Teaching ESL

Curious about ELD
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Author:  Curiosity [ Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Curious about ELD

Hi everyone. I've been offered an intermediate-advanced ELD position for mixed middle and high school. I don't know if I should take it or not. The reason why is, this is not my field of speciality, but they seem desperate (and of course, it's a full time job that pays quite well and sure beats out subbing). To be honest, I am an elementary school kind of teacher. I work in the elementary classrooms moreso than middle-high school. I've never had a class full of ESL or ELD students before. In fact, I don't even know what an ELD-specific classroom is suppose to look like! That is one major reason why I'm iffy on accepting (or trying out) for this position, because I fear it might be too stressful for me and possibly a disservice to the kids. On the other hand, I may just be scared and have it in me to do a good job if only I would try.

I guess my questions include:

-What does an ELD-specific classroom look like? For some reason I imagine it like you talk with them, teach direct lessons, they repeat, they write down sentences, and you just have a round table discussion where they hang on every word you say, etc. Especially with middle and high school kids I just see them sitting on top of their desks, I'm sitting on mine, and we're just discussing and they're all getting a chance to speak and construct their own knowledge. (I guess I formed this visual image from a picture I saw once before). But I'm sure it's much more complicated than that.

-What's the difference between beginning ELD, intermediate ELD and advanced ELD? If I get this job, it'll be for the latter two.

-Can a lack-of-ELD-experience predominantly elementary sub teacher jump into a middle-high school ELD-specific class and do a good job? (I know this one is kind of hard to quantify)

-Anything you can say that would help me to weigh the pros and cons?

-Right now in my heart I get the sense I shouldn't try to accept or fight for this job position, but part of me wonders if I can do a good job if only I'd try. I also have to think about do I want to work full time guaranteed this coming Fall, or do I want to continue subbing and hoping for that magical full time elementary school position. I don't want $ to be the ultimate deciding factor though. I much rather base it on strength and fit. The thing is, the school likes me as I've subbed for them before, but not in an ELD capacity. I get along great with their staff. Just a shame this is the only thing they can offer me.

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