From Stigma to Strength: A Case of ESL Program Transformation in a Greater Vancouver High School
Keywords:ESL Pull-out Program, Stigma, English for Academic Purposes, EAP, Program Transformation, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
The rapid increase of Asian immigrant students in Canadian classrooms demands more systematic and increased language support to ensure all English language learners (ELLs) achieve success in school. However, research has found mixed results on the usefulness of current English as a Second Language (ESL) support programs and a growing dissatisfaction among students and parents about ESL, suggesting further investigation is needed to improve the provision of ESL in the schools. This paper details how one school and one ESL teacher responded to the needs of newly arrived Asian (i.e., Chinese) ELL students by documenting the school’s and teacher’s journey in revamping the pull-out ESL program into a culturally responsive English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program with a focus on immersion, community engagement, and a pedagogy of cultural reciprocity. The case has important implications for redesigning current ESL programs in the context of changing immigration.
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