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Perspectives of ESL teachers, core-subject teachers and administrators on collaboration in a European… Cook, Frances Jane Anne 2003

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PERSPECTIVES O F E S L T E A C H E R S , C O R E - S U B J E C T T E A C H E R S AND ADMINISTRATORS O N C O L L A B O R A T I O N IN A E U R O P E A N I N T E R N A T I O N A L S C H O O L by FRANCES JANE ANNE COOK B.P.E., University of British Columbia, 1983 B. Ed., Concordia University, 1992 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (LANGUAGE AND LITERACY EDUCATION DEPARTMENT) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April, 2003 © Frances Cook, 2003 UBC Rare Books and Special Collections - Thesis Authorisation Form In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for sc h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of La»fK*f£ The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver, Canada Abstract This research examines collaboration between ESL teachers and core-subject teachers in an English Medium European International School following a graduated supported immersion program for Limited English Proficient (LEP) students. The research methodology includes both qualitative and quantitative methods. The study describes collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers and analyzes their perspectives on different aspects of the collaborative process. It seeks to increase our understanding of the factors which facilitate collaboration, with particular reference to what makes it a more positive and effective experience for teachers. Additionally, the viewpoints of two administrators are examined with regard to the role of the administration in facilitating collaboration between teachers. This study does not seek to determine or analyze the outcomes of collaboration in terms of student achievement. An examination of the data revealed that teachers collaborate to varying degrees, for different reasons and have a preference for different communication modes. Key issues identified by teachers included: the importance of a strong relationship with collaborating colleagues, time, administrative support, and the role of LEP students in the collaboration process. Additionally, it was found that teachers' perspectives on collaboration were linked with their perspective on the ESL program in place. Teachers also offered suggestions for how they felt collaboration could or should be improved. Perspectives shared by the administrators revealed that they value supporting collaboration between teachers, but are faced with constraints that affect the degree to which collaboration can be facilitated. The study has a number of implications for practice. Preliminary conclusions are . drawn based on the data collected and suggestions are made for improving collaboration in 11 terms of factors that facilitate an effective and satisfying collaborative process. These include re-prioritizing who collaborates with whom, the scheduling of common planning time, re-conceptualizing the issue of prep time, and effective support of collaboration. The study concludes with suggestions for further research in the area of collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers. i n Table of Contents Abstract •••• ii Table of Contents iv List of Tables vii List of Figures vm Transcript Conventions Used for Quotes ix Acknowledgments x Dedication xi CHAPTER 1 Introduction 1 1.1 Identification of the Problem 1 1.2 Purpose and Significance of the Study 3 1.3 Questions Guiding the Research 4 1.4 Background of the Study •. • 5 1.5 Selection of the Research Site 7 1.6 Explanation of Key Terms and Acronyms 8 1.7 Organization of the Thesis 9 CHAPTER 2 Literature Review... 10 2.1 Introduction 10 2.2 The Development of ESL Practice in Schools 10 2.3 Integrated Language and Content Instruction 13 2.3.1 Different approaches 13 2.3.2 Mainstreaming 15 2.4 Collaboration 17 2.4.1 A description of collaboration 17 2.4.2 Teachers'perceptions of their roles 20 2.4.3 Advantages of collaborative practices 21 2.4.4 Difficulties associated with collaboration 23 2.4.5 Support and professional development 25 2.5 Collaboration Studies and Initiatives 26 2.6 Conclusion . • 34 CHAPTER 3 Methodology 35 3.1 Introduction to Case Study 35 3.2 Research Questions 36 3.3 Setting 37 3.3.1 The international school 37 iv 3.3.2 ESL program 38 3.4 Participants 40 3.5 Researcher's Role 43 3.6 Data Collection 44 3.6.1 Audio-recorded interviews 44 3.6.2 Likert questionnaire 45 3.6.3 Logbook 46 3.6.4 School documents 46 3.6.5 Email 46 3.7 Data Analysis 47 3.7.1 Interviews 47 3.7.2 Likert questionnaire 48 3.7.3 Triangulation 48 3.8 Trustworthiness • 48 CHAPTER 4 Findings 4. 0 Introduction 51 4. 1 Teachers' Beliefs About the Ideal Purposes and Process of Collaboration and the Actual Collaborative Practices That Occur at the EIS 52 4.1.1 Teachers' beliefs about the ideal purposes and process of collaboration 52 Findings from interviews 52 Questionnaire results on teachers' perspectives on the purpose of collaboration 55 4.1.2 A description of the collaboration practiced between teachers at the EIS 56 When collaboration occurred and what communication mode was used 56 What teachers collaborated on 59 Questionnaire results on the nature of collaboration practiced 63 4.2 The Rewards and Challenges of Teachers' Current Collaborative Practices and Suggestions They Have for Improvements 64 4.2.1 Relationships with colleagues 64 Perspectives on roles and teachers' areas of expertise 64 Shared responsibility 69 Skills and knowledge 71 Territoriality 74 Rapport and interpersonal issues 75 Personality and attitudes 76 Continuity of partnerships 79 Lead time 79 Shared priorities and philosophies 81 Questionnaire results on relationships with colleagues 82 4.2.2 Lack of time 84 Lack of common planning time 85 Increased workload • 86 Questionnaire results on the issue of time 87 4.2.3 Perceptions about the ESL program and structural issues affecting collaboration • 88 Graduated supported immersion /ILC 88 Continuity of the program 90 Organizational issues 92 Teachers'views on the role/support of administration 95 Questionnaire results on perceptions of the ESL program and structural issues 99 4.2.4 Issues relating to students 101 Non- LEP students 101 LEP students 102 4.3 The Administrators' Perspectives on Collaboration and on Their Roles in Managing Collaboration 103 4.3.1 Perspectives on collaboration 103 4.3.2 The role of the administration 104 CHAPTER 5 Discussion of Findings 108 5.1 Introduction 108 5.2 Key Findings 108 5.3 Conclusion 124 5.4 Suggestions for Further Research 125 Bibliography 126 Appendix 1: Interview - Teachers 132 Appendix 2: Interview - Administrators 133 Appendix 3: Likert Questionnaire 134 Appendix 4: Likert Questionnaire Results 136 Appendix 5: Likert Questionnaire Results - Collapsed 137 Appendix 6: Site Documents 138 6a) Course Descriptions 138 6b) Teachers'Roles and Responsibilities 140 6c) ESL and Core Teacher Interface 142 List of Tables Table 3.1 Participant profiles 42 Table 4.1 Communication between teachers 57 Table 4.2 Nature of collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers ... 60 Table 4.3 Rewards associated with collaboration 65 Table 4.4 Challenges associated with collaboration .66 List of Figures Figure 3.1 Collaborative partnerships 41 viii Transcript Conventions Used for Quotes 1. Tl , T2, etc. and Al , A2 are used in place of teachers' and administrators' names 2. ... omission of repeated words, extraneous information, interjections, etc. 3. - pause or phrase connector 4. (word/s) = unintelligible word or words on the tape 5. b o l d = indicates emphasized speech by the interviewee 6. (parentheses) = indicates clarification made by the interviewer about something stated by the interviewee 7. XX = participant's name omitted, or other identifiers omitted ix Acknowledgements I wish to extend my sincere thanks to the following individuals: * Dr. Patricia Duff and Dr. Lee Gunderson for participating on my thesis committee, and for their valuable feedback on my thesis. * Anne Eastham for her assistance when needed. * Kerry Johnson for her help with editing. * The Head of the ESL department at the EIS and the teachers and administrators who participated in this study. Thank you for your time and willingness to participate, and above all, the valuable information that you shared with me. You made this thesis possible. Dedication This study is dedicated to Dr. Margaret Early, Myrtle Cook, and Birgit Gutsche. My heartfelt thanks to Dr. Early for her support and guidance, to Myrtle Cook for her support and encouragement, and to Birgit Gutsche for her support and friendship. xi CHAPTER 1 Introduction 1.1 Identification of the Problem Cuts to English Second Language (ESL) programs, increasing numbers of limited English proficient students (LEP or ESL), and difficulties experienced by students after transition into the mainstream are all issues which underscore the need for increased collaboration among ESL and core-subject teachers in order to better meet the needs of LEP students. Teachers in international schools, where English is the medium of instruction as in North America, encounter similar issues as they search for the best ways to help LEP students achieve their full linguistic and academic potential. International schools often place an even stronger emphasis on ESL programs than many North American schools. There are several reasons that are generic to international schools for this including exceptionally high numbers of LEP students and limited exposure to English outside the school due to living in a non-English speaking country. Regardless of the setting, it would seem to make sense that teachers with different areas of expertise could and should be collaborating to meet the multiple needs (academic, language, affective, etc.) of their ESL population in order to better facilitate and accelerate the transition and integration into the socio-academic environment of the school. To engage successfully in collaboration with the aim of helping LEP students overcome the hurdles they are faced with, it would seem that teachers' pedagogical philosophies would need to reflect the following principles: 1 i. The focus of schools with ESL students should be on 'integration' not 'segregation' (Carder, 1995; Davison, 2001c; Ashworth, 2001 ) ii. The academic (cognitive) development of ESL students can't be "put on hold" whilst they are developing language skills - time is too limited (Mohan, 1986; Early, Thew, & Wakefield, 1986; Clegg, 1996; Ashworth, 2001) iii. Content teachers need to be and are "language teachers" as well. They must also assume responsibility for the language development of ESL students - this should not be the sole responsibility of ESL specialists (Mohan,1986; Ashworth, Cummins, & Hanscombe, 1989; Genesee, 1993; Ashworth, 2001) iv. ESL teachers need to assume responsibility for some content teaching (Mohan, ) 1986; Davison, 2001a; Leung, 2001) However, how to go about collaborating, or even wanting to do it, is not self evident for teachers, especially with the many increasing demands placed on them. For some teachers collaboration can be a very positive experience with concrete, measurable outcomes. For others it may be a frustrating experience which generates an increased workload. For teachers who are less keen on collaborating it may well be that they are in part unaware of the potential benefits to their students, or there may be other reasons, documented or undocumented, that can impede collaboration. The assumption can not be made that teachers are willing to work cooperatively with and learn from their colleagues (Helmer,1995). However, increasingly, collaboration is not a matter of choice for teachers, particularly where special populations of students are concerned. As such, if collaboration is something that teachers have to engage in, or recognize that they should 2 engage in for the benefit of their students, then it makes sense that teachers would want the process to be as positive as possible. Exploring teachers' perspectives on their collaborative experiences illuminates rewards and challenges of collaboration which may provide us with information on how to refine and facilitate the collaboration process. 1.2 Purpose and Significance of the Study This study examines the perspectives of ESL teachers, core-subject teachers and administrators on collaboration that is aimed at supporting LEP students in a graduated supported immersion program. Initially, the study seeks to identify what teachers feel should be the purpose of collaboration and how they perceive that the collaborative process should occur. This initial investigation is intended to illuminate some broad perspectives on collaboration that set the stage for the primary focus of this research. Questions included exploring what teachers liked and disliked about collaboration, what they felt needed to change, and what worked well. As such, my primary focus is a detailed exploration of the collaboration process engaged in by teachers at the research site (European International School - EIS) and their perspectives on the rewards and challenges that they experience. To further illuminate the dynamics of collaboration at the EIS, the perspectives of two key administrators on collaboration and their role in facilitating collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers were examined. Although it is recognized that the main purpose of collaboration is to support LEP students, this study does not propose to examine the outcomes or effectiveness of collaboration in terms of the actual progress made by students. 3 It is hoped that the findings from the data will contribute to a greater understanding of how collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers can be better facilitated and made more positive. Data will also reveal differences and similarities between similar studies done in other contexts. It is, however, the primary intention of this study to understand the perspectives of teachers on collaboration at the research site under investigation (Stake, 1995). Observations from the findings may yield insights on possible collaboration options that could result in more effective collaboration and a higher level of satisfaction amongst teachers. Finally, the findings will be forwarded to the participating school as requested for their consideration and possible utilization in the refinement of their collaboration protocol. 1.3 Questions Guiding the Research In undertaking this research, my underlying belief about collaboration was that it could only be as successful as the teachers collaborating were positive about doing it. My general definition of positive was that teachers enjoyed collaborating, were willing to do it, and felt that it was worthwhile. Of course for collaboration to be truly successful the benefits to students vis-a-vis the gains they make, whether they are academic or linguistic, would have to be measured or observed. For purposes of this case study, I was interested not so much in student outcomes, but rather how teachers experienced the collaboration process and whether their experiences were positive or negative. I assumed that an initial enquiry into teachers' understanding of collaboration and what process was actually followed would need to form a base for illuminating their perspectives on the rewards and challenges that they experienced. As it was felt that the administration would 4 have a part to play in the collaboration process, I was also keen to explore their perspectives on collaboration and their role in managing it. The specific research questions that I therefore addressed were: 1. What are a) teachers' beliefs about the ideal purposes and process of collaboration and b) the actual collaborative practices that occur in the EIS? 2. What are the rewards and challenges of teachers' current collaborative practices and what suggestions do they have for improvements? 3. What are the administrators' perspectives on collaboration and on their roles in managing it? 1.4 Background of the Study International schools in non-English LI countries share many commonalities with schools in English-speaking countries, but they also tend to have specific characteristics. They are located in most major cities of the world, with some countries having upwards of 20 or more such schools. An international school may have students from 7-70 different nationalities with a native English speaking student body of 10 -85 %. The majority of teachers generally come from English-speaking countries such as England and the USA. Because English is the medium of instruction, the programs offer immersion experiences in core-subject classes for many of the students whose first language is not English. Often LEP students are placed at a particular level in the ESL program and progressively move up and out of the ESL program into mainstream classes, not unlike the situation in many North American schools. There is often a very high turnover rate of students in an international school as their parents may be relocated to 5 another foreign post with an embassy or international company. The turnover of teachers is also generally much higher than would be the case in North America, as "international" teachers often move on after two or three years. These dynamics can make continuity and smooth running of ESL programs very challenging. I became very interested in the question of collaboration, specifically in international schools, due to my own limited and rather unsuccessful attempts as an ESL teacher at collaboration with core teachers in my last overseas post. It seemed to me primordial that in international schools following an immersion model, collaboration would be essential, and yet in my own case it had happened to a limited degree. My idea of how things might potentially operate was not shared by all of my colleagues. Based on personal experience, I also felt that international teachers would have unique perspectives to share. For example, many teachers were living in a foreign country where they often had limited knowledge of the language and culture, and were themselves therefore experiencing a type of immersion experience similar to their LEP students. I felt that there was the potential for a higher degree of empathy towards students and a greater understanding of their immersion experience which, in turn, might somehow be reflected in teachers' perspectives on collaboration. There are also unique factors related to time and venues for possible collaboration that may potentially influence the nature of collaboration between teachers in international settings as compared to North America. For example, it is not uncommon for teachers in an international school to be required to lodge together because housing is subsidized by the school. Many teachers are less likely to have a vehicle in a foreign country and hence travel to and from work on public transportation, often with their 6 colleagues. International teachers usually socialize together on a regular basis due to their common language and cultural ties. These examples could all offer "potential" additional opportunities and "time" for collaboration, as well as for establishing rapport between teachers. Whether any of these factors common to international teachers would in fact contribute significantly to the findings was unknown, but I was confident that my study would make a useful contribution to the very limited research that has been conducted in the context of collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers in international schools, as well as benefit me as an ESL teacher. 1.5 Selection of the Research Site The selection of the research site was very straightforward. In order to conduct an overseas study I needed a suitable international school, in a location where it was feasible for me to spend several weeks. Purposive sampling was therefore used wherein a particular location was sought that fulfilled specific criteria for use in the study (Palys,1997). The country was selected because I was familiar and comfortable with it, and the school was deemed "suitable" because I was also familiar with it and knew that it had a solid, reputable ESL Department in place. By solid and reputable I meant that the program was a firm, long standing element of the school's curriculum and was being run by well qualified ESL professionals. Furthermore, the school was following an immersion type ESL program which necessitated collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers. 7 I made initial contact with the directors via email, and they immediately responded positively to my conducting a case study at the school. My request was forwarded to the ESL Department where the final decision to accommodate my research was made by the Head of ESL of the school who from the outset showed great interest and support. 1.6 Explanation of Key Terms and Acronyms a) Collaboration - joint work or efforts between ESL and core-subject teachers aimed at assisting LEP students academically, socially and linguistically. This may include, but is not limited to, cooperative planning, evaluation, instruction, and in-class support/observation by the ESL teacher. The term interfacing is used interchangeably with collaboration. b) Core-subject - refers to subjects taught by core teachers such as Science, English, Social Studies and History. Subject-area is used interchangeably with core-subject. c) E A P - English for Academic Purposes. This is an ESL course at the research site which focuses on skills and content required in mainstream courses. Offered to LEP students in Grades 8-11. d) EIS - European International School (the research site) e) E S L class - an intensive English Second Language support course offered to low level LEP students in the MS (Grades 6,7) f) E S L students - LEP students receiving support through the ESL program. Students whose LI is not English, but who are not receiving ESL support are considered mainstream students rather than ESL students. 8 g) Mainstream students - students who participate in the core subjects and elective courses offered in the school regardless of their language background (mother-tongue). h) M S - Middle School (Grades 6-8) i) US - Upper School (Grades 9-12) 1.7 Organization of the Thesis The first chapter provides an introduction to and rationale for the research project. It also provides background information for the study and outlines the research questions being addressed. Chapter two reviews selected literature which serves to provide a context for the study. The review begins with a brief look at the development of ESL instruction followed by a discussion about the practice of collaboration and its evolving importance in light of integrated language and content approaches. It then examines studies that have been conducted in the area of collaboration between ESL teachers and core-subject teachers. Chapter three presents the case study methodology chosen for the research study and elaborates on the research setting. The fourth chapter presents the findings that have arisen from the data, and chapter five discusses implications from the findings and presents avenues for improving collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers, including making it a more positive experience for teachers. 9 CHAPTER 2 Literature Review 2.1 Introduction This literature review begins with a general review of the development of ESL programs over the last few decades thereby providing a context for the emergence of integrated language and content approaches, and increased collaboration between ESL specialists and core-subject teachers. Different approaches that integrate language and content will be reviewed, highlighting the nature of collaboration typically practiced in each approach. A more in-depth discussion of collaboration will follow, looking at types of collaboration, problem areas and challenges, the roles of teachers, and the support necessary for successful collaboration to occur. Finally, several studies will be presented that look at a variety of collaborative initiatives between ESL and core-subject teachers including studies focusing on teachers' views of collaboration. A review of different studies illustrates how the present study both complements and advances what is already known in the area of teachers' perspectives on collaboration. 2.2 The Development of E S L Practice in Schools Over the last few decades, the characteristics of ESL in English-speaking countries such as Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia has evolved in many areas, including changes in educational policies and practices, methodology and pedagogy. Although the paths that ESL programs and policies in these countries have followed have not been identical both between and within countries (Clegg, 1996), common 10 characteristics in their development can be observed. Clegg notes that in all four countries it has historically been the case that LEP children were offered forms of educational provision separate from mainstream education. As such ESL and core-subject teachers' roles were quite distinct and consequently minimal collaboration was practiced or in fact required. Where the focus of ESL instruction has been on assimilation the goals have been to achieve monolingualism in English and societal assimilation (Baker, 1993). In the 50's and 60 's throughout the English speaking world rapid acquisition of English and assimilation into the culture were facilitated by reception classes, withdrawal or pullout programs, and full immersion (or submersion) programs (Ashworth, 2001; Davison, 2001; Franson, 1999). Leung and Franson (2001) comment that in England the decision to set up reception centres or language classes in schools was underpinned by the assumption that non-English speaking background students (NESB or LEP) posed a potential threat to the academic standards of institutions depending on their numbers. Changes to educational provisions for LEP students have frequently been politically driven, often in the context of immigration (Ashworth, 2001; Davison, 2001), and they continue to occur based on evolving assumptions about "perceived" needs. In t fact one might say that changes are driven by the perceived needs of the society or institution at hand, as much as the needs of LEP students themselves (Clegg, 1996) Several ministerial studies that conceptualized second language pedagogy, such as the Bullock Report (1975) and later the Swarm Report (1985), have been influential in determining the direction that ESL pedagogy has taken in England and elsewhere. The Swann Report (1985) for example, emphasized that segregation of special populations 11 was negative and unjust, an understanding that has reverberated throughout the English-speaking world. Consequently, the initial concern discussed by Leung and Franson (2001) about academic standards for native English speakers being jeopardized, ironically shifted to concerns about the academic needs of LEP students being met. Equal opportunity for all was the new philosophy (Leung & Franson, 2001), and linguistic diversity came to be embraced as an empowering tool rather than a handicap. The broad trend throughout the four English-speaking countries referred to here has been a move away from assimilation towards programs focusing on integration or multiculturalism aimed at cultural and linguistic pluralism (Baker, 1993), but the paths have been varied. Different routes are available to institutions for offering ESL support, ranging from fully separate to fully integrated programs. Flexibility is necessary, and according to Clegg (1996) the aim should be for schools to be able to provide different rates and paths to access of the mainstream curriculum for LEP students. Factors such as numbers of LEP students and ESL support teachers will also inevitably play a role in what program a school chooses to follow. Where the focus is on integration and multiculturalism many ESL programs and policies are leaning towards integrated language and content (ILC) approaches that parallel the primary objectives of the 'Language Across the Curriculum' (LAC) approach, in which language is studied and used throughout the mainstream curriculum (Kecht & Hammerstein, 2000). The objectives of the LAC approach necessitate collaboration between teachers (Brinton,1989), as must ILC approaches, in the recognition that ESL students' academic progress can't be put on hold while their English language develops (Mohan, 1986). 12 2.3 Integrated Language and Content Instruction (ILC) 2.3.1 Different approaches As most withdrawal classes are basically language classes (Clegg, 1996), the rationale from a language acquisition perspective supporting a shift towards an integrated language and content approach can be summed up as a need to shift from a focus on learning language to a focus on using language to learn subject matter and culture simultaneously (Mohan, 2001). This recognizes implicitly that core teachers must to some degree also function as language teachers (Mohan, 1986). Mohan notes that historically, from an educational perspective, language and content were considered as separate rather than related entities. However, integrating language teaching with academic content has been recognized as an effect way to simultaneously develop students' language, subject-area knowledge and cognitive skills (Early & Hooper, 1990). Davison and Williams (2001) define language and content integration as "a heuristic label for a diverse group of curriculum approaches which share a concern with facilitating language learning, broadly defined, through varied but systematic linking of particular subject matter and language in the context of learning activities" (p.57). In an effort to meet different students' needs, a variety of projects and models focusing on content-based language instruction have been implemented (Benesch, 1988; Brinton, Snow & Wesche, 1989; Clegg, 1996; Mohan, 2001; Davidson, 2001; Early & Hooper, 2001; O'Malley & Chamot, 1987). Different approaches necessitate varying degrees of collaboration between ESL specialists, content teachers and other key players, and often aim to facilitate the integration of ESL students into mainstream programs. 13 Support can be offered to ESL students by means of a collaborative "partnership" formed between ESL teachers and content teachers (Clegg, 1996; Leung & Franson, 2001). It could in fact be argued that all efforts to collaborate regularly and systematically with a colleague could be termed partnerships. An example, however, of a type of partnership frequently referred to in the literature is the adjunct model where students are enrolled in two linked courses, one language led and the other content led. The content teacher establishes and communicates the main language needs to the ESL teacher who in turn prepares or debriefs LEP students for the mainstream class (Snow & Brinton, 1988; Clegg, 1996). Sheltered or pre-mainstream classes is another approach, where classes for ESL students parallel core-subject classes in content (Snow & Brinton, 1988). A content teacher teaches the course with, or perhaps without, an ESL teacher's help in tailoring the language to the level of the ESL students. Clegg (1996) is critical of this concept, questioning why institutions would artificially recreate a mainstream class when the real class already exists. Theme-based models such as Chamot and O'Malley's (1987) Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach and Mohan's (1986) Knowledge Framework are ESL-mamstream bridging approaches that highlight cognitive development (Brinton et al., 1989). These approaches make use of learning strategies that assist comprehension and retention of information. Students are exposed to a much broader variety of text types, formats and activities than they would normally be in a traditional language course. Lessons are taught by content specialists, or generalists at the elementary level, 14 who often benefit from the expertise of an ESL specialist in the planning and application of the approaches. As has been illustrated, ILC approaches to instructing LEP students can lean towards being language led or content led. The practice of mainstreaming resulted from the desire to shift the focus of learning from language led approaches towards a content led approach thus favouring academic development. Theme-based models, as previously discussed, exemplify just one way in which mainstreaming instruction can operate, but quite often an approach favouring a higher level of collaboration between ESL specialists and core teachers will occur. In England and Australia increased collaboration has been taking place to the extent that Leung and Franson (2001) refer to ESL teachers as being mainstreamed along with students. 