The Necessity of Appealing to English-Language Learners – Assignment Example

The paper "The Necessity of Appealing to English-Language Learners" is an exceptional example of an educational assignment. The main theme throughout my studies in week 2 has been the gradual understanding of the necessity of appealing to English-language learners in ways that promote inclusion and cultural sensitivity. Beginning with the essay English Spoken Here, I realized that oftentimes English-language learners’ home languages are discarded in favor of total immersion programs and viewed as secondary in regards to English. I’ve further considered the necessity for transitioning students into English education with sheltering techniques and that total immersion programs might sacrifice Spanish speaking students’ intellectual development in favor of language-centered education and that schools must develop an “additive approach” where students are allowed to use their home language when learning English. This is a less ethnocentric perspective on language and I appreciate the article’s push for progressive reform. 
In developing lessons for Spanish speakers this week, I’ve begun to view language competence as concerning more than just grammar, and instead of needing to incorporate the means for which learners incorporate strategic methods of communication. In this sense, language doesn’t exist solely structurally and grammatically but is an ever-changing entity that exists in the strategic negotiation between speakers. Programs need to recognize the importance of communicative competence when structuring lessons for students. This would include sheltering techniques such as cognate instruction, and illustrating the similarities in question making between English and Spanish, but ultimately go beyond that and challenge students to incorporate these foundational rules into activities that promote the active function of language. I’ve discovered this week, that by limiting language instruction to grammar, and not sufficiently incorporating spoken interaction, a great portion of linguistic and cultural fluency is neglected and we are failing as foreign language instructors.