Salisbury University

TARGET Program 2010

USDE Grant: T195N070327


ENGL 532 – Literacy and ESOL Reading



Instructor: Dr. Clement Okafor


Course Description and Objectives


This course examines the salient issues involved in the process of second language learning.  It begins with an overview of the previous and current theories and practice of second language acquisition and highlights the issues involved in the various phases of language learning.  It also emphasizes the interaction between the psychological and sociocultural factors in language acquisition.  Thus, it is a study of the language learning process within its social milieu. 


The main objective of the course is to empower the students to critique the present state of language learning theory and practice, with a view to enabling them to design programs that are best suited to the ESOL/TESOL situation in the schools in our rural environment.


A crucial component of this course is the ethnographically based project that requires each student to construct a biography of a second language learner.  The biography should be based on at least three interview sessions of one hour each and is designed to give the student the opportunity to demonstrate her firm grasp of the theory of second language acquisition. The biography should also apply the theory learned in the course to the specific learning situation of the person interviewed.                                                                                                                                                                                               




This course meets the following NCATE Standards for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


1.b.5.   Understand and apply current theories and research in language and literacy development


1.b.7.   Recognize the importance of ESOL students’ home languages and language varieties and build on these skills as a foundation for learning English


1.b.8.   Understand and apply knowledge of sociocultural and political variables to facilitate the process of learning English

2.a.1.   Understand and apply knowledge about cultural values and beliefs in the context of teaching and learning ESL


2.a.2.   Understand and apply knowledge about the effects of racism, stereotyping, and discrimination to ESL teaching and learning


2.a.3.   Understand and apply knowledge about home/school communication to enhance ESL teaching and build partnerships with ESOL families


2.a.4.   Understand and apply concepts about the interrelationship between language and culture


4.a1.    Demonstrate an understanding of the purposes of assessment as they relate to ESOL learners and use results appropriately


4.a.3.   Demonstrate understanding of the limitations of assessment situations and make accommodations for ESOL students


4.a.4.   Distinguish between a language difference, gifted and talented, and special needs for ESOL students


4.b.1.   Understand and implement national and state requirements for identification, reclassification, and exit of ESOL  students from language support programs


4.b.4.   Understand, construct, and use assessment measures for variety of purposes for ESOL students


5.a.2.   Demonstrate knowledge of the evolution of laws and policy in ESL profession


5.b.1.Advocate and serve as language and education resources for students and families in their schools and communities


                                    COURSE MATERIALS

Required Texts:


Freeman, David E. and Yvonne S. Freeman (2001) Between Worlds: Access to Second Language Acquisition. Second Edition. Portsmouth, NH: Heineman


Scovel, Tom (2001) Learning New Languages: A Guide to Second Language Acquisition. Boston: Heinle and Heinle


Crawford, James 2004.  Educating English Learners, 5th Edition.  Los Angeles, CA:  Bilingual Educational Services.




Recommended Texts:


  Watkins-Goffman L. 2001. Lives in Two Languages: An Exploration of Identities and Culture. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.


Supplementary readings may be placed on reserve in the library


                                    ATTENDANCE POLICY

Students are required to attend every class meeting barring any emergencies.  There may be unannounced in-class assignments and such work will constitute part of the grade awarded for class participation.  If a student is absent on a day of an in-class assignment, she will receive a zero for that assignment.  Make-up work may be assigned only in cases in which the absence is for valid reasons.






All written assignments in this course are in support of the university’s Writing Across the Curriculum Program.



The English Department takes plagiarism, the unacknowledged use of other people’s ideas, very seriously.  As outlined in the Student Handbook under the “Policy on Student Academic Integrity,” plagiarism may receive such penalties as failure on a paper or failure in the course.  The English Department recognizes that plagiarism is a very serious academic offense and professors make their decisions regarding sanctions accordingly.  Each of the following constitutes plagiarism:

1.      Turning in as your own work a paper or part of a paper that anyone other than

you wrote.  This would include but is not limited to work taken from another student, from a published author, or from an Internet contributor.


2.      Turning in a paper that includes unquoted and/or undocumented passages someone else wrote.


3.      Including in a paper someone else’s original ideas, opinions or research results without attribution.


4.      Paraphrasing without attribution


A few changes in wording do not make a passage your property.  As a precaution, if you are in doubt, cite the source.  Moreover, if you have gone to the trouble to investigate secondary sources, you should give yourself credit for having done so by citing those sources in your essay and by providing a list of Works Cited or Works Consulted at the conclusion of the essay.  In any case, failure to provide proper attribution could result in a severe penalty and is never worth the risk.



SPECIAL NEEDS:   Any students with disabilities or other special needs, who require special accommodations and adjustments in this course, should share these concerns with the instructor as soon as possible.





The course is structured in such a way as to make the best use of the fact that all the students here are indeed seasoned teachers.  Hence, the course will entail individual as well as group presentations and ethnographic reports.






                        ESOL/TESOL: NCATE STANDARDS

This course is designed to meet the NCATE standards pertaining to the five domains that are listed in “TESOL/NCATE Standards for the Accreditation of Initial programs in P-12 ESL Teacher Education,” (2002) – Draft prepared by the TESOL task force on ESL  standards TESOL Inc.  These standards are located in the following web site:


                        COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The final grade will reflect the performance in the following course requirements:

            1.   Class Participation                        10%

            2.   Individual Presentation                 15%

            3.   Written Reaction Paper                 15%

            4.   Field Observation/Lesson Plan     20%

            5.   Ethnographically Based Project    20%

            6.   Final Examination                         20%


                        GRADING SCHEME

                                    90 – 100%                   A

                                    85 – 89%                     B+

                                    80 – 84%                     B

                                    75 – 79%                     C+

                                    70 – 74%                     C

                                    65 – 69%                     D

                                    0 – 64%                       F



  1. Class Participation

The classes are modified seminars and students are required not only to attend classes but also to participate actively in all class activities. Students will be asked to generate ten interview questions to be administered during the ethnographically based project.  These questions can be drawn from one or both of the required texts. As from Institute 2, these questions should be submitted at the beginning of class.



