CDC1 Defining the Context

Title: Sixth Grade ESL

(Mike moved this from the previous blog so everything would be together)

Description of Course

Thank you Christina,
Nice job! I (Mike) was able to get a good feel of your context and course. I have asked some questions and made some comments but you don’t need to answer them or make changes immediately. You can make changes any time between now and the end of the course. When/if Steve and I request immediate changes we will make it very clear. Otherwise you can make changes (or not) when you’d like. Please let me know if you have any questions on what I have written.

How Many 30 students currently, 32 student max
Age 10-11 years old
Gender 46% Female, 54% Male
Culture(s) Central American, Yemeni, Pakistani, Vietnamese,
If you could add more here on the breakdown of the cultures here it would be great. 
Other Language(s) Spanish, Arabic, Urdu, Vietnamese
As above with the cultures it would be great to include more info on the breakdown here. 
Purpose(s) To advance proficiency in order to pass the NYSESLAT (New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test). When students achieve “commanding” proficiency, they are no longer required to receive ESL services by the state.
Educational Experience There is a large range of educational backgrounds. Some students have been born in the United States and have attended public schools, receiving English classes since kindergarten. In contrast, some students have been in the U.S. for less than a year. 7 students have limited formal education in their home language, and come from war torn countries. Some students receive special education services for minor learning disabilities through either pull-out or push-in services from a special education or speech teacher.
Family Some students have English-speaking parents or siblings, whom offer language support at home. Sorry to be so picky about the specifics but I wonder if you could state (or predict) roughly how many students would have English speaking parents or siblings? Others do not. Some have greater responsibilities caring for siblings at home while parents work in the evenings.
Other Stakeholders
School Administrators Administration primarily dictates the school curriculum, as well as some teaching strategies usedHere I wondered how much flexibility a teacher has but I can see you answered it below. 
Funders The City of New York and the state, meaning compliance to state laws are regulated, student performance is monitored and interventions from the state are implemented if students do not show sufficient grown. Federal Funding through Title 1 is also available, making more money available for additional resources if necessary.
Community The school serves students from varying socio-economic backgrounds. It must serve all students living in the zone.
Physical Setting
Location of School Public School 89X is located in the Bronx New York. Students are either zoned to attend the school, or can come through school of choice. The majority of students walk or take the bus to school.
Classroom The classroom is small and well lit. Students have their own desks. There are many windows and an air conditioner. Students visit different classrooms throughout the day and teachers stay in their own classrooms. The room is used for a general education English class as well.
Technology There is a SMART board for the teacher that projects from the computer and allows interaction on the board. There are 1 to 1 laptops available to students in the classroom. Does this also mean that there is wifi in the room? 
Nature of Course and Institution
Type/Purpose of Course 6th Grade ESL is a class that offers additional language support to students, as well as presents grade level curriculum. It is an integrated skills class, and students are tested on all fours modes of communication for proficiency level.
Mandatory, Open Enrollment Mandatory for all 6th grade ESL identified students.
Relation to Current/Previous Courses The students are presented with the same skills and some of the same materials and texts as other students sixth grade level. It is a continuation of the 5th grade ESL class if students do not pass out by state standards.
Prescribed Curriculum Sixth grade Common Core standards determine the objectives of the class, followed by the New York State ELL objectives based on language level. The school uses Expeditionary Learning Curriculum. It is the recommended curriculum, but may be adjusted and modified to meet student needs. This curriculum could be pushed aside to further meet student needs through strong rationale.
I wonder how this works in practice. Does the teacher have to go through some special process to change things? 
Required Tests NYSESLAT (New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test), New York State Test.
Teaching Resources
Materials Available Students have the standard expeditionary learning module books with graphic organizers and writing prompts. They also have access to online platforms like Google Classroom (similar to canvas) Is there some expectation that these should be used? 
Required Text There are 3 texts that have been selected for the immigration unit at varying reading levels, including Dragon Wings by Yepp (advanced), Drita My Homegirl by Lombard (mid intermediate), and Star in the Forrest by Resau (low intermediate). No text has been selected for beginning students.
You might consider adding more about how the texts are used. 
Develop Own Materials Accompanying activities and materials will need to be developed to coincide with the texts chosen.
Staff Administrative and ESL Coordinator support is available if needed, What sort of support is typically offered or used? student teacher in the classroom for support, other ESL teachers are supportive and helpful resources for developing materials.What do the admin and Coordinator view as a successful course? 
Equipment SMART board projector, copies and lamination available with fast turnaround. Supportive administration is willing to purchase desired materials with a justification.
Hours of English Students are required to have 12 contact hours of English each week
Class Meeting Times Varies depending on the day,
Class Length Approximately 1:30-2 hours each day
Day of Week, Time of Day Monday-Friday between 8:00 and 2:20
Where Fits In schedules It as scheduled through administration, students have scheduled English time as well as other core and elective classes
Students’ Timeliness Classes that start at 8:00 are shorter because student tendency to arrive late. Class begins at 8:00, however students trickle in until 8:10.
I find myself curious if class begins in earnest at 8:00 or 8:10. How do you handle this challenge?  




One specific challenge is the difference in language levels. The class ranges from beginning to advanced learners, causing text selection, language targets, and objectives to range drastically within one lesson. There is freedom to select texts appropriate to the levels, however differing student activities also need to be taken into consideration. The openness of the curriculum based around the thematic unit of immigration is also challenge, as there are innumerable resources. Perhaps a challenge but also an opportunity.