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How ESL teachers can support mainstream teachers

There are several things that ESL teachers can do to help mainstream teachers in their efforts to get the best out of the ESL students in their classes. This help includes:

Information about the ESL levels

School year 2016-2017

In-class support

There is provision in the Judith Martin's schedule this year for in-class support. There may be occasions in your lessons when it is particularly important that students understand what you are saying; for example at the beginning of a new unit, when you are preparing them for a test or explaining a long-term assignment. On such occasions you could invite Judith to your lesson (or part of it) and she can ensure that the ESL students understand the new content and/or what they have to do. Good times for Judith to help out in class are when students are engaged in individual or group work.

Another occasion on which Judith's support could be used is when a new ESL student starts during the course of the year. She can take that student aside for a lesson or two and teach him/her some of the essential vocabulary and concepts that he/she will need in order to begin to understand what is happening in your class and to feel comfortable there.

If you feel you could use Judith's help, it's best to let her know in advance if you can. But feel free to call her at short notice in an "emergency". Judith may also contact you to request permission to visit your lesson if she knows you have ESL students who are experiencing difficulties with the work in progress.

The times when Judith's support will probably be available are:

Note: The times above include Judith's planning periods but she is flexible about using these for support.

Student drop-in

There are many older students at the school who are no longer in ESL, but who would benefit from some language help from time to time. You could advise these students of the periods Judith is available, and they could arrange to see her for help. This obviously applies to ESL students too - on the assumption that they have a free period.

Teacher drop-in

Paul Shoebottom is available in his room 289 every break and lunch time for teachers to drop in and discuss individual ESL students or ESL matters in general; and for students to get help.

What mainstream teachers can do to help ESL teachers

You can help us to help our students by keeping us informed of the start of any major new unit and important project or test. You can also help by keeping us informed on who is struggling in your classes. We can respond to such information by:

It is also useful if you too could remind ESL students often that they should not be shy about asking for support. ESL teachers are happy to give extra help to ESL students at break or lunch, or after school, but the students need to take the responsibility to seek us out. This support also applies to non-native speakers who have exited from ESL, or have never been placed in it.

Subject support in ESL class

The ESL curriculum comprises two main aspects:

In general, one subject support class per day is offered to students in 6-8 ESL1 or 9-10 Intermediate. And one support class per week is offered to students in the other ESL classes. However, ESL teachers are flexible, and more support time is given when students are very busy with subject assignments or are preparing for tests.

Furthermore, ESL teachers generally respond positively to last-minute requests from teachers. Most often the request is to allow students to finish an assignment or test that they have started in the mainstream class but have not been able to finish. You can email us the request, or simply tell the student to ask us.


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