Models of Instruction for Multilingual Learners: Facets of the ESOL Co-Teacher Role
Keywords:Multilingual learners, English learners, ESOL models, co-teaching
With nearly five million multilingual learners in U.S. schools, research is warranted for effective instruction that permits equal access to content standards through language diversification. Multilingual learners (MLs), students learning English who benefit from linguistic support to attain academic achievement, are served through models in U.S. schools that vary according to student needs and staffing capability, with English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) as the dominantly implemented format. ESOL is a federally and locally funded program that provides structured academic and linguistic support and accountability for MLs across all grade levels. The purpose of this literature review is to compare the utility and effectiveness of the four program models approved by the U.S. Department of Education to effectively teach content and language to MLs in public schools: (a) structured English immersion, (b) bilingual education, (c) dual language or two-way immersion programs, and (d) English for Speakers of Other Languages (U.S. Department of Education & U.S. Department of Justice, 2015). Furthermore, this article is intended to examine the overarching model of ESOL—the most employed model in the U.S.—and the prominent delivery format of co-teaching. Each of the models mentioned above is discussed in this paper, followed by a delineation of state and federally-approved formats of ESOL: pull-out, push-in, resource labs, sheltered classes, innovative delivery models, and co-teaching. This article concludes with an examination of co-teaching, a subset of ESOL in which a general education educator and an ESOL teacher co-plan, co-instruct, and co-assess an integrated classroom of MLs and non-MLs.