Originally, I used this powerpoint in its simpler form to explore two questions about co-teaching. The first being the roles and responsibilities of the EAL (English as an additional language) teacher in an inclusive classroom. The second being what is needed for productive collaboration. As an institution with a growth mindset we are revisiting the way in which we support our ELLs (English language learners).
Our school has taken a systematic approach to improving the services, which has included, an audit (done by a respected practitioner in the field), the development of a strategic plan and an established framework of co-teaching that has a high success rate. As with any other new initiative, we are now at a place where we need to reflect on what we have accomplished so far and do some refining or recalculating the way we need to move forward.
This original presentation was made on my birthday, but, is NOT the reason for the cake analogy. In fact, I tried very hard to think of another analogy however, I had eaten some chocolate cake made by a colleague and fellow Cotailer Calley, which was downright delicious and left me focused on cake. Which is fortunate because, research shows that images of certain foods have a positive effect on how much people pay attention.
One of the difficulties of co-teaching for EAL is that, although co-teaching itself is not entirely new, co-teaching for the specific reason of supporting ELLs English language development is a relatively new field. So this powerpoint is focused on the specific roles each teacher needs to play in supporting development. The research behind inclusion is clear. Inclusion not only promotes faster language development, because ELLS have more models to follow, but it also, allows for ELLs to be exposed to a content rich environment. However, on the flip side ELLs in a mainstream classroom need additional scaffolding in order to access the content. They also need additional avenues in order to express what they can do and this is where the EAL specialist supports both the learner and the content teacher.
Feedback from the powerpoint was positive and every time I tried to explain not wanting to use the cake analogy, I am told that it was indeed very effective.