary precursor to academic success. If you can make an Art room or a woodworking room or an elective a place for them to get going they'll do well in their other classes. The other teacher was even more explicit in her response. Getting them into a social unit and making them talk and become friends with other kids in English, in the language that they are here to learn and so on makes them improve more academically. So you get the social function going and the rest will follow. However, in one case, a feeling of affective responsibility to ESL students also manifested itself in a desire to exclude ESL students from mainstream classes. One teacher did not wish to have low level ESL students in her class precisely for reasons of self esteem. [For low level ESL students] the regular classroom setting is not building confidence. I think that's the number one thing with ESL students. They need to have their confidence level built. 102 i To conclude, teachers felt different types of responsibility to their ESL students. Some felt responsible for their academic success and employed strategies and techniques j to ensure this. Many of these teachers felt frustrated with the difficulties that this entailed, which included a perceived lack of expertise and time. Other teachers took on a responsibility for the student's affective and social growth. This generally meant trying to ensure the students' comfort in their classrooms and engineering ways for them to interact successfully with their mainstream peers. I These different types of responsibility occurred within a framework of differently perceived levels of responsibility toward the students. Interestingly, those teachers more i concerned with the students academic needs were less likely to accept a high level of responsibility for the student, likely because they felt they did not have the expertise to meet these needs. Those who felt affective responsibilities seemed to feel they could meet them effectively in their classrooms. One teacher however, felt that affective concerns were of jsuch importance that it was better the student not be in her classroom. What needs do mainstream teachers perceive the ESL program delivery model as effecting? The type of specialist support offered to ESL students depends both on the ESL teacher and the programmatic context in which he or she operates. The purpose of this S section is to document what needs mainstream teachers thought were effected by the way the ESL program functioned at their school. The most prominent need described in the questionnaire and interview responses was for more communication between the ESL and the mainstream teacher. Two distinct times for communication arose, before placement of the student in the class and during the 103 student's tenure in the class. Each time required different levels of and types of communication. The need for more communication was typically rooted in the teachers' perceptions that they did not have the expertise to teach ESL students effectively by themselves. Some teachers also discussed how they would like communication to take place. The second most common need identified was assistance to the ESL students directly with their mainstream class work. The ESL teacher was expected to keep track of students' work in their mainstream classes. Table 5.2 shows the frequency of the findings in the teachers' questionnaire and interview responses. Findings TI T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T i l T12 T13 T14 Need for more communication X X X X X X X X X X X X Lack of expertise/skills X X X X X X X Structural barriers to communication X X X X Need for class work support X X X X X X X X Communication Pre-entry Teachers wanted communication from the ESL teacher before the ESL student entered their classes. They depended on the ESL teacher for information about what they could expect from the student. This could simply mean how well the student was apt to perform academically in the teacher's class or it could include a desire to know the students' language level specifically.. [I]nform me of the student's expected capabilities in my course areas. 104 Inform me of where the student is at or capable of In particular, teachers wanted to know about any potential difficulties that may arise with the ESL students in the class. I expect the ESL teacher to talk to me about any concerns they have about placing an ESL student in the classroom. I would also like some information on the students to know what level that (sic) are at. [G]ive some personal background that might influence how they learn/ react in my class. One teacher of PE had a similar but more immediate concern; if the students could not understand the language it is possible that they could put themselves or others in danger. Also identify students with little or no comprehension who could put themselves or others at risk in potentially dangerous situations. The feeling among the teachers was that 'Torewarned is forearmed" and that they could be better prepared for the challenges posed by ESL students if they knew ahead of time to expect them. Ongoing Teachers also expressed the need for ongoing communication while the students were enrolled in their classes. Respondents felt that the ESL teacher could offer expertise in a number of ways which would ease the burden of teaching ESL students. I think the general classroom teacher isn't used to dealing with these students. Even I, who went through the same experience as them, don't know what to do to help them. We need to talk to someone who is trained in this to find out how to help them in our classes. I think that teachers have to talk to each other. As well as general expertise on methods for supporting ESL students, some respondents also thought the ESL teacher would know how specific students were faring in their classes better than the mainstream teacher would. 105 [C]ommunicate difficulties/ frustrations the students are experiencing in my teaching areas. Bring to my attention any problems the student is having in the class. One teacher suggested that the need for expertise and knowledge of the students' capabilities strengths and weaknesses was more important than specific strategies or teaching techniques. She asserted, "A teacher doesn't need 'how to teach a student ESL'... What a teacher needs is more communication." As others suggested as well, communication was valued for its own sake, as it was in the above statement, "I think that teachers have to talk to each other." Two teachers indicated that communication may have been seen as valuable simply in that it reminded them to think about what they were going to do to help their ESL students. COMMUNICATION - the more you ask the more I really think about how I'm helping ESL students the best. Teachers also needed "expert" help with their daily classroom decisions involving ESL students. Sometimes these were in the areas of assessment and evaluation. I mean again we're going back to the ignorance of regular English classroom teachers on assessing some elements of... ESL student behaviour. If [ESL teachers] could be there to either corroborate or refute uh - it sounds very confrontational but- the teacher's view of the student, it would be really helpful. Identify... ESL students who should be excused from written tests, or whose tests should be modified. In other instances teachers perceived themselves as needing help to modify their curricula and find ways to support the ESL students' success in class. The difficulties arise when [ESL students]...find it difficult to follow basic class instructions. Taking that further the difficulties arise when assignments are 106 "modified" only to find out that they are not ready for the assignment even in its modified state. I am not trained in ESL and find it extremely difficult to modify my curriculum choices and approaches to meet the needs of ESL students... I'm not trained at all in ESL and I don't know what's fair... [Provide] some strategies on how to approach certain difficulties ESL students experience. Teachers expressed the need for ongoing communication as a stimulus to thinking about their ESL students, as an end unto itself which indicated that just talking about a student can relieve some of the burden, and as a way of benefiting from the ESL teacher's expert knowledge on how to handle ESL students in general and how to modify and adapt content, instruction and assessment in specific cases. Communication is needed due to a perceived lack of expertise Explicit in many and implicit in the rest of the responses in the former subsection is mainstream teachers' perceived inability to support ESL students adequately. A strong feeling of lack of expertise ran throughout the questionnaire and interview responses. Most respondents believed they were not as capable as the ESL teacher of supporting ESL students; this belief manifested itself most strongly in the above desire for improved communication, but occasionally also in reluctance to accept the responsibility for ESL students' education at all. The problem... [is] simply... I do not have expertise necessary to meet their needs... I don't know what to do [with low functioning ESL students]. I know I have a problem. I don't know how to solve it. And it's always on the back burner until I get the time to do something. It never goes away. And I don't think it's good for a student like that to be in a regular classroom. 107 Barriers to communication While communication was highly valued by the teachers, most could identify reasons why it did not take place as frequently as it should. Typically, the lack of funding for ESL, specifically that the ESL teacher was only funded to be in the school for half the day during which time he had his own teaching duties, was recognised as the main barrier to increased communication. More ESL teachers or at least more paid time for the one teacher at the school was felt to be necessary for a more effective program. In an ideal world [there would be]- MORE ESL teachers. Or higher ratio of teachers per ESL student. We have the expert... but he is not in the building nearly enough and that is because of an inadequate funding formula that is an expression of the ignorance of the bureaucrats with respect to the needs that ESL students have. One teacher felt that the lack of dedicated time to collaborate with other teachers not only hurt ESL students in the short term but also over longer periods of time because the ESL teacher was unable to build a rapport with the other staff members which would help them to be sympathetic to ESL teacher suggestions. I don't think you end up with a really good rapport with teachers because of that [lack of time in the school] unless you're a very personable ESL teacher... teachers have attitudes that are really difficult sometimes to get across. Models for improving communication Respondents described various preferences for improving communication between the ESL teacher and themselves within the constraints of the current program. In many cases they contradicted one another. One teacher, for example felt that "better communication" meant that teachers ought to get more in-service training from either the ESL teacher or another district specialist, whereas some of his colleagues were strongly opposed to the idea. 108 I think ESL teachers teach ESL because they have some expertise that we don't have- or maybe we don't think we have the expertise the ESL teacher does. I think an ESL teacher either district or school based should be provided the opportunity to in-service English teachers and I think English teachers as a department- I mean if we say... we have an ESL problem in our professional lives insofar as we can't serve the needs of ESL students very well, then we need to get in-service and the ESL teacher or district person should be invited to do that. If we say it - if we