Review Of Research Articles About Second Language Acquisition Education Essay

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Below are ten research articles and studies that address issue we have discussed in second language acquisition for students that are English Language learners. At the beginning of the course we discussed teachers' biases and their lack of appropriate training and education in teaching ELL that can affect students that are ELL. These abstracts validate that there is a problem with bias. We have also discussed the role of cultural and socioeconomics and how it affects the success of SLA. During this search, I noticed several articles addressing different ways to address this issue.

The running theme I have noticed is that there is no universal and accurate approach to teaching students who are ELL. There are many variables involved in each academic situation. Students' needs for learning second language are as individual as each student. The approach for SLA depends on language acquisition for the native language; socioeconomics, cultural issues, and if there are language delays in the native language.

Gunderson, L.. (2008). The State of the Art of Secondary ESL Teaching and

Learning. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52(3), 184-188.  Retrieved November 5, 2010, from Children's Module. (Document ID: 1601681651).

The 1968 Bilingual Education Act specified that students who "come from environments where a language other than English has had a significant impact on their level of English language proficiency; and who, by reason thereof, have sufficient difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language" should be provided with bilingual programs (Bilingual Education Act, 1968). Students who were Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, or Punjabi speakers had higher disappearance rates and lower grades in academic classes than Chinese speakers because there were differences in socioeconomic status and families' abilities to scaffold their children's education when school programs failed to do so. It seems that the same awesome determination and purpose could be focused on discovering how science, math, social studies, and English teachers can teach successfully in classrooms that include increasing numbers of ESL students.

As we have learned in some of our discussion posts, we need to address all aspects of our students' backgrounds when teaching a SLA. Culture and socioeconomics is an important part of this. The fact that there is a dropout rate for students of different cultural backgrounds shows that educators are not implementing cultural sensitivity and awareness as part of their instruction. There cannot be a cookie cutter approach to teaching language to varying cultures.

Nykiel-Herbert, B.. (2010). IRAQI REFUGEE STUDENTS: From a Collection of Aliens to a Community of Learners. Multicultural Education, 17(3), 2-14.  Retrieved November 5, 2010, from Multicultural Module. (Document ID: 2176089481).

Systematic observations of children of various cultural groups in their classrooms and communities (Au, 1980; Delpit, 1996; Gibson, 1982; Philips, 1983) invariably demonstrate that children perform better academically if the culture of their classrooms, including expectations of appropriate behavior and instructional strategies, reflect the culture of their homes. The subjects of the study are 12 refugee children from Iraq in grades 3 through 5 (ages 8 through 11) in an Upstate New York urban school, in mainstream classrooms, pulled out for 50-60 minutes of ELL instructions. After 12 to 18 months at the school, many of the Iraqi students in middle and higher grades were barely at the emergent level of literacy acquisition The researchers created a separate, self-contained classroom for the low-performing Iraqi students. The Edison story confirms what some earlier studies of minority student groups have demonstrated, namely that "students' performance in school is directly affected by the relationship between the cultural patterns supported by the school and those adhered to by the students

There were those that were opposed to the self-contained classroom for the Iraqi children. They did not want to create an atmosphere of "separate" or "segregated". This can be a valid point in some situations. However, students had difficulty with acclimating to their new surroundings. When they were in their self-contained unit, issues that were affecting them specifically could be addressed while they were being surrounded by a group of peers that came from the same emotional and physical place. They were comfortable in a cultural setting that was familiar to them while learning their new language and acclimating, with their peers, to their new location.

DelliCarpini, M.. (2010). Success with ELLs. English Journal, 99(4), 102-104.  Retrieved November 5, 2010, from Research Library Core. (Document ID: 1972796791)

Form a collaborative, interdisciplinary team that would plan and develop an integrated curriculum that built skills and met standards for both academic subjects and the Career Development and Occupational Studies standards developed by the New York State Department of Education. Students who participated in the eight-week modules engaged in a variety of authentic writing tasks, acquired information on US markets, and studied business history in the United States, global markets, supply and demand, résumé writing, communication skills, and selecting a business that will succeed in a given market and economic climate.

The importance of addressing post-secondary goals and skills when teaching a second language is an important part of SLA. As discussed in one of our modules, motivation plays a key factor. Students are more invested in their learning when they see a real life application that is important to their personal goals.

Rodriguez, D., Ringler, M., O'Neal, D., & Bunn, K.. (2009). English Language Learners'

Perceptions of School Environment. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 23(4), 513-526.  Retrieved November 5, 2010, from Education Module. (Document ID: 1807801991).

