Greetings, my name is David Gallagher, MUIDS’ E.L.L. (English Language Learner) coordinator and one of the school’s Modern Languages teachers. Here at MUIDS we are very privileged to teach students from different corners of Thailand and the world. Some of our students may even study up to ten different subject subjects in one week; that can present some challenges for students who struggle with the English language. Our teachers use various E.L.L. strategies to help students overcome those challenges.
Teachers share their strategies in workshops during our school’s professional development days. I work closely with them to refine their techniques, and use their feedback to further design and plan professional development that can better help them teach their students. Some of our focus areas include: Planning and Preparation for ELL, Comprehensible Input (making speech and content appropriate for students’ proficiency level), and Strategies for ELL support as well as Teacher – Student Interaction. This cooperative approach shows us that as educators we often experience the same obstacles when trying to lead our students forward.
In addition to professional development, we have an open door policy in our classrooms. We strongly encourage teachers to observe each other across different subjects in order to experience what learning is like from our students’ perspectives; this helps our teachers work together to find solutions to common problems. As teachers, it is important to show our students that we too value collaboration as we ask our students to work and grow collaboratively. Teachers, like students, often learn best from each other.
Like anything worth doing well, this process takes time and is one we endeavor to improve as our school grows. Grades and academic success are very important for students, but so is feeling comfortable and empowered in the classroom, especially when learning new and complex material. At MUIDS we remain committed to helping students learn and grow in a new language while preparing for university and beyond.
If you have any questions, or would like any additional information about ELL at MUIDS, you are very welcome to contact me, Mr. David Gallagher : firstname.lastname@example.org.