To enhance learning for ESL students the authors provide selected background knowledge and strategies. When I was taked Literature I start to read different books for the class, but I first think that I really don't need read that kind book but I remember that when I finished the book, was really interesting so I start to read by myself....
This changed a lot my life, because now I love read book of any subject, I don't care if the book is of History or the kind of story or is a novel or a science fiction book I just read and enjoy the books, but I can't read scary books, because I afraid to this kind of story.
Having students who are already familiar with the joy of reading and the importance of books is a paradise awaited by many teachers. Yet, having a student like Ana for whom reading and books started out as a means to an end, but ended up as a joy, is one of the things teachers appreciate most, for it means that the student has learned the power and agency that the world of literature can bring (see Christensen, 2000). Joyous as Ana's discovery is, the path there is not an easy one. Helping students like Ana who struggle with basic literacy skills in their second language may at first appear to be a tremendous challenge for teachers who already face a myriad of other responsibilities. How do we help Ana learn about such complexities as parallelism? How can she begin to understand 16th-century English when she is confused by 21st-century English? How can she see the subtle differences and nuances between guilt and compassion during a discussion of Toni Morrison's (2000) The Bluest Eye?
The purpose of this article is to provide teachers with selected background knowledge and strategies that enhance the learning process for English as a Second Language (ESL) students in secondary classrooms. With the changing U.S. demographic picture and its impact in schools as a backdrop, key principles in the field of ESL and a brief description of various program models for second-language learning are presented. Also discussed are the stages of language development and cultural adaptation that all second-language learners navigate through. Important linguistic and cultural processes are outlined and effective activities are suggested for students in various stages within those processes.
Who are our second-language learners?
According to a 1990 census, there were 42,791,000 students enrolled in elementary and secondary schools in the U.S. During the 1991-1992 school year, approximately 6% of those students were language minority students, that is, students who are in the process of learning English as a Second Language. Furthermore, according to data from the 1993-1994 Schools and Staffing Survey, available on the National Center for Education Statistics website (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=96), "forty-two percent of all public school teachers [had] at least one LEP student in their classes."
Finally, census 2000 data indicated that the total number of ...