2.3.2 Mainstreaming "Mainstreaming" as a term is not uniformly understood throughout English-speaking countries (Davison, 2001). In North America, it can refer to the process of exiting a student from an ESL program into mainstream classes. The student may or may not continue to be withdrawn from mainstream classes for additional ESL support. In the UK the term refers to the placement of LEP students in age-appropriate classes where English is the medium of learning and the student follows the national curriculum (Davison, 2001). In the UK mainstreaming has been mandated for the reason that separate provision for LEP students is seen as discriminatory (Clegg, 1996) in that it denies students equality of access to educational provision (Mohan, 2001). In the USA, by contrast, separate provision for LEP students has been viewed as a way of pursuing 15 equality of education (Clegg, 1996). Clegg discusses the potential harshness of the mainstream classroom for ESL students and the potential reluctance of educational authorities to "submerge" students in this environment. It is important, however, to distinguish between submersion, where the student is generally unsupported and where the aim is towards monolingualism in English and assimilation, and immersion, where the student is supported and the aim is towards bilingualism and societal pluralism and enrichment (Baker, 1993). Having LEP students participate in supported mainstream classes resulted from an increased understanding of the various needs of LEP students including socio-political, psychological, pedagogical and academic needs (Clegg, 1996). For supported immersion the ESL teacher forms a partnership, which may vary in nature and degree, with the mainstream teacher(s). Roles may be quite distinct or responsibilities may be shared equally (Clegg, 1996). Leung and Franson (2001) discuss the changing definition of the ESL support teacher's role to include remedial teacher, specialist, catalyst and "good teacher", where the role of the ESL teacher is to help all the students. To date, mainstreaming attempts have met with varying degrees of success. Baker (1993) points out that mainstream education rarely produces fully bilingual students, and the dropout rate of ESL students in many schools (Gunderson, 2000) indicates a strong need for further refinement of the immersion process and the collaboration necessary to facilitate it. Despite lots of talk about and initiatives towards collaboration, it still often seems to be the exception rather than the norm. A more detailed look at the actual nature of collaboration will add further context to the aims of this study. 16 2.4 Collaboration Collaboration between teachers, also referred to as interfacing or joint work, is a broad area practiced in different ways, to varying degrees and for different purposes. Collaboration may, for example, be practiced between teachers teaching concurrent courses at the same level, or between teachers seeking to assist special populations of students such as learning disabled or LEP students. This section intends to consider the general characteristics of collaboration inherent to all collaborative initiatives, but also aspects and issues relating specifically to ESL. 2.4.1 A description of collaboration Partnerships, team teaching, and support are some of the terms used to describe forms that collaboration can take. Partnerships may be understood by different people to imply different things about the degree, nature and purpose of collaboration, as well as about roles and responsibilities in the collaborative process. Clegg (1996) suggests that , collaboration may vary from the mainstream teacher learning how to use visual aids to pursuing a "fully collaborative and perhaps radically innovative partnership with an ESL specialist" (p.21). Bailey, Dale & Squire (1992) comment on how the definition of team teaching as being a group of persons working with the same students simultaneously for instructional purposes in a given subject or subjects, is too narrow a definition by contemporary standards. They make reference to Cunningham's (1960) taxonomy of team teaching types which distinguishes between different levels of responsibility and power, but they are critical of the taxonomy in that there seems to be no possibility for overlap between the different levels presented. Perhaps that is simply a reflection of the time at which the 17 taxonomy was devised compared to the age of increasing "flexibility" in which teachers now operate. As to the nature of team teaching, Bailey et al. (1992) specify that it can involve pre-teaching collaboration, in-class collaboration (planned or unplanned), collaboration on assessment and post-lesson collaboration. In schools with an official language support policy, intended for the benefit of LEP students, collaboration between teachers is often in the form of formal team teaching partnerships (Clegg, 1996). Partnerships may exist throughout the school or on a "perceived" needs basis. In schools with no official language support policy, teachers may individually agree to collaborate, determining their roles amongst themselves. Teachers must necessarily come to an agreement on how to share planning, teaching and assessing (Clegg, 1996). Regardless of whether a policy is in place or not, teachers may need to be prepared to tackle such issues as personality, diplomacy, and territory. In some cases the core teacher may assume the role of lead teacher (Clegg, 1996) with the ESL teacher offering in-class support in some capacity. For a partnership to be successful Clegg (1996) says that teachers need to be open to change and not overly territorial. Wilson (1989) proposes that resource (support) teachers need to challenge the assumptions and beliefs of mainstream teachers, but at the same time give away ideas rather than play an expert role. For successful team teaching experiences Thomas (1992) highlights the key ingredients of good team dynamics, the support of school management, and "balance" between team members. Similarly, Bailey et al. (1992) suggest three measures: focusing predominantly on goals rather than letting personalities dominate, mutual recognition of contributions to the collaborative process, and regular shared planning time. Following an extensive literature review, Thousand 18 and Villa (1990) propose several criteria for effective teams or groups. Some of the salient points they emphasize include: frequent face-to-face collaboration, a sense of interdependence, accountability for personal responsibilities, and periodic assessment, evaluation and modification of the collaboration process (Thomas, 1992). With the intention of facilitating collaboration between content teachers and ESL teachers, Teemant, Bernhardt, and Rodriguez-Munoz (1996) outline 10 principles that seek to inform content teachers about the needs and realities of ESL students, and aid ESL teachers in providing effective strategies for content teachers. The tenth principle emphasizes the essentialness of cross-disciplinary collaboration, and advice is offered to ESL teachers as to how collaboration can be facilitated with their core-subject peers. Clarifying roles is seen as a key strategy, and ESL teachers should acknowledge the core teacher as the "content expert". Teemant et al. (1996) see this as "delineating the limits" of teachers' expertise. It would seem that this perspective is too limiting though for those teachers who do have expertise in their collaborating partner's field and who wish to explore a fuller team teaching situation. Sharing language acquisition strategies with teachers was also encouraged. Teemant et al. (1996) caution ESL teachers to be diplomatic, emphasizing that collaboration demands both tenacity and diplomacy on the part of the ESL teacher. The onus to initiate the collaboration process is clearly placed on the ESL teacher, and the advice offered is suggestive of tip toeing delicately around colleagues encouraging them to collaborate on a voluntary basis. Quite clearly, however, LEP students' needs can't be left solely to the good will of teachers. Both groups of teachers need to be proactive in meeting LEP students' needs, and this requires a thoughtful delineation of roles in the collaboration process. 19 2.4.2 Teachers' perceptions of their roles Traditionally there has often been the attitude that the ESL teacher should "fix the problem" before the LEP student is exited into the mainstream. Many core teachers tend to see their speciality area as their sole responsibility (Penfield, 1987; Duff, 2001), and ESL teachers may see language development as theirs. With regards to mainstreaming programs in B.C, Ashworth (2001) discusses core-subject teachers lack of understanding of ESL students' needs and a reluctance to address the issue of integrating students. Because of the needs of LEP students being reduced to linguistic ones, LEP students have traditionally been seen as the responsibility of language teachers rather than the whole school (Clegg, 1996). Clegg terms this a "reductionist" tendency, and points out that LEP students' reasons for being in school are no different than other children's reasons. He also warns against the tendency to treat all LEP students the same based on the perception that they all have the same "problem". Clegg goes on to suggest that secondary teachers in particular are reluctant to acknowledge the link between cognitive development and language, and hence are apt to leave the language element to their ESL colleagues. The frequent need for ESL and core teachers to have overlapping roles has been widely addressed in the literature (Mohan, 1986; Nunan, 1992; Thomas, 1992; Brinton, Snow & Weshe, 1989). Mohan (1986) discusses the need for language teachers to help students learn the necessary language to deal with content in English while core-subject teachers need to focus on strategies that will aid ESL students to understand content and assignments more independently (Mohan, 2001). He cautions however that there is no reason to think that ESL and core teachers will view and plan learning tasks in the same 20 way and therefore that sufficient time, training opportunities and commitment are required to facilitate collaboration. The role the ESL teacher can assume can often be disproportionate in relation to other staff. Clegg (1996) notes that in institutions with withdrawal classes it is the ESL teacher who may tend to take responsibility for contact with parents and minority communities. He discusses how ESL teachers who "cling to their protective roles" may impede institutions as a whole from assuming responsibility for ESL students. Clegg (1996) says that ESL teachers know how they think mainstream classrooms should ideally run in order to best meet the needs of LEP students, but Mohan (2001) cautions that core-subject teachers are apt to reject approaches that do not prioritize their goals. He cites a finding by Langer and Applebee (1987) where core-subject teachers were reluctant to focus on writing if they felt this benefited the English specialist, and did not necessarily advance the learning of content material by students. Clearly the delineation of roles is a sensitive issue requiring flexibility and diplomacy, and one that could substantially influence a teacher's satisfaction with the collaboration process. 2.4.3 Advantages of collaborative practices One of the main benefits of collaboration for teachers, it would seem, is that they do not have to assume full responsibility for meeting all of the needs of their students (Shannon & Meath-Lang, 1992). Risko and Bromley (2001) comment that a reduction in role differentiation between core teachers and specialists can facilitate the sharing of expertise yielding multiple solutions to learning. Colleagues stand to learn a lot from each 21 other (Clegg, 1996) particularly when they are committed to the same goals (Risko & Bromley, 2001). Specific to team teaching situations Bailey, Dale, and Squire (1992) point out the benefits of having two models of the target language for students. This can provide students with varied input, varied regional dialects, male and female speech models, and different opinions on issues. Having a trusted partner in class serves as an excellent resource for examples, clarification, feedback and explanations. Having two teachers present lowers the student-teacher ratio and gives students a potential choice as to which teacher they seek out for help (Bailey et al., 1992). Team teaching can provide collaborating partners with the opportunity to reflect on the teaching process, and the collaboration process can generate thoughtful, critical pedagogy (Shannon & Meath-Lang, 1992). Articulating one's ideas to another professional and receiving feedback can enable a teacher to benefit from seeing things through a new lens (Shannon & Meath-Lang, 1992). Teachers can also benefit from observing student interactions with their colleague. Where an integrated approach is being practiced, evaluation is an area benefiting from a combining of content and language perspectives. Mohan (2001) sees collaborative assessment, where ESL and core-subject teachers have increased shared responsibility, as an important means of ensuring fairness and consistency. In a study by Mohan and Low (1995) on shared assessment of writing, it was found that teachers assessing individually assumed that they shared common evaluation criteria with other teachers, but in fact they often did not. Bailey et al. (1992) comment on how collaborative evaluation can force 22 teachers to define more explicitly evaluation criteria which in turn leads to greater assessment validity. 2.4.4 Difficulties associated with collaboration As Kaufman and Grennon-Brooks (1996) point out, the problem isn't lack of collaborative models or initiatives per se, but rather how collaboration takes place in schools. Risko and Bromley (2001) caution against collaborative agendas being motivated by outside forces far removed from teachers and other involved parties. At the teacher level, collaboration is often restricted to a sharing of information and lesson plans, rather than interdisciplinary partnership. A main reason for a lack of collaboration would seem to be the perceptions that ESL and content teachers have of their respective roles. In the case of "colleague consultants" being deployed to the mainstream classroom, Wilson (1989) points out that a shift in roles can be difficult for mainstream teachers where there has been a lack of training programs, and where there is a reluctancy to open their doors to "experts". Hargreaves (1972) speculates that this desire for autonomy results primarily from a fear of judgement (Thomas, 1992). Kaufman and Grennon-Brooks (1996) suggest that because of lack of educational training in interdisciplinary inquiry it is hardly any wonder that teachers don't initiate this process themselves. Sharing of power, or territoriality, can also be a potential drawback to successful collaborative team teaching (Bailey et al., 1992). Thomas (1992) comments that the classroom environment often does not seem to be congenial to a "sharing of power" between teachers. He suggests that the problem perhaps is that collaboration is not a natural thing for teachers to pursue in a classroom setting. In the event where the core 23 teacher maintains the upper hand, support teachers may suffer from a lack of morale and lose the feeling of being a "bona fide" teacher (Williamson, 1989). Lack of common planning time is an area frequently cited as impeding effective collaboration (Clegg, 1996; Leung & Franson, 2001). Lack of time in general can discourage teachers from taking on what they perceive as "more work." But sharing duties (Tang, 1994; Clegg, 1996) and combining knowledge and expertise to plan, implement, assess, analyze and create resources, can be a powerful pedagogical means (Benesch, 1988; Kang, 1994) of actually saving teachers time. Bailey et al. (1992) note that "high front-end loading", or the amount of pre-teaching collaboration required, can be demanding, but comment that this can be diminished with subsequent collaborative efforts. They caution that situations of shared responsibility may result in no one taking clear responsibility for certain areas. Looking at schools in England and Wales, Geen (1985) cites that time and energy required for planning, interpersonal differences between colleagues, and reluctance to teach in front of colleagues are key reasons why schools abandon attempts at team teaching (Thomas, 1992). Interpersonal differences may include not sharing a sense of common purpose, or incompatibility of values or pedagogical principles (Shannon & Meath-Lang, 1992). With regard to teaching in front of colleagues, Shannon & Meath-Lang (1992) suggest that self-consciousness is something that can disappear over time. 24 2.4.5 Support and professional development Proper administrative support and active leadership are frequently cited as being necessary in order that true collaborative working relationships be fostered (Piatt, 1993; Kang, 1994; Penfield, 1987). Davison (2001) comments that teachers should be encouraged to observe one another, consult, reflect, plan and evaluate together. Friendly and supportive collegial relationships play a vital role in the maintenance of a good atmosphere and 'happy' individuals (Davison, 2001). Recognized planning time is a key element to successful collaboration, but is frequently cited as being insufficiently acknowledged by the administration (Clegg, 1996; Nunan, 1992; Sagliano & Greenfield, 1998). Administrative support includes ample opportunities for professional development for ESL and core teachers (Davison, 2001). Core teachers can benefit, for example, by being provided with opportunities to learn ESL methodology in order that effective mainstreaming be facilitated (Faltis & Hudelson, 1994). While outside sponsored professional development is seen as important by Davison (2001), she emphasizes that schools must actively encourage and facilitate opportunities from within. When linking language and content, Clegg (1996) suggests that it is the curriculum which must direct the language development and vice versa. From an administrative point of view, this means among other things that these two aspects need to be brought together. For effective mainstreaming to occur, schools must clarify the relationship between ESL teaching and the mainstream curriculum (Davison, 2001). Clegg (1996) proposes that schools "install a framework of language support" which has as key ingredients collaboration and staff development. He suggests that schools commit 25 themselves to a policy of language education based on equal opportunity. Despite the recognition for needed administrative support, there are often powerful political influences affecting schools that result in substantial differences between rhetoric and reality in educational agendas (Clegg, 1996). 2.5 Collaboration Studies and Initiatives Numerous works report on the difficulties experienced by ESL students as they make the transition from ESL classes to the mainstream (Mohan, 1986; Collier, 1995; Davison, 2001). An unsmooth transition may result, for example, in students exiting ESL programs and being placed in low-track mainstream classes (Duff, 2001). Studies on language and content integration comment on the pressing need for collaboration between teachers to adequately address the language and academic needs of ESL students (Duff, 2001; Harklau, 1994; Genesee, 1993). Duff (2001), for example, looks at two high school social studies teachers who without the support of language teachers valiantly, but rather unsuccessfully, attempt to help ESL students experience success. Duff comments about how something as simple as providing more visuals is "second nature to ESL teachers, but apparently not to experienced content teachers" (p. 122). Following are other examples illustrating the variety of research conducted in the area of collaboration aimed at assisting ESL students. An initiative illustrating a successful collaborative effort in a secondary school in Toronto came about as the result of Grade 10 ESL students failing core English classes after exiting ESL classes (O'Byrne, 2001). Working together, English and ESL teachers designed a transition class from ESL to core English that focused on core reading and 26 writing tasks while continuing to work on second-language development. Teachers initially identified common standards necessary for entrance into the core English class by negotiating through ongoing dialogues an understanding of such things as the reading process, reading strategies, and oral competency. Additionally, they identified assessment adjustments necessary for ESL students. As a result of the transition class, the majority of 58 ESL students transferred into and experienced success in the core English class. This project is representative of many collaborative initiatives reported on that detail procedure and outcome, but give scant information about the views of teachers on the actual experience. In a study by Tang (1994), successful collaboration was attributed to a sharing of background knowledge and entering positively into the collaborative process. In this study Tang investigated the collaboration between an ESL specialist and a computer teacher in teaching a Literature unit to 11 immigrant high school students. Different parts of the planning and sequencing of tasks of the unit were divided or shared. The effectiveness of the overall collaboration, was discussed mostly in terms of how the students benefited and what they actually learned, rather than in terms of teacher satisfaction. This is undeniably an important element of collaboration. Another example of a successful project was an ongoing "whole school approach" to mainstreaming in a Toronto elementary school initiated in 1986 (Reid & Kitegawa, 1996). The school in question decided to make a transition from a pull-out to an in-class support system in order to make better use of the ESL teacher's expertise, and to encourage greater transfer between ESL and mainstream class activities. The team was comprised of the principal, the ESL co-ordinator, the ESL teacher, and three classroom 27 teachers. The team co-planned and met regularly to discuss the progress of the project. End of the year interviews revealed the feelings and perspectives of the individual team members on the issue of collaboration. The initial defining of roles and role expectations was confusing or difficult for everyone, and it was highlighted that the ESL teacher had to modify her perspective and practices the most in order to adapt to the content classroom. Teachers openly commented on such aspects as resistance to change, their own learning, and fear of being judged. Team members attributed the success of the project to commitment, administrative support, and high levels of trust. If collaborative projects are implemented as part of a school's pedagogical philosophy, as was the case in this school, they stand a better chance of long term success, particularly in regards to maintaining continuity. Problems arising from lack of collaboration are revealed in a study by Harklau (1994) where she contrasts ESL and mainstream learning environments in an American high school setting. Harklau seems to focus primarily on the shortcomings of mainstream teachers, which are conversely the strengths of the principal ESL teacher-participant. In particular, the content teachers failed to adjust the level of input, had a lack of interaction with ESL students, selected non-ESL friendly materials, and probably most importantly, lacked a linguistic background. It was revealed that many of the mainstream teachers did not apparently even know who the ESL students were in their classrooms. Harklau suggests that ESL and mainstream teachers' goals and organization of instruction are, in fact, very different. Her study demonstrates the importance of administrative support for the mainstream teachers' involvement in language minority education and the importance of extending collaboration beyond the classroom. 28 In contrast tp Harklau's study, the following collaborative relationship demonstrates the benefits of having common goals and administrative support. Michael Sagliano, an ESL specialist, and Kathleen Greenfield, a history specialist, report on their highly successful experiences in co-teaching an introductory History course to post-secondary students at an English medium Japanese college (Sagliano & Greenfield, 1998). They collaborated as equals, were both present for all of the lessons, and were jointly responsible for the academic and language development of students. Materials were jointly chosen or developed, including assessment tools, and grading was done together with Sagliano assessing primarily for language and Greenfield for history content. A great deal of motivation would be required for this level of collaboration as many teachers would not appreciate overlapping roles to this extent. The authors stress the importance of sharing a common teaching philosophy and a commitment to meeting students' needs, and they adhere to the motto that "collective insight and collaborative wisdom yield better learning and classroom interaction" (Shannon & Meath-Lang, 1992, p. 131). They also acknowledge that this form of collaborative model may not, for example, be possible in a North American context because of constraints in some schools, including lack of support. In a case study, highly pertinent to this present one, Davison (2002) examines collaborative relationships between ESL and core-subject teachers in English medium schools in Asia. She analyzes problematic areas in the conceptualization of collaborative planning and teaching, such as lack of clarity in roles, time, administrators' expectations, and conflict between teaching philosophies and styles. From her collected data she then presents an emerging framework that depicts five levels of collaboration between 29 teachers. The levels range from pseudo-compliance/passive resistance manifested by a rejection of collaboration, to creative construction manifested by positive attitudes and a high level of investment in collaboration. For each level Davison gives a clear picture of teachers' attitudes, effort, areas of achievement, and expectations for support which could be useful in setting professional development goals to facilitate the evolution of collaborative partnerships (Davison, 2002). Looking at teachers' perspectives on English as an Additional Language students (EAL) and support teachers in mainstream classrooms, Franson (1999) conducted interviews with three mainstream teachers from different primary schools in the vicinity of London. The schools had between 6-20% "bilingual" students (bilingual being the preferred term for ESL students in the UK). The study focused largely on the difficulties experienced by mainstream teachers in the initial informal assessment of EAL students meant to identify general background information. EAL teachers were generally left to cope with the rhainstreamed students for the most part, although core teachers did collaborate somewhat with their EAL colleagues. Generally, the role of the EAL specialist was to offer advice when needed and to work with students on a limited withdrawal basis. Partnership teaching, although being promoted in the UK, was being practised to a very limited degree. Lack of planning time was a further issue, and collaboration was seen as time consuming. One teacher commented specifically on the time required to establish clear goals, and that not doing so thoroughly created problems. Franson determined that the mainstream teachers, despite expressing confidence about their abilities to meet the needs of their EAL students, did not in fact reflect this knowledge during discussion of specific issues such as classroom approaches. Although 30 offering some valuable information about teachers' views, Franson focused a good deal on pedagogical issues straying from teachers' perspectives. Additionally, the limited amount of interviews makes it difficult to generalize even within the immediate setting of the participants. In a questionnaire administered by Bailey, Dale, and Squire (1992) to sixty teachers from four different educational institutions, it was revealed out of twenty seven test items that teachers felt that an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect was the most essential component necessary to achieve successful team teaching. Teachers also strongly indicated that they felt that having different goals could prove quite destructive in the team teaching process. Although teachers indicated that they felt that team teaching benefited their students, the researchers acknowledged that this result needs to be interpreted cautiously as students' achievement was not measured. Looking at the nature of collaboration and its impact on instruction, Piatt (1993) used interviews and observations to investigate the collaborative relationships between ESL teachers and their vocational counterparts at several different American vocational institutions. The aim of the collaboration was to better enable the ESL teachers to address the content specific language learning needs of students heading to vocational classes. It was found that barriers impeding effective collaboration included vocational teachers' attitudes towards their ESL colleague's role and skills, power and authority issues, differences in philosophical and professional orientation, and the integration of knowledge by teachers (Piatt, 1993). The main finding was that effective instruction resulted primarily from the content teachers' participation in language-oriented staff development rather than from the collaborative process engaged in by the teachers. This 31 study highlights a need for professional development and administrative support in facilitating the collaborative process, as well as the need for more dialogue between teachers. In an exploration of six teachers' attitudes towards ESL withdrawal and mainstream support, Williamson (1989) found that a main frustration of ESL teachers was inadequate time to prepare before going into a class to offer support. One teacher commented: "Often we don't know what we are going in to, so we can't prepare" (p.322). One has to question the point of collaborating if efforts by ESL teachers to offer support are being sabotaged right from the outset by lack of pre-lesson consultation. In this same study, ESL teachers expressed feelings of marginalization and lack of autonomy which in turn affected their morale. This study shows a clear necessity for establishing and refining roles and the importance of building interpersonal relationships with colleagues. Using an open-ended questionnaire, Penfield (1987) looked at perceptions of 162 content teachers towards ESL students and teachers in New Jersey public schools. The study revealed numerous problems and feelings of frustration experienced by content teachers in dealing with ESL students, in particular, with the integration of language and content. Regarding attitudes towards the perceived roles of ESL teachers, content teachers thought language instruction was more or less the exclusive responsibility of ESL teachers as was subject matter teaching to ESL students, liaison between parents and content teachers, and cross-cultural interpretation. Penfield posits, not surprisingly, that these heavy expectations may have influenced to a large degree the lack of cooperation between ESL and content teachers, and the isolation experienced by ESL teachers. Overall, content teachers most frequently indicated a need for more training. 