116. In my class we work in groups. I have two ESL students who group together. Should I break this group up so they can work with the students who only speak English?

The same two factors I mentioned in my reply to your previous question apply here too.

(1) Have you --or the ESL teacher-- explicitly taught the LANGUAGE for the content area or for the concept the students must understand to successfully work in English within the small groups? If the answer is "YES!" then the students could work in separate small groups since they have the necessary English language skills to understand what is being discussed or talked about, and to participate in the discussions within the small groups. If the answer is "NO!" then the students would be unsuccessful working in English --small groups or large group-- since they do not have sufficient English language or English language skills to perform the small group activity.

(2) Are these students just beginning to study English, or are they at the intermediate or the advanced level in English-as-A-Second Language classes? These students may need to work through their native or primary language in small groups so they are afforded opportunities to understand the key concept or idea in the lesson through the language they understand best. As they learn and master more English, then they can join English-ONLY-speakers in small groups --AFTER they receive instruction on the English language of the lesson-- so they can participate with other English-Only speakers.

Instructional decisions MUST be made on individual basis, rather than following arbitrary specifications that do NOT meet the learning needs of any student in particular.



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
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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
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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)

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