This study investigated the perceptions of 123 students (57 monolingual and 66 English language learners [ELLs]) from a rural public elementary school in North Carolina with respect to school climate, curriculum and instruction, extracurricular activities, self-efficacy, and self-esteem. With respect to teacher preparation, Smith-Davis (2004) argued that teachers are not adequately prepared to help ELLs reach their maximum academic potential. The researchers visited the school 16 times over a six-month period in order to collect the data. During the interviews with the bilingual and monolingual students, the researchers followed a modified version of the questionnaire protocol titled "Measuring success in ESL programs," which was originally authored by Carrasquillo and Rodriguez (1998) although the data reveal essentially no differences in school climate, during the interview, several students reported that they were punished if they spoke in their native language. After interviewing a total of 123 students in kindergarten through Grade 5, the main finding of this study is that the perceptions of elementary ELLs and monolingual learners in a particular rural school in North Carolina were strikingly similar. the monolingual students in all grades also have less self-esteem than the ELLs at all levels, kindergarten through grade 5.

This is one school that obviously had a very strong ESOL program in place. Students did not notice any differences in curriculum or extracurricular activities. This shows that teachers were providing the same level of challenge in all settings. The study would have been more interesting if they used the questionnaires in three or four different schools with different socioeconomics and diverse backgrounds. North Carolina seems to be on the cutting edge when it comes to ESE programs. The universities seem to do much research with RTI, ESE and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Brice, A., Shaunessy, E., Hughes, C., McHatton, P., & Ratliff, M.. (2008, October). What

Language Discourse Tells Us About Bilingual Adolescents: A Study of Students in Gifted Programs and Students in General Education Programs. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 32(1), 7-33,139-141.  Retrieved November 5, 2010, from Education Module. (Document ID: 1574104461

The purpose of this study was to examine student discourse between bilingual students in gifted programs and bilingual students in the general education programs in an urban middle school. This study suggests a minor language advantage for the bilingual students in the gifted program. The overall conclusion seems to indicate that bilingualism, language abilities, and giftedness involves many variables and that the relationships are not necessarily direct. Participants were 16 students served in public middle school (grades 6-8) in one of the largest urban school districts in the southeastern United States.

In sum, the evidence from this study suggests mixed support for the three research questions and a slight language advantage for the bilingual students in the gifted program. Bilingualism, language abilities, and giftedness involve many variables). It appears that an understanding of bilingualism and second language acquisition would be beneficial for gifted and general education teachers.

Some studies seem to state the obvious. It would appear that a gifted student would have an advantage in any regular or ESE setting. I agree that training for teachers who teach general education and gifted program should have knowledge of SLA. Students with disabilities are in the main stream classrooms much more than in the past. It is important for ALL teachers to understand aspects of SLA and ESE education.

Meisel, J.. (2007). The weaker language in early child bilingualism: Acquiring a first

language as a second language? Applied Psycholinguistics, 28(3), 495.  Retrieved November 5, 2010, from Humanities Module. (Document ID: 1289045851).

Past research demonstrates that first language (L1)-like competence in each language can be attained in simultaneous acquisition of bilingualism by mere exposure to the target languages. The question is whether this is also true for the "weaker" language (WL). The WL hypothesis claims that the WL differs fundamentally from monolingual L1 and balanced bilingual L1 and resembles second language (L2) acquisition. In this article, these claims are put to a test by analyzing "unusual" constructions in WLs, possibly indicating acquisition failure, and by reporting on analyses of the use of French by bilinguals whose dominant language is German. The available evidence does not justify the claim that WLs resemble L2. Instead, it shows that WL development can be delayed, but does not suggest acquisition failure. Finally, reduced input is unlikely to cause acquisition failure. The fundamental issue at stake is to explore the limits of the human language making capacity.

I believe this addresses BICS and CALP. Reduced input is unlikely to cause acquisition. However increased output is very integral part of language learning. If you don't use it, you lose it. This also reminds me of a study in one of the discussion posts that discusses simplifying language while students learn to reduce their frustration level.

Joko Kusmanto, & Anni Holila Pulungan. (2003). The Acquisition of English Negation 'No' and

'Not': Evidences from an Indonesian Child in Non-Native Parents Bilingual Program. K@ta, 5(1), 41.  Retrieved November 5, 2010, from Humanities Module. (Document ID: 967696001).

