WHAT IS ESOL INFUSION?
In 1990, the Florida Department of Education entered into an agreement (a consent decree) with advocacy groups for English language learners (ELLs) that requires school districts to provide various accommodations to enable them to succeed academically.
There are many components to the agreement, but one element is the precursor to ESOL infusion. Teachers who are the primary language arts providers for preK-12 students (Early Childhood, Elementary, English, and Special Education) must complete an ESOL endorsement, which is an add-on to their certificate.
The endorsement requires 15 graduate credits of coursework or 300 clock hours of in-service in ESOL Methods, ESOL Testing, ESOL Curriculum, Applied Linguistics, and Cross-Cultural Issues for ESOL.
In the year 2000 a state board rule required all teacher preparation programs to graduate students in the targeted areas with the ESOL endorsement. Institutions can choose to require the 5 graduate courses or to implement an infusion approach.
An infusion approach reduces the number of ESOL courses, by incorporating content from the 5 ESOL courses into other classes and field experiences, including ESOL as a natural part of all the curriculum and instruction, not as an adjunct.
2 or 3 ESOL courses
Components of an Infused Course
Every course can include:
An article on the course content and ESOL
Courses that focus on curriculum, instruction, or assessment should also include:
For each assignment that involves creating instructional materials, planning instruction, developing instructional activities, or composing tests and assessments
Modifying for ELLs should be taught in the first ESOL course (which should be required the first semester of the program). Language arts courses should provide more depth and breadth of ESOL topics, including books, articles, videos beyond steps 1 & 2 above.
The modifying for ELLs CD-ROM will be available in summer 2003 and will explain how to modify for 4 levels. Faculty can view this guide and require students to follow its framework.
Joyce W. Nutta, Ph.D. University of South Florida