say we have a problem we oughta deal with it. I know we have the giant workshop on the Pro D day that says you bring somebody in from the district helping teacher for ESL and they hand out all these pamphlets and they give us the big spiel for two and a half hours and half the people are asleep and nobody's interested and they leave and we go away with going "What happened?" Teachers against formal in-service communication preferred to have ongoing communication with the ESL teacher about the specific students whom they were teaching. They felt a "once a year in-service" model of communication would not work. However, these teachers, in turn, disagreed on how they would like to see ongoing informal communication take place. One teacher suggested implementing a system whereby the responsibility for the ESL student was shifted to the classroom teacher. I expect written reports... even a questionnaire, and this could be week by week... "What does he have problems in ? What does he need to work on this week?" ...And then you can even have a follow up, "How's it going this week? What was the result of last week's problems?" And then you have a week by week listing of how well they're doing... It helps the teacher take more responsibility too. It's no longer your ESL kid. Now it's ours. By contrast, another teacher was adamantly against this idea. Absolutely not more paperwork! I'll just put it in a pile. It is therefore easy to lose. It'll come out better in a meeting. I'm more of a talker than a writer anyway. I'm a procrastinator [but] I will always make time to talk to someone if they come to see me... It can be informal or we can arrange a time to have a meeting. Yet another teacher liked the idea of conferencing about specific students but thought that realistically a formal time has to be set aside to do so. 109 I think [communication time] would have to be built in, that there would be a more regular time or a leadership day or something so we could go over the list how are they doing like we do with English placement meetings where you just conference on particular kids. It could be done at an English department meeting, at the end of an English department meeting. We haven't got that huge a population. Thus, teacher desires for models of communication ranged from those who wished to have more formal ESL in-service days, to those who preferred ongoing written communication to those who would have rather seen casual ongoing oral communication to those who preferred building a formalised time for communication into teachers' regular schedules. ^ Class work support While communication between teachers was the dominant theme in teachers' perceived needs, another prominent strand in expectations was that the ESL teacher provide direct support to the ESL student in the completion of their mainstream class work. Help students understand what I am teaching and what that student needs to be successful. Translate or offer assistance to student (if needed) on tests, assignments and quizzes. Mainstream teachers may have felt that they did not have the time to deal with problems the ESL student would be having. [I]f they really need help then the teacher needs to work with the ESL teacher and the ESL teacher needs to provide the time factor... The teacher can explain the assignment to the ESL teacher easier than a student who doesn't speak English. Then the ESL teacher can take the time. [T]hey need extra time after class... during class we're running through material right and we just assume I think as English teachers that ESL students are going to miss it. Maybe its a safe assumption maybe it isn't and if they do miss it we hope that there's an ESL teacher like yourself or others who can help... 110 According to these teachers, the role of the ESL teacher was akin to a tutor. Students should receive assistance in their mainstream class work during ESL class rather than spend ESL class time learning general cross curricular language skills. Teachers identified two chief needs that resulted from a program where ESL students were required to spend a minimum of half their day in mainstream classes. The most prominent necessity was the teachers' need for more communication with the ESL teacher. This need was strongly correlated with feelings of inefficacy in teaching ESL students. Respondents often contradicted each other in describing their views of the most effective way this communication could occur. The second need was for direct ESL teacher instruction to the ESL student in mainstream course material; this perceptiion was often correlated with the feeling that teachers did not have enough time to support ESL students adequately. How do mainstream teachers think ESL support could be delivered more effectively? The purpose of the final section of the findings is to document how, given the challenges and issues previously discussed in the study, mainstream teachers thought the delivery of ESL support could be improved. Respondents were given a list of five programmatic options for ESL and asked which one they thought would most effectively serve ESL students. Their choice of options were as follows. • regular classes only • regular classes + an ESL class as necessary (current approach) • bilingual education (content areas studied in students' native language) • ESL classes (e.g. ESL Science, ESL Literature etc.) with gradual mainstreaming into regular classes as appropriate. • other (Please clarify ) I l l Table 5.3 shows the frequency with which the options and their related themes were selected. Table 5.3: Frequency of teachers' perceptions of how ESL support could be delivered more effectively Findings TI T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T i l T12 T13 T14 ESL Content class preference X X X X X X Support block preference X X X X X Various other preferences X X X Need for ESL teacher in mainstream class X X X X ESL content classes with gradual mainstreaming Of the five choices, the most popular was ESL content classes with gradual mainstreaming. Six of the fourteen respondents indicated this as their preference on the survey. Three, however qualified their responses on the survey and in the interview. The advantages of this approach were thought to be to the students' self esteem and their likelihood of comprehending the content, as well as to the other teachers and class members. Reducing the social shock A prevalent belief among teachers was that mainstream classes were a shock to ESL students both for social and cognitive reasons. Therefore, the student needed ESL classes to prepare for the demands of the mainstream. The following comments reflect the perceived shock of entering the mainstream. 112 Once an ESL student has shown proficiency in learning English [in ESL classes], then mainstreaming will come as less of a shock. [I]n terms of confidence I think this model allows for self-esteem building rather than a culture shock and overwhelming reaction to the mainstream. The latter response raises a related theme discussed by some respondents; the ESL content class model allows for ESL students to build up their self esteem and confidence, unlike the regular class plus ESL support class model which can prove emotionally overwhelming due to feelings of inadequacy which may be reinforced by unsympathetic mainstream classmates. To put students who understand no English with regular students does a disservice to both. ESL students should be placed in the classroom when they can at least participate somewhat- otherwise they feel frustrated and inadequate and the other students resent their presence. I feel it is important that ESL students are given TIME to grasp the English language with peers in the same situation. A non-threatening environment is important and I feel that students at this age can be very malicious (some of them) towards other students ESL or not. The importance of spending time with "peers in the same situation" was supported by other respondents as well. Socially [ESL classes together are] really important. They can network. Look at your room. If it wasn't open where would these kids go at lunch time? They can find someone who speaks their own language or at least know others who are in the same boat. These respondents thus viewed ESL classes as positive places for the ESL students, not merely as places to go in order to avoid the mainstream. 113 Reducing the cognitive burden Closely related to the emotional difficulty of settling into the mainstream is challenge of learning course content in the new language. Many teachers felt this was cognitively too demanding for ESL students. I feel that learning a new language is difficult and frustrating enough without having to worry about mainstream course content... Especially in English (the course) , this course has a lot of terms to study and books to read. This could be a very frustrating experience. [I]f integrated too early they have not only to deal with the material presented but to "understand" it. [With ESL content classes t]he students will not fall behind in course content while learning English. However, not all teachers preferred this model, and it least one was tentatively against it, while allowing that her opinion could be changed. The teaching of content material i.e. Science, Soc. St. etc. by the ESL teacher seems to me not a good use of their time- either it duplicates what is being done in the subject area classroom or it is material taught in isolation from the rest of their peers. Probably I could benefit from a discussion of ESL teachers more knowledgeable on the options available but this is how the question strikes me now. Regular classes plus support block- the current approach The current approach at the research site was also popular among the participants with five respondents indicating they thought it was the most ideal way to teach ESL students. However, only the following respondent gave reasons for favouring the current approach; others were likely to suggest modifications to make it more effective. I feel this is most appropriate because the students are still able to participate and interact in a regular classroom setting, thus they can benefit from other students knowledge, questions and responses. Any ideas on concepts not understood can be reinforced during the ESL class. 