Instructional Initiatives for English as a Second Language (ESL) Students in Introductory Courses
15 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2013
While we tend to think of ESL students as mainly recent immigrants at the primary and secondary level of education, ESL students comprise a significant group in many public colleges and universities. These students include immigrants, international students, and Generation 1.5 students, which means each group often has varying skill sets with differing gaps in reading, writing, and oral competencies. This presents difficulties particularly in introductory courses where instructors are expected to introduce students to academic texts, writing academic or analytical papers, and college level discussion. In an ideal world, our students should already be self-sufficient and have similar skill sets but this is not always the case. So how do instructors adjust their courses and teaching styles to incorporate ESL students while maintaining course standards? Borrowing from ESL teaching strategies used in Applied Linguistics and English Language and Literature, I find that there are several course design and teaching initiatives that may help ESL students and even non-ESL students be more successful in introductory courses.
Keywords: ESL; introductory courses
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