Improving Student Success Through Program Design, Placement, and Pedagogy.
What Teachers Say about It
Dr. Lyn Neylon-Craft
“Lyn”, Guillermo asked, “how many students do you think will make the jump? You know, skip a level?”
“Hmmm… I don’t know”, I replied, “Maybe 20-25%? I’m not sure.”
Two semesters ago, my office mate Guillermo Colls, ESL Chair and creator of the accelerated ESL program called Boost! asked me to make this prediction on the first day we were piloting his new program. I really wasn’t sure what to tell him. My name is Dr. Lyn Neylon-Craft, and I am a veteran ESL and English instructor at Cuyamaca of 20+ years. I knew Guillermo wanted an informed opinion, but I just didn’t have one. Well, not yet. You see, I’ve been teaching ESL students a long time. I knew the statistics, and they weren’t great. If a student started at 5 levels below Freshman Composition, s/he only had about a 14% chance of making it through the ESL program and completing Freshman Composition. Thus, our lower level students had a very small chance of ever getting a degree or transferring to achieve their goals. Change had to happen.
Because this was a pilot semester, I was teaching our old curriculum side by side with the new. This really was the perfect scenario to give Guillermo the answer not only to his stated question but also to his unasked question, “Will the new curriculum help our students be more successful?”
Type words of advice
Accelerated Curriculum Design in ESL
How have different schools across California created accelerated course sequences in their ESL programs? Check out these highlighted programs to get an idea.
Woodland Community College
Woodland Community College is a small school near Sacramento, CA. Our ESL population is less than 200. This was certainly a consideration when we designed our accelerated sequence.