Participatory Approach Curriculum Guide for Teachers of Incarcerated English Language Learners
PublisherState University of New York at Fredonia
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AbstractAs the number of English language learners (ELLs) in the United States educational system, a group which includes adult ELLs that are incarcerated in state prison, continues to rise, so will the demand for effective and appropriate instruction for this unique group of students. Research has shown that instruction of adult ELLs is most effective when it tactfully includes the students’ backgrounds, home cultures and languages, and actual interests or concerns in the curriculum. Further, research indicates that ELLs fare better when they are involved in creating their content and are empowered to take responsibility for their own learning and language acquisition. This curriculum project looked at the Participatory Approach as a means to empower incarcerated ELLs as they acquire English in their state-mandated educational programming. While the Participatory Approach is a method often used for adult English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, its use in a prison classroom is especially poignant given the oppressive environment. This curriculum guide is meant to aid in an ESL teacher’s execution of the Participatory Approach in a prison ESL classroom and to provide flexible options supported by researched principles of second language acquisition and critical pedagogy. Future research could follow up with this curriculum guide to document its implementation to find areas of success and promise when using the Participatory Approach in a state prison’s ESL classroom.
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