Interview With ELL Student Research Proposal

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ELL Student Interview

From 1997-1998, the Russian learners of English in the Los Angeles Unified School District amounted to 136. Ten years later, from 2007-2008, this number amounted to only 36. The number of all ELL learners in the district however grew from 18.238 from 1997-1998 to

18,981 ten years later. While Russian learners have fallen in number, the ELL learners in general have grown.

It is the educational policy of the state to provide teachers with as much background information as possible about students in order to help the educational process. Handling a significant amount of differentiated students in a classroom is a challenge for a teacher. These teachers therefore need information regarding the first language of the student, as well as his or her proficiency levels in this language.

In addition, information is provided regarding academic achievements in subjects other than language, as well as the performance in the English language. The State encourages teachers to integrate the native language knowledge as well as cultural experiences into the curriculum in a way that is both meaningful and consistent for ELL learners. It is therefore vital that the prior knowledge, life experiences, and interests of a student be familiar to the teacher.


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Language learning programs include extra curricular activities and in-class programs to ensure that ELL learners remain included in schooling in a way that is both effective and acceptable to all learners. These programs include the integration of students' prior knowledge in their learning. One suggestion is for example inviting learners to teach their peers about their own culture and language. Native speakers can be included by comparing the foreign culture with the English language environment and culture. In this way, mutual respect is cultivated for English learners and ELL learners. This is vitally important for the success of education and cultivating a future workforce that is able to handle diversity in a constructive way.

Research Proposal on Interview With ELL Student Assignment


The student's name is Katya, and she is from Russia. In addition to English, Katya also speaks Russian, which is her mother tongue, and French.


Katya's family immigrated to the United States with her family when she was 11 years old. She did well in her native school, and particularly enjoyed the language classes. While not a native speaker, she also did well in her English and French lessons. Most of her subjects in Russia were presented in Russian. Katya also did well in her general schooling, with her best grades recorded in mathematics and languages.

Katya had little difficulty adjusting to her American schooling. Her attitude towards her friends, teachers and work is extremely positive. Although she reports missing her native country and the friends she had there, she worked hard to adjust and maintain her grade average. She is now 15 years old and in grade 9, and showed consistently good grades in all her subjects over this time. Her best grades are still recorded for languages and mathematics. Russian is not offered at her school, but Katya has started Spanish when she arrived, and also continued with her French studies. She reports enjoying both of these, although she misses the opportunity to speak Russian outside of her home environment.


Katya is doing well when engaging in both Basic Interpersonal Skills and Cognitive Academic Proficiency. When she first came to United States, she had some trouble with spoken language and listening comprehension. Her written language and reading comprehension were however excellent. Her only obstacle was the unfamiliarity of the accent. She had difficulty understanding when others spoke and also making herself understood on both the BIC and CALP levels. However the written and reading modalities soon helped her to overcome such problems on the CALP level.

Katya's outgoing personality helped her to soon make friends in the new environment, which also gave her an advantage on the BIC level. Improving her BIC listening and spoken language skills soon also translated to the academic environment. Within her first year of study, Katya was on a much higher level of functioning within all four modalities. Currently there is little difference between her and her friends on both the BIC and CALP levels, although she retains her accent when speaking. She does not however have any difficulty with making herself understood at this time.


When in the classroom, Katya is able to use English in speaking about any academic subject. When with her friends, her concerns revolve around youth issues from the serious to the informal. She for example enjoys discussing films, music and fashion with her friends. On the more serious level, Katya is also interested in politics and issues revolving around problems facing the youth, such as teenage pregnancy, crime, and substance abuse.

Katya performs most language functions successfully. She is able to use the English language for both academic and social purposes. Katya is also fluent in French and Spanish, and has native speakers of both these languages as friends.


Katya uses most grammatical structures correctly. When she first arrived in the United States, her greatest challenge was using the tenses correctly. She had some difficulty confusing the simple and continuous tenses, while also finding considerable challenges in using the perfect tenses. In using the simple present tense, Katya had difficulty with the concord.

Currently Katya has little difficulty with grammar, although she still makes the occasional error when using the perfect tenses. There is no particular pattern of errors, because Katya's errors do not occur very frequently.


Before coming to the United States, Katya had some reading exposure to English in the classroom. In the wider context, however, she still mostly read books in her native Russian. He English reading level was however also good, as she enjoyed the subject at school. As her reading in the United States progressed, she soon began to widen her reading experience to American and British literature as well. She has an inherent love for reading, and did not find this transition very difficult, although she does report missing the availability of Russian texts in the United States.

Katya's reading readiness when arriving in Grade 9 was at a very high level, as she had developed well during the four years she spent in American schools.

When reading a text, Katya is able to demonstrate her understanding in both spoken and written language. She has done well in oral exercises pertaining to required reading for her English classes, as well as those for the other languages. She can discuss both the particular subject of the text as well as the deeper-lying meanings and subtexts related to the material. Furthermore, Katya is able to connect her own understanding of the text with issues that she finds important on both a personal and academic level.

In written language, Katya is able to answer both long and short academic questions relating to the text. She is able to interpret the text for answering essay-type questions, while also demonstrating her understanding of specific events in the text by answering one-sentence or multiple choice questions.


With writing, Katya's experience has been extensive. In academic writing, she enjoyed her essay and other written work in her Russian school. She did well in her English writing assignments as well as those in the other languages.

In informal writing. Katya has had and continues to maintain a list of three international "pen pals," with whom she frequently exchanges letters. In addition, the Internet has enabled Katya to also share her experiences in writing with email and Facebook friends.

Katya's current written language is a culmination of both her Russian and American experiences. Because the Internet is mainly in English, her online writing experiences are also mainly in English. This helps to maintain Katya's level of language in writing. Of course the risk factor here is the quality of content and language that may be found on the Internet, along with the fact that there is no consistent review of language use.

Katya has however used her extensive school experience and also the advice of her teachers in determining the quality of written content on the Web.


There are very few problems in Katya's written language. Again, as in speaking, she makes the occasional mistake with tenses and concord; particularly with the perfect tenses. On very few occasions, Katya makes spelling mistakes with long words. She also sometimes mixes American and British spelling. Otherwise her structure is of a very high quality.


Katya's interest level in writing is very high, on both the academic and informal levels. As mentioned above, she frequently connects with friends on an informal level via Internet chatrooms, email, and also on the more traditional platform of letter writing. She appears to enjoy all these modes of writing.

Katya also reports enjoying written essay assignments. These allow her to organize her ideas according to academic requirements. She enjoys the challenge of writing for a more formal audience than her letter and chatroom friends. She also enjoys using her mind… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Interview With ELL Student.  (2009, April 19).  Retrieved March 28, 2020, from

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"Interview With ELL Student."  April 19, 2009.  Accessed March 28, 2020.