114 Two respondents suggested a need for reform of the current approach. The reforms were at opposite ends of the support continuum. The first respondent thought that it was not suitable to have the lowest level ESL students in mainstream classes. I agree with the current approach. However, I think that ESL students who have very little or no English comprehension should remain in ESL classes only until they have basic comprehension. Another teacher thought that the current approach was satisfactory in principle but was failing in practice. He thought lack of funding made the program insufficient in both the breadth and length of support students received. I think that the current approach could be effective if funding was provided for adequate support to meet the needs of the students on a consistent basis.... [Support shouldn't be discontinued]...until it can be demonstrated by the teacher and the student...and the person at home perhaps, that there's competency in reading, writing, and group oral or conversational...that would mean meeting the same learning outcomes on the reference sets as the quote regular student. While the first teacher was concerned that the lowest level students were not appropriately served by the current system, this teacher was concerned that the higher level students were not. Interestingly, the first teacher taught in a subject area where all ESL students were initially placed due to a perception of low level language demands, whereas the second teacher quoted met only with ESL students classified as intermediate or above. In class ESL teacher participation The second teacher also suggested a reform desired by teachers throughout different parts of the survey response, especially in their ideals of the ESL program; namely, the ESL teacher should spend time in the mainstream classroom with ESL students. He desired the expertise an ESL teacher could provide. Another teacher who actually supported the content class option also stressed the need for in class support 115 regardless of the model used. Rather than a need for expertise, she felt this would help the ESL teacher know what was happening to his students better, help him serve them better and that it would be beneficial to the mainstream teacher in providing a break from the demands of ESL students. [W]hat Fd really like to see with the mainstreaming and such, [is] that the ESL teacher start coming to the class and being an additional player at a regular point... when you see them yourself you see how socially they are doing in the classroom. I mean I would love to have you in my classroom...You don't know how much 15 minutes is to the teacher that teaches an ESL student that demands so much of their time, how much that would give them a break. Other responses also supported the notion of having the ESL teacher in the mainstream classroom if the program were to remain with the same model of operation. Again there is a concern for the ESL students' comfort in the mainstream class. Ideally, I would like the ESL teacher to circulate around the school to come into the classroom to check how the students are doing. A familiar face may help ease the tension, as well as allow the ESL student to talk to someone with whom they are comfortable. Other Options Two teachers suggested "other" approaches to running the ESL program. The first was really a modification, albeit radical, of the current approach. The ESL block was still viewed as a support block for the regular classes but the use of time would be structured differently. I would like to see more students getting ESL help i.e. not just the newly arrived. They should be in regular classes for the first 10 to 30 minutes (or as the discipline teacher requires) then have the option/requirement to go to the ESL room and get help in the work assigned by the discipline teacher. In a 1 hr, 15 min. block there should be a time when all students coming to the ESL room during that block participate in an English lesson which encompasses basic skills identified by the ESL teacher as needed by this particular group. Probably this would best be conveyed through a theme approach (North American cultural themes might be appropriate). 116 This approach reflects a similar concern to the teacher who felt the current approach would be effective if only it were adequately funded; namely, ESL support for students is too soon discontinued. It should be "not just for the newly arrived." Finally, another teacher who was frustrated with the lack of English ability of some of her ESL students who were no longer receiving formal ESL support responded that if the students did not receive ESL content classes maybe it would be best for them to have regular classes only. [I]f they were put into regular classes [only] my hope would be that they learn faster because they can't talk in their native tongue with classmates. This... approach sounds cruel but a student who has been in the country for 3 years ( without a learning disability) should be able to have a basic understanding of the English language. It's frustrating. Overall, eleven of the fourteen respondents suggested that the ESL program could be delivered more effectively; only three indicated the current approach was satisfactory or ideal. Of the eleven, two thought the current approach would be satisfactory with modifications. A further teacher suggested an alternative that was really a radical modification of the current approach. Seven other teachers initially favoured an ESL content class approach whereby ESL students would gradually enter mainstream classes appropriate to their skill development. One of these teachers along with another teacher who was not discussed, eventually indicated that a bilingual education model would be preferable. Common among teachers who favoured different approaches was the belief that the ESL teacher could constructively spend time in mainstream classes with ESL students, in order to comfort them, assist them, and provide expertise and relief for the classroom teacher. 117 This chapter has examined the effects of the ESL program as it was offered at the research site. Teachers perceptions' of the responsibilities placed upon them by a program that demanded that at least 50% of ESL student time be spent in the mainstream classroom were first examined. Teachers reported feeling widely varying levels of responsibility toward their ESL students and sometimes mentioned feelings of being unable to meet their responsibilities to the degree they felt was expected of them. Different teachers also reported feeling different types of responsibilities; some were concerned with the academic development of their ESL students, some with the affective. The second subsection of the chapter examined what needs the teachers felt the program effected if ESL students were to be adequately served. Respondents overwhelmingly desired communication with ESL teacher, both at the pre entry and in-class phases of the ESL student participation in the class. This desire was highly correlated with feelings of inefficacy in teaching ESL students. However, preferred methods of communication varied widely. Respondents also expressed the need for students to be helped by the ESL teacher directly in their mainstream work. Finally, the chapter discussed teacher's views of how the program could be more effectively delivered. Half of the respondents preferred an ESL content class model, mostly because it reduced the pressures on ESL students. Five suggested the current model was acceptable but some of them suggested reforms were necessary. A resource room model and a submersion model were also suggested by two respondents as desirable. 118 Chapter 6: Discussion While the findings of this study were not monolithic, and in fact were sometimes contradictory, some general trends did emerge among the teachers' perspectives. Using the five research questions as a framework, this chapter will summarise the responses and relate them to some relevant literature. This chapter will rely heavily on works by Penfield (1987), Harklau (1994), Gougeon (1993), Early (1992) and Clair (1995) as, to the best of my knowledge, these are the only five qualitative studies available documenting similar research. Specific implications of the findings will be presented throughout the chapter. General implications for practice, both at the classroom and the programmatic level, and future research, are presented at the end of the chapter. What are mainstream teachers' perceptions of the effects of having ESL students in mainstream classrooms? With regard to the first question, "what are mainstream teachers' perceptions of the effects of having ESL students in their classrooms?", ESL students' multicultural diversity and positive attitudes were seen as benefits, and almost all respondents received some kind of personal satisfaction from witnessing and facilitating successful experiences for them. On the other hand though, equally strong trends suggested that ESL students caused difficulties for their teachers, due to their undesirable behaviour, the teachers' perceived inability to assess and evaluate these students satisfactorily and an inability to meet their needs due to time constraints. Table 6.1 provides an overview of the major findings in this area and how they are related to the current literature. 119 Table 6.1: Summary of Major Findings and Related Literature for Effects of Having ESL Students in Mainstream Classrooms Major Finding Supported by Contradicted by Relevant to Mainstream teachers value the diversity entailed by ESL students. Penfield (1987) Harklau (1994) Mainstream teachers value ESL students' positive attitudes toward school. Penfield (1987) Gougeon (1993) Mainstream teachers took satisfaction in ESL academic affective and social success. Faltis and Arias (1993) Mainstream teachers showed an understanding of ESL student challenges in these 3 areas. Harklau (1994) Mainstream teachers recognised negative behaviours that result from being an ESL student. Penfield (1987) Gougeon (1993) Harklau (1994) Teachers tend not to attribute this behaviour to particular ethnic groups. Penfield (1987) Gougeon (1993) Assessment and evaluation presented particular difficulties. Harklau (1994) Teachers did not have time to serve ESL students adequately. Penfield (1987) Harklau (1994) Benefits The major perceived benefit of ESL students in the mainstream class was the diversity of backgrounds and background knowledge they brought. Eleven of the fourteen respondents recognised that ESL students enriched their classes either through their different cultures or areas of knowledge. Different cultural backgrounds were valued in that they introduced the mainstream students to these cultures first hand, and because they exposed these students to perspectives that would not otherwise be present. This finding is similar to that in Penfield (1987) wherein the teachers "noted the multiculturalism which the LEP student introduced into the classroom: 'they teach cultural tolerance'" (p.32). Harklau (1994) similarly reports on ESL students who "learned that writing poignant essays about the immigrant experience was an excellent strategy for winning mainstream English teachers' attention and approval,"(p.264). 120 Teachers did not simply value diverse ethnic backgrounds however. Some also appreciated the different stores of knowledge thus entailed. A significant amount of respondents believed that ESL students' inexperience with life in Canada provided mainstream students with the opportunity to reflect on their own culture in a new light. Others recognised that ESL students often knew different valuable ways of doing things, for example, the student in math who showed methods other than the teacher's. There was also the benefit of peer tutoring wherein a teacher claimed that her mainstream students benefited from tutoring their ESL peers and interestingly, wherein a teacher noted that high level ESL students sometimes made good tutors for low achieving mainstream students. This latter finding also echoes Penfield (1987) though neither study indicates why this is the case. Overall, it seems that ESL students have much to gain from mining their distinctive backgrounds as resources, both in terms of cultural upbringing and school based knowledge. After diversity, six of the fourteen respondents explicitly reported that they valued the positive attitudes ESL students had toward schooling. Interestingly, these included the only three who did not offer some explicit valuing of cultural diversity. Generally, these teachers thought ESL students were diligent teenagers whose behaviour and willingness to work provided a positive role model for their mainstream peers. These findings mirror those of Penfield (1987) who reports that teachers observed ESL students to be "positive role models for the regular students in terms of behaviour... and in their determination and motivation,"(p.32). Similarly, Gougeon (1993) reports that "most teachers expressed admiration of their strong effort to [achieve high grades]" (p.256). One teacher in the present study, however, believed that teachers unfairly exploited ESL students for this 121 very reason and thereby exposed them to peer resentment, a finding that echoes Harklau's (1994) report that her key informant felt that some mainstream teachers offered to teach ESL classes because they were an " 'easy out' with... docile students,"(p.243). A heartening finding of