The ELL Endorsement program through Whitworth was exactly what I was looking for. As a practicing teacher, my free time is limited and the thought of taking on an additional endorsement was intimidating. From the first day of the program to the last, I felt supported and encouraged and I knew that the work that I was doing for my courses was valuable and relevant. Much of my coursework was directly tied to my current teaching placement and has had a strong impact on my teaching practice.
I’ve been working with a fifth-grade student who arrived here 2 ½ years ago from a Bhutanese refugee camp, in Nepal. He speaks Nepali, Hindi, a Bhutanese dialect and some English. Using the survey from Whitworth’s CLD course on assessment, I was able to confirm the number of languages he uses. Sadly, he is losing his literacy in Nepali, which makes it even more challenging to move him forward in his English-language acquisition. The CLD survey confirmed that we need to continue to support him in developing his English vocabulary, giving him the tools he needs to be successful academically, as well as in his personal life.
Using the survey from the CLD course helped me gain insight into my students’ language progress. The survey also helped me understand how language is being used by my students outside of school. It provided crucial information about the students’ educational background and literacy experiences in the home. One student told me that she reads Spanish books with her parents, so I now know that if we provide bilingual books at her reading level, she can practice literacy skills in both languages, which is crucial for her academic achievement.
Some of my work in the CLD courses was focused on Amy, who speaks both Spanish and English. At times, Amy struggles with vocabulary and understanding expectations during class. The evaluation survey from the CLD course was enjoyable to administer and full of useful knowledge. I like the way the survey was categorized by different forms of interactions. Becoming aware of Amy’s use of her L1 (first language) and L2 (language being learned) has provided me with a different perspective on her classroom proficiency. The knowledgeprovided by the CLD course has left me better equipped to help Amy in the classroom.