32 Several studies conducted by Masters and Doctoral students have been done in British Columbia in the area of teachers' perceptions and collaboration, or joint work, between ESL and core-subject teachers. Garnett (1996) documented the perceptions of mainstream teachers of ESL students and the ESL program in place at a junior high school, and found that teachers' views reflected a variety of benefits and challenges, both at the classroom and the programmatic level. Employing action research, Konnert (2000) looked at the role of the ESL teacher (herself) supporting content teachers and ESL students, and the effectiveness of an ILC approach. Konnert identified different strengths and challenges pertaining to most aspects of the program and relating to the different stakeholders that may be relevant for helping improve programs in other secondary schools in BC. In a case-study at the secondary level, Helmer (1995) described and analyzed how subject-area teacher collaborators created and managed their roles, and how their ESL colleagues responded. Helmer found that a static model of collaboration in schools affected by a pre-existing hierarchy impeded collaborators from effectuating their joint work, and that more dynamic models of joint work where therefore needed. Finally, Hurren (1994) conducted a case study that aimed at describing the collaborative planning process between a classroom teacher and an ESL specialist at an elementary school. She also examined the tasks that were planned in order to understand the ILC instruction, based on Mohan's Knowledge Framework. Findings revealed that the teachers' relationship, roles, goals, planning process, and considerations of the cost and benefits of the collaborative process were critical features to be addressed. Each of these four studies, although narrow in scope, is an important contribution to research on collaboration in the field of ESL. 33 2.6 Conclusion In light of present day practices, concerns and challenges experienced by teachers of ESL students, and in looking at the abundant challenges associated with collaboration as revealed in studies done to date, it is apparent that there is still a need for more research in the area of teacher's perspectives on collaboration, in different settings and contexts. Problems associated with collaboration are often unique to the context, so that feasible solutions to issues in one context may not be transferable to another. Further research will add to an understanding of how the process of collaboration can be effectively encouraged and facilitated not only as measured by the success experienced by students, but also in terms of increased satisfaction among teachers. Given the large number of ESL students and limited amount of studies done in international schools, this context offers an ideal setting for a study on ESL, content teachers', and administrators' perspectives on collaboration. 34 CHAPTER 3 Methodology 3.1 Introduction to C a s e Study As outlined in 1.5, the research site is considered a purposive sample in that it was selected based on specific criteria for use in the study (Palys, 1997). Stake refers to case studies as "intrinsic" in nature (Stake, 1995) when the researcher, as in this case, is familiar with the site and has pre-selected it. A key factor to the selection of the site was the ILC approach of the ESL program, and that collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers was already in place. A predominantly qualitative approach was chosen as I was interested in understanding participants' perspectives on collaboration and the significance of these perspectives for improving collaboration and teacher satisfaction. Descriptive approaches are very common to case studies (Johnson, 1992) and lend themselves well to a detailed analysis of specific themes that emerge in a particular situation (McMillan & Schumacher, 1997). Although it is recognized that findings from this study may lend themselves well to helping understand the larger context of collaboration between ESL specialists and core-subject teachers, this study seeks first to understand and learn from this one case (Stake, 1995). As Stake points out, case studies are bf interest both for their uniqueness and commonalities to similar studies. They seldom offer an entirely new understanding about an issue, but rather refine present understanding (Stake, 1995). During the first week at the research site (EIS), I met with the two Department Heads of ESL (Middle and Upper Schools) to discuss and define the study as required. Short meetings with the two Heads continued throughout the seven weeks spent at the 35 school. The project was introduced to the staff of the Middle and Upper Schools in the second week during respective staff meetings and teachers were invited to "sign up" for a five minute meeting in which they could ask questions to further clarify the project. The nature of the questionnaire and the interview were reviewed with prospective participants, as well as the time commitment required. Following this short informal meeting, interested participants signed a consent form and further contact was continued by email. Observations of meetings (formal and informal) held between ESL and core-subject teachers, were desired and requested, but did not happen for two main reasons: I was not notified of meetings, or meetings were arranged at short notice and I was unavailable. 3.2 Research Questions It was my initial desire to examine ESL and core-subject teachers' general perspectives on collaboration, in hopes of better understanding what was required to have effective collaboration with a higher level of teacher satisfaction than, for example, was reported in many of the past studies on collaboration. As the study evolved, the issues were refined and the focus narrowed to teachers' perceptions of the purpose, nature, rewards and challenges of collaboration, and the changes they wanted to see implemented. Additionally it was thought that administrators' perspectives would shed further light on the dynamics of collaboration at the research site, specifically their role in the process. With these objectives in mind three research questions emerged. The first question is of a topical nature and seeks to gather information that informs the second 36 research question, or the main issue being investigated. The third research question also seeks to support the main question being addressed. The research questions are: 1. What are a) teachers' beliefs about the ideal purposes and process of collaboration and b) the actual collaborative practices that occur in the EIS? 2. What are the rewards and challenges of teachers' current collaborative practices and what suggestions do they have for improvements? 3. What are the administrators' perspectives on collaboration and on their roles in managing it? 3.3 Setting 3.3.1 The international school This study took place at a K-12 international school in central Europe with approximately 670 students, 66 full-time teachers, and 11 part-time teachers. The school consists of three sections (referred to as schools), each with its own ESL Department and Head of ESL: i) Elementary, ii) Middle School (MS) and iii) Upper School (US). This study includes the Middle and Upper Schools. The Head of ESL for the MS also oversees ESL for the entire school. The school has designed its own curriculum framework based on the work of The International Schools Curriculum Project, The International Baccalaureate Organization, and various other documents from different countries. The curriculum aims to prepare students for graduation with an internal school diploma and additionally, if they choose, the IB Diploma. The student body is comprised of roughly 50 nationalities with many multi-lingual, multi-ethnic background children. The students tend to come from upper class 37 backgrounds as the school is a private fee-paying school, but the school also offers a few scholarships to students who would otherwise not have the means to attend the school. Over half of the students have an LI other than English, but only the students receiving ESL (EAP) support are considered ESL students. In the MS and US combined there are about 300 students. About 180 (60-65%) have an LI other than English - of these roughly 30 students are receiving ESL support in one form or another. 3.3.2 E S L program There is a strong focus on the English Second Language program which has gone from a predominantly pull-out program two years prior to this study towards a graduated supported immersion model. The importance the school places on ESL is evident in many of the documents it produces including a glossy brochure providing general information to the public about the ESL program and philosophy, and a parent information booklet with more detailed information. The MS Teachers' Manual commences with an extensive chapter, intended primarily for content teachers, that covers areas of the ESL program such as philosophy, identification, testing and placement of students, courses, ESL issues, roles of teachers, and so forth. The ESL program is outlined in the Program of Studies for the Upper School and in a separate document for the Middle School. The two program "branches" operate somewhat differently, but the philosophy of "supported immersion" is practiced throughout the school. The MS accepts any level of non-English LI student in the 6th and 7th Grades, but new students entering in the 8th Grade must pass an English proficiency test with a score of intermediate or higher. In the Middle School LEP students follow three tracks 38 depending on their level of English. 1) intensive ESL (or pre-EAP), where students are withdrawn from core subjects other than Math, Science and "Specials" i.e. P.E., Drama, etc., 2) EAP, where students are "immersed" in all subjects except foreign languages or 3) Advanced ESL, where students are completely mainstreamed (exited from EAP) and are monitored in core classes as needed (Appendix 6a). In the Upper School, prospective new students must pass the SLEP test (Secondary Level English Proficiency) that ensures they have the necessary English language skills required to pursue the IB program. Students entering Grade 9 would be extremely proficient in interpersonal communication skills (Cummins, 1988), and above average in terms of academic performance. In the US, the ESL program consists of an EAP program which offers support to LEP students in Grades 9-11. The program's aim is to develop both language and academic skills in order to accelerate student progress in content courses, predominantly humanities subjects. There is currently no in-class core-subject support as part of the regular EAP program. In the current academic year, for the first time, the school has implemented a one-off intensive immersion program in Grade 9 (G9) for five LEP students at the beginner level, entailing some in-class support. This type of program modification can be typical of a private international school which determines its own curriculum and has no outside educational authority to answer to, and which tries to be flexible in terms of satisfying its clientele often because of the finances at stake. At this point the school does not intend to regularly accept or accommodate beginner level students at the secondary level, but has initiated and will continue a modified program for these five students, for the duration of their secondary program. The five students, as is the case with the rest of the ESL 39 students in the program, are not necessarily in the same core classes which appears to put a strain on the program as far as the ability of the ESL teachers to support core classes. The accommodation of the five G9 students has required that a full-time Middle School ESL specialist work half time in the UP and half time in the MS. This is, of course, not without its drawbacks. The school follows an eight day cycle with rotating blocks (A-D), which ensures that all core-subjects are evenly distributed throughout the day and occur equally throughout the year vis-a-vis holidays, etc. The nature of this rotating timetable means that an EAP specialist supporting a particular core class may see her students before the core class one day, but after the core class on another day, which effectively alters the nature of the support she is able to offer students. In the current academic year most Grade 6 and 8 humanities teachers share a common planning block with an ESL teacher, but due to scheduling constraints Grade 7 teachers do not. In the US there is no systematic shared planning time, but rather it tends to occur as individually arranged. 3 . 4 Participants The participants included 4 ESL specialists and 14 core-subject teachers in the MS and US, and an administrator from each section (school). A total of 20 individuals participated in this study out of approximately 35 personnel in the MS and US. The participants included 16 American, 4 Canadians, 1 British and 1 central European teacher with an average length of employment at the school of about four years. Table 3.1 gives a detailed profile of participants. Figure 3.1 outlines the collaborative partnerships of the teachers. The nature of partnerships was largely determined by whether the 40 students were Middle School (MS) intensive ESL, pre-EAP, EAP or Upper School (UP) EAP. Middle School ESL teachers were working more intensely with their colleagues given the lower level of the students and were therefore collaborating with less core teachers. F i g u r e 3.1 - C o l l a b o r a t i v e p a r t n e r s h i p s E S L Spec ia l i s t s T l (US) Sub jec t -Area Teachers (amount o f collaboration) T 5 (medium) T6 (high) T7 (high) L T8 (low) • T9 (high) TIO (presently none) T18 (low) T2 (MS) T 13 (medium) T 14 (medium) T3 (MS) T i l (high) T 17 (presently none) T4 (MS/US) T 6 (high) • T8 (low) TIO (presently none) (MS/non-participant) T 16 (low) 41 Table 3.1 - Participant profiles T e a c h ers National i ty Subject G r a d e s E S L students G=grade s= students Years at school Teach ing Experience in N . A m e r i c a / Col laborat ive experience K - 1 2 in N . A m e r i c a 1 Canadian ESL 9-12 G9 - 10s G10-6s G10,ll,12-7s 2 No 2 American ESL 6-7 G6-3s G6,7 -8s 4 Yes/ no 3 Central European ESL 6 7 G6-8s G7 -4s 3 No 4 American ESL 8 9 6s 5s 4 No 5 Canadian US. History/ Video Production 9, 11-12 G9- Is Gll-2s G12-2s 4 Yes/ Yes (ESL Ss' in large classes in BC. Support teacher sometimes present) 6 American English Lit 10-12 G10-4s G10-4s 6 No 7 American US. History/ Psychology 10-12 G10-4s Gll-2/3s 16 No 8 American IB Coordinator TOK 11-12 0 8 Yes/ Limited 9 American English 9-12 G9/10-3s (EAP) +G11-1S 2 months Yes/ Yes (with core-subject colleague) 10 American Science, Biology 9 10-12 G10-12 -4/5s 2 Yes/Yes . Sheltered classes 11 American LASS 7 G7-ls, G7-2/3s 4 Yes/ Yes Spec Ed collaboration as a student teacher 12 British Science Chemistry 9 11-12 G9-2s 6 No 13 Canadian LASS PE 6 6-8 G6-2s 2 Yes/ Yes Withdrawal program with minimal collaboration 14 American LASS 6 Is ? Yes/No 15 American Science 6(3 classes) 7 G6-2,3,0s G 7 - Is 4 No/No 16 American LASS 8 (2 classes) 5s-4s-exited 2 months Yes/ Yes Mostly with Spec. Ed 17 Canada LASS 7 0 6 No/No 18 American History 9,9 2s, 5s 2 Yes/ Limited A d m i n 1 American Admin 4 Yes/No 2 American Admin 4 Yes/ No 42 In addition to the four full-time ESL teachers who took part in this study, there was one part-time ESL teacher in the MS who did not take part, but is noted in Figure 3.1 as a partner of hers did participate. Teacher eleven had a dual role as a MS and UP support teacher and was collaborating with multiple teachers, also due to the intensive G9 immersion program instigated this year. Most participants had moderate to extensive experience teaching in international schools. Teachers were invited to participate whether they were actively collaborating or not in order that a variety of perspectives could be accumulated. Given the size of the school and nature of the student body and program, teachers who may in fact have several ESL students in their class one year, may not have any in the following year. Therefore, year to year collaboration operated on a supply and demand basis. In this study sixteen of the teachers were actively collaborating. Two of the teachers were not collaborating at the time because they either had exited ESL students who were coping sufficiently, or they had no ESL students. Both of these teachers had had ESL students the previous year, and one of the teachers had an ESL student up until the time of this study. Once again, it is important to bear in mind that all classes were composed of about 60% non-native English speakers, but ESL students were considered to be those students receiving support within the ESL program. 3.5 Researcher's Role My request to conduct a case-study at the participating school was received with interest and willingness to participate. Upon arrival at the school I spent time with both Heads (UP & MS) familiarizing myself with the details of the ESL program. I had on 43 previous occasions made the acquaintance of three of the teachers and one of the administrators, who all subsequently participated in the study. I also had visited the school a few times previously for reasons unrelated to this study. Nevertheless, my relationship with the school was quite limited and I considered myself to be a "guest researcher" at the school. My main role was that of a "teacher interviewer" whose purpose was to learn from other teachers' experiences and perspectives. The Heads assisted me in communicating with the other teachers and the MS Head, my primary liaison, assisted me throughout in acquiring access to documents, borrowing equipment, etc. I communicated with teachers via email about relevant matters including interview schedules. At times when I was not conducting interviews, but was present in the school, I spent time in the staff room chatting informally with teachers (participants and non-participants), making notes in my log book, and reviewing documents. 3.6 Data Collection 3.6.1 Audio-recorded interviews Interviews with participants were scheduled via email for a mutually convenient time. Interviews were audio-taped with participants' permission. To ensure their comfort, participants were encouraged to pause the tape at any time, edit (redo) comments, or discontinue being taped altogether. For the interviews, eight questions were asked of both the teachers and administrators (Appendices 1 & 2). It was not appropriate to offer the same interview to both populations because of their different roles. The questions posed to the administrators generally inquired about the role of the administration in supporting and 44 facilitating collaboration between teachers. The questions addressed to the teachers were more varied in nature. Two of the questions specifically asked about the nature of the collaboration happening between teachers and what teachers thought the purpose of collaboration should be. The other questions were intended to elicit perspectives from teachers about the rewards and challenges of collaboration, and suggestions for improving collaboration. Interviews took between 15 and 60 minutes with the average interview being about 25 minutes in length. 3.6.2 Likert questionnaire The questionnaire consisted of 32 items (Appendix 3) concerned with teachers' general perspectives on collaboration and opinions relating to their current situation. Many items were slightly altered or rephrased throughout the questionnaire to try and pin point more clearly what teachers' perceptions were. A pilot questionnaire was completed by one teacher and then modified before being administered to all of the teachers. I had wanted to have teachers complete the questionnaire after having been interviewed so that exposure to questionnaire items would not potentially affect the interview results, but this was not possible in all cases because of time constraints. It was originally intended to have open-ended questions, but after discussion with the MS Head, and in consideration of teachers' time, these were eliminated. Teachers were, however, invited to add written comments on the questionnaire, either to expand or clarify a questionnaire item. 45 3.6.3 Logbook A daily log book was kept of ideas and reflections made after interviews, information gathered in informal conversations, notes from dialogue with the MS and US ESL Heads of Department and for organizational matters. An example excerpt is included here: October 10th- In informal talks with one participant and one potential participant who withdrew - both expressed concerns about not wanting to appear negative about the collaboration process happening in the school. Both commented on the integrity of the ESL Heads, but as they themselves were not overly involved in collaborating with the Heads they felt that possible comments about lack of collaboration might reflect badly. Both had been in previous situations (schools) where collaboration between ESL teachers and (their) Science departments was strong and they were concerned that this former experience might color their present perspectives... 3.6.4 School documents Various school documents relating to the school's ESL program were collected, as well as sample emails pertaining to collaboration between teachers, including copies of students' assignments being "worked on" by both teachers. In some cases the documents provided a comparison between teachers' perspectives on the ESL program as related to collaboration and what, for example, was the more "official" position on the process. Appendix 6 includes sections of documents discussed in this paper, including an outline of the different ESL courses (6a), teachers' roles and responsibilities (6b), and guidelines for the interfacing process between teachers (6c). 3.6.5 Email After returning to Canada I continued to correspond as needed with teachers at the site for additional information that I required, particularly to complete the teacher profile. 46 3.7 Data Analysis As Stake (1995) cautions in reference to qualitative data analysis, "full coverage is impossible" (p.84). As I initially strove to interpret the data I realized first of all that teachers' perspectives about collaboration were not an isolated entity, but rather were interwoven with their perspectives on SLA and other ESL issues. 3.7.1 Interviews Data analysis of interviews occurred in various phases using a predominantly inductive method (Bogdan & Biklen, 1992; McMillan & Schumacher, 1997). Initially interviews were transcribed verbatim onto a word processor and then printed. They were then read, and over thirty themes were identified using a color code and symbols. An ongoing table was used to keep track of the themes and the frequency at which they occurred across interviews. Interviews were re-analyzed and themes were grouped into broader areas for discussion. Additionally, I felt it important to consider not just frequency of themes, but also the length and sometimes passion with which a particular theme was discussed, in order to better determine its relevance. Findings from the interviews conducted with the two administrators are discussed separately from the 18 teachers and generally revolve around the theme of the administration's role in facilitating collaboration and the administrators' views on collaboration between teachers. 47 3.7.2 Likert questionnaire Quantitative data analysis was used to show frequency distributions for the data collected from the Likert questionnaire. Detailed results of the questionnaire are presented in Appendix 4. For purposes of discussion, the results were collapsed (Mendelson, 2003) to show agreement or disagreement on items (Appendix 5). Neutral or no-comment choices were ignored unless they were felt to be of particular relevance. 3.7.3 Triangulation of data Triangulation seeks to "confirm" data (Stake, 1995) and prevent the researcher from relying on first impressions (Johnson, 1992). The data from the Likert questionnaire is used to confirm, refute and/or expand on data from the interviews held with teacher participants. Triangulation is used here as a means to establish links and show trends between the data collected from the interviews and the questionnaires. Information from school documents is also used in helping to triangulate the findings, but to a lesser degree. Triangulation is also possible using the information accumulated from interviews with the administrators and those with the teachers. Triangulating the data was aimed at revealing general categories about the nature and purpose of collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers, the administration's role, and validating constructs concerning participants' perceptions about collaboration (Johnson, 1992). 3.8 Trustworthiness Guba and Lincoln (1989) use the term "trustworthiness" as a criteria by which to judge the "goodness" or "quality" of research. Even though a researcher strives for 48 objectivity, accurate interpretations of the data and reliability, there can be different factors that interplay and threaten the trustworthiness of the study. Guba and Lincoln (1989) discuss "prolonged engagement" as a means of allowing rapport and trust to be built as a result of the researcher spending an extended amount of time at the research site getting to know participants. I was at the school on a daily basis for close to two months, spending time with teachers in the staff room, in the cafeteria, getting to know the school and in general being available. I was available to meet with teachers if they wanted to provide me with additional information or clarify/edit comments made in interviews. Two months at the school also allowed for "persistent observation" (Guba & Lincoln, 1989), which added depth and helped confirm the information that teachers shared in the interviews. For example, I frequently was witness to ad hoc collaboration in the corridor and in the cafeteria, collaborative discussions in the classroom, and informal meetings in the staffroom. To further increase the trustworthiness of the findings there is extensive use of verbatim accounts from interviews held with participants (McMillan & Schumacher, 1997). This is intended in part to reduce the subjectivity of the researcher and also, from a constructivist perspective, allows readers to make their own interpretations of the findings (Stake, 1995). In an effort to ensure confidentiality, particularly because the findings will be forwarded to the research site, quotes used from the interviews are presented anonymously. The findings include quotes from all twenty participants. Despite efforts taken to enhance the trustworthiness of this study I am aware that personal constructions and subjectivity may have inadvertently influenced the results of this study. I most certainly brought with me constructions of collaboration, based on my 49 previous experience as an ESL teacher in an international school. Franson (1999) notes that the influence of the researcher in the interview process may affect the responses of the participants. Other limitations that should be noted regarding the trustworthiness of the study include: a. Findings made about practices in one international school can not be generalized to other schools, and in particular to North American contexts. b. The actual effectiveness of collaboration in terms of academic performance and language gains made by students is not addressed. c. Respondents' answers to interview items may have been different had they been offered the opportunity to view the questions in advance and reflect upon them. 50 C H A P T E R 4 Findings 4.0 Introduction This chapter will discuss the findings of this study from the interviews conducted with the 20 participants and the questionnaire completed by the 18 teacher participants. The findings are divided into three sections. The first section addresses the first research question focusing on teachers' beliefs about the ideal purposes and process of collaboration, as well as the actual collaborative practices that occur between teachers at the EIS. The second section addresses the second research question concerning teachers' perspectives on the rewards and challenges of the current collaboration they are involved in, and their suggestions for improvements. For purposes of triangulating the data, discussion of findings from the interviews conducted with teachers is immediately followed by a discussion of related findings from the questionnaire. The percentages that are referred to are drawn from the collapsed results presented in Appendix 5. The third section of the findings answers the third research question, which serves to further illuminate collaboration at the EIS by examining the administrators' perspectives on collaboration and their roles in managing collaboration between teachers. 