this study was that all but one mainstream teacher reported feeling some kind of satisfaction from seeing their ESL students succeed; these successes were in three overlapping domains, academic, affective and socio-cultural, which roughly recall the areas of challenge Faltis and Arias (1993) among others assert that ESL students face. Six of the fourteen respondents experienced satisfaction at their students' academic successes. Satisfaction in this domain was most strongly correlated with positive feelings of self efficacy among the respondents. Satisfaction with a student's affective success, that is, increased feelings of self esteem, accounted for six responses. Often in these cases academic success was viewed as a vehicle for affective success rather than as an end in itself; some respondents also noted the importance of ESL students demonstrating their worth to their mainstream peers. Three responses indicated happiness with students' social achievement. Possibly this number is lower than the other two precisely because this seemed to be the most difficult achievement to make, as will be seen below. These responses cut across all subject areas; relationships between subject areas and desirable domains of achievement were not apparent. Unlike the mainstream teachers in Harklau's (1994) study, these teachers seemed very aware of their ESL students' achievements and the effort that had to be exerted to attain them. 122 Challenges Naturally, teachers' perspectives were not all positive; there were many negative responses complementing, and seemingly contradicting, the positive ones. Most noticeably, despite all the teachers who commented on the positive attitudes of their ESL students, ten of the fourteen respondents identified negative behaviours characteristic of ESL students. These types included aggressive behaviour, wherein ESL students acted out in class to gain attention either from their teachers or peers; defensive behaviour, wherein students refused to participate appropriately in class due to feelings of resentment or inferiority; and distant behaviour, wherein the student frustrated the teacher by being non-responsive even when questioned directly. Unlike some of the teachers in Penfield's (1987) and Gougeon's (1993) studies, the teachers here were not apt to attribute aggressive misbehaviour to particular ethnic groups. Only one respondent specifically mentioned that certain ethnic groups were apt to act in aggressive ways due to cultural conditioning. Other teachers simply thought the problems were rooted in a lack English proficiency. Defensive behaviour appears in the related literature. Harklau (1994) reports on students who "tune out" the teacher because it is too great an effort to understand something they may think is unimportant. Distant, non-responsive students are not explicitly mentioned in the related literature though Penfield(1987) and Harklau(1994) both report on a propensity for ESL students to be the least noticeable in the classroom and Gougeon (1993) reports that teachers felt that ESL students felt alienated from Canadian culture in a variety of ways. Clearly, we could benefit from gaining the ESL students' perspectives directly on this issue. In the meantime, it seems some effort must be 123 made to develop in these students a sense of connection with, and appropriate behaviour within, their new environments. One of the areas where teachers felt most challenged was assessment and evaluation. Six of the respondents explicitly noted that they were at a loss for how to do this effectively. Two basic dilemmas were reported. Firstly there was a moral quandary about what to assess. Should a teacher expect an ESL student to meet the same standard as the others in the class or try to assess for progress and effort? This quandary was a particular problem for English teachers for whom facility with the language is so much a part of the criteria for assessment. Alternative methods of assessment are not available when one needs to assess how good a piece of writing is. This problem was compounded by the fact that it was difficult to assess for progress when a teacher had no way of knowing the student's beginning point or what it was reasonable to expect the student to achieve; two of the respondents expressed a need for "guidelines," and another was frustrated that she had no way of knowing where hers ESL students were "at" in their knowledge development vis a vis her mainstream students. This problem reflects Harklau's (1994) assertion that mainstream teachers "presume... a uniform knowledge base shaped by 8 or 9 years of previous instruction in [ in this case, Canadian] elementary and middle schools,"(pp.256-257). Final evaluations compounded the problem of what to assess. Some teachers were confused about what it meant to pass a student with a mark for a "modified program." One suggested she did not even know what the term existed until recently; another did not know if programs should be modified for ESL students, and another was indignant that 124 ESL students were saddled with "modified" grades which might haunt them in future academic endeavours. The second dilemma lay in how to assess the students meaningfully once some criteria for assessment had been set. The difficulty of the language used on the instrument of assessment was an issue, as well as the fact that it was impossible for a teacher to know how to assess a student's reading level through comprehension journals for example, because there was no way of knowing how many times the student had to read the piece to arrive at understanding. Conversely, the idea of standardised, benchmark, time limited assignments seemed unfair to ESL students. Despite the fact that assessment and evaluation was one of the most serious problems identified by the respondents, this subject is noticeably absent in the related descriptive literature, though examples of prescriptive assessment strategies for ESL students do abound (cf. Hernandez 1997). Clearly, descriptive studies of what teachers actually do with assessment and evaluation of ESL students would be enlightening. A further constraint on serving ESL students was time. Teachers simply felt that, even disregarding their lack of expertise, they simply did not have enough time in their days to serve their students adequately. One teacher noted that the research site was more exacting than other schools because its small size and cross departmental teaching demands obliged teachers to be involved in more extra curricular activities, committees and meetings. As she succinctly said, "I don't want to be an ESL teacher too... I'm split enough." This finding echoes those reported by Penfield (1987) wherein an overworked, frustrated teacher lamented, "No time, no materials, no parents,"(p.29). 125 What are mainstream teachers' perceptions of the effects of mainstream classrooms on ESL students? While the presence of ESL students affected the mainstream class, the effect of the mainstream class on ESL students was equally significant. In response to this second research question teachers generated examples of all the domains Faltis and Arias (1993) asserted that ESL students faced challenges: academic, social, cultural, and linguistic. Linguistic difficulties underpinned the former three and social and cultural difficulties were closely linked. On the positive side, the respondents also asserted that ESL students could be successful, at least academically, and were able to suggest the traits that these students exhibited in response to being in the mainstream class. Table 6.2 on the following page provides an overview of how the major findings relate to the current literature. Academic difficulties Academic content difficulties were highlighted by nine of the respondents. Teachers recognised that specialist vocabulary, the building of conceptual knowledge through a new language, and gaps in background knowledge were three significant factors impeding ESL students' progress. The latter deficiency is predicted by Faltis and Arias (1993) who state "[ESL] students face... academic gaps in content areas and in English as well,"(p.l 1) whereas the former two are evidence of Cummins' (1981) assertion that academic language which is context reduced and cognitively demanding is different from basic interpersonal communicative English. Not surprisingly, six of the teachers asserted that ESL students were unable to meet the academic demands of the mainstream classroom and typically referred to them as learning "behind" the rest of the class. 126 Table 6.2: Summary of Major Findings and Related Literature Regarding the Effects of the Mainstream Class on ESL Students Major Finding Supported by Contradicted by Relevant to Teachers said ESL students faced challenges in academic, social, cultural and linguistic domains. Faltis and Arias (1993) Teachers identified academic challenges in vocabulary and building conceptual knowledge. Cummins (1981) Faltis and Arias (1993) Teachers identified social difficulties in peer interaction and group work. Penfield (1987) Harklau (1994) Gougeon (1993) Carrasquillo & London (1993) Hamayan (1990) Olsen and Kagan (1992) McGroarty (1992) Cohen (1994) ESL students had difficulty fitting in to the overall culture. Harklau (1994) Gougeon (1993) Successful ESL students had exemplary work habits. Early (1992) Gougeon (1993) Successful ESL students sought out extra help from teachers. Early (1992) Social and cultural difficulties As relevant as the academic difficulties were, they perhaps were overshadowed by the social difficulties teachers perceived their ESL students as having. Ten of the teachers asserted that ESL students had trouble interacting with their peers in small group classroom situations, or that they had trouble fitting in with the school culture as a whole. Interestingly, some of the teachers felt that the reason mainstream students did not readily accept ESL students in their co-operative groups was due to a mainstream perception that ESL students would be unable to "pull their weight" in the group and would cause more work for the others. Correspondingly, teachers felt that ESL students were accepted in groups once they had a chance to demonstrate their skills to their peers. Respondents varied widely in how they viewed their responsibility for promoting group interaction for these students. While one said that teachers had to engineer "inviting and inclusive" groupings that included "sensitive" students, another felt it was up to the ESL students to 127 find their own partners, and that it was unfair to always be asking mainstream students to assist their ESL peers. Clearly, this finding has troubling implications, given that small group work is such a cornerstone of support strategies for ESL students (eg. McGroarty 1992 Olsen and Kagan 1992 ; Cohen 1994a in Hernandez 1997). Obviously, time should be spent in the ESL class teaching students how to work in groups effectively and allowing students to develop different ways of showing their knowledge. Similarly, mainstream teachers should be encouraged to adopt the "engineered" rather than the laissez-faire approach to group making and to create chances for ESL students to demonstrate their worth. The related problem that may be more difficult to address was the perception that ESL students had trouble fitting into the wider school culture. This was largely thought to be due to ESL student personality traits and to differences in cultural norms. Many teachers believed that ESL students suffered from feelings of inferiority due to their inability to speak English. These feelings not only caused ESL students to be reticent with their mainstream peers, but also were seen to cause an over reliance on their own ESL peer network and sympathetic teachers, and a tendency to aggressively overcompensate for their perceived deficiency when they were able to do