Are your students taking too long to achieve English language proficiency? How can your school help international students succeed in the classroom and beyond? Over the past three years, Thesys’ ELL specialists have created and implemented ELLoquence, a digital curriculum for English language learners, into ESL classes for international students. A blended learning model, this curriculum allows instructors to teach English through content based instruction (CBI) and communicative language teaching (CLT). As a result, ELLoquence helps students achieve the level of English language proficiency necessary to succeed in mainstream classes and higher education.
The genesis and philosophy for Thesys’ ELLoquence courses stemmed from a need to accelerate the learning of English for secondary ESL students in public and private schools. After evaluating the textbooks and curricula of numerous publishing companies, educators at Thesys were unable to find an ESL curriculum that addressed students’ needs for academic English using a content based and communicative language teaching approach. Many textbooks included too much fiction and not enough informational text. Students simply couldn’t relate to the short stories and found it difficult to write and respond accordingly. The disconnect resulted in the students’ inability to comprehend what the teachers and textbooks were saying. Plagiarism was common because students were unable to clearly express their own thoughts. Thesys recognized the need for blended learning to further the advancement of English language proficiency, and therefore offers digital curriculum, as well as traditional paper-based materials.
ELLoquence includes three major design elements to help ELL students succeed:
Content-Based Instruction (CBI) to develop students’ academic English skills based on key subject matter, informational texts, and encouraging the student to learn by developing opinions and fostering problem solving.
Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) with an emphasis on speaking, vocabulary development, and communicating meaning.
Blended Learning (classroom + technology) where the teacher acts a facilitator with technology-enabled, multi-learning modalities available for the student.
Educators at Thesys discovered that relevance is of the utmost importance. Students are not motivated by ESL learning material that is elementary, simple, and not cognitively challenging. ELLoquence’s goal is to engages students to become interested in topics of study and encourage them to speak and write about those topics. ELLoquence students not only improve their language proficiency, but also become more knowledgeable about the world around them and are better able to form and express their own opinions.
Since students today live in a rapidly changing, digital world, Thesys has created a curriculum that allows students to become technologically literate and prepared for the 21st Century. In order to be competitive in the workplace, students need to also be able to think critically and creatively, problem-solve, communicate, and collaborate in their native language and in English. Thesys’ ELLoquence provides schools the opportunity to reduce the time it takes for English language learners to achieve proficiency and continue to refine English language acquisition in preparation for mainstream academics.