51 4.1 Teachers' Beliefs About the Ideal Purposes and Process of Collaboration and the Actual Collaborative Practices That Occur at the EIS 4.1.1 Teachers' beliefs about the ideal purposes and process of collaboration Findings from interviews ESL teachers and core-subject teachers as "groups" of teachers offered unique views on the collaboration process, but several commonalities existed between the two groups as well. Responses from the teachers tended to vary, seemingly affected by such factors as number of years at the school, subject speciality, previous experience with different ESL programs, previous collaborative experiences such as with core-subject team teaching or in a special needs program, and whether they had ESL teaching experience or not. Three of the core teachers had in fact previously taught ESL although they did not have ESL qualifications per se. On the whole, teachers had fairly precise views about what the purpose of collaboration should be and what form collaboration should take. The question that they were asked targeting this area was "How would you define or describe collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers - what does it imply to you, or what should it entail?" The question was intended to elicit teachers' general beliefs and perceptions about the purpose and process of collaboration so that comparisons could be made between what teachers desired or perceived as the ideal model of collaboration and what was actually happening. However, it is recognized that teachers' current realities and experiences were most likely also reflected in their answers to this question. In general, teachers had a rounded philosophical perspective of collaboration as suggested by the following comments: 52 I would see it as shared responsibility, shared planning, shared grading, shared -on every level including reporting. Collaboration means good communication, regular communication, sharing information. An ESL teacher emphasized that understanding the essential macroscopic goals or the deeper concepts of the core class was of prime importance. This teacher discusses what to him the "holistic" outcome of collaboration should be: In a holistic sense - it should result in the students from non-English speaking backgrounds fully engaging in the life of every class, in the life of the school, in the lives of other students. It should provide a tool, language being the tool, to cross over the cultural, the historical, the political, the spiritual, the personality differences between all of the students.. .if that happens then the more measurable goal.. .happens as a result of that.. .that is that the student's academic progress is helped to be the best that it can be.. ..you want a student to be able to maximise their potential in the classroom, and you don't want the English language, or lack of ability in English, to hinder that. More specifically, teachers' perceptions of the main purposes of collaboration stressed three key areas. The most frequent response that was expressed was that collaboration should support LEP students, most importantly at the affective level. Collaboration should support students by making learning experiences positive. It should help students to cross over barriers and address their psychological needs or anxieties. On a more academic level, collaboration should aim to reinforce skills. By working on the same skills in respective classes, ESL and core teachers could help students master skills more quickly, enabling them to function well in the program. Collaboration should involve teachers working together to give students support on particular assignments, as well as helping students to express their ideas. The aim should not be for ESL teachers to reinforce content skills and language by redoing, but rather to reinforce them by 53 presenting a topic in a different context. One teacher added that collaboration should also help students accomplish their individual goals. The second most significant perspective on the purpose of collaboration related to the actual process of collaboration. The purpose of collaboration was to share strategies, ideas and content. This included how to approach a subject and the best way to get the information across to the students in a meaningful way. One teacher stated specifically that the ESL teacher should share language strategies/techniques, while the core teacher should identify students' weaknesses vis-a-vis content area related language. In a general sense that emphasizes a focus on "sharing", one teacher comments: I always feel like two people do a better job than one person does - always. I've never not had that experience. The third key purpose addressed was that collaboration was a means of identifying problem areas such as determining if a given student's difficulties were language related or in fact pf another nature. Teachers also viewed collaboration from practical and interpersonal perspectives, and recognized that it wasn't a straightforward process with a formulaic solution to potential problems that may surface. One teacher stressed the importance of having the same skill development goals - an issue that may not be obvious to teachers with different backgrounds and areas of expertise. Other teachers remarked: I think just for collaboration ... you need to sort of share your philosophies, you need ownership. I think egos need to be put aside for both teachers. (Having) a session before the class to discuss what's going to happen would be ideal, and then afterwards as well a debriefing of what has happened, and then a closure; ideas for future action so a more proactive type of collaboration. What tends to happen, life being what it is, we tend to be reactive. 54 Regarding the delineation of roles, one core teacher outlined a progression that she felt was necessary to go through to reach a fully equal collaborative partnership when starting from scratch. Stage one consisted of in-class observation by the ESL teacher, stage two saw the ESL teacher move to a support role, and stage three was a progression to team teaching. The importance of spending time together in the classroom in the form of team teaching, observation, or discussion if the situation allowed was emphasized by many of the core teachers and all of the ESL teachers. The following comments are from an ESL teacher and a core teacher respectively: It is far too rare that.. .(an EAP person) will be in the classroom when the subject-area material is being taught. Now, we need to be there. Not to hold hands. Not to hold the hands of our students in those classrooms, but for a few reasons. We need to be there because there's no substitute for participating on some level, observing or participating in what's going on in those classes. To understand where those students are in their process of using the language, receiving the language, controlling the language to do whatever they are doing in those classes. So, we need to be there more. I think collaboration is a continuum.. .1 think in the ideal situation, certainly the most complete definition I would say the ESL teacher who is working in the classroom and the classroom teacher would plan together. That teaching would go on - the ESL teacher would be teaching in the classroom at times -1 would view it almost to the point of team teaching in its furthest use on the continuum. Questionnaire results on teachers' perspectives on the purpose of collaboration Two questions addressed what the purpose of collaboration should be (Appendix 3: Q 21 & Q22). As to the main purpose of collaboration, 78% (11) of the teachers indicated that it should be to accelerate the English language development of students, and 50% (7) indicated that it should primarily be to satisfy the goals of the curriculum. These figures suggest that some teachers chose both areas as being more or less of equal importance. The first finding is congruent with what teachers expressed in the interviews 55 with regard to collaboration - that its purpose was to help students. The second finding does not necessarily contradict this, but does suggest added reflection on the part of teachers as to why they should collaborate. No discussion about the goals of the curriculum surfaced in the interviews in connection with the purpose of collaboration. It is important to note, however, that in the interviews teachers were not probed beyond what they offered in an effort to not influence their responses. 4.1.2 A description of the collaboration practiced between teachers at the EIS When collaboration occurred and what communication mode was used In the MS, collaboration between teachers ranged from daily in-class presence of the ESL teacher in core-subject classes to infrequent discussions about a particular issue (i.e. language, assignment, or student related), depending on such factors as the subject in question and the number and levels of ESL students in the class. A teacher who was collaborating very little this year may well have collaborated a great deal last year because of the number of LEP students in her class at that time. Table 4.1 provides details regarding when collaboration occurred, the communication mode used, and the frequency of collaboration. Most collaboration was face-to-face, and was the preferred method for teachers, but teachers also made use of email for various purposes and those who were collaborating a great deal made frequent use of each other's mailbox in the staff room. For example, the core teacher would put rubrics, assignments to be worked through or modified, examples of excellent work, short messages, etc. in their ESL partner's teacher box, and in this way material relevant to collaboration would travel back and forth. 56 cu o <u a cu cu a '•3 a '3 s S e o U cu 3 CS H I s « CS a S s •a u • 2 L i O CO g .2! iff IS 3 •s c o o S "> 2 3 8 -° U Q C J * cd <L> 6 o a c ^ O - R CJ bo R 3 •~~» CJ R too •5 CO to •5 R a *^  a I '3 5 S co •§ si Q CO I I QJ -•«, „- o CO Q •3 .2} a 1 S "3 \, R C • x CO R I « r * CO .8 c ; a co S 3 S CO as CO 1 CO - R t 3 CO R •2 R CO R 1 R O R R O 2J CO - R 5 CO R a •§ R a co S •*^» o R CO CO CJ to a R A Teachers found this a "fast" way to communicate. Throughout the study, I became increasingly interested in the use of email as I envisioned that this would facilitate collaboration by virtue of its speed. To my surprise, there was no consistently high usage of email across the board. Teachers had differing views on the effectiveness of email and subsequently used email to varying degrees regardless of how much they were collaborating. As can be seen from Table 4.1 the most opportunities for teachers to be able to meet for face-to-face conversations were during "free" time - that is to say, breaks, lunchtime, and after school. Grade 6 and 8 humanities teachers who had ESL students in their classes had scheduled common planning time with ESL teachers, but not all of those teachers participated in this study. A few teachers commented on the advantages of close proximity to their colleague due to the small size of the school, which encouraged frequent collaboration and facilitated collaboration. The sharing of the MS ESL teacher with the UP was somewhat more problematic in that the MS was located at ground level and the UP located on the second floor. There did seem to be a tendency for teachers to collaborate ad hoc more frequently (i.e. in the photocopy room or corridor), if they were in close proximity to each other than if they were not. One teacher expresses his views about ad hoc collaboration: I find it wonderfully fruitful. It's usually talking about one or two kids at a time.. .or it's usually talking about one assignment at a time... 58 What teachers collaborated on Table 4.2 outlines the nature of collaboration between teachers. It is quite possible that the list is not comprehensive, in that teachers may have overlooked some areas where they do in fact collaborate. The nature of collaboration seemed to go hand in hand with teachers' perceived or determined roles. It also seemed to be largely influenced by whether it occurred in the MS or US, with the exception of the intensive G9 class. ESL teachers in the MS were giving in-class support or doing in-class observation and were often supporting students with low English language skills who may have been withdrawn from some core classes. This was also the case for the ESL specialist in charge of the intensive G9 class. Not surprisingly, the nature of collaboration seemed to vary according to the particular teacher in question. In contrast to the MS, the US ESL teacher was giving out of class support to students in the form of an EAP class that LEP students took in addition to all core subjects. In-class observation/support in the US was limited, largely due to there being only one full-time ESL teacher. The entire nature of collaboration in the US was predominantly a product of the EAP program, along with the fact that there was only one US ESL teacher. For teachers across the board, the most prevailing form of collaboration was aimed at assignment modification, or assistance on assignments given by ESL teachers to students. Core teachers often passed on rubrics or examples of excellent work to ESL teachers to facilitate this latter process. An ESL teacher describes the detailed process that he goes through: 59 3f n, «i C O l i C O achi nee C D C O •£3 . Bo tude H C O -1 o tC w o o spe Lon n ca 60 -S •S ia" c •3 s " u "» C D ^ C D co ^ lit 60 c 1^  § 1 ca CO U ca It-j c3 C J ~1 8.* 2 J o ^ W5 b £ S ca — -•a O co 5 -a M C D f -3 < C O o ~ C D fl ccj 5 H C D •5 w a ^ £ ° Is c 3 U ° a cu £ fl i ° i i .9 to o ^ 4-1 W o JS C D u co a, &o .g i2 T3 CD 13 C D CD fl * « s I—I U 13 ° 5 O. C D CJ C D a a o •a C D C O 3 o * I C D _ © a a O "w CO T^f si s CO cu " C D VO £ C D -3 a O S • | 3 v5 co 9- C D fl C O G C O o ca U o cu a , C D > C D Pi B o •c ca i—< o 43 cu co C D '5b| ca b ca 2 J a o H U c C D 13 5 CO C o C D T 3 O C D 13 C D ca 3 ca O. 13 a 43 60 i I will describe to them (core-subject teachers) what I want from them as an EAP teacher -1 want their rubrics, and I want every single handout, and I want them to treat me like I'm a student, and I want to know the list of assignments and deadlines, and I want all copies of - and I'm usually very good at getting this stuff in advance -1 want copies of all the texts that they are going to be reading, and I basically want to have prepped myself very well so that I'm basically a student who has - cheated, because I know everything in advance. But I also take the time... to talk about the need for me to understand macroscopically what are the most important things.. .that they want the students to be able to do - what are the skills that the students should gain over the next month.. .so I try to be as specific as I can in miming what they are doing. MS teachers also collected materials required to support students in EAP classes, but additionally spent time in the class getting first hand exposure to the reality of students. One teacher had a quite active role in supporting students and was practicing team teaching to a degree, but for two of the ESL teachers time spent in the core classroom was mostly passive observation of lessons in order to understand the skills and concepts students needed to know. Two core teachers comment on the in-class presence of the ESL teacher: The way it works so far is that she'll be in the classroom and she sees what we are doing and when she has the kids (in EAP) every other day she's able to further support - whether they're starting their work there or helping them with studying techniques. Right now he is coming into the classroom 40 minutes each period of an 80 minute class period (everyday).. .he is coming at a consistent time partially because we haven't collaborated to the point where I can say, alright, this activity I need you more than I do for this activity... he can also then see what's going on in the classroom so he can then support the ESL students when he sees them in the support class. So he knows what's going on in the classroom and he can go back to his class and support them as best as possible. If teachers were not working on a core class assignment with students in their EAP class, they were often working on a parallel assignment addressing the same skills and content. 61 In this case, teachers communicated regularly with each other to ensure that they were heading in the same direction. Although the main role of the ESL teacher seemed to be that of support teacher, six teachers discussed co-planning, with regard to content and delivery, as being an integral part of the collaboration that they were involved in. In these cases, there was more of an impression of "team" dynamics in place. These teachers were meeting at least once a week to review or plan upcoming lessons: We mould it (the lesson) to perfection before it actually happens.. .it's not a time of one teacher telling the other what's going to happen and what they need to do. Post-collaboration was mentioned by only two teachers as forming part of the collaboration process with their colleague, but it could well be that some teachers did not distinguish between post-collaboration and collaboration with a "future" orientation. With the exception of the six teachers engaging in co-planning, sharing of strategies between teachers was not mentioned as much as would have been expected from what teachers stated as being a prime reason for collaboration. Only five teachers mentioned that collaboration involved the ESL colleague giving feedback or advice relating to SLA to the core teacher. Perhaps if teachers had been probed further, more would have commented on an exchange of strategies or sharing of expertise. All of the ESL teachers mentioned that grade modification was something that they collaborated on, whereas only two core teachers noted this. Other core teachers not participating in this study were probably involved in this process as well. A system for grade modification for LEP students in the MS is outlined in the MS Teachers' Manual. No grade modification takes place in the US as students are fully mainstreamed. 62 Aside from content and delivery, a key area of interest to teachers was discussion about individual student issues. Many core teachers had in fact only one or two ESL students in their class, which greatly facilitated their ability to address an individual student's needs. Four teachers discussed devising and implementing a rescue plan with their collaborating colleague in the event that a LEP student was doing very poorly (academically and/or linguistically). Several teachers not only discussed students' language and academic issues with each other, but actively took an interest in and addressed social and cultural issues affecting individual students as well. Questionnaire results on the nature of collaboration practiced Some of the questions relating to the nature of collaboration overlapped with interview items, but some questions were designed to elicit additional information. Overall, responses to questionnaire items reflected the holistic view of collaboration that was revealed in the interviews, and the belief that collaboration was important. In response to the item "There is too great an emphasis placed on the collaboration process" 92% (13) of the teachers disagreed. 78% (11) indicated that they felt that collaborating with ESL (or) subject-area teachers made their job easier. In the interview teachers were not specifically asked if they were satisfied with the amount of collaboration happening with their colleague, although it did surface for a couple of individuals. The questionnaire revealed, however, that 71% (10) of the teachers were satisfied with the amount of collaboration between themselves and their colleague. Supporting this finding, 64% (9) felt that they collaborated a lot with their counterpart. It is difficult to compare this to the interview findings on how much collaboration occurred as "a lot" can be a subjective value to teachers, but it is 63 nevertheless indicative of teachers' satisfaction with the amount of collaboration happening. Additionally, 85 % (12) felt that they benefited from a "pooling of resources" that resulted from collaboration. 4.2 The Rewards and Challenges of Teachers' Current Collaborative Practices and Suggestions They Have for Improvements The different rewards and challenges that teachers discussed in the interviews are presented in Tables 4.3 & 4.4. The tables include the frequency at which items were mentioned. Discussion of the various rewards and challenges are integrated throughout this section. 4.2.1 Relationships with colleagues Perspectives on roles and teachers'areas of expertise In this section teachers' perspectives are examined that relate to teachers' responsibilities, areas of expertise, and the role teachers play in their collaborative partnerships. A variety of roles and perspectives on roles did in fact emerge in the interviews. Roles and responsibilities of ESL and core teachers at the school site are outlined in a document detailing the expected interfacing process between teachers (Appendix 6c). Three different possibilities for roles are presented depending on the amount of common planning time shared between teachers. Most teachers were quite clear about what they perceived as their role, and their partner's role, but a few were not. On the whole, however, collaboration practiced between teachers seemed to be in alignment with the guidelines set out, but it was not clear to me whether all teachers were 64 oo X X X X X X V O X X X X X >o X X X X X X X X CO .—1 X X X X X X X X CN X O X X X X X X X X 0 0 X X r- X X X X X X \o X X X X X X X vi X X X X X X c o X X X (N X X X X X X X :her Benefiting from colleagues skills/expertise Shared priorities/goals Clear goals for the collaboration process Colleague's willingness to collaborate Teacher's familiarity with collaborating partner's subject-area Frequency of communication/ spending time with colleague strengthens rapport Colleague's integrity; working at continually improving collaboration and pedagogy. Positive rapport with colleague Open nature of collaboration; flexibility (Meeting times, how things are done) Shared responsibility; equal partnership Small class size (less students facilitates collaboration) Collaboration seen as benefiting all students in the class Involves the student (directly or indirectly) More accurate diagnosis of students' needs possible Product of collaboration (modified assignments & grades, etc) Email (facilitates collaboration) Collaboration makes teacher's job easier Administrative support Teac *—« CN CO oo ON © CN CO »/-> o oo 65 1-ct , > C D 43 o C D \n -a ° n ° !=! 1 y "el 3 • 3 u .3 ^ •±3 tu s tu1 •S °i, • p C U cn § 3 o p o C D SP 8 3 co > OT C O C D X -3 C S2 cu a ) I 60 _3 I M l o o .S &o W a cu cu £ CU 43 60 O 60 C3 T3 CU CD CU 43 f 8 O cu cn j2 o rg o 43 « 60 3 .3 ? .O eu £ ° C cj § " g U 3 cu CD 60 •a CD * is = i f o -3 O CO f. . I-I ° 4 ? 44 3 O eg C3 o CD =s 60 C3 _ JD j j O cn cj cn O C/3 U W VO CD > CD • "2 'a S o cn 1 : 1 cu O Q 8 60 ° £Pl a '2 U CD II O • n , » « C4-I »-l O O «-s CD CD O -7 O a cu cu '•5 a •82 , cu 5 cu 1 a. CD CD •o C3 60| K cu •** O ft. « o cu C J .cu cu 3 .O s cu -ft o >< ft. o R J-3 66 actually aware of these guidelines. One teacher complained of there being no guidelines for roles and responsibilities and saw this as problematic because there was no way to address the issue of a colleague not doing their job "because what was their job?" She elaborates on her situation from the previous year: For successful collaboration, if you have two teachers who have a lot of initiative then it works out very well, but if you have a teacher who doesn't show a lot of initiative, there's no way to address the fact that the person is not doing their job, or is not offering as much support. If there's not a structure set up that clearly outlines, delineates, what each person's role or duties are in a collaboration process, then you really have to grin and bear it for a year and hope that you don't get that person again, and I did try and address it with my principal when my colleague wasn't doing more than just sitting at the back of the classroom the whole day and what it ends up looking like is that you are not able to get along with the individual. There was a small amount of team teaching, but the primary type of partnership between teachers seemed to take the form of the ESL teacher functioning as "support teacher" to LEP students, sometimes within the core class, but mostly in the EAP class. This was also the case in the US. One teacher talked about her successful experience the previous year with the ESL teacher functioning as "support teacher" in her classroom: So, the collaboration really was more of a teacher aide situation, where their role was to assist and the nature of the assisting very much depended on the motivation and initiative of the ESL teacher and if the teacher showed a lot of initiative and responsibility then you had a successful partnership. Although there's clearly the suggestion of a problematic situation according to this teacher's perception of the ESL teacher being in a subordinate position, this was not expressed by other teachers. In the MS, where the role of the ESL teacher was inextricably linked with in-class support, one ESL teacher commented that problems in the past seemed to have occurred because core teachers were not used to another teacher in the classroom, and as such it was not clear who the "main teacher" was and how the responsibility was to be shared. Many 67 teachers felt that roles often developed quite naturally between teachers regardless of guidelines. The ESL teacher previously mentioned comments: Some teachers I've met were natural - talents - or natural collaborators, they had no problems and we never even had to have an official meeting in order to find out our roles and our responsibilities. With others it's really a matter of drawing a line between this is what I do and this is what you do. This same teacher also commented that it could be "a fine line in the classroom" with regard to finding a balance and knowing when to "jump in and help out". He continued that it could be difficult determining one's exact role with a given teacher in the classroom, and that a lot of time was necessary to develop the relationship between the two teachers. ESL teachers for their part often approached their roles cautiously, giving the impression that they were concerned about overstepping their boundaries with core teachers, or were at least sensitive to possible feelings of intimidation on the core teacher's part. One ESL teacher clarifies his 'philosophical' interpretation of his role: When I'm meeting with a teacher, I try to understand what that teacher's goals are, what their methods are, what their procedures are without really judging good-bad, left-right, up-down but more just trying to understand how they are going to deliver their class to these particular students and then trying to define what particular elements of English or of language are going to be main concerns for our students ... I have a list of ideas in my mind about what good teaching is, but I try to steer clear of making judgments on teachers, but more making observations of what teachers do and what our students need and then provide them with the English language training and treatments to be successful in that environment... In ESL we come into an environment where we want to work with the teacher and we first have to decide -does this teacher even want us in the classroom? And to what extent have they worked with people before? What role do they see fit for us? What role do we see fit for them? When roles weren't clearly delineated, it seemed to hamper the attainment of concrete goals. A science teacher practicing limited collaboration observed: It seems that the teacher does what the teacher does, and the ESL person does what they do and they receive their instructions from their coordinator, but we're not always 68 sure exactly what those are so we just kind of.. .negotiate it each time the (ESL) teacher comes in. A few teachers, both ESL and core, commented on the desirability of the ESL teacher playing in part the role of the student to better understand the difficulties and challenges faced by particular ESL students, and from there be in a better position to address their needs. It was a science teacher's perception that if a teacher offering in-class support was confused then she'd know for sure that her students would be. This observation seemed to be strictly in reference to the teacher's collaborating partner rather than a generalization made about all in-class support teachers. Shared responsibility One core teacher emphasized shared responsibility in order to ensure that the ESL teacher had a stake in what was going on and hence maintain his/her motivation. Similarly, another teacher perceived shared responsibility as being important so that the ESL teacher as "resource" was being fully utilized. Shared responsibility in these cases seemed to equate with overlapping roles and equal responsibility, as opposed to an equal number of responsibilities: By not becoming an active planner I see the motivation for the ESL teacher drop. So when they come in and they don't have ownership of the class, and they don't have ownership of the students, they don't have ownership of the planning - I've seen over time the motivation and the interest, even for a good teacher, drop. Because they have no stake. They have no role, they (don't) have anything to offer and so eventually even the good ones will move to the back if you don't try and move to (the) stage of really being team teachers in a classroom. So that's something else that you have to look out for in the collaborative process, that it has to be shared. I would see it as two teachers in the classroom rather than seeing one head teacher, or one assistant or one aide. I think that's the waste of a valuable resource having two teachers, but one being only partly there. 69 For the teachers who commented on the importance of shared responsibility, shared ownership in the collaboration process seemed to be inherent in their construct of collaboration. This was no doubt connected to teachers' beliefs about what the role of the ESL teacher should be. The belief that shared ownership is an important part of the collaboration process was strongly affirmed by teachers who had had positive experiences with collaborating in the past. For one teacher new to collaborating in the area of ESL, who equated the ESL teacher's job with "support in the classroom", there was a clear segregation of roles which would seem to clash somewhat with other teachers more holistic view of shared responsibility. Nevertheless, this teacher enjoyed a very positive rapport with her collaborating colleague: I would say I'm the lead teacher. It's much more teaching support. It's not team teaching going on, it's not like splitting the groups up and working. I'm definitely leading the class and I would see the support coming more from outside the classroom. Two teachers who had been at the school for several years both commented on a former ESL colleague whom they perceived as seeing himself in the role of "ombudsman" for the ESL students, and who appeared quite unwilling to share responsibility of ESL students with core teachers. These teachers expressed considerable resentment over their perception of this teacher "telling you how you weren't serving the ESL kids." One of the teachers explains: There was this sort of - almost - defensive feeling about the whole ESL program, in the sense that the ESL teacher seemed to really feel the need to defend these students to everyone, and defend them from what the rest of us might be doing to them in our classes... I don't feel there's this need to protect these kids or something like that that comes across from (the current ESL teacher).. .it was just very strange and it left me for many years wondering what ESL teachers did with these students, what they were supposed to be doing, how the whole system was suppose to work with the rest of the school.. .So now it feels more like they're being supported and not protected. And the protectionism took the form of making me feel that I was somehow the enemy. That 70 they needed to be protected from me as opposed to now we're supporting them - with, I think, maybe some of the same intention in mind that we're trying to help them and get them (through) this process, but the approach or the feeling you get from how it's done is just much different in terms of where I fall in that process of I'm not the enemy... School is not something that we are doing to these poor kids who can't (learn English) and I wonder if that comes through to them too? .. .That before maybe some of the students in that program felt - because of the way they were being protected or sheltered maybe, that it hindered them from taking risks. These two core teachers felt that their efforts with the ESL students were neither recognized nor appreciated, and that their teaching experience was denied. From this experience they recognized the need when embarking on collaboration to find out more initial information about each other's skills and knowledge, and what each other actually does in his/her classroom. One of the teacher's alluded to potential oversights that could happen in the collaboration process with regards to meeting the students' needs if the ESL teacher was unwilling to "share" the ESL students. The ombudsman type can sometimes make ESL the only hat they wear so the child is looked at as only an ESL kid and not the fullness of the child which brings all these other issues to the classroom... Skills and knowledge Roles were also inextricably linked to each teacher's particular skills and knowledge. The expertise of the ESL teachers was widely recognized by the core teachers, but this had not always been the case at the school. A teacher who had been at the school for several years compares how things were "before" to how they were "now": In the past I just haven't felt like the ESL instructors had that knowledge. I think they were learning as they went too. I feel like XX (current ESL colleague) already has some solid ideas.. .1 think he knows what he's talking about, and he's easy to work with and he can focus the efforts of our collaboration. 