Teach immigrant students in newcomers centers till they can succeed in an English immersion classroom, advocates TMAO, who teaches English Langage Learners in San Jose. “Differentiating” instruction in a mainstream classroom isn’t good enough.
As a temporary fix, he suggests “learning to read centers” for kids who can speak English but can’t read or write it.
Here you’ll teach kids how to read. You’ll do it by teaching letter sounds and blends, by modeling what reading sounds like, by providing decodable books for kids to read. Assessment will be frequent; instruction will be responsive and elastic. The second a kid reaches the 2nd grade level of independent reading ability ship em out to the nearest available High Point or Open Court classroom. You will need different curriculum, or you will need people who know what they’re doing. Both are available.
If it costs more money, hire fewer consultants, he suggests.
Read the whole post, plus the earlier one on Ana and Jorge.
Years ago, I looked at Cupertino’s very successful newcomers classes for recently arrived students. State officials had told Cupertino to rename the classes because “newcomers” is pejorative. I guess the word is now acceptable.