About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3186-3190
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain

REINVENTING THE TEACHING PRACTICUM TO ENHANCE INTERDISCIPLINARY TEACHER COLLABORATION

M. DelliCarpini

The City University of New York, Lehman College (UNITED STATES)
Teaching language through content or Content Based Instruction (CBI) is an accepted and prevalent method of teaching English as a second and English as a foreign language (ESL/EFL) around the world. The integration of language and content is essentially a mandate for TESOL professionals and is clearly articulated in the TESOL Standards for teacher education programs (TESOL, 2003). In a 2008 position statement on teacher preparation for ESL and EFL teachers. TESOL states that these standards address the issue of CBI by “emphasizing teacher preparation that combines a strong linguistic foundation with a solid grounding in the respective disciplines and academic subjects” (TESOL, 2008: 1). The question of how to accomplish this is left open for programs to consider. In the United States, TESOL teacher education programs provide extensive course work in linguistics, second language and literacy acquisition and development, cultural perspectives, and TESOL pedagogy but there is frequently no requirement of specific coursework in core academic subjects. Such a situation can leave ESL and EFL teachers wondering what to teach and how to teach the content that is selected.

The challenge of CBI and students learning English as a second, foreign, or additional language does not only exist for ESL/EFL teachers. Content instructors in elementary, secondary, and university settings also struggle with this. For example, in 2007 a themed issue of The Social Studies journal examined the issues surrounding teaching English language learners (ELLs) in the Social Studies classroom. The title of the introduction to the theme is “Teaching English-Language Learners is a Major Problem in Social Studies” (Pahl, 2007: 179).

To address this, faculty in a teacher education program in the US have developed opportunities for pre-service teachers to engage in collaborative activities with the goals of enhancing collaborative practice among ESL and content area teachers and successful academic outcomes for ELLs. One such opportunity involves re-thinking our practicum experiences for all of our candidates. We have developed a co-scheduled practicum seminar where teaching interns from across the disciplines meet and, under the guidance of faculty, collaboratively plan learning experiences for their PreK-12 grade students in mainstream and ESOL classrooms. In addition to the collaborative planning, candidates engage in reflective discussions and writing to problematize and co-construct knowledge regarding the education of English language learners and how mainstream and ESL teachers can successfully collaborate. We collect both quantitative and qualitative data from the participants. The quantitative data, in the form of pre and post course surveys, provide evidence of a change in knowledge, skills, and beliefs on the part of both ESL and content teacher candidates. Analysis of the qualitative data, in the form of reflective writings , reflective discussion, and interviews, show that this practicum model increases understanding of the needs of ELLs on the part of the mainstream subject area teachers, to increase knowledge of the curricular requirements and realities of the content disciplines on the part of the pre-service ESOL teachers, and to build the skills necessary for these pre-service teachers to successfully work in interdisciplinary collaborative teaching teams, a skill that will enhance their own professional practice in the schools.
@InProceedings{DELLICARPINI2010REI,
author = {DelliCarpini, M.},
title = {REINVENTING THE TEACHING PRACTICUM TO ENHANCE INTERDISCIPLINARY TEACHER COLLABORATION},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {3186-3190}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. DelliCarpini
TI - REINVENTING THE TEACHING PRACTICUM TO ENHANCE INTERDISCIPLINARY TEACHER COLLABORATION
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 3186
EP - 3190
ER -
M. DelliCarpini (2010) REINVENTING THE TEACHING PRACTICUM TO ENHANCE INTERDISCIPLINARY TEACHER COLLABORATION, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 3186-3190.
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