The teachers and reading specialists at HGSE all have to complete state requirements to earn licensure. One of these requirements is completion of a 2-credit course about ELLs, or English Language Learners. T-210Z1B Dimensions of Diversity: English Language Learners incorporates a mixture of theory and practice.
Everyone in the class is embedded in a practicum, either in a full-time student teaching role or as a reading specialist at a local school. In addition to reading the research about ELLs, we completed assignments to formally observe an ELL class and to interview an ELL about their experience coming to the US, joining a new school system, and learning English.
In our final class session, our instructor, Shireen Al-Adeimi, invited a panel of students and one teacher from Boston International High School and Newcomers Academy. (They have a post on their homepage about their visit to a previous T-210Z1B class!) They shared their experiences and answered our questions before participating in small group mini-lessons. It was really valuable to get feedback from a student; she pointed out strengths and weaknesses in my lesson from the ELL perspective.
Mary Reid Munford is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Teacher Education Program, pursuing licensure as a high school English teacher. She has worked in schools in New Orleans, Mississippi, Colorado, and southern Africa and is interested in how experiential education can make academics come alive for a wide range of students.