Individual Learning Plans in Community Education Term Paper

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Individual Learning Plans in Community Education

The Question of Individual Learning Plans for ESOL Learners

The purpose of this work is to research how individuals learning plans affect the role of the ESOL practitioner in community education? Further this work will document the fact that although individual learning plans are necessary they do not suit all types of learner in community education.

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Just as each human individual is different in their abilities, capacity for learning and the method in which they learn most optimally, so it is the same in relation to the English as Second Language or "ESOL" learner. Thus, this specific consideration must be calculated in to the application of the instructional practice of the ESOL practitioner that intends successful outcomes for the students under their instruction. Many English Speaker of Other Languages (ESOL) students have no English speaking skills upon entering high school with most choosing academic diplomas rather than a Tech School diploma. (Howard, 1999) It is often that there are undetected learning disabilities (Ga. Dept. Ed., 1997 p.1) Making the job a difficult one for the educator practitioners the schools faculty and staff. According to a report by McCallum (1999) "Often they reach the eleventh grade with a required grade point average (GPA) of 'C;' but fail the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) miserably due to their inability to comprehend fully the English language, particularly in various subject areas such as Language Arts, Science and Social Studies."

Individual Learning Plans in Community Education

The Question of Individual Learning Plans for ESOL Learners

Abstract

Term Paper on Individual Learning Plans in Community Education Assignment

Too often those at the top lack the capacity through lack of experiential knowledge to with full capability successfully operate in such a decision-making capacity but should adhere to the wisdom of those on the front lines applying the principles, standards and procedures thereby experientially knowing exactly what is missing. In the report entitled "A Fresh Start" a working group that is chaired by Sir Claus Moser stated that: "The proposed curriculum should set out, in a logical order, the literacy and numeracy skills every adults needs. Although there will be similarities between this and the national curriculum for schools there are some clear differences.There are major differences between curricula for adults and children ... In general both children and adults become good readers by using a range of learning approaches not necessarily struggling with one method. Teachers need to be prepared to use a range of techniques, In all the standard curriculum will be the uniform base." (Freshstart Working Group Report, 2005)

Individual Learning Plans in Community Education

The Question of Individual Learning Plans for ESOL Learners

Brief Overview of ESOL Curriculum

Each school has been indoctrinated into the 'correct' ESOL curricular agenda for implementation into their school system. The curriculum is historically in the case of ESOL learners one prescribed from the top down, or that is from the highest level within the governance of education down to the bottom of the power command who is teaching the learners that are ESOL, or English as second or other language learners. The ESOL instructional practice is one designed and handed down as a requirement by the governing bodies of education. Too often those at the top lack the capacity through lack of experiential knowledge to with full capability successfully operate in such a decision-making capacity but should adhere to the wisdom of those on the front lines applying the principles, standards and procedures thereby experientially knowing exactly what is missing. Then to know what is missing to know just as well, again experientially what could and probably would succeed.

Not to say that governance in education doesn't have a very vital role because indeed it is very critical to operate under proper governance it is just as crucial that government is so far withdrawn from that application in reality that its' demands become unrealistic from setting standards that do not address the problem or provide a solution.

I. ESOL Practitioner: Role in Relation to ESOL Learner

The ESOL practitioner is 'idealistically' speaking an individual who understands that their role is crucial in relation to the learner who is in the ESOL grouping of learners in that not only are academic impressions and affects integrated into the instructional practice but as well into the social interaction experiences of the student and other interactional experiences as well. There are many various demographical differences in culture, ethnicity, religiosity, and other familial influence or various other social influences expressed in the group of learner that may be under the instruction of the ESOL practitioner. The Esol practitioner innately knows that if students who are much more culturally, ethnically and racially grouped contains many and various ways or methods of learning fro the student and via instruction then how much more so will this be true to the ESOL learner group.

The ideal ESOL practitioner knows that learning is wired into the brains of the individual learner in many delightful configurations and that one size does not fit-all and is completely a ludicrous approach that seems to be a little too 'pat-of-an-answer' instead of one that is evidence-based. In the report entitled "A Fresh Start" a working group that is chaired by Sir Claus Moser stated that:

"The proposed curriculum should set out, in a logical order, the literacy and numeracy skills every adults needs. Although there will be similarities between this and the national curriculum for schools there are some clear differences.There are major differences between curricula for adults and children ... In general both children and adults become good readers by using a range of learning approaches not necessarily struggling with one method. Teachers need to be prepared to use a range of techniques, In all the standard curriculum will be the uniform base." (Freshstart Working Group Report, 2005)

II. Policy: 'Skills for Life Policy'

The Governments strategy for improving the nation's skills in literacy, numeracy and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) is the "Skills for Life Policy" with a target that by 2007 1.5 million adults will "achieve the national certificates in literacy and numeracy." (Skills and Education Network, 2005) Listed as the key facts and figures about the Skills for Life Policy in a DIES-commissioned report 2002 are the estimates that:

1.7 million (5%) of all adults aged 16-65 have literacy skills below Entry Level 3 and 5.2 million (16%) fall below Level 1.

6.8 million (32%) of adults aged 16-65 have numeracy skills below entry Level 3 and 15 million (47%) fall below Level 1.

Only one in four (26%) of men aged 16-24 reached Level 2 or above in the numeracy assessment compared to 37% of men aged 25-34.

The Moser report revealed that:

One in five adults cannot use the alphabetical index in the Yellow Pages to find a plumber, and One in three cannot calculate the area of a room, even with the aid of a calculator.

The Skills for Life Policy raises standards, increases learner achievement, boosts demand and ensures capacity of provision with a focus on priority groups with the greatest need, including hard-to-reach learners, the unemployed, offenders and lone parents.

III. The Policy's Effect Upon"

1. The ESOL curriculum.

A New ESOL Program has been implemented District wide in the Fall of 2000 it was reported that the ESOL curriculum was significantly restructured. The program prior to this time was comprised of five 6-unit courses that required a 30 until total for completion of the program. The ESOL Program increase climbed from five to eight courses and as well from a 30 unit to a 35 unit program. The examination of the changes to the program by the Office of Institutional Research and Planning was a study stated to "determine the impact of these changes on the ESOL Program in terms of: (1) Student enrollment, (2) persistence rates, (3) course completion rates, and (4) demographics. Student opinions were sought as well in the study. (McCallum, 1999) Reported results of the study states that "overall students were satisfied with the new ESOL Program but indications were that the most helpful courses were the writing courses and that they were more helpful than the listening/speaking and reading course." Recommendations are stated to be that "More research be conducted for Examination of ESOL student success rates in academic courses subsequent to ESOL completion.

IV. ESOL Practitioners in Relation to Formulized Assessments.

This issue has been addressed in the work of Myra K. McCallum entitled "Strategies and Activities to Stimulate Adequate ESOL Instruction in Content Area Courses and Increase Honest Effort and Motivation Among ESOL Students." This study was one that focused on an action plan intended as a solution to the problem of inadequate English-as-a-Second/Other Language (ESOL) instruction in high school content area courses as well as toward increasing the effort and motivation of the ESOL students. Three stated objectives in this study were (1) Create awareness of the problem among content area teachers, parents, relevant staff, and the community; (2) Provide guidelines consisting of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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