We need to support English Language Learners as their playground English turns into academic English–not pull the rug out from under them.
Arthur Goldstein teaches English as a second language to high school students in the borough of Queens in Néw York City. He is outraged because the Néw York State Education Department has decided to cut ESL instruction by integrating it into subject matter instruction.
“Beginners, since I started in the eighties, have gotten three periods a day of instruction. Intermediate students got two, as did advanced. Proficient students, those who tested out, usually got one period but sometimes got another to help them along. Because placement tests are usually total crap, because they gave the same one for decades, and because some kids guess well for no reason, I’ve often seen kids at high levels come back for help.
“NYSED knows everything, though, and has determined we have to stop coddling these kids. So now, for one period a day previously devoted to English, all ESL students in…
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