71 Most core teachers found their colleagues very supportive and relied on them for dealing with ESL issues. Having an expert to turn to took pressure off of core teachers to make decisions on issues where they felt they lacked expertise. One core teacher's realization that the assistance of an ESL teacher could make her job a whole lot easier, was "like a light bulb going on". These perspectives are exemplified as follows: A second pair of eyes will pick up something that I may not have... I find they do whatever they can to make my life as a core-subject teacher easier. That's how I feel. Whenever I go and say that I'm having troubles with this - it's taken care of. In fact I think that I've learned to let go... more because of that - not let go, but to seek assistance, where before I think coming from a XX setting where as a core teacher in the school I was in, we had to do so many of the modifications ourselves because.. .(with) 32 kids and half your kids are ESL, well you don't have any choice -you have to modify. And I think I brought that here and I tried to do that all myself whereas now I'm seeing, now wait a minute, there's other people with a lot better qualifications and more strengths, and when you do it all together, as I said, it just makes the whole teaching .. .a lot easier. To a large degree the ESL teachers were seen as leaders largely because they were responsible for the move to an immersion model. Teachers expressed appreciation that there wasn't "a hidden agenda." Teachers expressed increased confidence in their ESL colleague if the goals of collaboration, as determined by the academic/language goals for students, seemed clear. XX will have his (TESOL) standards in front of him -you know some sort of checklist and he'll say could you also do this, because it can cover this, this and this. Core teachers also commented on the benefits and/or disadvantages of their ESL colleagues having, or not having, expertise in their core subject. Not surprisingly, mutual expertise in subject speciality knowledge did not seem to pose a problem on the whole for ESL/humanities partnerships, but did seem to reduce the quality of and interest in collaboration between the science and ESL teachers. Several humanities teachers commented 72 on the benefits of their colleague being competent in their field of study while science teachers indicated the contrary. A history teacher states: I think that (the ESL teacher's) background in history.. .is a big help. He actually has a lot of knowledge in the subject area that I teach. That really is helpful... While a science teacher comments: If there was an individual thing that I wanted to focus on it's not like - oh yeah OK, it's about this level, this topic - XX (ESL teacher) is not tuned into that. It's just the same if somebody said some language thing to me - I'd be equally ignorant.. .1 don't think it's very efficient. And if XX was a scientist, or if I was an ESL expert, I think both of us would feel more competent and probably do a better job.. .We're doing a conceptually based, language intensive science course, it's not just filling in blanks and worksheets and learning facts. XX hasn't got the background and freely admits it. One science teacher expressed that she simply wasn't worried about her LEP students' English because they were "some of the best scientists" that she had. She did, however, express being somewhat baffled with language issues, while another teacher was simply frustrated with what he perceived as his inability to help students with language difficulties: If I have a good sense of their work ethic - as a science teacher maybe I should be more concerned with grammar and sentence structure, but as long as I'm getting the meaning, even if the wording is a little awkward, I don't worry about that. And maybe that's the thing I need to collaborate with (ESL teacher) on is should I be more concerned about that. But I don't worry about that as much. The best way for me is if I had knowledge of both sides.. .or if there was an ESL teacher who had a background in science. One science teacher observed that her ESL colleague's knowledge in her domain had grown over the previous year so that this year the collaboration between them was running more smoothly. Although some teachers felt that their partner's knowledge may similarly increase 73 over time, it was generally thought that having expertise in both areas was unlikely or unrealistic: Her expertise is in her area and mine's in mine. I think it would be unrealistic to assume that we both have expertise in the opposite area unless we have dual degrees. Territoriality For core teachers who equate their role with being the unique provider for their students and who perhaps harbour a fear of being judged, the presence of the ESL teacher in their room can be viewed as an unwelcome intrusion. Core teachers did not mention any discomfort concerning the presence of an ESL teacher in their classroom in the current year, but many realized it could be a potential issue or had experienced problems with it before. One teacher comments here about the issue of territoriality when the move to the immersion model was made two years prior to the current program, and a second teacher shares a general impression she has about territoriality: With some teachers it was running from the get go - smoothly, the teachers appreciated it. Some teachers were very resistant, and would basically shut the door and not let the teacher be in the class. Teachers on the whole tend to be very territorial and don't necessarily like sharing their space - and I've spoken with teachers who have purposely come into teaching because they want they're own space and they don't want anybody else walking in on it - so they're not particularly happy when somebody does walk in on it. However in one core teacher's opinion, it was probably the ESL teacher's role that was in fact being compromised more during in-class support situations: I think it's probably harder for the person coming into the classroom, so the general subject teacher if they're not open minded they could make it more difficult and be reticent to that. 74 For their part, ESL teachers seemed to be sensitive to territorial issues, and tended to proceed somewhat cautiously: I don't want to step on their toes which would make them even more resistant to me being there and so once that's been established it tends to get easier. Rapport and interpersonal issues Most teachers seemed to enjoy a positive rapport with their colleagues possibly facilitated in part by such factors as, subject area being collaborated on, the small size of the school and the amount of time spent getting to know one another. For one teacher having a good rapport with her colleague meant that the purpose of collaboration about a given task or issue was "intrinsic" to their conversations. Another teacher commented that their needed to be a "definite atmosphere" during collaboration: I think we all look forward to the meetings and that we all feel good at the beginning, and the middle and the end.. .1 think we all respect each other professionally and personally (words). I think we all have the same philosophy which helps. However, having a positive rapport with one's collaborating colleague was not taken for granted. For one ESL teacher who was engaged in in-class support, establishing a good collegial relationship with core-subject teachers was considered extremely important and a very sensitive area. The ESL teacher felt that he needed to be wary of infringing, and in order to best help students the core teacher's turf needed to be respected. The teacher therefore prioritized fitting into the core teacher's routine and style as much as possible, all the while withholding judgment. His rationalization was that because LEP students needed to adapt to core teachers' delivery styles, the ESL teacher's task was to help the students fit into the framework of the core teacher. Getting to know the teacher first as a person before getting down to business was seen as a sensible pre-collaboration strategy: 75 So I've found that, first of all, trying to understand them as a person, and this is where it gets into more psychology.. .try and gain some harmony with them and then look at their goals and look at their methodologies - you've got the best chance.. .1 try to steer clear of making judgments on teachers .. .because the fact is 'the other' is quite a different road. I think more importantly is to really understand- to observe the teacher, to understand the teacher, to look at what they need, what they demand, how they demand it, how often they demand it, and then trying to find what are the linguistic bits of that our students are going to have difficulties with and then try to provide treatment for our students tp be successful. Perhaps because of this willingness to accommodate their needs, core teachers were very complimentary regarding ESL teachers and enjoyed a positive rapport with them. Respect for colleagues was demonstrated in different ways. One core teacher showed respect for his colleague's other responsibilities by not expecting prioritized treatment: I don't want to disturb him if he's grading something, or having his own thing going on, but... there's a healthy informality with how teachers can talk with each other. Valuing a colleague's expertise in their area was another way that respect was shown: I'm very much, like, look this is your expertise, so if you think - then there's not going to be... a power struggle... and if you feel like the kids need more time on something then I'm going to assume that you have the better judgment on that end. I've learned a lot from XX because I feel like I'm talking to someone who actually has great ideas and is teaching me about how to provide those strategies. Personality and attitudes For many teachers personality was key to having a successful collaborative relationship, or good rapport with a colleague. One teacher suggested that it was more or less possible to educate teachers to be able to collaborate, but that she really believed it depended more on a teacher's individual personality. Teachers didn't necessarily identify an ideal collaborative personality type, but rather it was felt that the two individuals involved needed 76 to have complementary personalities and that "egos needed to be put aside." In the case where egos weren't "put aside" one teacher saw potential pitfalls for smooth collaboration: I can imagine if someone were difficult, or demanding or autocratic - I'd do it (collaborate) for the students, but I'd probably not feel so good about it. Sometimes personality wasn't explicitly mentioned, but rather was implied, as in this participant's response to a question asking what the main strengths were of the collaboration that she was involved in: The main strength - the wonderful person that I get to collaborate with. He's just so open, creative and thoughtful. When listening to teachers' perspectives on problems, or potential problems, associated with personality that could affect the collaborating process, it was not always possible to determine whether the problem area was a reflection of negative attitudes or personality traits. It would seem that the two are not mutually exclusive. Likewise positive attitudes could easily be confused with personality traits (i.e. outgoingness, empathy, etc.). One teacher, for example, reported that the competence and willingness of her colleague to spend time working with her and the students was very important. It is unclear whether this is indicative of personality, or attitude about students' needs. Teachers' attitudes were seen as playing a role in general ways and more specific ways: The attitude of the majority of teachers has improved - and even more so with the new teachers who came in this year. They're hugely open to wanting to collaborate with the ESL teachers... the people that have been hired in the last couple of years are extremely open and I have a feeling that's what the administration looks for when they are hiring people. I think the worst experiences.. .are experiences where the teacher is not aware of, and is not that interested in becoming aware of, how non-native speakers might be learning a language.. .a teacher who sees the glaring language errors and says this kid can't function in my class. 77 For some teachers, engaging in a less formalized collaboration process contributed to enjoying a positive rapport with colleagues. For example, some teachers appreciated their colleague's willingness to be flexible with meeting times and how things were done: Part of what makes it work is that it is less formalized.. .the more formal it gets the more it becomes forced collaboration.. .this way we are trying to find natural ways to do it.. .how can we work together to make it work - rather than sitting around trying to invent collaboration. You can have it mandated from the administration, but if the two people don't actually get along I think it affects the nature of the relationship.. .it doesn't feel like it has to be so structured. If we feel like we need more time then we'll meet. But otherwise it's a daily - an ongoing conversation, very natural I think. It did seem, however, that in a very few cases where there was not a certain degree of formalization, teachers were meeting less than they perhaps needed to as reflected in comments made about their collaborative partnership. One core teacher appreciated his ESL colleague's flexibility by way of having a flexible program that could adapt to his needs. For example, he appreciated that curricular items weren't belaboured, if ESL students were not experiencing difficulties, simply because they were at that point in the curriculum: You need to be able to react to what's needed .. .(not) we don't do that 'til fourth quarter, or we did that last year and I can't reintroduce that idea at this point. ESL teachers seemed to perceive that they had an obligation to be flexible in order to adapt to their core colleagues' personalities and schedules if required. I'm flexible so he can ask me to come in at different times - which is great. I've found what I've needed to do is be able to read the personality of the teacher -that I'm going in there - and allow my personality to be flexible - too, because I am walking into their classroom, not vice versa, and if they're resistant to it, I have to adjust myself to their way of doing things and their comfort level, because I don't 78 want to step on their toes which would make them even more resistant to me being there and so once that's been established it tends to get easier. Continuity of partnerships The positive experience that some teachers had with collaboration was due in part to the length of the relationship with her/his collaborating partner. Continuity of relationship was perceived as contributing significantly to good rapport and tended to shape the nature of the collaboration engaged in over time: Having known XX for four years, we know each other - know the teaching style each other has. I'm very comfortable with him. I think he's very comfortable with me. So this makes, um, criticism, um, sharing of ideas is very open - free flowing.. .1 think (there's) always a process you have to go through when you - begin any collaboration project - when you're collaborating with a teacher - how free can you be with sharing ideas, how free can you be with criticism or, not necessarily criticism but constructively suggesting that this is what needs to be done, and if there's already an established rapport between teachers then that sharing of information becomes much easier. And XX and I already have that established so that makes things move much smoother and it really does expedite the time. One teacher who had been at the school many years commented on the lack of continuity and the difficulty of having to establish new relationships with colleagues, because of the higher turnover of teachers on the international scene compared to a more "traditional" school. He commented on having to "constantly reinvent the wheel." The teacher questioned why continuity couldn't be facilitated in the form of a file left by the departing teacher for the new teacher that described the collaboration process and partnership(s) that the departing teacher had been engaged in. Lead time For collaboration to go smoothly, ESL teachers strongly emphasized the importance of sufficient lead time (receiving materials in good time) so that they had adequate time to 79 prepare materials as required, or teach students the necessary skills or language they would be needing. A couple of core teachers acknowledged the importance of this as well, but seemed to feel strained by a perceived lack of prep time. Others gave the impression that they felt they were giving materials to ESL teachers in good time, but it seemed to be a common complaint of ESL teachers that this was not happening consistently. It appeared that ESL teachers attributed lack of lead time to teachers' personal organizational skills or even lack of interest in collaboration rather than to lack of prep time. Some comments from ESL teachers emphasize their concerns: The biggest problem is when the core teachers are not as enthusiastic, or are not making time to collaborate with you, but will hand you material as you are walking through the door and expect you to modify it at that particular moment and you have not had a chance to look at it.. .even if you're not spending a tremendous amount of time collaborating, getting as much material in as much advance time to the ESL teachers for modification, for pre-teaching vocabulary, for getting the kids familiar for the task that they are going to be asked to do, because if they don't have that information then it makes the task next to impossible and you have to teach them the basics before they can move on to the core task... I cannot emphasize that point enough - give it (the work) to us early! (A) real problem is that some teachers are very organized.. .in advance, and very good at sharing information with me, and very good at reading between the lines, looking for the progress and the intellectual capacity and development and the understanding of the EAP students and other teachers are not, other teachers are more impatient, less well organized, making up lessons the night before, which all of us do sometimes, but that just gives me no entree or (words) into my own lesson plans to support - what we're trying to support here... (He later adds...) .. .1 think that the teachers that don't do it (give lead time) so well, in my opinion, are the teachers who haven't thought through macroscopically what they want the students to get out of the year.. .what skills and intellectual abilities they want the students to develop - if they haven't thought that process through very well, then they haven't a lot to share with me. In order to improve collaboration, the ESL teachers requested assurance of adequate lead, but it is a hard thing to guarantee given the individuality of teachers. 80 Shared priorities and philosophies According to the MS document addressing interfacing (Appendix 6c), ESL and core teachers are expected to discuss their philosophical views on education in their first meeting. It is not known to what extent this occurred, but my sense is that it was infrequent. A few teachers commented that they appreciated their colleague having the same goals as they did, but several teachers seemed to simply assume that their collaborating colleague shared their priorities - the main one being meeting the needs of their students. Teachers who put this first seemed to be the teachers who were least intimidated by the collaborating process, perhaps because they placed the needs of their students above their need for classroom authority, control, or more prep time: XX (the ESL teacher) and I quite agree philosophically and we're trying to be relational (collaborate) not so much as per our personalities, but as per the needs of the students long term. I think we collaborate well in that we work together to see what's going to be best for the kids. At the end of the day, you know, what the kids are going to get out of it. Few teachers seemed to attribute difficulties with collaboration to philosophical differences with their colleague. One core teacher did however attribute philosophical differences with a fellow grade level colleague to a lack of efficiency in the collaborative process, but saw the negotiation of differences as part of the process of working towards effective collaboration. Another core teacher perceived that not sitting down with his colleague to discuss the goals of the course was a factor impeding the effectiveness of collaboration, but attributed this to a scheduling problem. 81 Questionnaire results on relationships with colleagues Several items addressed teachers' relationships with their colleagues from general to more specific aspects. Overall, I was hoping to get a sense of teachers' satisfaction with their relationship with their colleague including the interfacing process, and pinpoint causes of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The majority of teachers, 92% (13), indicated that they enjoyed collaborating with their ESL or core-subject colleague, and the same number disagreed that collaboration with ESL or core-subject teachers was not necessary to perform their job. Slightly less, 85% (12), indicated that they perceived that collaboration created an important and beneficial bond between ESL and core-subject teachers, and that for collaboration to be successful teachers must share common broad goals. Ten questions either specifically or broadly addressed the subject of teachers' roles. Certain questions specifically addressed attitudes about the delineation of roles and responsibilities. Teachers were asked if they understood what their role was in the collaboration process with regard to facilitating the integration, academic progress, and language development of LEP students, and 85% (12) indicated that they did. Two questions addressed the sense of ownership that teachers felt in the collaboration process. All teachers agreed that equal ownership in the process of collaboration was important. When compared to the interview data this suggests that not all teachers share the same idea about what equal ownership entails. When asked if they actually felt equal ownership in the actual process of collaboration, 85% (12) of the respondents indicated that they did. Of the two teachers who indicated that they did not feel equal ownership, one was an ESL teacher, which is potentially significant in that the ESL teachers are collaborating with many core teachers. This indicates that in all likelihood there are cases where one colleague does not perceive any problems vis-82 a-vis shared ownership while the other colleague in fact does. Overall, however, these findings are in harmony with the opinions regarding the importance of equal ownership expressed by teachers in the interviews. In order to better understand attitudes about roles, participants were asked to indicate attitudes on expertise. Two questions addressed this area, and in both cases 92% (13) agreed that collaboration should and does involve a sharing of expertise. Eight teachers disagreed that it was the responsibility of the ESL teachers rather than subject-area teachers to address the language needs of LEP students, including all of the ESL teacher respondents. One teacher added an additional written comment that s/he felt that all teachers needed to be aware of students' language needs and do what was necessary to address them, but that the ESL teacher did in fact have primary responsibility to oversee this process and advise the core teacher as to what they should/could do. Seven teachers (50%) indicated that they felt they had sufficient language (teaching) skills to deal effectively with the language needs of LEP students in their classes and this included, not surprisingly, the three ESL teacher respondents. Ten teachers (71%) indicated that ESL teacher's familiarity with core-subject material played a vital role in the degree of collaboration that occurred. Once again all ESL teachers indicated this to be the case, whereas three core teachers expressed disagreement. The data revealed here sheds a bit more light on teachers' perspectives about each other's roles, and in particular about whether the ESL teacher was responsible for meeting students' language needs as opposed to this being a shared responsibility. The ESL teachers disagreed the most strongly that they were solely responsible for meeting LEP students' language needs, but this sentiment did not really surface in the interviews. 83 Good interpersonal skills was chosen by 64% (9) of the teachers as the most important thing to facilitate collaboration while the rest were predominantly neutral on this item. I found this surprisingly low given how emphatically teachers weighted good rapport with colleagues in the interviews. 78 % (11) indicated that they disagreed that a lot of the time allotted to collaboration was wasted, or not used effectively, while the rest responded neutrally to this item. Teachers were asked whether they felt collaboration with ESL or core-subject teachers was difficult, and 50% (7) disagreed. Of the other teachers, three agreed that it was difficult. This item did not shed insight however into how exactly teachers perceived collaboration as being difficult or not difficult. Two items addressed teachers' familiarity with each other's subject speciality. One question asked if teachers considered it important that their collaborating partners were familiar with the content, goals, approach, etc. of their class, and 92% (13) agreed that it was. Slightly less, 84% (11 out of 13), indicated that they actually felt that the teachers they were collaborating with were sufficiently familiar with the content, goals, approach, etc. of their class. In the interview, relatively few addressed the issue of their colleague's familiarity with their area, but of those that did most acknowledged familiarity in their subject area as a benefit. A few indicated that lack of familiarity was a problem and this finding seems congruent with the interview data. 4.2.2 Lack of time In answer to the question of what problems were associated with collaboration, one respondent replied: "The first three are time, time and time." The issue of time for teachers was multifaceted ranging from quality and amount of time spent with colleagues, to time spent "sharing" students, to meeting times, to timetable problems. Despite the challenges 84 imposed by the time factor, the correlation between time spent collaborating and success experienced by students was plain to many teachers: "Well, the more collaboration you do, the students are going to benefit more." L a c k o f c o m m o n p l a n n i n g t ime Most teachers cited lack of time to collaborate, and in particular insufficient or no common planning blocks with their collaborating colleague, as the main issue impeding effective collaboration. One teacher who was in daily contact with his ESL colleague commented: The single biggest thing - my frustration this year - is that we don't have a common planning time during the school year. As the program presently prioritizes collaboration between ESL specialists and humanities teachers, more humanities teachers than science and math teachers shared common planning blocks with their ESL colleague. A few teachers were uncertain, however, whether or not they in fact shared a common planning block with their collaborating partner: "I really don't know her schedule." Teachers not surprisingly often begrudged having to meet their collaborating colleague during unscheduled time, remarking for example that after school obligations often made it inconvenient to meet colleagues at that time. Everyone knows how busy everyone is. If you don't set aside the time for planning then you just can't do a good program. And when you are really busy and you are expecting to do the planning after school and on your own time, sometimes that gets shelved. Because teachers often felt hindered by lack of common planning time, collaborative issues were often prioritized based on the amount and quality of time available, and consequently those issues lower on the priority scale were left unaddressed. In the case where the 85 collaborative process had other hurdles to surmount, limited common planning time only served to further impede effective collaboration. For some teachers it came down to accepting that they could simply not communicate everything they were doing all of the time within the framework they were operating: We're sort of reinforcing our .. .inability to actually do what we want to because we keep saying that's the best we can do at the moment. A few teachers commented that even having more time to collaborate, in the form of more meetings, for example, could in fact become counterproductive. Extra time taken up in meetings was potentially time taken away from something else, such as lesson planning. According to one teacher: I wish I could meet (the other teachers) more, and at the same time I'm glad I can't -because I can't devote that extra time. Increased efficiency in the collaboration process was seen by one teacher as a partial remedy to limited collaboration time: So I think we can be .. .more efficient with what we are doing right now even within the time frame we have right now by following our protocol a little more tightly. Increased workload Not separate from the issue of lack of common planning time, was the issue of collaboration creating an increased workload. This was targeted by some teachers as being problematic, but to a lesser degree than might be expected: It's good. It's well worth it. I don't begrudge it, but it's a time taker and it's one of the pieces that I have to deliver.. .but I see the benefits so I'm very happy about that. The biggest problem is just lack of time because it's extra meetings and it's just extra work. It's like juggling a lot of plates at the same time, and you feel bad if anything crashes. 