115. What is the difference between teaching ESL at a middle school vs. a junior high. My friend teaches at a middle school and there is a job opportunity at the junior high for ESL and I was wondering if she would be able to help me out since it would be my first year as an ESL teacher. Would I be able to use some of her material or would it be too adolescent for 7th and 8th grade students?

The basic difference has to do with the way a school is organized. A Middle school may include grades 5, 6, 7, 8. A Junior High usually includes grades 7 and 8. But the students are the same in both types of schools --young people between the grades of 4 and 9.

In a middle school, the students transition slowly from self-contained classrooms into a departmentalized school structure where they have different teachers for different content areas. The transition is more abrupt in a junior high where students, who attended self-contained classes for 6 years with a single teacher for all subjects, transfer to a totally departmentalized school structure with different teachers in different classrooms for every period.

In ESL you would use techniques similar to the ones for teaching a foreign language --such as the techniques and strategies you use for teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. You will also incorporate the specific techniques and strategies for ESL --your non-English-speaking students must learn both:

B.I.C.S. (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills to carry on social dialogs with English-speaking friends and community members) and

C.A.L.P. (Cognitive-Academic Language Proficiency to succeed academically at school, mastering the same challenging curriculum as ALL other students do).

As an ESL teacher, you must work with all other content area teachers to help students master the LANGUAGE of the content areas since academic achievement is the most important goal for all students including ALL ESL students. Thus, your program MUST incorporate the LANGUAGE of ALL content areas in addition to the specific language goals of mastering and achieving English language fluency.

As a Spanish teacher, however, you could help students

(1) in Spanish --a class specially designed for Spanish-speaking ESL students, where they would develop high literacy skills in Spanish and develop the language and concepts of the different content areas in Spanish;

(2) in English-as-a-Second Language --a class designed to teach the language of the content areas in English, in addition to teaching the English language skills necessary for high academic performance in English and high levels of critical thinking skills through English; and

(3) in all content areas --you would team teach with the content area teachers and develop English and Spanish LANGUAGE ACQUISITION LESSONS using the language of the content areas.

You have incredible skills and incredible potential to help ALL your = students!!!!!!


For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.


For information and credentials please click on the link below or contact directly:


Educational Consultant, Program Evaluator

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Certification (12/2006)

3113 Malcolm Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034-3406

Phone and Fax: (310) 474-5605

E-mail:  csssadek@gte.net