  1. Individual Presentation

Each student is required to make a class presentation of approximately twenty-five minutes.  The presentations will begin during Institute 3, and a student may base her presentation on one or more interview sessions that she has had with a second language learner.


  1. Written Reaction Paper                                Due: March 27, 2010

Every student will submit a reaction paper on a topic to be assigned during Institute 2.  It should have the following three distinct components:

i.                    a brief overview of the salient issues in the reading

ii.                  a critical evaluation

iii.                a practical application

The paper should be approximately three double-spaced typed pages and is due on March 27, 2010.


  1. Field Observation/ Lesson Plan                   Due: April 10, 2010

Every student has an option to submit either a field observation report or a lesson plan. The field observation report will be based on at least three hours of observation in a regular class, which has ELL students or in an ESL special class.  The report should have the following components:

a)      a brief summary of the observed class experience

b)      an analysis of the principles of second language acquisition applicable to the class visited

c)      an assessment of the class session, which indicates how you can ameliorate the observed weaknesses.

The lesson plan should demonstrate the use of principles and content learned in this course (Second Language Acquisition) in order to teach a specific lesson on a topic of interest to you.

Your plan should include two sections:



  1. Lesson objectives
  2. Since this is hypothetical, you can choose the grade level, and the anticipated level of proficiency in the language.
  3. Maryland State Content Standards for the specific content are of ESOL or a related content area if this is still being developed/or other relevant state standards.
  4. Materials
  5. Time
  6. Procedures
  7. Activities to be used
  8. Assignments
  9. Assessment Procedures
  10. Accommodations
  11. Closure/ Review



  1. A post-reflective essay, which evaluates the benefits and potential pitfalls of your lesson.


  1. Ethnographically Based Project

This is a biography of the second language learner interviewed earlier by the student. It should be based on at least three interview sessions of one hour each and should be (approximately fifteen pages).  Each student is free to present the material in




whichever way she chooses.  However, the report should reflect the following guidelines:

i.                    You may interview any one you consider to be a second language learner

ii.                  This is not a group project; hence, two students are not allowed to interview the same second language learner

iii.                There are no age restrictions

iv.                Your report should record the name and contact address of the second language learner interviewed

v.                  The report should also record the location, time, date and duration of each interview session

Bear in mind that the objective of the project is to give you ample opportunity to demonstrate your firm understanding of the theory and application of second language acquisition.  Hence, the report should apply the theories learned in this course to the specific language learning situation of the second language learner interviewed.  Finally, it should state clearly the conclusions that you have made as a result of your experience during this project. Thus, the project should have the following components:

i.                    Theoretical underpinnings of the project, showing motivation for choice of the second language learner interviewed

ii.                  Clear statement of how the relevant theories apply to the language learning situation of the bilingual person interviewed

iii.                Specific deductions and recommendations based on the case study.


The project report is due on April 17, 2010.


  1. The Final Examination

The final examination will comprise an in-class test that requires short answers and will be administered on April 17, 2010.









PROPOSED COURSE SCHEDULE:  This is subject to change.



March 13, 2010



i.                    Identifying the Second Language Learner

ii.                  Factors influencing academic performance

iii.                What we acquire when we acquire a language

iv.                Functions of a language

v.                  Competence and performance

vi.                Domains of language learning



Discussion:            Video: Educating Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Students


Reading Assignment:

      i.          Freeman          -           Chapters 1 and 4

      ii.         Scovel             -           Chapter  1


March 20, 2010




i.                    How teachers teach

ii.                  How learners learn

iii.                Role of age in second language acquisition

iv.                Critical period hypothesis

v.                  Theories of learner styles and strategies

vi.                Cognitive processes



Presentation by content coaches from local school districts on current rural

ELL classroom praxis


Discussion:      Video:             Assessing Diverse Populations


Reading Assignment:

            i.          Freeman          -           Chapters 2 and 3

            ii          Scovel             -           Chapters 4 and 5



March 27, 2010



i.                    Motivation, Anxiety, and Empathy in language learning

ii.                  Role of affect in second language learning

iii.                Role of scociocultural factors in second language acquisition

iv.                Theoretical and research base for bilingual education

v.                  Strategies for supporting primary languages

vi.                Interference, avoidance, and error analysis

vii.              Role of grammar in second language acquisition




      Presentation by content coaches from local school districts on current rural ELL

      classroom praxis



Discussion:            Video:             Growing Minds: Cognitive Development in Early Childhood


Reading Assignment:

                              i.          Freeman          -           Chapter 8

                              ii.         Scovel             -           Chapters 3 and 6








April 10, 2010



i.                    Theory in the second language classroom

ii.                  Learning factors in the second language classroom

iii.                Role of the teacher in the second language classroom

iv.                Role of the community in the second language classroom

v.                  Role of students’ attitudes  in the second language classroom



Presentation by content coaches from local school districts on current rural

ELL classroom praxis



Discussion:            Video:             Effective Two-Way Bilingual Teaching: Sixth Grade


Reading Assignment:

                              Freeman          -           Chapters 5 and 9





April 17, 2010



i.                    Developing an additive paradigm

ii.                  Parental involvement in second language acquisition

iii.                Improving action through action-based research


i.                    No child left untested discussion

ii.                  Conclusion


Reading Assignment:

                        i.  Freeman      -           Chapters 10, 11, and 12

                        ii. Scovel         -           Epilogue

                        iii.Crawford    -           Chapter 14