86 Spending "extra time" doing classroom observation in order to get a fuller picture of the demands of the lesson was seen as worthwhile to ESL teachers albeit inconvenient. Two ESL teachers discuss this as follows: I'm required to do it for 40 minutes, but in order to really get the gist of the lesson I sit through a full LASS class everyday (80 minutes) so I know the details and not just a vague general picture. So that the students will be able to know the details to be as involved with the class as they possibly can. (Regarding) the issue of 'time' .. .if I want to go and observe, and there's no substitute for that real time observation.. .and I have never observed a class where I didn't at least get asked to make a comment or felt I had to jump in and we shared something-there was a debate and I gave feedback, or whatever, but I have to do that in my free periods, if I don't have that built into my actual schedule. A couple of teachers also included the students in their concern about lack of time, in terms of the students' involvement in the collaboration process. In discussing what she perceived as the main difficulty with collaboration a teacher responded: Time to do it - for everybody involved including the student. If they're not in his (the ESL teacher) support class then that time is outside of their class time.. ..they are much busier than we are without a doubt. In order to improve the present system of collaboration, teachers not surprisingly indicated a need for more time to collaborate, and in particular, more designated common planning time. Questionnaire results on the issue of time Two questions specifically addressed the issue of time. All of the respondents indicated that there should be scheduled time for collaboration in teachers' timetables. 92% (13) furthermore agreed that lack of time was the most important issue related to effective collaboration. These responses fully support the perspectives on lack of time expressed by teachers in the interviews. However, it is difficult to determine what the teachers feel is really 87 the most important issue relating to effective collaboration, as responses were also high on other items targeting this point. 4.2.3 Perceptions about the E S L program and structural issues affecting collaboration Graduated supported immersion/ I L C It became quite evident during interviews that the issue of collaboration could not be divorced from the broader issue of the ESL program itself. Teachers' perspectives on collaboration were inextricably linked to their perspectives on the entire ESL "issue." The introduction of a supported immersion program at the school took place 18 months prior to the data collection for this study. The move was primarily instigated by the ESL department based on current research and theory concerning integrated language and content learning. With the introduction of a new program, a pilot protocol for collaboration was generated based on "past problems," in particular haziness surrounding the question of "What does it mean to collaborate well?" I did not have the impression that all teachers were either aware of, or indeed followed the collaboration protocol, but regardless, most teacher participants seemed positive about the developing program and the collaboration that it entailed: People are feeling comfortable with what they are being asked to do.. .how to help these students as much as possible and make it a positive experience for them. It's been a learning experience for me, it's been good. I've gotten an idea about what the ESL department does so that's been a positive experience for me - and it helps my teaching, the more that I work with them and see.. .the problems that their students face. (Before) there was almost a walking asterisk by an ESL kid who came into my class.. .now I have to ask the ESL teachers to remind me.. .is this student actually an ESL student?... (Immersion) really helps the atmosphere of the school. 88 Integration is absolutely the way, because if they are not integrated then they are way behind. It's clear to me that (my) department needs to adopt the ESL program, because it's just fundamental to who we are and what we are doing. With regard to the goals and the implementation of the program, some teachers felt that it was unclear. School documents are in place, however, that outline the goals and the nature of the program. The humanities teachers seemed to be more aware of the goals of the program than did the science and math teachers, but the humanities teachers contact with the ESL department was also much greater. Regarding clarification of the goals and implementation of the program, one teacher suggests: Maybe in the first faculty meetings of the year, one of them needs to be delineated for people as to this is how the program works and this is the kind of situation where we need to work together and this is what we'll do. Because I couldn't really tell you what that is right now. A couple of teachers did not view the program as serving all students as well as it was intended to. One teacher comments on the monitoring of mainstreamed students recently exited from the EAP program: It's suppose to happen, but actively happen, and how they're monitored, and are they written up or are there special IEPs for them or anything like that - it's not there. There is nothing written done about any kind of monitoring system, or sheltered program for them or any kind of guidelines for the classroom teacher, nor are you made aware of any guidelines that the ESL person has regarding these students. A couple of teachers felt that the program perhaps needed more time to function smoothly: "Maybe you need two or three years before the bugs are all worked out." As different teachers were collaborating to differing degrees, largely dependent on the core subject they were teaching, some felt a need for greater consistency across the board given the move to an immersion model: 89 I really think that it should be all or nothing, that we are muddling through it at the moment One teacher's suggestion for improving collaboration given the "immersion" program that was in place was involving all of the teachers in the school in the process. Continuity of the program For the teachers who had been at the school the longest, continuity of the ESL program was an issue. Lack of continuity was seen as difficult because of all the challenges that accompany change, including with collaboration. The ebb and flow over the years of collaboration vis-a-vis changing programs, seemed to effect the enthusiasm of long term teachers towards collaboration. One teacher rather exasperatedly sums up his sentiments on the issue: Only to say that all my experiences show me is that nobody seems to have it worked out properly. Although the school had developed and refined a syllabus over time, a detailed curriculum such as North American teachers would be used to working with, was not (yet) in place. One teacher discussed the difficulties that collaboration in an immersion program entailed without a detailed curriculum to refer to, however, no other teachers brought this forth as an issue of concern: Without a detailed curriculum.. .there's no way for the ESL support person to know what's coming up because the teachers themselves (don't) know what's coming up. And so for you to be able to do long range planning and do something more substantial than take something as it comes every other week - it's much too difficult. A few teachers discussed how having policies in place could facilitate long term continuity: 90 I.. .think holistically long term what needs to happen is these need to be policies that are just followed like any other kind of policy - it needs to be part of my job that I share this kind of stuff... somewhere it's all written down about what they are suppose to be doing and how they are suppose to share it and why, and that would be good for the long term health of the school - it's like if you don't have your standards and sub-standards and curricula well formulated then when there's a big teacher turnover it starts from scratch. An initial and ongoing concern for a couple of core teachers regarding the immersion program related to the integrated language and content (ILC) approach. Understandably, in order for teachers to embrace collaboration in a supported immersion program context, they must first embrace the belief that students do in fact benefit from an ILC approach. One teacher discusses the growth that she went through regarding this process: I used to be so overwhelmed that I thought - we're talking exposure to English language - just exposure. I can't assume that they're going to get Science concepts... This year I feel like - wow they're learning the language better and they're actually learning Science concepts, so they're not getting gaps - either - it's been great. For teachers not familiar with the concept of an ILC approach, it could be difficult envisioning that it was the best way to meet students' needs. Regarding low level LEP students, these teachers thought that having a more structured language oriented program in place was necessary to meet greater language needs - the belief being that these students needed to be with someone who was qualified and had time for their specific needs. You can't be giving teachers who don't have a prep, or teachers who are struggling with another class - or whatever it would be, you can't just pop these immersion kids on them.. .(they) need someone who has as plan of how to get them from point A to point B and there may not be a lot of collaboration at the beginning. According to one teacher, the immersion process could be quite stressful for all parties concerned when the level of English of LEP students was quite low: It can be disruptive, especially during the Science classes, or in the Science classes it tends to be very stressful for the science teacher, for the ESL teacher, and for the 91 students as well. It's such specialized language that if they are coming in with little or no English then.. .it's extremely difficult. With the implementation of the immersion program, in-class support was seen as vital by the majority of teachers, although it did not always play out the way teachers would ideally have it. Sometimes the in-class support was more active and involved an element of team teaching, but it was predominantly seen as a way for the ESL teacher to observe what the students were doing in the subject matter, and from there to be able to better help the students outside the content classroom. Several teachers commented on the benefits to students in having the material presented twice, in the content class and in the EAP class. The desirability of in-class support was even seen by one teacher who was admittedly uneasy with the presence of an ESL teacher: Even though it was really frustrating last year, and I felt embarrassed and she probably felt awkward it's a great (word) experience just to see what these kids are dealing with... and the awkwardness goes away. For further improving the present collaboration process, a few teachers felt that increased opportunities for team teaching would be highly beneficial. Organizational issues Problems arose when EAP teachers were collaborating with more than one core-subject colleague teaching the same grade level core subject, but there was no synchronization between all the teachers. This resulted in increased collaboration time for the EAP teacher because of having to meet separately with these teachers, or only meeting with one of the grade level teachers who in turn would share the information/decisions with his/her grade level core-subject colleague(s). Additional work was also created for the EAP teacher in the 92 event that same grade level core teachers were not following the same unit plan at the same time. One teacher commented understandably that synchronization was difficult to manage because: "Teachers work at different paces - they have different ideas about the order that they want to do things in." However, "being on the same page" in multi-teacher collaborative situations was seen as important for enhanced efficiency. Some of these problems are illustrated as follows: There might be 2 teachers who are teaching the same subject at the same grade which means I might have both their students in the same (EAP) class, but they're not doing the same units at the same time. That makes it really, really hard on me. Because I'm working through philosophical differences with the other teacher, at times, then to bring (the ESL teacher) into that would probably not be the best use of (the ESL teacher's) time. So right now we're doing, because most of the EAP kids are in my classes, I go through the planning steps with (core subject colleague), we decide what we're going to do in our classes, then I meet with (the ESL teacher) separately.. .it becomes a little redundant - you see (another) grade team for example, all three meet at the same time, they're all on the same page so to speak and it's very efficient. Ours is maybe a little be less efficient, but it's the nature of it - the way it has to be right now. The lack of collaboration between ESL specialists and the science/math teachers was seen as unfortunate by ESL teachers who recognized a need for increased collaboration with these teachers. Of the three science teachers who were interviewed two also expressed this view. One ESL teacher comments: I'm not nearly as proactive trying to understand what are the macroscopic goals of Science and Math. Maybe that's because I don't understand the subject areas as well. Maybe it's because in a sense they are less language intensive, although that's a huge assumption to be making. I know that some of the great angst of the EAP students in Science class is directly language related. Limited ESL teachers (as perceived by teachers) and scheduling constraints did not, however, permit more collaboration with these core teachers at this point. Upon parental request, a one-93 off assistance program could however be put together for a LEP student not receiving support in a subject area such as science. This type of measure might necessitate collaboration between an ESL and a core teacher who perhaps normally did not collaborate with each other, showing the importance of flexibility. Some teachers questioned the logic of spreading limited numbers of ESL students out among core-subject teachers, if there was only one core teacher for the ESL teacher to have to collaborate with, as opposed to concentrating them in one class so that collaboration could be facilitated. Perhaps students were spread out in part to keep the "perceived demands" on the core teacher reasonable: The idea that spreading them (the ESL students) out eases the burden, I don't think it does... I mean I'd feel the same if I had five or two in my class. And it would be one person communicating with the ESL teacher. What happens now I presume, the other teacher.. .who teaches Math and Science, she is presumably duplicating everything that I am doing for her one student.. .1 mean sometimes I've sent a handout in and (the ESL teacher) has said, oh yeah, (core teacher colleague) has put that in my box. So we're not even communicating about who's in charge of sending the stuff to (the ESL teacher) - we're duplicating there. Maybe it would have been more appropriate to have put (the ESL students) in one (class), with the teacher most able or willing to deal with the issues. That's something to think about because for them I don't think it would be a problem putting them in the same group. Successful collaboration within the ESL program was in fact attributed by many teachers to the small class sizes teachers had. Most class sizes averaged about 12-13 students with an average of 1-3 students receiving ESL support per class. With these amounts of students, teachers were able to collaborate about individual students, and not just about language and content matters: Because I only have two kids our collaboration is much easier because we are only talking about two kids... not.. .fifteen.. .so we talk a lot about those two kids so you get to know those two kids very well, and each other and how we handle those two kids and what their needs are. 94 One teacher perceived that weaker students benefited by being placed in a stronger class, where "stronger" presumably referred to the level of English of the other students. The teacher rationalized that because the LEP students benefited from the modelling of the stronger students less collaboration between teachers would be needed. Although different teachers experienced different challenges or frustrations with the move to an immersion model, the vast majority of teachers reported that they noticed an improvement in their students' level of English and confidence, largely attributed to the core-subject support received in the EAP program. Several teachers made reference to ESL having been perceived by students as a punishment in the past and that no longer seemed to be the case. Teachers' views on the role/support of administration Teachers were not specifically asked about their views on the administration's role in facilitating collaboration, but comments were made in regard to interview items put forth such as how teachers thought that collaboration could be improved. The majority of teachers did not have any overt criticisms concerning the administrative support for collaboration and were fairly unanimous in acknowledging the support offered by the administration on a verbal if not an active level: There's more of a sense that we are all together working towards something. (The principal) really appreciates and supports collaboration.. .one of the reasons that I think they hired me is that I truly believe in collaboration. Discussion tended to revolve around the issues of mandating collaboration and the administration assuming a more active role in facilitating collaboration. By "active role", 95 teachers felt that the administration should be taking the lead in organizing occasional in-services and setting aside time at staff meetings for teachers to discuss collaboration: I would recommend that they be a little more proactive to help teachers get to that level without it just happening by chance. It's one thing to have the support of the administration, it's another thing to have the administration take the lead. I think that's two different things. One teacher felt that the administration would react positively to a request from teachers for more support regarding collaboration: "I'm sure that if any of us asked, could we have professional development support here, I'm sure they'd say - wonderful." He then qualified this by saying that he didn't know how meaningful a "short immersion" course would actually be to him. However, rather than a short introduction to collaboration, many teachers wanted ongoing, regular support from the administration. Suggestions included having full grade level meetings, regular systematic meetings, and icebreakers at the beginning of the year: I would say that collaboration has to be taught. You have to be taught how to collaborate. You should be given tools, skills, shown how to do it a lot. One of the problems that I've seen here is that teachers were told to collaborate (3 years ago), but then they weren't given any guidance or training or a way to do it. So the interest was there, but the know how wasn't. I think we need to have regular, beginning of the year, maybe twice a year, workshops that all faculty are required to attend - that have to do with how to help your non-native speakers - what strategies you can use to be creative and flexible, not just in your grade, but in how you design your activities and to recognize if you're designing an activity that is going to be more likely a failed activity for two thirds of your kids who are spending too much of their mental energy on the language element of it and not enough on the learning part of it. There should be also opportunities to come back and touch base and discuss how the program is developing and what some of the problems are. In suggesting changes or improvements that could be effectuated to facilitate collaboration the topic of mandating surfaced several times. Most teachers who discussed this issue felt that 96 collaboration should to some degree be regulated or mandated by the administration although the understanding of the term "mandated" was not unanimous. It varied from having casual to rigid policies in place with one teacher who supported the latter declaring that "the administration should force people to do it." Particularly, for the teachers who supported the integrated language and content approach, there was an underlying belief that collaboration was a prerequisite and hence should in some way be mandated: If you truly believe in the integration system of ESL, which I do, then for the kids sake you have to collaborate, and that's that. Not having policies in place was seen as a precursor to inviting lack of commitment to the collaboration process: Having it.. .supported by the administration puts the emphasis that this is an important thing - these are students in your class and they need to be taken into consideration. With reference to a previous experience prior to the introduction of the present program another teacher comments: The ESL person was not considered an integral part of your classroom so that if, for example, an ESL support person was sent on a trip for a week, you wouldn't even be informed... there wasn't a commitment from the administration that this in fact is important and .. .(they) need to be in your classroom on a day to day basis. However, many teachers were sensitive to the fact that mandating could be viewed negatively by teachers, particularly those that were still warming up to the idea of collaboration: "If a school goes too quickly into mandating, it can turn a lot of people off." Many teachers suggested "implementing guidelines" instead, and a couple of teachers outlined in detail what sort of guidelines the administration should be instigating, in order to bring ESL and core teachers together. One teacher's suggestion is included here: I think ideally - the administration needs to be supportive in taking initiative in laying out guidelines... the administration can lay down guidelines to facilitate that first meeting. I think it's very difficult if the ESL teacher has to come in and set up the 97 meeting and almost, um, it's seen by the classroom teacher as the ESL teacher's invading my space - putting demands on me. That already sets a precedence that this is not going to be an equal relationship and .. .automatically rapport will not be established. If it's set up from the administration, this will occur.. .and this is a format that the first meeting needs to follow, and you need to set up parameters, guidelines, then it makes that first meeting - there's no pressure on the ESL teacher at that point. And.. .any teacher that's.. .co-teaching - or - collaborating should not feel that there's an invasion of space, or they're being forced into doing something. And I think the steps that should be taken by the administration then are how that first meeting should go. There should be some steps that need to be gone through. What's the ESL teacher's role supposed to be - this should be laid out by the administrator... there's a continuum. There should be a minimum requirement, but if that rapport can be established then why not allow for the teachers to explore how far they can go with it. But I think there should be - this is what has to occur and what do we have to do to make sure we meet these minimum requirements.. ..and if there's differences in personality, or differences in philosophy, then we have to somehow come to an agreement that this is what will occur. And those steps should be laid out by administrators..." As a final point on the issue of mandating collaboration, one teacher perhaps quite logically noted that it would have to include scheduled common planning time: If it's not planned then it's very hard to mandate that someone collaborates when there's no time in the day for that collaboration. Although frustrated with the lack of common planning time, most teachers recognized the constraints scheduling imposed on the administration: The limitations of any school organization make it difficult to carry out as much as you want and I know that our schedule here - you know, kids want to take so many different subjects and their schedules are limited, and so opportunities for scheduling teachers to be free or to be in the same class at the same time are limited. To sum up, it was quite clear that teachers perceived the administration as being supportive of collaboration, but that they could take an even more active role in facilitating it. One teacher suggested that as it presently stood perhaps the teachers would get all of the necessary administrative support through a bottom-up process although "top down would have been much faster - maybe now more people have bought into it." 98 Questionnaire results on perceptions of the ESL program and structural issues Only one question addressed teachers' perceptions about the ESL program and that related to the issue of in-class support. 92% (13) of the teachers were in agreement that ESL teachers should spend time in subject classrooms to support LEP students either directly or indirectly. This desire is reflected in data from the interviews, although the interviews revealed that the process is not always smooth, comfortable, or lived out in the way that teachers would like it to be. Other questionnaire items pertinent to this section related to the role of the administration in facilitating collaboration between teachers. When asked if the administration actively encouraged collaboration between ESL and subject-area teachers 50% (7) of the teachers agreed with one teacher qualifying her answer with the written comment: "Yes - but doesn't set common planning time." This perception about the level of support offered seems slightly lower than was expressed in interviews, possibly indicating teachers' reluctance to appear negative in the interviews. Another teacher added the following comment at the end of the questionnaire - a possible criticism of the administration's role: Primary instruction and encouragement for collaboration has come from ESL Department Head. His expertise and support has been instrumental in gaining greater knowledge of needs of ESL students and best methods of instruction/collaboration. Other members of administrative team are absent in this process. 42% (6) of the teachers indicated that expectations regarding collaboration between ESL teachers and core-subject teachers were made clear by the Heads of Department or relevant others, with one teacher who disagreed, qualifying her answer with " 'expectations' are open to individual teachers." In light of the documentation at the school which seems to outline in a fair amount of detail the expectations for teachers regarding collaboration, this finding is 99 surprising and indicates, as previously mentioned, that perhaps this information was not uniformly distributed and reviewed. Regarding increased opportunities for teacher training in the form of in-services and courses, only 57% (8) teachers felt it was required to facilitate the collaboration process. One teacher clarified her answer by highlighting the difference between more "outside" help to facilitate collaboration versus working internally to improve the process: Instead of teacher training, I would prefer more meetings before the beginning of a new school year between core subject - EAP specialists. The purpose of the meeting(s) should be introducing curriculum and materials (core subject teacher), presenting list of requirements, homework policy, late work policy, etc (core subject teacher), agreeing on in-class support time (both), and suggesting ways of supporting LEP students in EAP (EAP teacher). Teacher training in my experience does not always focus on relevant issues (i.e. XX t h grade support team might need to focus on getting familiar with different teaching styles, while XX t h grade team might focus on fine tuning the schedule.) An even lower amount of teachers, 42% (6), indicated that they felt that collaboration should be enforced by policy or mandated, suggesting discomfort with the notion of "enforcement." The majority of teachers were neutral on the issue. An additional written comment from a teacher suggested that mandating collaboration at this point was premature, but could be feasible in the future: This is the number one important question. If we want to immerse LEP students as a school policy then we must support the program. When immersion is introduced core teachers should be consulted and informed - then collaboration could be mandated. This hasn't really happened and we are accepting some pretty low level ESL students. As a counterpart to the issue of mandating, 61% (8 of 13) of the teachers felt that collaboration should be voluntary. Data from the questionnaire presented further evidence that how a school chooses to proceed with collaboration is not self-evident, and that teachers are very sensitive to being told what and how they "must" do something. 100 4.2.4 Issues relating to students Non-LEP students Several teachers reflected on the importance of the collaboration, in particular team teaching or the in-class presence of the ESL teacher, in benefiting all students in the class, particularly as the percentage of non-English LI speakers school-wide was about 60%: XX sees himself as a language specialist, I see him also as a teacher coming to the table with lots to offer for every kid - even if they're native English, because there are different ways that we all acquire the language and different methodologies. XX will have his standards in front of him -you know some sort of checklist and he'll say could you also do this, because it can cover this, this and this. And the standards he uses, for the TESOL standards that he's used in the past and the new ones that he has that are part of his program.. .1 see that as standards for all students... not just the EAP students, based on the 60% non-native English speakers, as well as language acquisition for all students. As such, some teachers envisioned an ESL program that could encompass all students in the class rather than just targeting the LEP students. One teacher's view was that helping all of the students was a way to make the LEP students not feel "secluded - or different." The focus of an ESL program aimed at all students could be on academic discourse - which it was rationalized was often new language to all students including native speakers of English: There are areas like for example grammar instruction in the classroom that (all students) could do with a specific type of skill that is actually better than what a generalist teacher has... there is room and opportunity for (ESL specialists) to be able to come in and work with the entire class. It was not uncommon for core teachers and ESL teachers to discuss and implement strategies for students who were not in the official ESL program, but who were nevertheless struggling with grammatical issues. These were not recently exited students, but rather students who had never been in the ESL program or had exited more than a year ago. With regard to small but persistent errors made by higher level students one teacher explains: 101 .. .so we were just talking about that and how we might address that. Kids that don't really need the support of ESL, but could really benefit from some expertise going over these really high level, really high level papers... these are kids heading to university next year. One teacher who said she was collaborating very little with ESL specialists expressed that the needs of her ESL students were not her priority because of the attention that "problem" non-LEP students demanded vis-a-vis motivational and/or organizational issues, and because she did not connect a deficiency in English with the ability to succeed in her subject: I also think that when I'm focusing on problem students, my ESL students are not my biggest concern. When I think about the ones that I have, for the most part they are doing pretty good work.. .1 tend to put out the most immediate fires and for me the ESL kids aren't those big issues... my ESL students are some of the best (scientists) I've had. L E P students Some teachers commented on the importance of collaboration resulting in a more accurate diagnosis of a given student's problems or needs: Is it a language issue? Is it a cultural issue which seems to be creating some kind of barrier or gap in the transmission of the key concept? When I enjoy the collaboration the most that's what's happening - basically in a sense getting into - at least if not the physical space of the other teacher, that we get into each other's head space with the students. Some ESL kids are labelled only as that - that denies learning disabilities in children, it denies family crisis in children and all the other things that affect all of our non-ESL children in their learning process. Not having a hidden agenda, but rather giving students ownership in their learning was particularly valued by some teachers: I think one of the things is that it's transparent to the kids. We are very upfront and honest that we are collaborating together and I think that this way when they hear me 102 say something they go - yes - Mr. XX has already taught us that, or vice versa. So they are very cognizant of their learning process. Empowering students even took the form of the LEP student being acknowledged as a third or potential partner in the collaborative process, particularly in the Upper School: "So the collaboration isn't strictly one teacher to another," and "It (getting assistance) really is their responsibility." One teacher felt that the assessment process could be expanded to include LEP students: (Collaboration) would include me working with (the ESL teacher) and making sure I'm assessing what their (the ESL students) real ideas are and not their grammar or vocabulary - so I hope that he could work with both of us to do that. Taking the student's role in collaboration a step further one teacher alluded to the process being turned into a whole class experience: If we could put them (LEP students) in a group with one of the English speakers, and let them help one another and extending that if they're all in the same group with a good student helping them, facilitating, and we all met with XX (the ESL teacher) ... then that would be a way to improve things I think. On the whole it was evident that the concept of collaboration could not simply be reduced to an isolated process involving teachers and administrators, but rather that students were at some level "partners" in the process as well. 4.3 The Administrators' Perspectives on Collaboration and on Their Roles in Managing Collaboration The questions addressed to the two administrators who were interviewed, MS and US respectively, generally targeted their perspectives on collaboration including their roles in facilitating and supporting collaboration (Appendix 2). 