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Across developed nations, English has been the prime language for communication and facilitation of knowledge and information. These developed nations have seen a spurt in immigration from different nations with different languages. One of the foremost issues that these foreign students face during their schooling period is unfamiliarity with English (Baecher and Bell, 2017). Especially students who have never been introduced to this language. African, Indian, South Asian, and students from the Middle East face problems keeping up with the pace of the learning that an average native-English speaker has. ESOL, ESL, or EAL are some common names for the program intended to impart English as a second language to foreign students. It has also been seen that English has become a milestone rather than a language and therefore, pupils face issues such as low self-esteem, anxiety, demotivation, and like (Jarvis, 2014). The fear of English as a language needs to be eradicated from the heart of these students and therefore, they need to be familiar with the language so that they can focus on other subjects without fear and lack of understanding of the language these subjects are being taught in.
The foremost difficulty is the age factor as it is still unknown what age group is the most optimum stage of learning new languages (Lin, 2016). The experience and skills of teachers to make the language familiar among foreign pupils is also to be considered while researching on the subject of 'English as second language programs. In this report, we are going to research a pull-out strategy in the ESOL intervention that focuses on curating different settings for such students so that the teacher interacts and engages with foreign students with greater attention to their learning needs. Approximately, 550,000 students come from different parts of the world to the UK and the majority of this segment do not have English as their first language. Around 1.4 billion people have opted for (or added in their curriculum) EAL around the world. The stages of English proficiency have been determined so that the person with basic English knowledge can opt for the next program. The qualifications required by the teachers are also determined for EAL programs.
The most debatable issue regarding EAL intervention is its impact on one’s cultural and religious values and morals (Jarvis, 2014). The UK has a very grim history where it is accused of colonizing other countries and subjugating the beliefs and values of the people of these countries. Moreover, the programs such as total immersion and pull-out programs for EAL interventions have their pros and cons due to which the effectiveness of this intervention is questionable. EAL interventions are subject to different factors that might affect their success and therefore each factor needs to be considered while analysing the situation and strategies adopted for EAL interventions (Baecher and Bell, 2017).
ESOL pull-out strategy will be the focus of the case study and research that this report will include. An ESOL pull-out strategy is when pupils are pulled out of the general classroom setting and are introduced in a more integrated and focused setting that has small groups meant for greater interaction and holistic development through full attention on an individual. The biggest disadvantage of this program is that pupils miss what is being taught in the general classroom (Baecher and Bell, 2017). The effectiveness of this strategy has been questionable and studied. ESOL pull-out strategy is meant to make an environment for foreign students where their adaptability and familiarity with English increases at a greater rate without deterring their cultural values and beliefs. Mixed-level proficiency groups are curated where there are three stages, beginners, intermediate, and advanced (Jarvis, 2014). In these groups, students are not allocated based on their standard but their knowledge level of the language. Below, will be presented a case study that will help to understand the application and effectiveness of this strategy and intervention in the context of making English the second language for foreign pupils (Lin, 2016).
The following case study is of the pull-out EAL support strategy for Somalian pupils in Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. The KS2 students are from the age group of 14-18 and it consists of 20 students segregated into groups of 5 pupils. These students have recently migrated from East Africa and have never been introduced to English. Some of these children have studied English but are not fluent in speaking or understanding it. The condition of their education made it suitable to apply pull-out support strategy in EAL intervention (Lin, 2016). The biggest challenge was to develop them holistically so that they can interact with other students. It was time-consuming and these students have missed their regular classes. To make these students streamline with the syllabus of their regular class was the toughest deal for teachers. Teachers had to be more patient with these students. Some of these pupils were either too serene or too quiet that it became more difficult for teachers to know their true state of learning and how they will engage and interact comfortably (Binti Daud, Din, and AlSaqqaf, 2018). These students are feeling isolated and not interacting with teachers as they are not feeling comfortable enough. These immigrant students have mixed emotions and it can be reflected in their learning process (Guo and Maitra, 2017).
The language was also one problem as the assisting staff didn’t know Somali. To teach English, the new environment that the pupils were provided with, was not only new but challenging. These pupils already feel isolated in their regular classroom and due to this new setting, they are unable to keep up with the pace of their regular classrooms (Binti Daud, Din, and AlSaqqaf, 2018). To accept English as their second language, Somali students have to cope up with changes in their environment and extra efforts need to be put in by teachers and staff to make the environment more comfortable to leverage their learning process. The learning issue is different for each student, but here the report will focus on the interaction of Somali students with the native pupils using English as a common language and the impact on their regular schedule and learning.