Every child is born with an innate endowment by which (a) language(s) acquisition is possible. This view emphasizes the role of universal properties every child is born with to acquire (a) language(s). This paper presents the acquisition of English negation 'no' and 'not' by an Indonesian child brought up in Indonesian - English Non-native Parents Bilingual Program (NPBP). The analysis is directed to reveal the pattern of 'no' and 'not' use as the evidence that a child still acquires a targeted language despite the poor targeted language input s/he is exposed to. The result of the analysis shows that the acquisition of English negation 'no' and 'not' by an Indonesian child in Indonesian - English NPBP also has a pattern which falls into syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic cases. To some extent, it supports Universal Grammar frame, but there are some which provide new insights on this issue.

The two students in are data analysis in module 5.2 both had negation issues. One had L1 that was Spanish and another had L1 that was Chinese. This child is Indonesian. This seems to support the research that a targeted language can still be learned due to universal grammar frame. The students understand the basic principle of negation. They may be not be placing no and not in the correct order. However, they understand the basic principle regardless of their native language.

Stanley I Greenspan.  (2001, November). Working with the bilingual child who has a

language delay. Scholastic Early Childhood Today, 16(3), 28-30.  Retrieved November 5, 2010, from Children's Module. (Document ID: 85642407).

Greenspan discusses what a teacher should do if she suspects that a bilingual preschool student has a language delay. The first step should be to determine if the language delay is only in the second language, or if it is present in both languages. It's very important for children who have language delays, but are otherwise interactive, to be in settings with other children who are communicative. The rhythm of interaction is critical for language development, so it's very important for the child to have communicative and verbal peers. What we want is interaction, interaction, interaction!

I am used to working with students that are speech-language impaired. However, I never think of this in terms of students who may be SLA. The teacher in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Unit has a new student from Mexico who has no language. She did not go to school in Mexico. She knows no sign at all, no reading, etc in her native language. As a teenager, she is learning language for the first time. Students in my unit who are speech-language impaired have made significant improvements in language by modeling their peers and their teacher. Obviously, their language would not have the same improvements if they did not have any interaction with individuals (teacher and/or peers) that interacted with them on a daily basis.

Mary Ann Zehr.  (2010, October). Boston Settles With Federal Officials in ELL Investigation :District Agrees to Retest 7,000 Students' English Skills. Education Week, 30(7), 10.  Retrieved November 5, 2010, from Research Library Core. (Document ID: 2171700391).

Carol Johnson, the schools superintendent in Boston, where 28 percent of the district's 56,000 students are ELLs, said in an interview that the system has been trying for a year to bring its schools into compliance with federal civil rights law. The effort has involved training some 2,000 teachers in how to work with English-learners, retesting the English skills of 7,000 students, and mapping plans to accelerate the learning of ELLs who should have received services before but didn't. A report last year by the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy, at the University of Massachusetts Boston, found the district wasn't properly assessing and identifying many students as ELLs. In May 2009, the district hired Ms. De Los Reyes and tasked her with addressing the lack of services to ELLs cited in the 2008 state review. She said the settlement resulted from a strong collaboration with the Justice and Education departments.

I find this interesting that students were not being properly assessed as ELL. These students were taking their standardized tests I the mainstream and not in their native language. Students were in the classroom. However, I'm wondering if some of these schools had ESOL programs or they were relying on untrained teachers to address the educational needs of the students that were ELL. If teachers are not trained in ELL or ESE, they may not be aware of the rules on standardized testing for students who were SLA. They should review the lack of services and the lack of education for teachers to provide services to students that are ELL.

Huang, J., & Brown, K.. (2009). CULTURAL FACTORS AFFECTING CHINESE ESL STUDENTS' ACADEMIC LEARNING. Education, 129(4), 643-653.  Retrieved November 5, 2010, from Research Library Core. (Document ID: 1800962381).

Confucianism meets Constructivism in North American universities and our classrooms are failing to meet the educational expectations of Chinese students. Specifically, students from the People's Republic of China mentioned six areas where they feel discomfort: (a) They feel uncomfortable with the classroom behavior of North American students. (b) They question the value of a professorial focus on discussion rather than lecture. (c) They query the professor's failure to follow the textbook. (d) They feel there is too much emphasis on group work. (e) They note a lack of lecture summaries along with an apparent lack of organization. (f) They share on common interests (e.g. sports, religion) with their North American counterparts. This paper discusses the cultural factors that affect Chinese students' academic learning at North American universities. It also provides implications for North American professors.

This is more interesting research on how culture affects students' views towards language acquisition. In one discussion post, the issue of motivation and how the students' views of the people and culture for SLA affects their motivation to learn. The Chinese students did not understand certain cultural aspects and behavior of North American students. Hidden curriculum is an important aspect to include when teaching a new language to non-native born students.

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