103 4.3.1 Perspectives on collaboration The administrators shared the majority of the teachers' views concerning the purpose of collaboration: "It's working for the kids, it's not working for any other reason than to help young people be the best students and best people they can be." They seemed to have a holistic view of what collaboration entailed. One description of collaboration included teachers spending time discussing students' needs, co-planning, ESL teachers supporting and enriching content class material on a daily or ongoing basis, and ideally spending time in the core classroom becoming familiar with the core teacher and her/his style of teaching. Another description: I think it's the ESL specialist being able to spend the right amount of time with the core teacher and vice versa in terms of planning, co-planning and being able to support the right amount of time in the right spots, and... that's ongoing. The administrators seemed well aware of the demands of collaboration on teachers, but perceived that it was accompanied by rewards: Collaboration is the way to go in all sorts of aspects of problem solving in our school.. .a co-planning, co-teaching, collaboration model for ESL, makes sense. I think in the end it can be more work, or it has to be more well thought out work by the core teacher, but that in the end it will make their job more rewarding, certainly more successful and better for kids in the end, but more rewarding for them. Although the administrators had a clear perspective on how and why collaboration should occur there was recognition that the nature of collaboration was perhaps at times too informal between teachers and that working towards a more formal structure could be beneficial. 4.3.2 The role of the administration The general role of the administration as expressed by one of the administrators was "setting up the organization and the structure for collaboration to work as best as possible." 104 In particular, the collaboration between the administration and the ESL staff of the MS in the development of the ESL program seemed quite involved, most likely due to the multi-level nature of the MS program. Budget constraints figured prominently with both administrators as affecting what could and couldn't be done. Facilitating planning time, classroom support, staffing "the right way," and student placement were mentioned as being areas addressed in an effort to support collaboration amongst teachers. Regarding student placement, the administrators tried to place LEP students together in core classes to maximize support, but it often seemed that they were not together for undetermined reasons. Student placement in different classes of the same subject at a given grade level could affect collaboration in terms of ESL specialist availability, resulting in the ESL specialist collaborating with one core-subject teacher, but not being able to collaborate with another. While recognizing how busy teachers were, acknowledging how hard they worked, and recognizing that collaborating teachers did not always share a common planning block, one administrator commented that the time issue was in fact a "mixed bag." In reply to the possibility of being able to schedule common planning time for all concerned parties he stated "It's impossible!" The administrators did attempt to provide collaborating teachers with common planning time, but it was seen as "a huge jigsaw puzzle." We're always trying the best we can do. For the most part our ESL teachers have a common planning time... but we are operating under some of the restrictions and constraints - against - it's staffing, it's budgeting, it's scheduling. Pointing out that with the rotating schedule, teachers got three ninety minute free blocks every two days plus lunchtime and breaks, one administrator commented that he felt there was time to collaborate: 105 We always talk about the fact that we don't have time to sit with colleagues and talk, but we have some built in time to do that. Will it eat into some prep time yes. Will it be valuable in the long run? I think so. But we have to pick the right time, and the right place and be smart about it. If everybody's negative then it doesn't work. With the recent implementation of the intensive G9 EAP program, scheduling common planning time was complicated even further. The intensive program necessitated a full-time MS teacher moving to the US part-time, and as such being shared between the two schools. Like many of the teachers, administrators viewed the idea of mandating collaboration cautiously, particularly if teachers did not have common planning time. It was nevertheless stressed that collaboration was not optional: Actually in an ideal sense is that you could do it voluntarily and everybody would find the time always to meet. But it's human nature that something else will always get in the way. So for it to work best, I think under our circumstances, you do have to mandate it. The problem with that is I could mandate a particular time, but my ESL teacher might not be free in a common time with some of those teachers because he's teaching 4-5 classes. I wouldn't say mandated, but it exists and it is not optional.. .We have ESL teachers and for them to function the right way they do need to collaborate with core teachers especially. That's understood. Now the degree that that goes on efficiently from teacher to teacher is a matter of, I think frankly, it's a matter of planning time in some cases, in some cases it's a matter of personality, it's a matter of teaching styles. It can be as much a matter of being a team player. But it's also training and it's getting used to working in a co-planning or collaborative mode. In the case of reluctant core-teacher collaborators, the administration saw their role as explaining collaboration and emphasizing the need to respect that it was necessary in order to assist their ESL colleague in being able to perform his/her job. For confronting a situation of unwillingness to collaborate one administrator commented: .. .when that is brought to my attention, and that is always a difficult, touchy thing for someone to do, as gently as possible but as firmly as possible as well, I let people know that.. .there's no choice. They have to do that. It comes up more often with our special needs population than it does with our ESL - at least to my knowledge. Over the last few years we've worked pretty hard at getting teachers to understand that they must modify lessons, they must change the things that they do, they must use 106 different teaching styles to meet the needs of the various kids in their classrooms and there is no choice. Continuity of collaboration was also recognized as potentially problematic given the high turnover of staff that international schools often experience. It was felt that having a well developed model (curriculum framework) in place was the surest way of maintaining continuity of collaboration in the face of teacher turnover: We're going to want to hire in a certain way - we would want to hire people who would want to come in, not necessarily to have their program, but to implement our program. In addition, the school's appointment of a single individual to head the ESL department, as well as the elimination of ESL classes taught by non-specialist teachers (core teachers teaching an occasional ESL class) were seen as positive moves towards facilitating collaboration. 107 CHAPTER 5 Discussion of Findings 5.1 Introduction This case study set out to describe the nature and purpose of collaboration between teachers in an international school and to analyze their perspectives on different aspects of collaboration including concerns that teachers had. Additionally, I sought to understand the perspectives of the administration concerning its role in the collaboration process. It was hoped that from these findings a greater understanding would be reached regarding what was required to facilitate collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers including making it a positive, or more positive, experience. While recognizing that findings from one school can not be generalized, it is possible that the suggestions included here, particularly those supported by other studies, may be pertinent to some other communities, especially those with similar contexts. Although the perspectives of participants in this study represent one moment in time, it should not be ignored that they have also been drawn from approximately 250 collective years of teaching experience. This final chapter presents tentative conclusions based on key findings and discusses implications that can be drawn from these conclusions. Teachers' suggestions for improving collaboration are also incorporated into the discussion. The chapter will conclude with suggestions for further research in this area. 5.2 Key Findings 1. Despite being "extra work", teachers find collaboration both worthwhile and necessary 2. Teachers' views of the components, nature and purpose of collaboration are diverse (and affect their expectations) 3. Partnerships should be well established, but at the same time flexible 108 4. The administration needs to "actively" support collaboration 5. Collaboration needs to reflect the ESL program in place 1. Despite being "extra work", teachers find collaboration both worthwhile and necessary From the findings, it is quite clear that teachers found collaboration both worthwhile and necessary. Worthwhile, in that it paid off in terms of what it achieved, and necessary, in that they recognized that they could not meet all of the needs of their LEP students single-handedly. Particularly for teachers who had previously experienced a successful collaborative relationship, there was clearly no going back to not collaborating. They had endorsed it as an integral part of their pedagogical philosophy. "I think magical things happen when you get two committed teachers in the same room teaching the same kids. I believe tremendously in that..." The interviews revealed that the teachers who conveyed the most sense of success with LEP students, in that they were confident their students were making progress, were teachers who collaborated a great deal ("strong" collaborators), while the teachers who seemed most unsure of whether LEP students were making progress were those teachers who collaborated the least. One way that core teachers seemed reassured that the collaboration process was indeed paying off was when their students conveyed to them what they had been learning in the parallel EAP class: "Oh yeah - we've already learned that with Mr. XX." This concrete evidence of what was happening in the ESL support class seemed to bolster teachers' confidence with the ESL program, and in turn the collaborative process. A common belief that "strong" teacher collaborators shared was that not only the results of collaboration, but that the actual process itself was highly beneficial - both to themselves, and to their students. 109 Teachers felt that what students observed and their actual role in the process, were both beneficial. While most teachers indicated that they did not begrudge the time involved, they did indicate that it was a downside to collaboration. It has been well documented that "time" is a huge issue of concern for teachers (Geen,1985; Clegg, 1996). Teachers don't have enough time to do everything, and collaboration is often viewed as an additional hat in an already packed schedule. While collaboration should result in positive outcomes for students it should also strive to make teachers' jobs more gratifying rather than more difficult. Rewards for the extra time that collaboration can involve are accrued when teachers benefit from each other's expertise and are able to share responsibility for students. Ideally, however, collaboration should not result in an unreasonable increased workload. The key to this lies partly in teachers' perceptions of what their non-contact time (preps) should be used for. For participants who maintained that preps were more or less intended for independent lesson planning, as was implied by several of the teachers, then collaboration happening during this time was perceived as an interference or considered somewhat of a burden. The more that teachers consider collaboration to be integral to their job, in theory, the less likely they are to consider preps as being exclusively reserved for core-subject lesson planning. This was exemplified by one ESL teacher who said he considered work related to collaboration as part and parcel of his designated prep time. He made reference to the immersion model necessitating this; collaboration was essential in enabling him to do his job. Clearly, for teachers to be less resentful of the demands that collaboration places on their use of non-contact time, they must move away from equating "prep" time to "core-subject lesson 110 planning" time, towards it being simply preparation time which inherently includes collaborating with colleagues as an integral part of lesson planning. Additionally, it is seldom discussed how much time teachers should actually be expected to put into different areas of responsibility. Some teachers perceptions of the time commitment of their jobs is quite clearly from the first bell in the morning to the afternoon bell or just after their extracurricular obligation. There are other teachers, as commented on by one of the administrators, "to whom a sixteen hour work day is not that big of a deal." Obviously for the latter teachers, finding the time to collaborate is not as important an issue as for teachers who wish to be out the door shortly after the afternoon bell. Although teachers may begrudge devoting time to school related business in their personal time, it would seem to make sense to use out of school time that lent itself particularly well to collaborating, in order to ease the time commitment of in school collaboration. Out of school opportunities for collaborating that were exploited by teachers at the research site included commuting together, walking to the bus stop together, sending emails from home, and discussions at home with a collaborating partner who happened to also be a roommate. Of key importance is that collaboration be positive from the outset so that teachers are not turned off collaborating. If teachers start off right from the beginning having negative experiences, including associating collaboration with "increased workload," they are all the less likely to want to collaborate. This is perhaps particularly important for experienced teachers, who may have more grounded expectations and viewpoints, than for new teachers whose pedagogical learning curve is steeper and perhaps more flexible. I l l 2. Teachers' views of the components, nature and purpose of collaboration are diverse (and affect their expectations) For a few teachers, collaboration did indeed seem to be a somewhat fixed script, but for others, collaboration was an entity that was continually growing, expanding and being reshaped. This latter situation reflects to a large degree what Davison (2002) terms "creative co-construction" where, among other things, responsibilities and areas of expertise are continually negotiated, and conflicts are embraced as a condition leading to greater understanding. For many teachers in this study, the way that they viewed and practiced collaboration was much more all encompassing and holistic than I had anticipated. Rather than using collaboration as a "tool", as a means to an end, many teachers viewed collaboration as a "philosophy" that was interwoven into many aspects of their lives and their students' lives. Collaborating with colleagues provided a model for a way of life: When we were students we were asked to collaborate, we ask our students to collaborate, and I think it's an important part of the learning process. When you collaborate you get to hear where other people are coming from. You get to see something from a different perspective. And if you limit yourself by not collaborating, I think you limit yourself to your own experiences, and you don't allow yourself to grow as a teacher and as a student. So I think just as a student collaboration is necessary to learn, I think as a teacher collaboration is necessary to teach. Part of the holistic view point regarding collaboration expressed by many teachers was that collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers could or should address all students; in part to reduce feelings of differentness of LEP students, but also to maximise the ESL teacher's full potential, particularly during in-class support. It was suggested that the ESL teacher as a "language" teacher could be helping all students in the class given that all students, including the English LI speakers, needed to develop academic language skills. 112 The concept of including the individual LEP student in the collaborative process was another element of the holistic view that several teachers held. It was not simply a matter of two teachers planning, modifying assignments, team teaching concepts or units, etc., but doing so with an explicit awareness of each individual student's situation. For older students, in particular, it was felt that there should be investment in the collaborative process to the extent that they could even be considered a third collaborative partner. Teachers who do not include students in some way in the collaborative process, where it is seen that the process of collaboration is something that is "applied to students" or "for students," should perhaps consider involving the students more in the collaboration process. Giving students more ownership is in itself productive, but it may also accelerate the progress made by students. For the very few core teachers where collaboration didn't seem to be very successful or was very limited, it seemed to be the case, or indeed was openly admitted, that a lack of knowledge about the students' background was part of the problem. A couple of teachers who saw the five Grade 9 intensive immersion students daily were not aware of their cultural background. They were referred to by several participants as the "group of Japanese students" where in fact the students were comprised of three Japanese, one Korean and one Chinese student. One teacher attributed a lack of a deeper knowledge about students' background to an inability to determine whether a given student's success was attributable to the ESL program (including collaboration between the ESL and core-subject teacher), or to such factors as outside tutoring: "Who knows if it's the system or other factors?" It would seem that the assessment of the effectiveness of collaboration was due in part to familiarity with individual students and their backgrounds. 113 In depth knowledge of LEP students was seen, by several teachers, as important in effectively identifying a given LEP student's issues, in order to be able to help them appropriately. The more that was known about a student, the more effectively the teachers could pinpoint areas to target, develop strategies, and rule out other problem areas that might be affecting a student's progress. The implication arising from this is that it does not seem sufficient to have an effective collaborative plan in place if it does not take into consideration individual students' backgrounds and personal narratives. As such, it would seem imperative that all teachers are privy to background information of students. ESL departments, or the administration, must ensure that all teachers of LEP students are equally informed of relevant information. Some reservations expressed by teachers about the current collaboration tended, not surprisingly, to be influenced by perspectives of previous collaborative experiences. This is a reminder of the importance of valuing what teachers are bringing to the experience regarding their background knowledge, expertise and expectations. The teachers most enthusiastic about collaboration were often those who had experienced a successful collaborative relationship or experience in the past, or were in a collaborative relationship that had time to grow over two or more years. It can be frustrating and exhausting for teachers to be continually changing, particularly, if they perceive that what was previously in place as a collaborative process or a program was working just fine. Teachers in this study were highly appreciative of the fact that the Heads of ESL who were implementing the new "graduated supported immersion" program did not have a secret agenda, and were striving to both inform and include the core-subject teachers in the process, rather than "forcing change" upon them. 114 3. Partnerships should be well established, but at the same time flexible Having a good rapport with collaborating colleagues was ranked very high by teachers, with respect to enjoying the collaborating process and reaping its benefits: .. .it sort of sounds like a campaign speech. As I said, I've collaborated for eight years with a colleague - with the same colleague, and my conclusion is - that true collaboration is as much about the relationship between the two people, or more, who collaborate as it is about what you want to accomplish. And so time spent together to get to know one another is really important, and both people or all people involved must want to collaborate. If they don't if they are totally (words) at best it's going to be a sharing. And number two, when you have two people who collaborate, I know that when I collaborated with my colleague before this was the case, and I know that collaborating with XX would be this way too, that when you have two people dedicated to the instruction, who collaborate, who really kind of click, the gains for the students are many more than doubled. It's kind of like a geometric progression. Instead of - oh yeah, they are getting twice as much - no, no they are getting 5,8,10 times as much. Because the two teachers individually offer what they offer, but the relationship offers much more. You've got more attention, you've got discoveries being made between the teachers that wouldn't ordinarily be made, and they are made in front of the kids and so they're more powerful. You've also got the model of collaborative learning, collaborative - living even. It's very powerful. And that's that! There did not seem to be a conflict of personalities between core teachers and their ESL colleagues although collaboration was by no means smooth running across the board. From the findings on the issues of personalities and rapport, it is apparent that teachers valued a good rapport with a collaborating colleague and, not surprisingly, would not have wanted to be in a partnership with someone with whom they did not have a good rapport. In such a case, one teacher comments: "You really have to grin and bear it for a year, and hope that you don't get that person again." Teachers recognized that problems were not necessarily insurmountable and one teacher acknowledged that working through problems was part of developing a collaborative relationship. The importance of building some initial rapport prior to engaging in collaboration was mentioned both in school documents and stressed by several teachers. Introducing measures to ensure that the seeds are planted for a good relationship to 115 be able to grow right from the outset needs to be a priority for schools. Teachers expressed the importance of taking time to get to know one another, both personally and professionally, becoming familiar with each others programs, and exploring and understanding their mutual roles and each other's needs. Teachers acknowledged the small size of the school and proximity to colleagues as facilitating collaboration and enhancing opportunities for building rapport. Additionally, given the international environment and related factors, opportunities existed for building rapport because some of the teachers were housed together, some travelled on the bus together, and many were involved in a number of the same social activities. One implication of the importance of a good rapport with a collaborating colleague would seem to be, that in cases of significant personality differences that are recognized at the outset, where possible, an effort be made to re-match collaborating partners. Although ideally, teachers would be able to work through personality differences, the reality is that teachers are human and if extreme differences in personality can be accommodated by a change then perhaps that should be arranged. If more time is invested in trying to overcome personality differences than is spent on collaboration that is clearly counterproductive to facilitating effective collaboration. One ESL teacher mentioned how she tried to have a "flexible personality" in accordance with her collaborating partner's personality. This shouldn't, however, be a factor to the point where one teacher has to perform gymnastics in the partnership. Schools may have to re-think how teachers are paired with each other and not stick rigidly to a pre-established formula, based for example on grade levels. In addition to one teacher commenting about flexible personalities, teachers expressed that flexibility is indeed necessary in many aspects of the collaborative partnership, such as 116 meeting times, communication mode, and how things are undertaken. Hargreaves (1972) discusses how teachers tend to be autonomous, and as such there needs to be room for varied partnerships that can accommodate teachers' combined and individual concerns and preferences. A few teachers felt convinced that some teachers who were more open to collaborating, had a so-called "collaborative personality." Davison's (2002) five levels of collaboration ranging from pseudo-compliance to creative construction seem to conceptualize, to a certain degree, different personality types. Where possible, perhaps, core teachers who enjoy collaborating and want to collaborate, could be given the LEP students every year to encourage continuity of relationship, and not "force" teachers to collaborate who are clearly negative about it. Although this suggestion is not without its own limitations, it would help recognize and respect teacher diversity. Thomas (1992) suggests, for example, that because collaboration is such a delicate area for many teachers, it seems that a "touchy feely" form of collaboration is not suited to many teachers and that alternative forms of collaboration need to be employed. At another level, perhaps stages of collaboration, as put forth by Davison (2002), are something that simply need to be passed through analogous to the building blocks in a collaborative partnership. The vast majority of teachers expressed the importance of equal ownership in the collaboration process, especially on the Likert questionnaire. One teacher cautioned that the ESL teachers' motivation could decline in the event that their role wasn't validated beyond that of being a "support" teacher. For the one teacher who clearly saw herself in the role of "lead teacher", it was apparent that she did not conceptualize any other ways of structuring her relationship with her colleague. Clearly, all teachers were not equally aware of the 117 differing forms that partnerships could take, and quite likely had different notions about what "equal" ownership meant. Perhaps some information given to teachers about different role possibilities within partnerships would help them see beyond settling for a collaborative relationship that "worked", at the expense of building a collaborative partnership that truly reflected a sense of equal ownership. In striving towards equal ownership, while it may be desirable to have substantial expertise in each other's field, as wished by many participants, it is unlikely to happen for reasons of time and interest. In particular, it does not seem feasible that ESL teachers would gain in-depth mastery of different content areas, although certainly, knowledge could continue to develop over time. ESL teachers, in particular, expressed a lack of interest in the domains of math and science. In contrast, content teachers, by virtue of being native or native-like speakers of English, already have an abundance of expertise in English. Although many core-subject teachers also expressed a lack of interest in teaching language per se, it is realistic to think that with some support they could address language issues as they teach their content subject. It is common practice in collaborative work, as was the case in the MS at the EIS, for ESL teachers to spend time in core classrooms in order to better grasp the concepts and understand the skills that LEP students need to gain. It can be argued that the converse would be equally helpful for many core-subject teachers, particularly non-humanities teachers who are struggling for an understanding of how to help their LEP students. In the place of in-services (in which only 50% of the teachers in this study expressed an interest), some in-class observation, at the beginning of the year, of the ESL teacher working with LEP students, 118 using relevant core-subject material, could be an effective way to help core-subject teachers pick up some ELT strategies. 