The learning issue is that majority Somali students have never heard English before in their entire life and were brought to England for the first time. The whole surrounding for these pupils is new and they feel isolated that has made them anxious and distressed. These pupils are struggling due to the Psychological effect of displacement from their native place. These pupils do not have friends and their parents work due to which these pupils feel lonely and dejected (Abikar, 2021). Due to unfamiliarity with the English language, these pupils have to face multiple difficulties and due to low self-esteem and lack of knowledge, are not able to perform and remain active in the classroom setting. Jack, an eight-year-old boy does not speak at all in the class and when enquired, his parents said that the boy did not understand anything that was being said in the class or even out of the class (Abikar, 2021). The teacher has to teach according to the curriculum of the whole class and therefore it was challenging for the teacher to pay more attention to these students during the allotted time.
To conduct the research, the deductive research design is adopted as the subject is already known. Because the research is more inclined towards determining impact on one’s psychology and learning process in a different social setting, the type of data will be qualitative. A sample of two groups will be used for the research. The data sources include interviews from EAL staff, performance reports of pupils and for the standard data, the average report of the regular classroom was curated. The research will be descriptive so that the true situation and effectiveness of the intervention is known. The interview conducted will include the topic that is being taught to these pupils and how much time students take to understand it (Balthrop, 2018). The phonic knowledge and difficulties that these pupils face. The interview will be a 10 minute Q&A session where the staff will be asked about the difference in learning behaviour of pupils concerning pre and post the intervention program. The effectiveness of the ESOL pull-out strategy will be determined by observing children's performance and level of interaction. The data collected will be processed by editing and codification so that it becomes more reliable to draw analysis and critique on the ESOL pull-out strategy.
The data collected from the interview showcases that there was a considerable change in the learning pattern of Somali pupils of age 14-18 who were part of the ESOL pull-out strategy. The duration of the program was 6 months, after which the interview was conducted. In both groups, 3 students out of five students achieved the average score in English which was achieved by native pupils. All five students engaged and interacted with the native students after the session but they remained exclusive as they didn’t feel comfortable yet. In group A, 2 students did quite well and teachers reported that they could be engaged in the regular classroom and continue the syllabus.
Teachers reported that the other 3 students have to be part of this pull-out strategy to cope up with the interaction that happens in the regular classrooms (Guo and Maitra, 2017). Parents have complained about their children missing information imparted in the regular classrooms. In group B, all five students have done well and their English scores are improving (Jerrim, 2018). However, 2 students are still struggling with framing common sentences. Teachers have elaborated the need for these students to develop optimal cognitive skills before they are put back in their regular classrooms. Teachers also stated that due to this strategy, they have formed a community among themselves and are not open for conversation with native English speakers which has evolved into a new problem. Now, students have their group and therefore, interaction among native pupils and Somali students have become complex (Jerrim, 2018).
ESOL pull-out strategy is an intervention that focuses on an individual’s learning process and imparting knowledge about the English language so that they do not only become familiar with its use but also feel more confident and outspoken. Demie (2018) states that a pull-out support strategy has been beneficial for pupils in high schools because it's the level where students get the basic knowledge about subjects. This type of knowledge is not complex like in senior classrooms and hence, catching up with the regular classroom syllabus is not a challenge that will impede their development. Aristizábal, (2018) further adds that pullout strategy has multifold benefits as teachers focus on the individual and pay better attention to their progress and learning style. It is vital for these students to feel comfortable and it is seen that in the total immersion strategy, these pupils do not get a chance due to a lack of familiarity with the language.
Sildus, Vanderbeck, and Broxterman, (2018) state that this strategy has brought new challenges for teachers and students. Teachers have to attend more classes. And pupils are kept away from the regular classroom settings that have prevented them from becoming inclusive of the environment in which they will be studying in the future. Felton, (2021) states that the pull-out strategy has led to the creation of groups and this has restricted students from interacting with native students. This has created differences among them and has evolved into a subconscious prejudice. Sildus, Vanderbeck, and Broxterman, (2018) defy as the different settings curated for these students by ESOL pull-out strategy benefits to safeguard their cultural values and beliefs while teaching them language according to their understanding and learning capacity.