something successfully in class. All these behaviours caused resentment of ESL students among the mainstream who saw them as "too cliquey" with each other, too obsequious with the teachers who were seen to give them special attention, or in the latter case, too obnoxious when they had knowledge that others did not. The first two of these findings clearly echo Penfield (1987) who states, "Respondents often commented upon the tendency of LEP students to band together and consequently isolate themselves from the English speaking students,"(p.32) and "Regular 128 students may be jealous of the individual attention [from teachersjreceived by ESL students" (p.33). Teachers also noted that it was not just the ESL student's traits that caused problems. Some believed that the mainstream students were just too immature at this age to respond positively to the difference of ESL students. Here too, this exact belief is echoed in Penfield (1987). A teacher in the present study said "I feel kids at this age can be very malicious;" Penfield's respondent noted 'This age level [grade 8] seems to put down those from other countries" (p.33). Cultural differences were also relevant. Some ESL students were noted to have broken personal hygiene and fashion taboos which did not endear them to their classmates, and one teacher thought that their respectful attitudes and the teachers exploitation of these, as well as their dependence on teachers caused them to be perceived and resented as "teachers' pets." While these findings are saddening they are not altogether surprising. Gougeon (1993), Harklau (1994) and, as we have seen, Penfield (1987) all assert that ESL students have difficulty socialising with their mainstream peers. Indeed, Harklau tells us "the single most salient aspect of observations of ESL students in mainstream classes was their reticence and lack of interaction with native speaking peers," (pp.262-263). Furthermore, she asserts that due to cultural differences ESL students did not even necessarily enjoy North American extra curricular activities. Gougeon (1993) supports the notion that ESL students turn to each other for support when they feel isolated from the mainstream, ironically further distancing themselves. "When need for approval and affiliation are 129 unmet, people may experience alienation...ESL students experienc[e] alienation from other students," (p.257). Some of the implications of these findings certainly seem to be exactly those of teacher 5 who said "I feel that there's a big need... that the social skills that the difference between the cultures and everything really has to be more explained to them." Clearly the ESL teacher has to be spending time in class familiarising students with the dos and don'ts of Canadian school culture and etiquette. Students need conversational strategies for interacting with their peers, even if it is initially in limited ways, to avoid perceptions of being overly cliquey or dependent on teachers. Over the long term, the ESL classroom also has a role in the building of students' self esteem as a safe place for them to build their confidence in using English and their ability to learn. Ideally, one would like to see friction between mainstream and ESL students used as "teachable moments" for tolerance in mainstream classes, although given the workload and responsibilities of the teachers in this study, the willing shouldering of this additional burden seems unlikely. Successful students Although mainstream classes posed many challenges to ESL students, some were able to achieve academic success. Eight of the teachers in this study attributed their success to good work habits; this meant exerting the extra effort that learning a new, and in a new, language demanded, and getting extra help from both mainstream teachers and the ESL teachers when necessary. Putting in extra effort vaguely meant simply "working hard" in some responses, whereas other teachers were more explicit in that they expected ESL students to take the time to "figure out what was expected of them" and "work independently". ESL students who "tuned out" (Harklau 1994) because the work was too 130 difficult could not expect to do well. Another teacher asserted that they had to have the maturity not to be discouraged when despite their hard work, their results were not as positive as they expected; furthermore they had to be able to deal with critical feedback effectively. All the responses implied that successful students took the initiative to do the hard work by themselves; however, the successful students did not work in isolation. Teachers believed that they had to ask for extra help both inside and outside of class. Unfortunately many teachers also believed that ESL students did not seek out help as often as necessary, a phenomenon they attributed largely to a fear of being stigmatised as "stupid", and the aforementioned lack of self confidence. These findings are supported by Early (1992) who reports that two of the strategies employed by academically successful ESL students are "disciplined hard extra hours of study; and seeking out additional help from course teachers," (pp.271-272). Similarly, the reticence to ask questions and get the extra help that was necessary indicates a lack of the "inner resources" of "adaptability, courage and confidence,"(p.271) that Early's respondents identified as helping them succeed in Canadian schools. As with work habits, getting extra help depended largely on the student's initiative. Only one teacher spoke of "inviting" students for help after school and another lamented that ESL students often "just sit and wait and hope you'll come over." Nonetheless because they recognised the reticence of their students to ask for extra help, some teachers felt it was the ESL teachers' domain to provide the help; kids could not be expected to seek out help in mainstream classes. This implied that the ESL teacher had to be in 131 constant communication with the mainstream teachers in order to help all students adequately. How do mainstream teachers perceive the effects of the ESL program delivery model on their own responsibilities to ESL students? Respondents talked about the responsibility placed upon them by a program that demanded all levels of ESL students be in mainstream classes at least 50 % of the day, in terms of "levels" and "types" of responsibility to ESL students. Table 6.3 provides an overview of these findings and the literature to which they are related. Table 6.3: Major Findings and Related Literature Regarding Teachers' Perceptions of the Responsibilities Placet 1 on them by the ESL Program Major Finding Supported by Contradicted by Relevant to Teachers felt different levels of responsibility to their ESL students compared to m'stream. NA NA NA Teachers felt distinctive academic responsibilities to ESL students as compared to mainstream. Penfield (1987) Harklau (1994) Teachers felt distinctive affective responsibilities to ESL students as compared to mainstream. Penfield (1987) Gougeon (1993) Schiefflin and Ochs (1986) Hakuta (1986) Teachers felt responsible for their ESL students' education. Penfield (1987) Four of the respondents felt they had more responsibility toward their ESL students than toward their mainstream students simply because the special need of ESL demanded that this be so. One expressed some mild resentment about this; another, while fully recognising his responsibility, did not think he was able to fulfil it, and two others were happy to assume this responsibility. A fifth teacher indicated that she assumed less responsibility to her ESL students simply because she did not have the expertise or time to meet their needs; she felt it was the ESL teacher's role to accept this responsibility. 132 Teachers were far more likely to speak in terms of the different types of responsibilities that teaching ESL students entailed, rather than assuming a different level of responsibility for them. Thirteen of the fourteen respondents felt responsibilities distinctive to ESL students. Six spoke of differing academic responsibilities, five spoke of differing affective responsibilities and two spoke of both. Teachers with academic content concerns, were generally able to list strategies and techniques they used to ensure the student was learning. These methods included providing individual attention to the student as class time allowed and modifying materials and instructions. Unfortunately, these teachers often felt unable to meet these responsibilities for reasons of lack of time and expertise. These responses implied that greater participation by the ESL teacher in the mainstream class would be important if these responsibilities were to be met; teachers felt unable to meet them alone. Overall, the set of teachers who felt different affective responsibilities to their ESL students tended to demonstrate the most sympathy for them throughout their responses. These teachers wanted their ESL students to be comfortable in their classrooms and to be able to socialise with their mainstream peers. One teacher was adamant that those who did not actively promote the social integration of ESL students were damaging them immeasurably. Another related how she used a student's academic prowess to improve his social achievement and therefore confidence. Others related that they explicitly demonstrated kindness and empathy for their ESL students; however, generally speaking these teachers were less likely to offer specific ways in which they demonstrated their responsibilities than those who discussed their academic concerns. The concern with students' self esteem echoes Gougeon's (1993) finding that teachers thought ESL 133 "students need to be considered whole people" (p.261). A narrow focus on academic achievement is not enough for eventual success in Canadian society. Similarly, the social interaction that these teachers facilitate is necessary for language development according to Schiefflin and Ochs (1986) among many others (cf. Penfield 1987; Hakuta 1986). Interestingly, no teacher cited any barrier to fulfilling affective responsibilities, an indication that they felt willing and able to undertake this role. Overall, most teachers in this study felt responsible for their ESL students though they recognised their limitations in meeting these responsibilities and doubted they could or would personally do much to remedy them. Still, this is a positive change from the respondents in Penfield (1987) who believed "it was not their responsibility to learn how or to know how to teach LEP students" (p.34). What needs do mainstream teachers perceive the ESL program delivery model as effecting? The ESL program as it was structured entailed two basic needs according to the teachers. The first was for more communication between the ESL and the mainstream teacher. The second was for ESL students to be directly tutored by the ESL teacher in their mainstream class work. Table 6.4 outlines these findings and their relation to the literature. Table 6.4: Summary of Major Findings and Related Literature Regarding Needs Effected by the ESL Program Major Finding Supported by Contradicted by Relevant to Teachers thought communication with ESL teacher was the biggest need entailed by ESL program. Penfield (1987) Teachers thought the ESL teacher should provide direct mainstream classroom support. Clegg (1996) 134 Of all the findings in the study, the most uniform was the need for communication between the ESL and the mainstream teachers. Thirteen of the fourteen respondents expressed the need for continued or improved communication, both before the student was placed in the mainstream class, and while the student was attending the class. Teachers who desired pre-placement communication wanted to be forewarned about the difficulties the students might have or cause in the class, as well as the students' English levels and what level of achievement could reasonably be expected from the student. Ongoing communication involved offering the expertise and facilitating the tutoring that would ease the burden of teaching ESL students throughout the year. Communication seemed also to be a virtue unto itself. Teachers may have felt that their burden was lightened just by talking about an ESL student with somebody else, even if they were not receiving direct advice. Similarly, just talking about ESL students helped teachers think of their own ideas about how to better serve them; two respondents noted that this study itself helped them reconsider what they would do with their ESL students in the future. Clair (1995) observed exactly the same phenomenon in her study of teacher perspectives on ESL. The opportunity and reminder to consider ESL needs critically may in itself be an important step towards providing better service to these students. The need for communication with the ESL teacher was strongly correlated with teacher perceptions of inefficacy in serving ESL students. Six teachers commented explicitly that they did not know how to serve ESL students adequately; many more related frustrating situations that stemmed from an inability to meet their needs. This finding recalls Penfield's (1987) claim that 'the vast majority of the respondents recognised the gap in their own knowledge of how to handle ESL students,"(p.29). 