Adams and Jones (2006) defined structured English immersion (SEI) as “An instructional approach reserved for ELLs at an intermediate English language proficiency level with native language used to support students at early proficiency levels so that content knowledge would be more comprehensible” (p.17). Although this sounds like an appealing alternative to bilingual education, the fact of the matter is that this aim of SEI is rarely executed in the way it was intended to be. Many school districts claim that they use SEI, but in reality there teachers are actually just implementing the sink or swim method (Adams & Jones, 2006). Adams and Jones (2006) explain sink or swim as a method where students are placed in an English only classroom, where teachers use no special techniques or strategies to differentiate for their ELLs. In this method students either sink, or do not learn English and therefore do not learn the grade appropriate content, or they swim and do learn English and in turn succeed in learning the grade appropriate content. When ELLs are subjected to this method of teaching they are being taught content in a language that they do not understand, therefore they can not ac...
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...ion helps them feel less like academic language is only for the teacher; it helps them create a personal connection with this type of language (Seltzer & Celic, 2012). Along with assisting teachers and ELLs to learn academic language it also can provide ELLs the opportunity to learn more grade appropriate content knowledge. Too often ELLs are being given materials below grade level because of their low English proficiency, despite the fact that they most likely are far past that content knowledge in their home language. Translanguaging can provide students the opportunity to use their home language to clarify content. The teacher also can utilize the home language to initially preview the content or even teach parts in the home language. Some examples of this may be, utilizing multilingual partners or implementing multilingual resources (Seltzer & Celic, 2012).
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