Duke Student Project Aims to Improve K-12 Latino Students' English Skills
Led by their professors, a
team of undergraduate students at Duke University is working
on a project designed to enhance professional development for North Carolina
school teachers whose students lack essential English language skills.
The premise of the project,
known as Developing Consultation and Collaboration
Skills (DCCS), acknowledges
that the most popular English as a Second Language (ESL) model in
has been the "pull-out" model, in which students are pulled out of
regular classes for additional English language instruction. The
that model, according to Assistant Research Professor Leslie Babinski
Sanford School of Public Policy, is that students miss out on the
instruction others are receiving when they are pulled out.
At the same time, Babinski
pointed out, the model ignores the fact that all students in
through second grade are language learners.
"Our idea was that you can
leverage the work of what's happening in the regular classroom to
language learning," she said.
The DCCS professional
development program, which was incorporated into four school districts
suburban and rural — throughout North Carolina beginning in fall 2015,
- A week-long Summer Institute
for classroom teachers during which they can develop collaboration
needed to increase the command of English for their students,
Latino family culture into the classroom and learn about high-impact
- Weekly collaboration meetings
between ESL and classroom teachers;
- On-site coaching sessions;
- Learning modules that the
teachers can incorporate into their classrooms.
While it is too early to have
data on the DCCS project's success, Babinski said, "It's really
see that people feel like they're getting a lot out of it."
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.