135 Interestingly however, the teachers in the present study did not desire "quick fix" solutions as did their counterparts in Clair (1995) who felt constrained by a lack of resources rather than expertise. Rather, they desired "expert support" from the ESL teacher, either through improved communication, or direct ESL teacher participation in class. A better understanding of the complexities of ESL is thus apparent among these teachers than among those in Clair. Teachers also realised, however, that there would likely never be enough communication with an ESL "expert" for all those in need. Four of the respondents identified barriers to communication. These reasons revolved around the fact that the ESL teacher was only funded to be in the school for half the day, and was responsible for teaching his own classes during this time. This type of schedule precluded the ESL teacher from liasing with other teachers or providing mainstream in-class support for students during paid time. Furthermore a wide array of conflicting models for improved communication were offered by the respondents. Clearly it would be nearly impossible to meet the communication needs of all teachers satisfactorily. The second major need, identified by eight of the teachers, was to help students with their mainstream class work. Again though, meeting this need would require adequate time for the ESL teacher to meet these other teachers or to spend time in the mainstream class with these students. Indeed four of the respondents expressed the explicit desire to have the ESL teacher in their classes to provide support during instructional time. Clearly, as currently structured, the ESL program could not meet the needs described by the teachers; rather it had an tendency to become what Clegg (1996) 136 negatively described as a withdrawal ESL program divorced from the mainstream curriculum, simply because the ESL teacher was neither funded nor scheduled adequately to integrate the ESL curriculum with the mainstream through communication with teachers and relevant assistance with class work. How do mainstream teachers think ESL support could be delivered more effectively? This inadequacy could partially explain why thirteen of fourteen respondents had some suggestion of how the ESL program could be either reformed or reconceived. Given the concerns discussed in this study, teachers had a variety suggestions as to how ESL support could be more effectively delivered to the students. Table 6.5 summarises the findings and relates them to the relevant literature. Table 6.5: Summary of Major Findings and Related Literature Regarding How the ESL Program Could Be More Effectively Delivered Major Finding Supported by Contradicted by Relevant to Teachers thought ESL content classes were the best option for academic reasons. Clegg (1996) Teachers thought ESL content classes were the best option for affective reasons. Hamayan (1990) Krashen(1981) Carrasquillo & London (1993) Teachers largely felt the current model of ESL support was not serving students adequately. Clegg (1996) The largest amount of respondents, six, asserted that their preferred mode of service delivery for ESL students would be ESL content classes with gradual mainstreaming as appropriate. Many teachers expressed concern that the cognitive load of mainstream classes was too much of a burden for many ESL students. More strongly still, the teachers recognised ESL students' emotional need to delay entering the mainstream. Many respondents felt that the ESL room provided a non-threatening environment for the 137 initial stages of learning English and spoke of the shock that unprepared ESL students felt when thrown into the mainstream. These responses support the findings of Carrasquillo and London (1993) and Hamayan (1990) which relate the low self esteem and poor social skills exhibited by initially mainstreamed ESL students. The current approach was, however, the second most favoured among respondents with five thinking it was the most suitable; of these five though, only one offered a reason why it was favoured; ESL students benefited from interacting with and learning from others and could then have difficult concepts reviewed in the ESL class. However, other findings in the study showed that interaction in mainstream classes was often less than positive and that the program was not structured so that an ESL teacher could help all the ESL students with all their mainstream classes. Others who favoured the current approach suggested ways it should be modified; these ways included more funding and, notably, the delayed entry of ESL students to the mainstream until such a time as they could function in the class. Finally, one teacher suggested bilingual education might be desirable, one wanted to see the ESL room function as more of a resource room and one suggested either a 100% ESL program or complete submersion into the mainstream. Of these responses then, the majority spoke of a general dissatisfaction with the way ESL students were being served. If they were to remain in the mainstream classes, teachers felt the ESL teacher had to play a greater and more direct role in making this content and cultural milieu accessible to them; often this involved the ESL teacher being in the mainstream classroom with the student, and it also involved funding the ESL teacher to be present often enough to adequately discharge this duty, whether it be through 138 classroom participation, or time for communication and collaboration with mainstream teachers. It was also thought that ESL students might be better served by ESL content classes where they could more easily build their self esteem and language skills while learning accessible content. Teachers perceived the ESL program as it was currently delivered as a submersion program running parallel with pull out classes, rather than the meaningful integration of mainstream classes and ESL specialist support advocated by Clegg (1996) and others. Implications for practice Program Clearly many of the respondents thought the program offered at the school could be profitably overhauled. In a best case scenario this would involve more funding from the district in order to employ an ESL teacher at the school for 100 % of the day, with at least one block open for consultation with mainstream teachers or participation in their classrooms. Realistically, in an age of funding cutbacks and declining ESL numbers in the district, the above scenario is not likely to occur. Nonetheless, changes could be made in order to better integrate the ESL program with mainstream curriculum. The ESL teacher could spend one of his two working blocks in consultation with teachers and students, and mainstream classroom participation. One teacher even suggested the ESL teacher should spend his entire day participating in, and providing pull out from mainstream classes as it was appropriate, rather than enrolling any of his own classes per se. This option, however, ignores the important role of the ESL room as a consistent place of comfort and security for ESL students. 139 Even if the ESL teacher continues to teach classes during his entire workday, the teachers' responses clearly indicate that a more consistent system of communication be instituted both so that the ESL teacher can be apprised of students' progress in mainstream classes and mainstream teachers can reflect upon, and seek advice about how to teach them more effectively. Given the wide range of communication preferences expressed, the successful ESL teacher at the research site will have to be flexible. Some teachers require a formal system of written communication whereas others would like ongoing informal chats. Still others would like in-service training while their colleagues find such events to be wastes of time. Most will expect the ESL teacher to initiate communication. Classroom As for practice within the ESL classroom, four implications are quite clear. Firstly, students' BICS and CALP needs both require attention. Certainly time has to be made for tutoring in the work of mainstream courses, and academic strategies, skills and accessible content must be provided to scaffold students up to the academic level of their mainstream peers. However, much more needs to be done. One of the key findings was that ESL students need practice and strategies for working effectively in small groups. They need to learn how to participate in socially acceptable ways, and how they can demonstrate their own worth to the group so that they will be more readily accepted. Furthermore, time could be spent teaching some of the teenage social mores to ESL students, perhaps in exercises comparing and contrasting Canadian behaviours to their native cultures. It is clear that some unacceptable behaviours need to be made explicit, though in a sensitive way. 140 Beyond language training, ESL students secondly need to be made aware that help is available for them from their mainstream teachers and that there is nothing shameful about requesting it either in class or after school. As one of the respondents noted, it must be made clear to the students that they need help for language reasons only, and in any case teachers do not typically stigmatise students who seek out extra help as "stupid"; students need to know that teachers welcome their questions, and, as can be seen in the responses, admire students whom they perceive as exerting an extra effort. Thirdly, the ESL room serves an important role as a place for building students' self esteem and confidence. It may be the only place in the school where students interact regularly with peers in English or in native languages. Given the frustration and anxiety that teachers imagine ESL students feel in mainstream classes, it is even more important that students have a chance to experience success with English in the ESL class, and develop a peer social network. This place of comfort is necessary for these students to develop positive attitudes about themselves and about school in general. Most ESL teachers realise that self esteem can be enhanced when students see their cultural backgrounds and prior knowledge about the world valued in the classroom. Happily, this study has shown that mainstream teachers do tend to value the multicultural backgrounds and diverse knowledge bases of their ESL students. ESL students should, fourthly, therefore be encouraged in the ESL classroom to reflect on their own backgrounds and cultures, and shown how to