4. The administration needs to "actively" support collaboration The majority of teachers expressed that the administration must not merely support collaboration, but "actively" support collaboration. In practice, the administrators seemed very keen to actively support collaboration and stated that the framework in place for facilitating collaboration was continuing to develop. Although active support by the administration is obviously desirable, it seems only fair to acknowledge that they are responsible for running a school, and that ongoing, deep involvement in the collaboration process between ESL and core-subject teachers is probably not a realistic expectation. That did not seem to be the expectation of the teachers at the school, however. The general consensus of the teachers was that the onus was on administrators to at least set the process in motion. It was suggested that by taking the leading role in initiating collaboration responsibility was removed from teachers, and there was a better chance of it occurring in a systematic way. Some teachers also felt that there needed to be better avenues for teachers to convey collaboration related concerns. For initiating the collaborative process each year a number of teachers expressed the opinion that one or two solid meetings or sessions at the beginning of the school year should be established. These would be used to review and discuss general guidelines about the ESL program and what was expected of teachers, including what procedure to follow at the first meeting between collaborating teachers to help them establish their roles. As mentioned in 119 the previous chapter not all participants in this study were fully away of the guidelines that were in place for the interfacing process. For pre-academic year meetings focusing on the collaboration process, flexibility was once again key in facilitating collaboration for different teachers. For teachers unfamiliar with collaboration, and an integrated content and language approach, they might perceive it as a heavy burden to be given low proficiency (LEP) students and the "extra task" of collaborating. Just as it is desirable to offer LEP students different paths and access to the mainstream (Clegg, 1996), it is also arguably desirable to offer teachers different paths to collaborating, all the while aiming towards a holistic, equal ownership form of collaboration. For experienced teachers, sensitive to having "their territory" invaded, it would seem that a gradual rather than intense collaborative approach would be more conducive to facilitating collaboration. This graduated approach should be combined with substantial support where needed. Initial support would need to include clear goals together with reasons for the goals. It would appear that "experienced" teachers are the most likely to be turned off collaboration if the process is not undertaken systematically. In the interviews, most teachers, and both administrators, seemed somewhat uncomfortable with the concept of "mandating" collaboration, but most certainly felt that collaboration was essential. On the questionnaire, 6 out of 14 teachers agreed that collaboration should in fact be mandated, and 8 out of 14 agreed that it should not be left to the voluntary good will of teachers. Although a full understanding of what mandating would actually entail was not explored, it was clear that participants felt that mandating or no mandating, guidelines needed to be in place. It seems that teachers often want both autonomy and structure. They desire flexibility, but want a degree of accountability. A balance needs to 120 be found. One argument against officially mandating collaboration, made by both a teacher and an administrator was that common planning time would have to be designated during the school day. Common planning time was the single issue that 100% of the teachers agreed was required for effective collaboration to occur. With the complex demand of scheduling it was clear that it would be impossible to give all teachers common planning time following a standard timetabling procedure that tried to match and coordinate all relevant elements such as subjects and grades in a systematic fashion. The need for common planning time also fluctuated from year to year, based on the movement of LEP students from one grade to another, and the intake of new LEP students in the MS. It would seem fair that where scheduling common planning time was possible, it should rotate on an annual basis as appropriate to ensure that all teachers needing it, benefited equally. Likewise, it seems appropriate that priority be given to the teachers who were required to work the closest with the ESL teachers. In addition to these considerations, and given the frustration that teachers feel over a lack of common planning time, creative options for providing teachers with common planning time should be considered that compensate for the restrictions of a standard timetable. One viable option for accommodating teachers, who do not have a scheduled common planning block with their collaborating partner, might be to implement a "cover teacher" system. A cover teacher could fill-in one lesson per week for a core-subject colleague, so the core colleague is free to meet and plan with her ESL colleague, during one of his scheduled preps. To make this as disruptive as possible, the cover teacher could be entirely responsible for planning and teaching a weekly lesson on a theme or topic separate from the 121 on-going work of the regular classroom teacher. For example, the cover teacher's weekly lesson could have a general focus such as "writing skills," which tied into the curriculum, and might, or might not relate to the unit the core-subject teacher was working on. This would not be an extra lesson for the cover teacher, but part of her full load. A couple of "cover lessons" might take the place of teaching an elective. 5. Collaboration needs to reflect the E S L program in place Teachers frequently alluded to collaboration being inextricably linked with the "new" ESL program, as the establishment of both tended to coincide. There seemed to be more limited collaboration in place prior to the move to a graduated supported immersion model. The participants in this study seemed confident that there was strong ESL leadership in place with no hidden agenda which was conducive to changes being implemented. Comments often linked collaboration with the effectiveness of the program. It was perceived that an immersion program required collaboration and that collaboration allowed for an immersion program to be implemented. This combination in turn led not only to language and academic gains for students, but social gains as well. The amount that teachers engaged in collaboration or seemed convinced of its effectiveness was related to their belief in the philosophy of an immersion model. If teachers believed that "immersion" truly was the best program option for ESL students vis-a-vis an integrated language and content approach, then they were more apt to advocate and engage in a fully collaborative partnership. ... in any program in which there are a fair percentage of LEP speakers and they are being immersed into the core program, and receiving ESL services - to the extent that they receive classes in which, and through which, there's great collaboration between the TESOL specialist and the core teaching specialist, the extent to which there is 122 quality collaboration, such as I've tried to outline with you and in the protocol, so will they be successful. There's absolutely no doubt. Teachers may be resistant to "mainstream" collaboration if they perceive, for example, that an adjunct model better meets the needs of students, perhaps based on previous experience as was the case for one participant in this study. In pursuing an immersion model, it is vital that all teachers who need support get support. Although humanities is often prioritized because of the perceived language demands, science is an area where teachers frequently feel at a loss with respect to supporting LEP students. If successful collaboration is to be measured not only in terms of students' needs, but also teachers' needs, then science (and perhaps math) are areas that can not be put on the back shelf. It could well be that some humanities teachers, particularly those with previous ELT experience, are quite capable of dealing with the language needs of their LEP students, and could forego collaborating with an ESL teacher enabling science teachers to get more collaborating time. In the questionnaire, four core teachers indicated that they felt they had sufficient language skills to deal effectively with LEP students. For collaboration to be truly effective, in the case of an immersion model being pursued, it appears that what is needed is whole school commitment and flexibility. A few teachers commented that they felt the administration was hiring in a certain way, with collaboration in mind, because of the needs of the ESL program, and perhaps this is what is needed in schools with high levels of LEP students. This was also mentioned by the collaborators. Team players are more vital to a successful ESL immersion model program than non-team players. 123 5.3 Conclusion In summary, there are clearly many favourable conditions at the research site for effective collaboration to occur. These include small class sizes of 12-15 students, 1-3 LEP students per core class, enthusiastic committed teachers, four full-time ESL specialists and one half-time ESL teacher for approximately 30 LEP students. The findings discussed here show that it is unlikely, however, that a perfect collaboration model that will please all of the people all of the time will ever exist, particularly given the number of variables intrinsic to the process. For improving collaboration, Sagliano and Greenfield (1998) suggest that teachers read and discuss literature on collaborative teaching, have common planning time and administrative support including workshops, approach collaboration as equal partners, spend time to plan in advance, be flexible and open to change, and strive to develop the necessary institutional infrastructure to facilitate and sustain collaboration. Collaboration needs to be an evolving process, that can adapt to teachers' needs and other demands, but at the same time it depends on several components being continually present to be effective. If a piece of the formula is missing, collaboration will be less effective regardless of the level of involvement in the collaborative process. A formula for collaboration may look something like this: ESL/core teachers' perspectives/understanding of students + students' realities + teachers' realities + quantity of productive time invested between teachers, and between teachers and their students + support. A final quote from one of the ESL teachers comes close to embodying the complex nature of the collaborative process. It also reinforces the idea that for collaboration to be successful teachers need to view the process as a holistic one, rather than as a means to an end: 124 I think the extent to which the ESL specialist knows the teacher and knows the course and knows the student within that course, to the extent that all of those are at the highest level of awareness and knowledge on the TESOL specialists part, so will the collaboration be successful. Because the converse of not talking with the teacher about anything, their content, their classes, their philosophy of education, their personality if you will, hardly knowing our student, not seeing the student in the classroom - how can we possibly give specific treatment and support to students when we don't know what we're doing? I think the more we know about the student, the more we know about the teacher... personally and professionally, and the more we know about our profession, the more specific and efficient treatment we can give them. I think there's a clear correlation. If you take anyone of those away, the quality will drop. 5.4 Suggestions for Further Research With regard to further research, three areas appear to be interesting avenues for exploration. Firstly, the role of the LEP student as a third partner in the collaborative process expands the notion of collaboration happening in the teacher only context. Some key questions include: a) what role does the LEP student play in different contexts? and b) what would be different ways to involve the student, so that the collaborative process could be enhanced? Secondly, a more in-depth look at international teachers' experiences "abroad" might reveal further unique characteristics inherent to international teachers that affect the collaboration process. This could include a closer examination of the issues raised in this study, such as, rapport established between teachers, and opportunities for collaboration, outside the school environment. Different aspects of teachers' pedagogy and instruction, as influenced by their international situation, could also be considered. Finally, with Davison's (2002) levels of collaboration in mind, a case-study (with an ethnographic emphasis) of the evolving roles of teachers in long-term partnerships might reveal certain "stages" that collaborating partners go through. 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How would you describe/define collaboration between ESL/ core-subject teachers? What does it imply to you, or entail? 3. Could you describe the nature/ type/ purpose of collaboration that you actually engage in? With whom and when? 4. What are the main difficulties or problems that you associate with the collaboration that you are involved in? 5. What are the main strengths and what works well regarding the collaboration that you are involved in? 6. How do you feel that collaboration could be improved here? Is there a need for greater or increased collaboration? 7. Have you taught in North America and if so can you compare the collaboration here to what you've experienced or are familiar with in N. America? 8. Is there anything else that you would like to comment on as regards collaboration for example this situation, your perspectives, experiences, etc? 132 Appendix 2: Interview - Administrators 1. What role does the administration have in facilitating the collaboration between ESL and core-subject teachers in this school, and what role would you like it to have? 2. What do you think the collaboration should entail; what should it hope to accomplish; what should it look like? 3. One of the main concerns of teachers is the time component (lack of common planning time, increased workload). Do you have any ideas on how this issue can be addressed? 4. Do you think that collaboration should be voluntary or perhaps mandated in some way? 5. Can you think of anyway of facilitating the. collaboration process for those teachers who aren't team players; their personality isn't, perhaps, conducive to collaboration, or they don't see it as their role. What would the administration's role be in such a case? 6. How do you think the process of collaboration can maintain continuity in international schools with the high teacher turnover? 7. Can you make any comparisons between collaboration as it's happening here with that which you've experienced or are familiar with in a North American context? 8. Is there anything else that you would like to comment on, as far as collaboration between core-subject teachers and ESL teachers is concerned, based on your experiences, this situation, or your perspectives? 133 Appendix 3: Likert Questionnaire I. 1 am satisfied with the amount of collaboration between ESL (or) subject- area teachers and myself 2.1 collaborate a lot with ESL (or) subject-area teachers 3. It is the responsibility of the ESL teachers, rather than subject-area teachers, to address the language needs of LEP students 4. ESL teachers should spend time in subject classrooms to support LEP students (directly or indirectly) 5. For collaboration to be successful teachers must share common broad goals 6. The administration actively encourages collaboration between ESL and subject-area teachers 7. Expectations regarding collaboration between ESL teachers & subject-area teachers are made clear (by Heads of Department or relevant others) 8.1 do not feel that collaboration with ESL teachers (or) subject-area teachers is necessary to perform my job 9. When I collaborate I feel equal ownership in the process of collaboration 10. Collaboration should be enforced by policy; mandated II. Lack of time is the most important issue relating to effective collaboration 12.1 understand what my role is, when collaborating, in facilitating the integration, academic progress and language development of LEP students 13.1 enjoy collaborating with ESL (or) subject-area teachers 14. Collaborating with ESL (or) subject-area teachers makes my job easier 15. Collaboration should be voluntary 16. Collaboration between ESL and subject-area teachers involves a sharing of expertise 17. There is too great an emphasis placed on the collaboration process 18. It's important to me that the teachers I'm collaborating with are familiar with the content, goals, approach, etc. of my class 134 19.1 feel that the teachers I'm collaborating with are sufficiently familiar with the content, goals, approach, etc. of my class 20. Good interpersonal skills are the most important thing for effective collaboration to occur 21. The main purpose of collaboration should be to accelerate the English language development of students 22. The purpose of collaboration should primarily be to satisfy the goals of the curriculum 23. More teacher training is required to facilitate the collaboration process (i.e. in-services, courses, etc.) 24.1 have sufficient language (teaching) skills to deal effectively with the language needs of LEP students in my class 25. A lot of the time allotted to collaboration is wasted (not used effectively) 26. Collaboration with ESL (or) subject-area teachers is difficult 27. Collaboration should involve a sharing of expertise 28. Collaboration creates an important and beneficial bond between ESL and subject teachers 29.1 benefit from a 'pooling of resources' that results from collaboration 30. ESL teachers familiarity with core-subject material plays a vital role in the degree of collaboration that occurs 31. There should be scheduled time for collaboration in teachers' timetables 32. Equal ownership in the process of collaboration is important 135 Appendix 4: Likert Questionnaire Results Collaboration Between ESL and Subject-Area Teachers Questionnaires distributed =18 Questionnaires returned =14 Question l=strongly 2=disagree 3=neutral 4=agree 5=strongly N/0=No Total disagree agree opinion 1 1 3 6 4 14 2 3 2 4 5 14 3 2 6 3 2 1 14 4 1 5 8 14 5 2 3 9 14 6 3 4 7 14 7 4 4 5 1 14 8 7 6 1 14 9 1 1 7 14 10 1 7 4 2 14 11 1 5 8 14 12 2 8 4 14 13 1 6 7 14 14 1 2 6 5 14 15 2 6 3 1 1 13 16 1 7 6 14 17 2 11 1 14 18 1 6 7 14 19 1 8 3 1 13 20 1 3 4 5 1 14 21 1 2 9 2 14 22 3 4 6 1 14 23 1 5 7 1 14 24 1 3 2 4 3 1 14 25 2 9 3 14 26 3 4 4 3 14 27 1 6 7 14 28 2 3 9 14 29 1 5 7 1 14 30 3 1 4 6 14 31 2 12 14 32 5 9 14 136 Appendix 5: Likert Questionnaire Results - Collapsed Collaboration Between ESL and Subject-Area Teachers Questionnaires distributed =18 Questionnaires returned =14 Question Disagree Neutral Agree Total or no-opinion Responses 1 1 3 10 71% 14 2 3 21% 2 9 64% 14 3 8 57% 4 2 14 4 1 13 92% 14 5 2 12 85% 14 6 3 4 7 50% 14 7 4 28% 4 6 42% 14 8 13 92% 1 14 9 1 1 12 85% 14 10 1 7 6 42% 14 11 1 13 92% 14 12 2 12 85% 14 13 1 13 92% 14 14 1 2 11 78% 14 15 8 61% 3 2 13 16 1 13 92% 14 17 13 92% 1 14 18 1 13 92% 14 19 1 1 11 84% 13 20 1 4 9 64% 14 21 1 2 11 78% 14 22 3 4 7 50% 14 23 1 5 8 57% 14 24 4 3 7 50% 14 25 11 78% 3 14 26 7 50% 4 3 14 27 1 13 92% 14 28 2 12 85% 14 29 2 12 85% 14 30 3 1 10 71% 14 31 14 100% 14 32 14 100% 14 137 Appendix 6: Site Documents 6a) Course Descriptions Course Descriptions The fundamental goal of each ESL course is to foster academic, linguistic and social success in each limited English proficiency (LEP) student. To achieve this goal, L E P students participate in our graduated, supportive immersion program. This means, the L E P student is placed in the program at his or her language proficiency level and given appropriate support both in and out of the core classes. In general, the middle school E S L program is diyided into three phases along a continuum of development designed to meet the varied needs of our students. (See figure 1) E S L Proficiency level Beginning/limiced Intermediate ability Advanced ability E S L Course/phase Intensive ESL English for Academic Purposes Advanced ESL Middle school courses Math, science and "specials" A l l courses except foreign languages A l l courses Fig. 1. The E S L proficiency levels and relative ESL courses and selected core courses. Students who are enrolled in the ESL program with "very limited" English are placed in phase one: the Intensive ESL Course. The goal of this course is to facilitate the mastery of foundation-level language and to promote an introductory understanding of English for academic purposes (EAP). Students at this level do not take another foreign language course nor are they enrolled in language arts or social studies courses. They do, however, receive both pull-out and in-class ESL support for other mainstream classes. For students entering the ESL program with an "intermediate-level" of language ability, the E A P phase is selected. The purpose of this course is to continue to build each student's foundation-level language skills while providing him or her with English for academic purposes support for the core middle school classes. Students at this level attend social studies and language arts classes; however, they do not attend another foreign language course. They do, however, receive both pull-out and in-class ESL support. Finally, for the "more advanced" LEP students, the Advanced E S L phase is chosen to meet their needs. The main objective of this phase is to provide very limited and in- class-only language and academic support. Students at this level of language proficiency are enrolled in all the middle school academic courses. Co-planning with ESL Specialist Most of the core courses will have an ESL specialist in the classroom on a regular basis. The aim of the specialist is to work with the core teacher tb provide necessary linguistic scaffolding to help each LEP student to succeed academically, linguistically 138 and socially. For these courses, it is required that core teachers and ESL specialists meet on a regular basis (at least once a week) to discuss vital course information. (See attachment 1) In general, this information must be processed well in advance of delivery to students and include, but not be limited to the following: • curriculum and content objectives • themes or unit topics • activities/content tasks • content and language concepts to be learned • materials/resources • assessment/progress indicators • language considerations • language strategies • the specific role of the ESL specialist in relationship to all the above ESL Student Evaluation within ESL Program Content teachers play an extremely integral and invaluable role in the evaluation of ESL students within the ESL program. The following outlines the areas of evaluation and the requisite roles of the content teacher and ESL specialist. The at-risk student The at-risk ESL student is identified by the content teacher to be academically at risk through a systematic, categorical and verifiable evaluation of student's performance in key area of evaluation yielding a total failing grade. When you have identified said student, you are required to fill out and submit the at-risk form to the ESL specialist so that a success strategy can be defined and implemented immediately to remedy the situation (see attachment 2). As a general rule, the at-risk form should be submitted in a timely manner so that the at-risk student can have time to improve and be successful within the trimester Exit from within and out of the ESL program Various criteria are used to evaluate an ESL student's readiness to exit a particular phase of the ESL program. One especially influential factor in making this decision is the classroom teacher. Upon notification from the ESL specialist, the content teacher is asked to assess the selected student's ability to meet modified classroom objectives as supported by the student's performance in key areas of classroom assessment. Thereafter, with the content teacher's evaluation in mind, the ESL specialist finalizes the exit process (see attachment 3). 139 A p p e n d i x 6b) T e a c h e r s ' R o l e s a n d R e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s Phase Roles and Responsibilities General Education Teacher Special Education/ ESL Teacher Phase I • Writes the lesson plan • Conducts the instruction • Informs specialist of upcoming lessons • Periodically meets with specialist • Modifies classroom materials as needed • Monitors__msrruction given to students with special needs • Implements behavioral interventions • Responsible for grading and m test modifications • Interacts primarily with students with special needs • Maintains lesson plans ' and separate grade book. • Periodically meets with general education Li1 3 « • . Phase II • Writes lesson plans and shares with Specialist • Shares formal instruction with specialist minimum of once a week • Shares informal instruction for all students on a daily basis • Plans with general education on a weeklyrjasis • Maintains a copy of general education teacher's lesson plans • Reviews test with general educator i n order to design modifications • Assists classroom management • Conducts formal instruction a minimum of once a week • Provides regular informal instruction for all students on a daily basis • Develops and implements supplementary and supportive learning activities • Help design graphic organizers for classroom use / Ii-SL / / Phase m • General education and specialist jointly deliver instruction with / / responsibilities shifting between teachers. / / *\ • Both teachers monitor and assess all students in the class • Shared ownership of classroom duties ^ • Planning on a daily basis to ensure classroom coordination • Develop joint lesson plans * "2 r I 2 — * 3 140 Initial Planning Considerations for Co-Teaching 1. Who w i l l introduce our "partnership" to the class? 2. Who presents content of the lesson? 3. What grouping pattern wil l be used for lesson presentation? •whole group, small group 4. How and with whom wil l the students be grouped for instruction? 5. Are modifications needed? • for whom • who wi l l make the needed modifications 6. K c w w i l l "study skills" be addressed? 7. Who can make on-the-spot adjustments in the lesson? 8. Do partners feel comfortable with interjections and additional comments from one another during our lesson presentation? 9. How w i l l paperwork be handled? • who grades daily assignments/exams • who records grades in gradebook • who tracks/ updates IES's (mcuvidualized Education Strategies) • who completes report cards • who communicates with parents (notes/conferences) 10. What classroom behavior management system w i l l be utilized? • who intervenes when one partner is instmcting • who develops and implements individual behavior plans/contracts 11. Wil l teacher responsibilities be • rotated? • daily/weekly/monthly/every six weeks? • equitable? 12. How w i l l communication be handled? • administration • related service personnel 13. How w i l l the classroom be arranged? • traffic patterns • students' desk configuration • seat assignment 141 Appendix 6c) E S L and Core Teacher Interface Eng l ish Language Program Language Spec ia l i s t and Content Teacher Interface M i s s i o n Sta tement As a program committed to the linguistic, academic and social success of each limited English proficiency (LEP) speaker at BP, language specialists and selected content teachers will interface throughout the academic year to ensure the enhancement of each LEP speaker's language learning experience and content course success. The program will accomplish this on the basis of a variety of approaches couched within on-going and consistent interface in the form of in- and out-of-class meetings between language specialists and content teachers focusing on EAP and content course design, implementation and assessment in relationship to meeting each LEP speaker's needs within program means. The Educa t iona l Ph i l osophy We believe that LEP students are most sucessful linguistically, academically and socially when the language specialist and the content teacher work in close concert, based on their means, to meet the needs of each LEP student. Genera l P rocedures In order to fully realise the mission of. the language specialist and content teacher interface program, the following categories of investigation between the language specialist and the content teacher are proposed: • A discussion of the mission and philosophy of this program • The scheduling of meetings (i.e., pre-, while and post-trimester) • General education philosophy • Classroom management style • Course overviews (i.e., goals, objectives, assessments and materials) • In- and out-of-class role of language specialist • Modification of content class materials for LEP speakers • Program evaluation and recommendations I. P re -academic year meeting A pre-trimester meeting between the content teacher and the language specialist should be scheduled at least one week before the beginning of the new academic year. This meeting should focus on (in an order of participants choosing), but not be limited to, the following: a. An exchange on philosophy of general education b. A discussion of general classroom management style (See attachment 1.) c. A general overview of content course presentation by content teacher (including goals, objectives, assessment mechanisms, materials, weekly and daily plans, etc.) d. A general course/program overview of English language program by English language specialist. 142 e. A discussion of the linguistic modification procedure and grading policy of middle and elementary schools (See attachment 2.) f. A discussion of in-class role of language specialist (See attachment 3) g. A discussion of any very LEP (new) students to watch this trimester h. The next steps: set next and on-going meeting times and topics (e.g., student needs and modifications) II. On -go ing Meet ings On-going meetings between language specialist and content teachers should be scheduled on a regular basis to interface on issues of import regarding L E P speakers in direct relationship with content class success. These meetings may include the following: a A discussion of any special LEP student needs of import, treatment and assessment of efficacy b. A discussion of current class objectives and LEP students' needs/modifications c A discussion of English language specialist's role in relationship to content classroom activities and overall goals d. A discussion of the entrance or exit of any LEP into or from E A P program e. A discussion of modified grading procedure (if near trimester's end) f. Next steps III. Pos t - t r imes te r Meet ings a A summative discussion of programs strengths b. A summative discussion of areas to improve program c An action plan with success indicators and timeframes to address "areas to improve" d. Next steps 143 


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