[Edling] ?==?utf-8?q? ?==?utf-8?q? "ESL" Job Title- Please Critique!

YOUNG Andrea (EPE) andrea.young at espe.unistra.fr
Thu Oct 12 06:36:05 EDT 2017

Dear Chelsea,
Interesting terminological question!
I agree with you, the labels we use are important as they convey a message. However, it is extremely difficult to find a title which is both non-stigmatizing and immediately comprehensible to the non-specialist.
In Jim Cummins & Margaret Early's book "Big Ideas for Expanding Minds: Teaching English Language Learners across the Curriuculum" they talk about 'teaching through a multilingual lens', 'academic-language teaching' and 'implementing effective instruction for ELLs across the curriuculum'. I like this way of looking at things as it shifts the burden of responsibility towards the school and the teaching staff, sharing it with the learner, but not holding the learner exclusively responsible for their learning.
There is also an interesting note on terminology in this book:
"With some reservations, we have chosen to use the term English language learners
(ELLs) to refer to the students who are the focus of this book. The term is perhaps
the most common of a variety of competing terms such as English as an additional
language (EAL) students, English learners, emergent bilinguals, and many others. Our
concern relates to the fact that the term English language learners, like many others,
defines students by what they lack, namely access to fluent English language and
literacy skills. We are sympathetic to the rationale for the term emergent bilinguals,
promoted by New York-based researcher Ofelia García, which highlights students’
linguistic potential (not always realized because of the rapid loss of home languages
in many contexts). However, in order to link with state and provincial terminology,
we use the term English language learners, while cautioning readers to be aware of
the term’s hidden subtext, which we try to repudiate explicitly throughout the book."
(Cummins & Early, 2015: 9)

Encapsulating all this in a job title is a tough call!
Teaching ELLs across the curriuculum advisor/specialist????
Academic-language teaching advisor/specialist

Let me know what you plump for.
Kind regards,

Andrea Young
Directrice adjointe, chargée des relations internationales et de la politique linguistique
Professeur des universités (full professor)
Responsable du CAREL (Centre d'Apprentissages et de Ressources pour une Education aux Langues)
Tél : +33 (0)3 88 43 82 89 (ligne directe)
andrea.young at espe.unistra.fr 

ESPE de l'Académie de Strasbourg
141 avenue de Colmar - BP 40102
http://espe-carel.unistra.fr/web.carel/web/en/andrea_young/tout.php Université de Strasbourg
LATEST PUBLICATION: Latisha Mary & Andrea S. Young (2017) Engaging with emergent bilinguals and their families in the pre-primary classroom to foster well-being, learning and inclusion, Language and Intercultural Communication, Volume 0, Issue 0, Pages: 1-19,
DOI: 10.1080/14708477.2017.1368147


Le Mercredi 11 Octobre 2017 23:00 CEST, Chelsea Walter <cwalter at coloradocollege.edu> a écrit:

My name is Chelsea Walter and I am the "ESL Specialist" at Colorado College. I am looking for input regarding my title, as I feel that it may be out of date with current terminology.

A brief description of my work: I provide academic support to culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students via coursework and individual consultations, as well as consult with faculty on best practices (those that are particularly culturally responsive) for working with CLD students. 

Might any of you have an idea on a more holistic title? I feel that "ESL Specialist" conveys a remedial and deficient nature and does not encompass the CLD student and educational experience itself, but rather focuses on the "ESL" label.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

ESL Specialist 
Colket Center for Academic Excellence
Tutt Library 214 
chelsea.walter at coloradocollege.edu 
o (719) 227-8288 
14 E. Cache La Poudre St.
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903 

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