Phonetics literacy and knowledge are different and therefore it might take them longer to perceive the word and sound in their original manner. Aristizábal, (2018) views that language literacy is imperative for communication and it is assumed that young individuals who are in their developmental years learn new languages more easily than young adults. Therefore, the ESOL pull-out strategy might be an effective way for introducing English as a second language to young pupils who are in their developmental age. Felton, (2021) states that this has created a challenge for managing the schedule and time of regular classes. Especially for students who are already lagging, they are pulled out of the regular classroom setting which makes it more difficult for them to catch up with the information that is being shared in the regular class. Aristizábal, (2018) clarifies that this strategy is vital for students who are not comfortable in a new setting. Some pupils have decent knowledge about English but are afraid to speak in public because they have never practised it in that way.
Demie (2018) highlights its effectiveness in enabling foreign pupils to engage and interact in their classrooms with a greater active mindset. Students have reported that it has helped them to understand the context in its true form. It has also enabled them to speak without being anxious about their grammar and accent. Sildus, Vanderbeck, and Broxterman, (2018) highlight the cost factor that makes this strategy expensive for the state and kid schools. The cost of curating a different setting for foreign pupils of KS2 includes extra pay to teachers and arranging resources. If students take more than allotted time, it also becomes a factor of cost for the high school. Demie (2018) highlights that the pull-out strategy for EAL intervention has many advantages for pupils as it instils language literacy and they become receptive to what is being taught in their classrooms as well as observe and learn from society. If pupils have to live in a surrounding where the majority of the mass is English-speakers, they might never be able to interact with others and remain isolated.
A pull-out strategy is needed for instilling basic knowledge by giving more attention to pupils in an arranged setting. In contrast to the 'total immersion strategy, this strategy is based on the fact that learning a language is accelerated in a specially curated setting because pupils have different needs and might have different paces of learning things and new language. Felton, (2021) defies that a special setting is necessary to teach English as a second language. If there is no engagement and interaction with native students, pupils will never learn to comprehend the message promptly and might never understand the context of the communication. Informal communication in the English language cannot be taught by separating individuals from its main source. English phrases, metaphors, and phonic sounds were developed by society as a whole and therefore society or the regular classroom is the best setting where pupils can learn it.
Agumagu (2020) states that a pull-out strategy safeguards the cultural values and beliefs of foreign pupils which is an imperative factor in teaching English without deterring knowledge about their native places. These values are so different in each culture that to protect their integrity, students must respect their own culture. It is often observed that foreign students who replicate the native English-speakers, tend to perceive their language as inferior and falter in communicating in their language which is worrisome for their own culture. From an ethical viewpoint, it is their responsibility to ensure that their culture is respected by them as well as others and the pull-out strategy helps to maintain that value among these foreign students. Agumagu (2020) also states that the speed of learning English is more in pull-out support EAL intervention than in immersion strategy because teachers can focus more on each individual in this new setting. It is quite clear that this strategy is still prevalent due to its effectiveness that is observed in different schools.
The data collected during the research was not compared with the total immersion strategy but was compared with the regular classroom setting progress. It was determined that Somali pupils were receptive to the engagement activities that were carried out in the pull-out ESOL program. These students learned to introduce themselves in English and learned some common phrases made up of 3 to five words. The major problem was phonetics knowledge as they have different pronunciation but it was still understandable (Jerrim, 2018). The listening activity that was carried out to measure performance indicated that pupils were able to understand basic English words and respond to teachers. The teacher spoke slowly by exerting correct force on each word that helped pupils to observe her mouth while speaking. They were asked to imitate and all were responding. It was observed that the teacher paid attention to each individual that made them more confident and they were willing to learn English. However, students recorded poor calculative skills and scored below average in other subjects.
During the interview, interesting facts were collected. It was determined through the interview that Somali pupils took along to understand that they are learning a new language and were reluctant to respond as they didn't feel comfortable in the new setting. The first activity was role play which failed as no individual responded to it. The second activity was teaching phonetics through videos. Some pupils responded and tried to replicate teachers. Gradually, the activities were curated that leveraged their engagement. Playful activities such as finding hidden objects and matching alphabets had a greater impact on pupils remembering power. The listening activity was assisted by drama and storytelling that engaged pupils considerably. Teachers told the interviewer that Somali pupils were interacting among themselves and not the native students as they were pulled out of the regular setting which was a matter of concern for them. Only 6 out of the total 10 children responded well in the regular classrooms but all of the 10 pupils suffered in learning other subjects. During speaking, pupils falter and still find it hard to arrange words in a phrase or sentence. However, they have learned to speak some basic words. During six months they have learned numbers, alphabets, names of fruits, vegetables, and animals. Parents were satisfied with their students’ performance in English but they were worried about other subjects.