apply their prior knowledge of the world to the mainstream class. It was never the intention of this study to evaluate the respondents, and indeed it will not. However, one concern arose from the respondents themselves and appeared in so 141 many places across the responses and five research questions that it must be addressed. It is simply that mainstream teachers do not feel they have the expertise to teach ESL students properly due to a lack of training. This feeling resulted in frustration, confusion, the need to improve communication with the ESL teacher, and a feeling that they could not be fully responsible for meeting these students' needs. Given that teachers are notoriously busy, may have other priorities, and in any case, as evidenced in this study, are sometimes dubious about the value of in-service training, it seems unlikely that their feelings of expertise will improve any time soon. It therefore seems an obvious, though long term, solution that pre service ESL training should be included as a component of any teacher education program that serves areas with high ESL populations. Penfield made this same recommendation back in 1987, yet as recently as 1996, the university where I completed teacher training in the Lower Mainland did not include any mandatory ESL methodology coursework despite having faculty that were acknowledged leaders in language and content integration, despite serving one of the highest per capita ESL populations in Canada, and despite including courses that addressed many other less prevalent, albeit important, special needs. To the best of my knowledge this situation has not yet changed. Until we begin initially training the workforce for the populations they face, and exposing them to the values, theories and methods these populations demand, solutions will remain reactive attempts to contain problems, rather than proactive designs to secure successes. Implications for research Nearly five years ago Harklau (1994) noted the paucity of ethnographic studies comparing the experiences of ESL learners in mainstream and ESL classrooms. Indeed 142 this lament still rings true and could be extended to ESL student experiences in all aspects of schooling. This study has taken a qualitative approach to uncovering mainstream teachers' perspectives on the ESL phenomena in public schools, but it barely scratches the surface of the different realities which may exist. Firstly, school experiences should be studied from the students' points of view. This study shows overwhelmingly, for example, that teachers believe ESL students have social difficulties. There would be great value in documenting how the ESL and mainstream students themselves construct the experience of their interaction in the class and, in the case of the ESL students, socialisation to the new culture. Other topics worth exploring include uncovering what ESL students think teachers expect of them, and what they find to be the most difficult and the most attainable academic goals. Moreover, given that so many teachers identified negative behaviours from ESL students, it would be worthwhile to discover how these students are experiencing classrooms when they engage in these behaviours. ESL teachers' perceptions could also be tapped. We might also profitably look at how ESL teachers see their roles and responsibilities toward their students and compare these views to what mainstream teachers expect of ESL teachers. A study of this might be a step towards better articulating the integration of the mainstream and ESL curricula that seemed to be so necessary at this research site. Although this was a single case study, given the large amount of schools that employ similar programmatic options, its results were likely not atypical. Thirdly, ethnographic studies documenting actual mainstream teacher interaction with ESL students, especially in the areas of strategies for ensuring social and academic 143 success, and assessment and evaluation would further illuminate how mainstream teachers might support these students more effectively. This seems to be a highly relevant issue given how many teachers in this study appeared unconfident in their abilities to serve ESL students effectively. To date, Harklau's (1994) study is the only one that I am aware of that comes close to addressing this topic. Finally, given that concerns with the way the program functioned arose, and given that such a wide variety of ESL support programs exist, an ethnographic study comparing different "successful" ESL programs would certainly be a useful step toward uncovering the elements that constitute more favourable means of support. This chapter has summarised the research findings and related them to the relevant literature. Many of the findings regarding the benefits and challenges of having ESL students in the mainstream class supported the current literature, as did the findings of the challenges faced by, and successful habits of, ESL students in the mainstream class. Findings not reflected in the literature included the respondents' general acceptance of a degree of responsibility for the education of ESL students, if not a belief in their abilities to meet it. When compared to the prescriptive literature, teachers perceived the ESL program as not functioning in the most optimal way. Relevant implications for practice were discussed as well as those for further research, most significantly a call for more ethnographic studies of ESL phenomena from other participants' points of view. 144 Chapter 7: Conc lus ion This study uncovered fourteen junior secondary school mainstream teachers' perceptions of the ESL students they taught and the ESL program that served these students at their school. While it did not produce any monolithic findings, it did suggest some general trends in the teachers' attitudes. Teachers valued their ESL students and overall tended to have a great deal of sympathy for the difficulties they faced; their comments often showed sensitivity, portraying the students as "whole" people facing academic, affective and socio-cultural challenges; they certainly saw these students as more than sets of problems to be handled. At the same time a fair amount of frustration was present because teachers largely felt that they did not have the expertise or time to meet the wide range of needs necessary to serve these students effectively. A notable consequence of this feeling was the tendency, by necessity, to consider the ESL teacher primarily responsible for the success of these students. Unfortunately, however, the program at the research site was not funded by the district nor operated at the school in such a way as to allow the ESL teacher to fulfil all the roles the teachers wished. Regardless of constraints, though, one possible and necessary role of the ESL teacher was to be a communicator. No other function was so desired by the teachers. The perspectives of the teachers had several implications for the research site at the classroom and the programmatic levels. In the ESL classroom, they reaffirmed the need for both BICS and CALP language study; they showed the need for an ESL class as 145 a comfortable secure place to build self-confidence; they showed that ESL students need to be encouraged to seek extra help; and they reaffirmed that the ESL teacher should continue to encourage students to capitalize on their cultural backgrounds and diverse stores of knowledge. At the programmatic level, the teachers implied that adjustments should be made to the current "mainstream plus support block" approach so that ESL support was more effectively integrated with the mainstream curriculum. Possibilities for adjustments included ESL content classes and more funded ESL teacher time for direct mainstream classroom support. Beyond the operation of an ESL support program at the research site, a need for pre-service ESL methodological training was implied by the feelings of lack of expertise reported by the teachers. Naturally, these practical implications had corresponding research implications. A need to explore the phenomena reported by the teachers from the ESL students' points of view was noted. Similarly, an examination of how ESL teachers define their roles and responsibilities could be compared to what mainstream teachers expect of them. A look at how interaction actually takes place in the mainstream classroom was also suggested. Finally, a comparison of successful different ESL programs was recommended to uncover what the common elements between them were. While this study yielded interesting and valuable data, the findings of this single case study cannot be generalised beyond the research site and its specific context. Even then, the data were gathered only at one or two particular instances in the participants' lives and could indeed be different at different times and places. Nonetheless, an effort was made to show how some of the themes uncovered echoed or contradicted those in earlier 146 related literature so that they might be evaluated for their significance and be seen to contribute to the "preponderance of evidence" required for extending the findings of qualitative research (McMillan and Schumacher 1997, p. 411). Given that other schools operate similar programs in similar contexts, many of the results were probably not atypical. Clearly though, much more research documenting the experiences of ESL students in public schools in general, and mainstream classes in particular, is needed before any hard and fast general conclusions can be reached. ESL students have been an increasingly significant part of the student population in Lower Mainland public schools for more than ten years now. Although wide varieties of support models for these students exist, the early mainstreaming of ESL students supplemented by withdrawal ESL classes is the preferred method at many schools. Given this state of affairs, mainstream teachers have been obliged to assume responsibility for a substantial part of the academic, social and linguistic education of these students. As key actors in these students' educations, it was thought that they could provide valuable insights as to how these students were faring in their classes. Equally importantly, there was a need to discover what the reality of teaching these students on a daily basis was like for them, to voice their perspectives on the duties demanded of them. It is hoped that the insights offered by the teachers in this study have illuminated some of the issues around both the ESL student's experience in the mainstream class, and the mainstream teacher's experience of the ESL student in the mainstream class. By listening to the opinions, concerns and convictions of the respondents in this study, a small, initial step has been taken toward providing better service to all the ESL students in our schools. 147 References Bogdan, R. Biklen, S.K. (1992). Qualitative research for education. Boston: Allyn and Bacon Inc. Botham, Beryl. (1998). From the president's desk. Notes for ESL: the Newsletter of the ESL PSA of the BC Teachers' Federation. 9, 1. British Columbia Ministry of Education. (1998). English as a second language policy framework (draft). Victoria, B.C. Province of British Columbia. British Columbia Ministry of Education. (1985). A manual of policies, procedures and guidelines. Victoria, B.C.: Province of British Columbia. Brown, H. Douglas. (1994). Principles of language learning and teaching. San Fransisco: Prentice-Hall. Carrasquillo, A. London, C. (1993). Parents and schools. New York: Garland. Carrasquillo, A., Rodriguez, V. (1996). Language minority students in the mainstream classroom. Philadelphia: Multilingual Matters. Chamot A., O'Malley, M . (1987). The cognitive academic language learning approach: a bridge to the mainstream. TESOL Quarterly, 21, 237-249. Clair, Nancy. (1995). Mainstream classroom teachers and ESL students. TESOL Quarterly 29, 189-196 Clegg, John. (1996). Introduction Mainstreaming ESL: Case studies in integrating ESL students into the mainstream curriculum. In Clegg (Ed.) Toronto: Multilingual Matters Ltd. 1-35. Coelho, Elisabeth. (1994). Social integration of immigrant and refugee children. In F. Genessee (Ed.) Educating second language children. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cohen, A., Swain, M. (1979). Bilingual education: the "immersion" model in the North American context. In Pride, J. (Ed.) Sociolinguistic aspects of language learning and teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Collier, V. (1987). Age and rate of acquisition of second languages for academic purposes. TESOL Quarterly, 21, 617-641. 148 Collier, V. (1989). How long? A synthesis of research on academic achievement in a second language. TESOL Quarterly, 23(3), 509-531. Collier, V. (1994). Plenary address, TESOL Conference. Cited in Clegg (1996). In Clegg (Ed.) Mainstreaming ESL. Toronto: Multilingual Matters. Crandall, J. (1993). Content-centered learning in the United States. Annual review of applied linguistics, 13, 111-126. Cummins, Jim. (1981). Bilingualism and minority children. Ontario: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Cummins, Jim. (1983). Language proficiency and academic achievement. In Oiler (Ed.) Issues in language testing research. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House. Cummins, Jim. (1988). Second language acquisition within bilingual education programs. In Beebe, L. ( Ed) Issues in second language acquisition: multiple perspectives. New York: Newbury House. Cummins Jim. (1989). Empowering minority students. Sacramento: California Association for bilingual education. Cummins, Jim. (1994). Knowledge power and identity in teaching English as a second language. In F. Genessee (Ed.) Educating second language children. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cummins, Jim. (1996). Primary language instruction and the education of language minority students. Schooling and language minority students: a theoretical framework (2nd ed.)( pp. 3-46). Los Angeles: Evaluation, Dissemination and Assessment centre, School of Education, California State University, Los Angeles Damen, L. (1987). Culture learning. Reading MA.: Addison-Wesley. Davis V . , McDaid, D. (1992). Identifying second language students' needs: a survey of Vietnamese high school students. Urban Education 27,32-40. Early, Margaret. (1992). Aspects of becoming an academically successful ESL student. In Burnaby & Cumming (Eds.) Socio-political aspects of ESL. Toronto: OISE Press. Ellis, Rod. (1994). The study of second language acquisition. Toronto: Oxford University Press. 149 Enright, DS . McCloskey, M . (1988). Integrating English: Developing English language and literacy in the multilingual classroom. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Faltis, Christian, Arias, M . Beatriz. (1993). Speakers of languages other than English in the secondary school: accomplishments and struggles. Peabody Journal of Education 69, 6-29. Faltis, Christian, Hudelson, Sarah. (1994). Learning English as an additional language in K-12 schools. TESOL Quarterly, 28, 457-468. Gass, Susan. (1997). Input interaction and the second language learner. New Jersey: Laurence Earlbaum Associates. Genesse, Fred. (1994). Introduction. In Genesse, Fred (Ed) Educating second language children: the whole child, the whole curriculum, the whole community. New York: Cambridge University Press. Gougeon, Thomas. (1993). Urban schools and immigrant families: teacher perspectives. The Urban Review (25) 4, 251-287. Guba, Egon, Lincoln, Yvonna. (1994). Competing paradigms in qualitative research. In Denzin and Lincoln (Eds.) Handbook of qualitative research. London: Sage. Hakuta, Kenji, August, Diane. (1997). Improving schooling for language minority children: a research agenda. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press. Hamayan, E.V. (1990). Preparing mainstream teachers to teach potentially English proficient students. In Proceedings of the first research symposium on limited English proficient students' issues, pp. 1-21. Washington, D.C. Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs. Harklau, Linda. (1994). ESL vs. mainstream classes: contrasting L2 learning environments. TESOL Quarterly, 28, 241-269. Hernandez, Hilda. (1997). Teaching in multilingual classrooms. Prentice-Hall: Columbus, Ohio. Huss-Keeler, Rebecca. (1997). Teacher perception of ethnic and linguistic minority parental involvement and its relationships to children's language and literacy learning: a case study. Teacher and Teacher Education (13) 2, 171-182. Johnson, Donna. (1992). Approaches to research in second language learning. New York: Longman. 150 Kramsch, Claire. (1993). Context and culture in language teaching. Toronto: Oxford University Press. Krashen, Stephen. (1985). The input hypothesis: issues and implications. London: Longman. Krashen, Stephen. (1982). Principles and practice in second language acquisition. New York: Pergamon Press. Krashen, Stephen. (1981). Second language acquisition and second language learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Long, M . (1983). Does second language instruction make a difference? A review of the research. TESOL Quarterly, 28, 359-382. Long, M . (1983). Native-speaker/non native-speaker interaction and the negotiation of comprehensible input. Applied linguistics, 4 (2), 126-141. Lucas, Tamara, Katz, Anne. (1994). Retraining the debate: the roles of native languages in English- only programs for language-minority students. TESOL Quarterly, 28, 537-561. McGroarty, Mary. (1988). Second language acquisition theory relevant to language minorities: Cummins Krashen and Schumann. In S. L. Mckay and Sau-ling Wong (Eds.), Language diversity: problem or resource. New York Newbury House. McGroarty, Mary. (1992). Cooperative learning: the benefits for content-area teaching. In Richard-Amato & Snow (Eds.), The multicultural classroom: readings for content area teachers. White Plains, New York: Longman. Mckay, Sandra Lee. (1988). Weighing educational alternatives. In S. L. Mckay and Sau-ling Wong (Eds.), Language diversity: problem or resource. New York Newbury House. McMillan, James H., Schumacher, Sally. (1997). Research in education; a conceptual introduction. Don Mills, Ontario: Longman. Merriam, S. (1988). Case study research in education: a qualitative approach. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass, 1988. Minnicucci, C. (1992). Programs for secondary limited English proficient students: a California study. Washington, DC: National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education. 151 Mohan, Bernard. (1986). Language and content. Reading, Ma.: Addison-Wesley. Olsen, R., Kagan, S. (1992). About cooperative learning. In Kessler (Ed.), Cooperative language learning. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Olshtain, E. Shohamy, E., Kemp, J. Chatow, R. (1990). Factors predicting success in EFL among culturally different learners. Language Learning, 40, 23-44. Oxford, Rebecca. (1992). Who are our students? A synthesis of foreign and second language research on individual differences with implications for instructional practice. TESL Canada Journal, 9, 30-49. Penfield, Joyce. (1987). ESL: The regular classroom teacher's perspective. TESOL Quarterly, 21, 21-39. Pennington, Martha C. (1995) The teacher change cycle. TESOL Quarterly, 29, 705-729. Reeder, K., Hasebe-Ludt, E., Thomas, L.(1997). Taking the next steps: Toward a coherent language education policy in British Columbia. The Canadian Modem Language Review, 53, 373-402. Richards, Jack C , Lockhart, Charles. (1994). Reflective teaching in second language classrooms. Cambridge University Press: New York. Ochs, Elinor. (1986). Introduction. In Schiefflin and Ochs (Eds.) Language socialisation across cultures. Cambridge University Press: New York. Peirce, Bonny (1995). Social identity, investment and language learning. TESOL Quarterly, 29, 9-29. Short, Deborah. (1993). Assessing integrated language and content instruction. TESOL Quarterly, 27, 627-656. Skuttnab-Kangas, T. (1988). Multilingualism and the education of minority children. In Skuttnab-Kangas and Cummins (Eds), Minority education. Clevedon, Avon: Multilingual Matters. Sinclair, R. (1992). Marginality, community and the responsibility of educators for students who do not succeed in school. In Waxman, Herscholt et al. (Eds.), Students at risk in high schools. CA: Corwin Press. Spener, D. (1988). Transitional bilingual education and the socialisation of immigrants. Harvard Educational Review, 58, 133-153. 152 Appendix 1: Initial Questionnaire PROJECT A study of regular classroom teachers' perceptions of ESL students and the ESL program in a junior high school. This questionnaire is being conducted as part of a research study into the perceptions of mainstream teachers of the ESL phenomena in their school. Your co-operation in completing it is greatly appreciated. Please answer the questions as you interpret them and as extensively as you wish on the paper provided. The purpose is to discover what you, as a mainstream teacher, feel is important or significant. Thank you. Preliminary information 1) Please state the grades and subjects you are teaching this year. The ESL student in your classroom 2) Describe any positive contributions ESL students make to your class. 3) Describe any negative effects ESL students cause in your class. 4) Describe any difficulties you see ESL students having in your class. 5) Describe what successful ESL students in your class are able to do. Your interaction with ESL students 6) Describe how you feel your responsibility toward ESL students differs, if at all, from your regular students. 7) Describe any difficulties that having ESL students in your class present to you as a teacher. 8) Describe a frustrating experience you have had concerning an ESL student. What, in your mind, would alleviate your frustrations? 9) Describe a satisfying experience you have had with an ESL student. Why were you able to feel successful? 153 Operation of the ESL program 10)What programmatic approach do you feel is ideally the most appropriate for ESL students. Please explain your choice briefly. • regular classes only • regular classes + an ESL class as necessary ( current approach) • bilingual education ( content areas studied in students' native language) • ESL classes ( e.g. ESL Science, ESL Literature etc.) with gradual mainstreaming into regular classes as appropriate. • other (Please clarify) 1 l)What would be useful in helping you deal more effectively with ESL students in your class? Please rate from 1-5 with 1 being the most useful and 5 the least. If you wish to add comments, please do so. • Better or more frequent communication with the ESL teacher. • More time to adapt regular assignments/lessons to ESL students. • Techniques on how to teach content to ESL students. • Materials prepared by the ESL teacher for your ESL students. • Information about the cultures represented by ESL students. Role of the ESL teacher 12) In a program such as West Whalley's, what specific skills and themes should the ESL teacher practise with students in ESL class to assist students in your classroom? (e.g. Skills may include summarising, proof-reading, oral reporting, offering and justifying opinions, co-operating in groups etc. Themes may include health, Canadian geography and history, multiculturalism, the environment, the media etc.) 13) What, if anything, do you expect the ESL teacher at your school to do to assist you in your teaching of, and dealings with, ESL students? 14) What, if anything, would you ideally like the ESL teacher at your school to do in order to assist you in your dealings with ESL students? 


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