ELL in the Classroom Refresher
Course Outline

Course Fee: $80
Course Numbers: EED x701 46779, SED x701 46788
Standard Course Time: 15 hours
Semester Credits: One (1) academic credit at the graduate level (available for an additional fee)
Credit Issued by: Humboldt State University (refer to our Graduate Credit page for credit pricing and details)
Subject Area: Review of Teaching Fundamentals
Author: Carolyn R. Smith, B.S., ESL Endorsement

Although this review of teaching fundamentals course is taught as stand alone class, we believe that the best teaching practices involve the seamless integration of all pedagogical practices. This and other courses serve as a review of the most essential teaching components, which, when integrated together, create the backdrop for the larger professional development for practicing teachers.

Introduction/Course Description:

This class will be presenting the best ways to educate ELL students and to ensure that they are learning content while mastering a new language and adapting to a new home country. Our challenge as teachers is to know how to reach these students, to teach them, and to know what to do when they cannot express themselves to us. As teachers we need to help them learn to succeed so they can be productive citizens. There is much teachers can do to awaken the power within the students to help themselves and to feel empowered.

It is important for teachers of ELL students to understand that second language learning by school-aged children is a longer, harder, more complex process than most of us have been led to believe. We need to have an accurate understanding of the process of second language learning and its relationship to acquiring other academic skills and knowledge. This class will be presenting MANY strategies that we can quickly and easily incorporate into our existing curriculum to help meet the needs of the ELL students.

Course Objectives/Program Outline

This course is broken into major parts called modules. Each module contains content sections. Within each section, we cover one or more of the outlined learning objectives for the module. At the end of each module, there is a quiz. Some modules include a project. The breakdown for modules within this course is as follows:

Module One: Language Acquisition

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the 5 stages of Language Acquisition and implement teaching strategies for each stage.
  • Make accommodations in the classroom which will have positive influences on the factors affecting Language Acquisition.
  • Distinguish between the BICS and CALP level of language acquisition

Project 1: Applying BICS and CALP
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Two: Acculturation

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop an understanding of what happens when a child is living between languages/cultural worlds.
  • Define the stages of acculturation.
  • Identify the importance of cross-cultural interactions among students by understanding the difference between assimilation and acculturation.
  • Learn techniques that can be used to encourage parental involvement

Project 2: Gestures and Culture
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Three-Teaching Strategies

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of ELL students Learning through Language.
  • Explore the value of culture and its importance in helping students belong.
  • Create modifications and adaptations to existing curriculum to help make content more comprehensible.
  • Identify specific strategies for teaching reading and writing in the classroom.

Project 3: Audit a Lesson Plan
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Final Exam

multiple choice questions taken from each module

Final Learning Statement

Learning statements should be in a narrative format – as opposed to an outline format. Depending on individual writing styles Learning statements should be 2-3 pages. The learning statement can vary according to individual style. Your learning statement should answer the broad question of "what did you learn?". To help get you thinking, here are some suggested questions:

  • What are the major concepts of the course that you have learned?
  • What new professional language have you acquired relating to the topic?
  • What teaching techniques for implementing new strategies in the classroom did you come away with?
  • Thinking back to your project reflections, were you surprised at the outcomes?
  • What new resources did you find in the study of the content?
  • As an educator, what new concepts will you now integrate into your teaching?
  • Are there any ideas that presented themselves as enlightening and useful?

--- Sample Course Project ---

Applying Bics and Calp - Project #1 Overview

As we discussed in the prior section, the Cummins' Model is expanded by quadrants. For this project, you will be attempting to identify the amount of cognitive demand and context you think is involved in the completion of each task listed below.

Instructions for this Project: Place the appropriate letter representing quadrant A, B, C, or D from Cummins' Model of Academic Language at the end of each statement. Choose the letter that best represents the amount of cognitive demand and context you think is involved in the completion of each task. You may want to print this page and refer to the previous section in order to complete the project.

(printable task list has been omitted for this sample project)

For Your Project Reflection Submission

Once you have placed each task within a specific quadrant, take a moment to review them. Can you see the difference between the levels of language proficiency in your students? It is important to understand that you may have an ELL student who can carry on a conversation with you, but does not have the cognitive development to keep up with class work successfully.

  • Knowing that your ELL students will perform best when information is given to them in the "B" quadrant (context embedded AND cognitively demanding), what can you do to make any class work or assignments fit into that quadrant?

Visit the "Module Projects" section located within the Course Dashboard, and take a moment to share your findings by submitting your project reflection.


Humboldt State University Credit Specifics

  • Academic Credit at the Graduate Level through Humboldt State University (HSU) is offered after successful completion of this course.
  • The 700 series semester credit is post-baccalaureate level appropriate for credentialed teachers which do not require admission to a graduate program.
  • 700-level classes are graduate level classes meant specifically for credential purposes, and are appropriate for license renewal or recertification.
  • Courses are letter graded on official transcripts from HSU.
  • HSU is the northernmost and westernmost institution in the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system.
  • HSU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), a regional accrediting agency serving a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutions.

Summer Option

If you are not currently teaching (ie. Summer break, you are a substitute teacher, etc.), each class offers you the ability to complete coursework independent of a classroom assignment.