Pragmatic and You

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There has been great debate over which is the best way for second language students to learn English. English-only advocates feel that all learning materials should be taught in English, while bilingual advocates feel there should be a mixture of using the student’s native language along with English. The pragmatic approach has a viewpoint that explains it is not the language that should be the primary focus, but how the instructions and materials are delivered to ensure every student is learning. Commins and Miramontes (2005) explains, “Students’ success or failure has everything to do with the nature and quality of the instruction receive throughout their school day, no matter what language it is in” (p. 124). This quote confirms that we should be educating students to the best of our abilities; therefore it captures my understanding of the debate of how best to address linguistic diversity in the schools. The pragmatic approach presented a bevy of reasons why it is the best approach in teaching second language learners, and there were numerous items that I agreed with. I agreed with the following aspect from the argument according to Commins and Miramontes (2005), “Educators need to organize themselves so that throughout the entire day every teacher’s instruction provides students the time, experiences and opportunities they need to fully develop academic proficiency” (p. 123). It is very important that educators prepare and plan effectively on a daily basis. In addition, educators need to make sure students are given the opportunity to be active participants within the lesson. I also agreed with the fact that each school needs to look at what best practices work for them according to the individuals they serve. After reading ...

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... they manage and utilize the complex interactions of language, culture, and context that surround linguistic diversity to help students succeed? (p. 126).
The answer to these questions is summed up with one answer. That answer is preparedness and effective planning. Teacher should follow the five p’s of the Gangster Disciples. The five p’s are as follows: “proper preparation prevents poor performance” (BlackGanGsta, 2014). Therefore to prevent poor performance among ESL students schools need to evaluate their neighborhood, interact with parents and community members, and change the delivery of instruction to ensure every student is learning.

Works Cited

BlackGanGsta. (2014, March 1). Better-Growth- Development. Retrieved from
Commins, N. L., & Miramontes, O. B. (2009). Linguistic Diversity and Teaching. New York: Routledge.

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