Brevity is also necessary because reading for content and for linguistic problem solving is the focus" (Kruger). In contrast to the brevity of the intensive program the extensive program "consists of longer selections, that are assigned to be read outside of class, like novels or short stories" (Kruger).
Of course a major goal of the program was English language knowledge and reading comprehension, but "Vocabulary building is an intrinsic part of all aspects of the program too," and "Increasing reading speed is an integral by-product of this program, and comes about naturally as a result of increasing facility in reading" (Kruger). Reading speed was not seen as essential, but, as the author said, it was a natural "by-product" of the program. Both of these last two features also were desired features of the programs. Reading comprehension truly comes with an increased vocabulary, and as students understand the material better they will naturally read it faster.
The author of the study also realized that there was another integral part of succeeding with this type of teaching plan. "Feedback via the testing of students is important at all stages of the program, to assure that objectives are being met. The testing should be diagnostic, for identifying student problems in reading, and should measure their general proficiency levels" (Kruger). The teacher needs to make sure that the students are getting the material and that they are not just coasting through. Many ESL students have difficulty communicating their need for help, and this type of feedback will give the teacher immediate knowledge of any deficient areas in each students work.
Article 4. Ernst-Slavit, Moore, & Maloney.
This particular study was conducted by three ESL teachers who began with the premise that "Literacy is part of language; thus, reading and writing develop alongside speaking and listening" (Ernst-Slavit, Moore & Maloney). They also saw the need, initially to "focus on what students have rather than on what they lack" (Ernst-Slavit, Moore & Maloney). This meant that the teaching regimen that they wanted to develop was much more student-focused than subject-focused.
One of the major findings of their research was that "second-language learners are capable of obtaining the everyday language used in conversation within a relatively quick period of time -- around two years" (Ernst-Slavit, Moore & Maloney). This had been proven time and again with both secondary school students and adults, but the problem was that ESL students were still failing at an alarming rate and not going on to higher education because they did not reach their highest learning capability in high school. This was because "the acquisition of the academic language and literacy needed for high school coursework takes anywhere from 5 to 11 years depending upon which research you base your numbers" (Ernst-Slavit, Moore & Maloney).
Thus, the researchers conducted a study that helped them understand where the deficiencies were. "The ability to determine the stage the student is passing through and what strategies are effective in a given stage can provide both teacher and student with a means of communicating effectively at any point in the language-acquisition process" (Ernst-Slavit, Moore & Maloney). The stage for each student is important to understand because the range is 5 to 11 years which means that not all will progress equally. Whereas this statement seems common sense, many were teaching as if all of the ESL students were at the same stage in their language development. The researchers also found that "Providing a stress-free environment with continued support and encouragement, where students are able to pass and not respond, is a requirement" (Ernst-Slavit, Moore & Maloney). This fact became more apparent as the data showed the stress that each student encountered as a part of their daily life.
Article 5. Emmenecker.
This researcher is affiliated with the corrections system in Michigan and conducted research regarding the need for ESL training in the prisons there. The reason for the study is that there is an increasing number of inmates who either do not speak English, or they are severely below proficiency levels. Thus, since a GED or high school diploma was a condition of every parole hearing by state law (Emmenecker), these prisoners were at a severe disadvantage when trying to gain these documents. Thus, the reason for including this study was its relevance to the high school population.
The state of Michigan, "In 1999, due to the increasing number of non-native speakers of English in the prison school population, [made a decision] to more specifically address the language learning needs of LEP students by implementing a video-based ESL program and the accompanying text series" (Emmenecker). The purpose of this study was to determine how effective that program had been with the population. One of their more interesting findings was that the usual model of learning conducted in that atmosphere would not work for ESL students. "ESL instruction would not likely be successful in an independent study program model. Language learners need concrete direction, modeling, interaction, and feedback in order to succeed" (Emmenecker). The prisoners were normally given a study program which they would do on their own, and just send in the results when they were finished with it. Most programs did not occur in a classroom setting depending on the level of institution. Of course, this presented problems that ESL teachers did not normally have to face. The researcher realized that "ESL instruction would not likely be successful in an independent study program model. Language learners need concrete direction, modeling, interaction, and feedback in order to succeed" (Emmenecker). Therefore, it does not matter what the restrictions are there remains a need for all of the elements that have been found to succeed in other ESL settings.
Article 6: Cahyono.
It is difficult to say what the most important part of learning ESL is, but it could be the environment the learner is placed in. Whether it is reading, writing or speaking proficiency, English language learners who come from a different culture must have an atmosphere in which they can learn quickly and efficiently. One of the best possible methods is to put the students, or students, into a mainstream classroom and allow them to learn while they are doing regular schoolwork. This was the method that Cahyono observed with an Indonesian student who was immersed in an Australian classroom for three years.
This article was actually a follow up article in which the researcher, an ESL teacher from the same school who wrote the article as a requirement for a doctorate in education, concluded a study that had begun previously. The main focus of the education for the young girl who was the focus of the immersion was to teach her using;
"Reading activities, which included classroom reading, home reading which involved parents' supports, and summarizing from reading materials encouraged her to read various stories, fairy tales, fables and other children's literature and to write summaries of books she had read. Writing activities which included handwriting, spelling exercises, diary writing, and story writing enabled her to hand-write clearly, write most of the words correctly, describe her weekly activities, and produce her own creative stories" (Cahyono).
Of specific interest here are the writing activities which were many and varied to help the student become more proficient in writing in the English language. The article made especial mention of the ability of the different writing activities to help the student learn the basics of the English language.
The specific intervention her to help the student learn how to write proficiently in the English language was immersion in a mainstream classroom. Basically the student was required to complete the same types of activities that the rest of the students in the classroom were doing. There was some special assistance to help her understand the language, but very little was given. The student was "highly motivated" (Cahyono) as can be seen from the success she was able to produce. The conclusion of the study found that this method of teaching ESL to students can be very successful. The subject of this study scored above grade level in reading after being in an English language classroom for only three years.
Article 7: Clachar
The researcher, a professor of English at the University of Miami, wanted to find out if the writing interventions used to help United States children who spoke Creole-English were able to help ESL students with their writing difficulties. The specific intervention here was with clause-structuring in writing. Clause structuring is one of the foundational tools that writers first learn when they are learning to understand how sentences are fit together. Also, it is a device for proper grammatical writing in any language. Previous research had found that Creole students wrote as they spoke, which was an issue because the clause structuring in the writing was not to grammatical norm. The solution was to place these students into ESL classrooms to help them form proper English phrases.