18. I'm looking for studies, papers, books that could help me train teachers. I've been nominated for just such a position in the Peace Corps. I would be training other Peace Corps teacher volunteers to teach in rural areas of Central West Africa where there is one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. These students that get to go to school are the lucky ones and their parents are very supportive. I'm most interested in what are the "universal" qualities that make a successful teacher wherever, he/she teaches. I

could come up with a list of my own but I want to do some research. What do you suggest? I have taught in the elementary bilingual program for LAUDS, and supervised bilingual intern teachers for CSUDH.

I am sure you will be providing English-as-a-second language programs for these students unless they are already English speaking students -- or bilingual students with English as one of the languages they speak. There are cultural issues here that may be important for you to explore as you train teachers. You may wish to learn more about the culture of Central West Africa, family structures and patterns of child rearing practices. These may be important and I do not know much about the culture or cultures in the area.

Recently --about two years ago-- I came across a research study published by the Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence, or C.R.E.D.E. -- The center is located at the University of California, Santa Cruz. (www.crede.ucsc.edu / www.cal.org/crede / crede@cats.ucsc.edu) After very extensive review of the research literature they concluded that there were five teacher performance indicators that make a difference in student achievement, especially for students at-risk. These indicators are:

  1. Teacher and students producing together;
  2. Developing the language across the curriculum;
  3. Making meaning--connecting learning to students' lives;
  4. Teaching high level critical thinking skills; and
  5. Teaching through conversation.

I find these indicators to be essential for learning. I discuss them in other questions in my web site since what you do to implement these indicators in a lesson is what is important. I think these five indicators are an excellent point to begin. I also recommend to you exploring "What Works" and other educational publications through the U.S. Government Printing Office. Many times research may suggest indicators -- but what is important is: What would a teacher actually do to implement these indicators? Visit my web site often and you will find many suggestions.

Now, there is one more idea: You may find in the Los Angeles Unified School District Bilingual Master Plan Manual that you probably have somewhere in your files, the L.A.S.S.M. (LASSM) or "Language Strategies and Skills Matrix." The last horizontal column in the matrix is particularly important in planning lessons that meet the five indicators shown above. The entire matrix is very helpful because it describes students --all students—as they begin to learn concepts within a content area, whether in their primary language or in a second language. When a student is new to a topic, a concept, a reading selection, then that students is back again at the level of pre-production --even in the primary language, since he/she cannot "talk" the language of the content area. You may wish to review your Bilingual Master Plan Manual for many ideas that work.




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
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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.


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