Responsibilities and Duties of an ESL Teacher


• Administer tests, analyze the data, place the student in proper program

• Notify parents of results and placement and make sure they have access to all information

• Provide accommodations and make sure they are being met

• Discuss results with teachers and explain how to accommodate student’s academic weaknesses

• Collaborate with mainstream teacher about lesson plans, cultural sensitivity, and diverse resources

• Assist in creating classroom assessments or make necessary modifications

• Offer support via RTI and tutoring

• Create meaningful lessons that will benefit the child’s individual needs

• Analyze data to see if student needs to be moved to different tier or taken out of the ESL program

• Help to create a whole school atmosphere where diverse cultures are welcomes and explored to enhance the learning of all students

• Introduce American cultural aspects to ESL students

• Improve reading, writing, and speaking skills of students of diverse backgrounds in English; students should learn English grammar, pronunciation, and conversational skills

• Provide information to administration about enrollment procedures and availability of support for eligible students

• Regularly collect enrollment information from schools and send the appropriate forms to Central Office ESL Database so funding can be claimed

• Make sure all accommodations are up to date and each student has someone who can give accommodations when doing state testing

How an ESL Teacher Can Create a More Cultural Atmosphere in School

• Have school décor represent other cultures: displays of cultural artifacts, posters with information and pictures from different countries, different countries’ flags

• Welcome booth at the entrance of the school with information in the other languages spoken in the school

• Signs in the other languages

• ESL “open house” where students create project boards with pictures, flags, pieces written about holiday traditions and family stories, personal interests, and life maps including future plans displayed

• Students write about “the immigrant experience” and “their” cultural background; pick one country or part of their background and research traditions, values, and reasons for immigrating, as well as how these immigrants were historically received in America; read different texts about historical and contemporary experiences of immigrants

• Research project on their family experience – family tree poster with some information about their heritage provided by the families and things like the flag, money, etc.

• “World Culture Day” – classrooms research a country and make posters and things about their country; certain classes or grade levels learn about specific things having to do with student heritage, pick a certain country for each class that students have a heritage from. Students could take home a short survey indicating their heritage and students could switch within grade level to learn/share about their own culture.

• “Culture Night” or “Culture Fair” – different foods from all the countries represented in the school, dress/traditional clothing, music, games, stories, traditions, holidays, etc. Students can make a list of how everyone is the same

• Do cultural lessons throughout the year, especially on holidays from other cultures, where students learn about what countries celebrate it and why, what they do, traditions, etc, and do activities that are representative of what they do

• Interview recently immigrated students and have them talk about their school in their home country; do a compare/contrast lesson about the two schools

• Wear nametags with position and have all important documents already translated into the school’s other languages

• Embed some of the history and traditions of other cultures into “higher-order thinking” lessons and ideas, such as: “Day of the Dead” could connect to the more fluid time continuum, not as much focus on the here and now, held by many Latino cultures. Talk about the important of family and rich religious values of many cultures. Explore the differences of values, such as in foods: “hamburger, hotdog = America” – can be “on-the-go foods.” Many Middle Eastern countries have large platters of rice-based foods that are served communally and cannot be eaten “on the go”; does that say anything about the values?

• Morning show – incorporate an interview with an ESL student, an announcement in a foreign language, or some sort of trivia question about a different culture

• Pen pal program with a school in a different country. Many other countries stress the importance of English from a young age, so letters can be written in English. The classroom teacher can create a graphic organizer to make connections between family life, school life, and what kids do for fun. Students can then further research the country and make inference into values in the culture

• “Today in History” events could be more international and not just focused on the U.S.

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