GESL 510 - Language Learning and Linguistics
This course provides a foundation in linguistics for teachers of English language learners in grades K-12 and includes an overview of phonology and grammar.
Through readings, class activities and analysis of language in use, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the relationships between phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics and apply that knowledge both in identifying areas of difficulty for English language learners and designing appropriate instructional strategies.
Emphasis will also be placed on exploring current theories of first and second language acquisition and discussing implications for teaching and learning. Participants will apply their emergent understanding of course concepts in a 5-hour practicum, teaching/tutoring one English-language learner in English grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary, as well as documenting student progress.
GESL 520 - Language, Culture, and Community
This course emphasizes the close connection between language and culture and the implications of cross-cultural understanding for teaching and learning English as a second language. Through readings, classwork and field experiences, participants will learn to negotiate their own cultural identities, demonstrate intercultural communication skills, develop a deeper appreciation for diverse cultures and apply these skills in promoting effective and pro-social classroom environments.
As part of the course, participants are required to complete at least 5 hours of service learning, tutoring English language learners within a multicultural setting, including a public school or a community center. Upon completion of the class, participants will complete an ethnographic account summarizing and analyzing the experience.
Practicum in Teaching and Assessment of English Language Learners
This is a field-based course of study designed for teachers seeking competency in a new area of certification. Emphasis is placed on practical experience teaching in a public school setting. The practicum is limited to those completing the ESL Program Specialist as an add-on certification who have achieved initial certification and have teaching experience.
The course refines participants’ skills designing instruction for English Language Learners using a variety of resources and strategies, including texts, music and multimedia presentations and considering learners’ special needs, including age, grade, developmental level, L1 literacy, and sociocultural background. Participants will develop and apply authentic assessment tools designed to evaluate student progress and to improve teaching and learning.
Through class activities, readings, discussion and fieldwork, students will be challenged to recognize cultural bias in current curriculum and materials, and to create personalized, multicultural lessons that build on learners’ strengths and consider students’ histories and stories. Participants are required to complete 30 hours of supervised fieldwork in a public school setting, working directly with English Language Learners with the guidance of a certified ESL teacher.
GESL 530 - Assessment of English Language Learners
This course provides a critical overview of assessment measures and resources and provides candidates with knowledge and skills needed to make informed evaluations of students’ linguistic progress and academic achievement that will guide future teaching.
Emphasis is placed on making appropriate use of data to support English Language Learners and using a variety of tools to improve teaching and learning, including classroom observation, technology-based assessment, student self assessment, WIDA Access for ELLs performance rubrics, and portfolio assessment.
Candidates are required to work for a minimum of 10 hours with one English Language Learner, designing an instructional plan, applying multiple assessments to evaluate progress, reporting results, creating a digital Language Learning Portfolio, and making recommendations for future instruction.
In addition, they will develop a slide presentation or movie designed to inform parents and families concerning federal and state mandated testing and the implications of this testing for English Language Learners.
GESL 540 - School Leadership, Social Justice, and Advocacy
This course provides candidates with the disposition, knowledge and skills needed to assume a leadership role within schools, and to serve as an agent for social justice, a model of culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogies, and an advocate for English Language Learners and their families. Participants will review relevant literature concerning extant ESL programs and identify effective means of creating and supporting strong partnerships with families and communities.
As part of a required 10 -hour practicum within a public school, they will complete a number of projects in collaboration with other professionals working with English Language Learners. The specific parameters for the projects will depend on the needs of a particular school setting but should include:
GESL 580 - Action Research, Reflective Practice, and Portfolio Development for ESL Teachers
This course provides opportunities to review and analyze research in the field of ESL in order to articulate a personal educational philosophy for instruction of English Language Learners and to provide a framework for an action research plan.
Each candidate will formulate and implement a research project designed to address a specific area of concern, compose a research report, reflect on what was learned, share results with colleagues through a slideshow presentation or video, and suggest areas for future inquiry. In order to complete the project, candidates must complete 10 hours of fieldwork within a school, adhering to all policies and procedures for protection of human research participants.
During the course, participants will also create a professional portfolio showcasing his or her achievements as an ESL specialist, including but not limited to the action research report, statement of educational philosophy, and a tentative plan for professional development, based on interests and reflection on work completed and sustained through support from colleagues, professional associations and other academic organizations.