ESOL pull-out support strategy was chosen as an effect of the learning issue faced by Somali pupils. As they were oblivious of the language which is prevalent in their surroundings, they felt anxious and low on self-esteem. Somali pupils remain silent and inactive during the classroom lectures. It was decided that a different setting will be curated where the pace of teaching English will be slow and the sole focus will be on making English their second language (Abikar, 2021). An ESOL pull-out support strategy was put into place with different kinds of activities that were perceived as fun tasks to ensure greater engagement and interaction of Somali pupils. The foremost challenge was to make these students comfortable and therefore teachers required a lot of patience and understanding. As these students were deprived of basic amenities, their excitement with the resources they are getting way more than native students. Teachers and the staff needed to be more creative and compassionate (Balthrop, 2018).
The pull-out support strategy was better as it helped to make these students interact in a secure environment and falter and learn through practice. It is quite obvious that learning English can be a challenge for individuals who have never been introduced to the language before. If the individuals would have some basic knowledge, total immersion could have been considered as a competitive alternative but here, the students were having psychological barriers that restricted them to engage in the classroom activities holistically. From the data analysis, it is clear that this strategy has been beneficial in making English their second language (Li, 2018). It has made them more confident and receptive. With the regular practice of English, they will be able to actively attend other classes as well. It might take some time to streamline with other native students but eventually, they will learn and can become an inclusive part of the regular classroom setting. However, one problem that has sprouted from this strategy is groupism.
Somali and other foreign students have formed groups that are not favourable as they might evolve into new conflicts and prejudices (Balthrop, 2018). For this reason, the pull-out strategy needs to be reconsidered. Another problem with this strategy is mismanagement in scheduling classes. It is observed that to attend these classes, pupils needed to remain absent in their regular classrooms and therefore they missed important instruction due to which their scores were considerably low in other subjects such as science and maths. It is, therefore, not wise to say that this strategy has all the good aspects because it has some drawbacks from the viewpoint of teachers and pupils as they have challenges such as streamlining with regular classes and preventing the creation of groups (Li, 2018).
The topic of the research might be EAL intervention and its effectiveness but it is largely based on the psychological effect of teaching pupils from the age group of 14-18, a new language. Ethical considerations are paramount in researches that include implications from a social aspect. During conducting the interview, two elements were taken into ethical consideration, one is privacy, and unbiasedness. It was also ensured that teachers and staff were eligible to conduct this activity by reviewing their qualifications. This was done to ensure high internal validity and reliability of the data and analysis. All the factors that could have affected Somali pupils were considered so the effectiveness of the intervention is evaluated holistically. It was ensured that the data was not manipulated to suit the conclusion (DfE, 2013).
Ethical consideration is imperative for conducting credible research. This research will help to compare the other intervention and their utility in further research subjects will be significant. It was vital for the participants to give consent to the research and they were asked if they are comfortable with conducting the interview and sharing the performance reports of Somali students with the practitioner (Li, 2018). For maintaining transparency, research subject and design were also communicated with teachers and the school authority. The consent was documented and their signatures were obtained. The teachers and staff communicated that they wanted their identity to remain anonymous and therefore, only their designation is included in the report and not their names. The report needs to meet all ethical considerations such as respecting privacy and making unbiased analysis and remaining honest with the participants of the research.
In this report, we discussed an EAL intervention for making English the second language for the Somali pupils belonging to the KS2 group. The learning issue was discussed and it was found out that these students were also facing psychological barriers while engaging in the regular classroom setting. The solution for this issue was the ESOL pull-out support strategy in which these pupils were pulled out of the regular classroom setting and were grouped to facilitate English language learning. This was done to make them more interactive and open in the regular classroom setting. The research methodology was descriptive and involved interviews of staff allocated for this program. The data was collected and analysed that implied the success of this intervention. However, some problems exist with this strategy such as groupism and time mismanagement, the effectiveness is seen as these pupils have become more receptive and responsive to questions and information shared in classrooms. Ethical consideration was paramount to this research to ensure the credibility and reliability of the research. By ensuring an unbiased approach and respecting the privacy and anonymity of participants, the research can conclude that the ESOL pull-out strategy has been effective to meet its objective of making Somali students learn English.
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