Click on the link below to view an interesting video that looks at how newly arrived students are screened for the esl programme.
In my school’s context, students coming in are screened during similar interviews and given a written test to ascertain their levels. This interview focuses more on the screening based on the questioning of parents.
The area of concern we have is the written tests. We still haven’t found the right tests ( those simple enough to administer at the initial stage) that can indicate where to place students. This video points out that students are placed in the teachers classroom for a 10 day period during which time the ESL teacher assesses the student.
This is the reality of what happens in our situation too. Unfortunately, invariably, we have students have been placed in the wrong class. Personally, I don’t think it is good for newly arrived immigrants to go through this insecure period of not really being able to fit in. I’m looking at how we can make the assessments more reliable so that the students can be placed relatively accurately in the right class. This is important given that within the intensive learning programme students go through a 10 week programme. 10 days of trying to ascertain the ESL learners position and placing them correctly is too long.