Culture In English Language Learners

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Impact of Culture
Culture is an important factor that affects one’s perception, it greatly influences one’s behavior and shapes their personality which can have a significant impact on one’s education and the curriculum. Stating the importance of culture must be assessed when teaching English Language Learners, ELLs. The challenges for many English Language Learners are not overcoming a language barrier but also achieving academically. Orosco and O’Connor state that “ELLs bring a wealth of cultural and linguistic knowledge into the classroom, but perhaps our schooling is a complex process that often separates students’ personal learning experiences from the classroom resulting in a challenge of acquiring the skills for reading instruction”.
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The HLQ asks questions about the language that is spoken at home, what was the first language the child learned, what language does the child understand and what language does the child speak, read and/or write. Then, an individual interview takes place to review documents, prior assessments and academic experience. A continual screening may take place if the student has an IEP. After the screening process is complete the initial ELL identification assessment may take place in form of the NYSITELL. The NYSITELL will identify that the student is at the entering, emerging, transitioning, or expanding level of English language proficiency. Once the student English language proficiency is identified and the parents have been notified of the identification determination the student is placed in a Bilingual Education or English as a New Language program. The review of an ELL identification determination is shared and viewed by the school district to ensure proper placement.
All students in kindergarten through grade 12 who receive English as a New Language services take the NYSESLAT every year to determine how well they are learning English. NYSESLAT assesses students speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills to provided information about each ELL’s English proficient level to ensure adequate
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It is important to have an understanding of what language is, what learning is as well as what teaching is. Knowledge of how a student learned their native language can provide guidance on how the students’ will acquire their second language. Krashen and Terrell state that there is a “difference between learning and acquisition of language”. Learning is knowing about the language and is a formal knowledge process. The learner is conscious that the language is being taught. While acquisition is referred to as the real communication. Language is developing naturally at the acquisition stage and the learner is subconscious that it is taking place. The learner may not know the rules of the language but is able to have a feeling for what sounds right. Hamayan recognizes that “the acquisition of language is a development process and there are predictable stages of language proficiency, and yet the learner may pass through the different stages at different times”. Balbi discusses the stages of language acquisition based on the TESOL Pre-K-12 English Language Proficiency Standards as starting, emerging, developing, expanding and bridging. The starting, entering phase is where ELLs has little or no understanding of English and may rarely communicate, sometimes referred to the silent period. ELLs students should
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