My instructional unit is based on a high school based EAL program with the unit focus of speaking and communication.
This EAL course is created for students who are currently learning English while taking classes at the high school. These students are coming either from an English speaking elementary school or have had previous English language classes, although new English learners would be accepted but at this point there are few. Most students are immigrants from Philippines and surrounding countries. Many families came to this area when the oil prices were high and the market needed workers. All of the students speak their L1 language at home and most of their parents are learning English alongside the students at home. This is why most students already have previous teachings of the language. There are sixteen students in total. The grade break down is six students in grade nine, there are four students in grade 10, four in grade eleven and two students in grade twelve.
These students are in this course to gain the understandings and techniques to become more confident in the English language. Just like many students in high school, these students want to have the ability to be independent in an English speaking society. These tasks may be as simple as ordering ice cream with friends and being able to read a menu but it makes an impact on their daily lives.
My classroom is based within the South East Cornerstone School Division. I am in a classroom with students ranging from grade 9-12 (ages 14-18), and the students choose to take this course as an elective to become stronger in the English language. The goal of the school program is to give EAL students an equal chance to succeed in an English dominated school. The school does have a core French courses but no other language courses. In a traditional year students are having this would a one hour classes over one semester (100 days) to receive a credit. This year, due to the covid restrictions, students have two and a half hour classes every third day with half being synchronous at school and the other half being asynchronous at home. This program gives students a safe place where their culture and home languages are respected. They are not judged for their level of English understandings. One downfall to this program is the students are only enrolled in it for one semester so the other semester they are expected to complete their courses with less adaptations or assistance.
As the instructor my goal is to give or repeat the skills that are being taught in other courses to help students have a set of skills going past high school. The over view of this unit is to have students practice listening and conversations. My goal is to give students more confidence when speaking to anyone, including strangers, teachers, peers and people in positions of authority. As this unit is based on communication, students will be asked to interact with each other. I hope that students want to engage with each other but I know I have to create a safe and caring environment to help students want to learn together and from each other
My classroom management would change if the class was being held on video conference or if it was face to face. In both circumstances I would make sure my rules and expectations are set and explained to the students. As students they will also make expectations for me as a teacher, including things like giving amble time before tests and large assignments and handing those assignments back in a timely order. This strategy can help students understand that their equal expectations for them and their teacher. The goal with this is to create relationships with the students to help create respect between each other.
In high school classrooms I like to give students some freedom in areas of their learning but there is an understanding that if that freedom is abused parts of it will be removed. For example, I will allow my students to choose where and who they sit by; if a student is talking too much or is not paying attention and I have had a conversation with the student about the problem then the student would be moved to another location in the room. As explained in the lesson plans later, I help students create the groups based on proficiency level and their ability to work well together. This is to help students not feel ashamed by their level of English understanding. Of course the goal is for students to work nicely with everyone in the class but that is not always possible, so I will double check that every students gets a group that they work well with.