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Dimension Six

A Strategy for Planning in the Multilevel

Adult ESOL Classroom
Welcome Colleagues! 6
 Many of our issues with retention on SSCC ESOL sites can
be traced to planning concerns.
 Indeed, many learners have expressed a desire to be
better informed about what happens “next,” so that their
own resources, especially childcare, can be allocated to
their maximum benefit.
 Dimension Six is not a lesson plan, but aims to support
planning by:
 Providing a list of the essential components that must
be included in instruction…
 Developing these into a framework that will allow an
agenda, calendar, and eventually, a syllabus to be
provided to learners at the beginning of each
instructional period…
 Our expectations of learners (and what they can
expect from us) may become clearer as we address
each of the following six dimensions…
First Dimension 6
 Instruction should incorporate an appropriate textbook.
 Advantages:
 Predictability that some learners need.
 The “buy-in” that goes with being issued a book of one’s own,
that must be brought to class every meeting.
 Audio is often provided with a textbook to encourage
participation and address aural learning.
 Concerns:
 There has been a problem in the past with textbooks not being
returned when learners cease attending class.
 Though presented as “optional,” audio is usually necessary to
make sense of each lesson if a textbook series is packaged with
a companion CD!
 Many textbook series are sincerely disliked by learners and
volunteers, but both hesitate to express opinions!
 Forming groups and allowing learners to select their own textbook
series from a list provided to them is an attractive option, but only
works when there is regular attendance (the same individuals
working together consistently, by mutual agreement).
Second Dimension 6
Instruction should address the differences
between academic and social language.
 Many learners are prepared for the
classroom, but not for the community.
 Others are prepared for the community, but
not the classroom.
 We lose good students by addressing one
situation while neglecting the other!
Third Dimension 6
 Instruction must address all four
language competencies:
 Listening
 Speaking
 Reading
 Writing
Fourth Dimension 6
 Instruction must address the
five points of language
 Phonetic
 Morphemic
 Syntactic
 Semantic
 Pragmatic
Fifth Dimension 6
 Instruction must incorporate all life skills
competencies measured by CASAS, and
include mandated EL Civics content.
 It can be difficult to determine how this should
be done in a multilevel, multidisciplinary
classroom: Example: When does a doctor need
to learn how to fill out a job application?
 It is important to ask the question each of the
learners will ask themselves: How are these life
skills part of MY life?
Sixth Dimension
 Instruction must incorporate information technology, and
address the career goals and personal aspirations of individual
 Most learners have not responded with much enthusiasm to offers of
specialized study groupings for those having a particular career goal, such as
the medical professions.
 However, they do wonder about the utility of the six hours per week spent
with us. Such groupings are designed, in part, to address these concerns.
 Our free courses carry no academic credit, and terminal certificates are not
being issued at this time. What does a learner get, exactly, by studying
English with us?
 These questions must be answered by making each learner aware that we
are serious about helping people develop a plan for “going somewhere” with
English. Example: How can I help you search for a verification service for your
international college transcripts?
 Research has shown that those learners who are unfamiliar with basic
computer skills will face serious consequences in the job market
Color Codes for Student Folios
 This color-coding system has become part of the My
Orange—textbook English Notebook experiment, which has been well-
received by most students at Holy Spirit.
material  Students are given a 3-ring binder within which they can
build a portfolio of work.
Blue—  Each binder is personalized.
conversation help  Instructors can distribute handouts to each student in
“folios” that are organized according to purpose and 3-
Yellow—group hole punched.
 Not every student receives the same folio when they are
exercises distributed—to each according to need!
Green—grammar, My English Notebook helps us
with two important goals:
pronunciation help To control handouts,
helping students keep
Red—citizenship, track of them, thus
survival English, minimizing distractions
during instructional time,
U.S. culture and…
To establish a system for

Purple—career students to complete out-

of-class writing activities
exploration, and turn in homework, n
personal growth receiving timely feedback
at i
on each of these.
Dimensions Checklist for My
Classroom: 6
 Did today’s activities…
 Incorporate an appropriate text?
 Require the use of both academic and social
 Require listening, speaking, reading, and writing?
 Address phonetic, morphemic, syntactic,
semantic, and pragmatic features of English?
 Include CASAS and EL Civics content?
 Include exploratory activities compatible with
each student’s language learning “road map,”
including career development plans?