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Classroom teacher

WL ED 400

Foundations of Language in Second Language Teaching
(3 credits)

This course is designed to give second language teachers a critical understanding of basic concepts and principles in second language acquisition and teaching. The core of the course explicates processes of language acquisition viewed from major theories of first and second language acquisition and common issues within these major theories are presented and debated.

Within a field experience setting, students examine language teaching methodologies derived and implied from first and second language acquisition theories. This course requires field experiences, group reflections, and self-critique. Participants are expected to complete the required readings, have experienced an ESL classroom, review a textbook, and develop a professional growth portfolio including the four domains stated in the Penn State model of Teacher Preparation (planning and preparing for student learning; teaching, inquiring and analyzing learning and teaching; and professionalism).

WL ED 444

Language, Culture, and the Classroom (3 credits)

This course will examine issues of language and culture in the classroom. Focus will be placed on developing cross-cultural competence (in the classroom, with families, etc.). This course is intended to provide participants with the opportunity to reflect on the mutual impact of language and culture in the learning experiences of language minority students. It will explore culturally and linguistically diverse students’ assets as educators begin to critically reflect upon how to extract such rich knowledge possessed by their students.

WL ED 483

Evaluating Schools Performances and Programs with English Language Learners (3 credits)

From an ESL assessment perspective, emphases are given to developing and using varieties of multiple assessments for levels/stages of language proficiency, acquisition, and social and subject matter learning. PDE approved assessment, curricular and instructional adaptations for assessing and evaluating ESL students, development and use of ESL/Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and administration, scoring, interpretation and classroom usage using the five approved PDE ESL assessment instruments are emphasized. The course will highlight school support services for ESL students such as: “intake” or initial screening, LEA systems for ESL students “at risk” of learning problems, Instructional Support Teams (IST), school support policies for the protection of ESL students in IST/staffing, LEA models for providing instruction in inclusive settings. This course will also examine support services that assist in these services. Models of program evaluation using PDE approved assessment instruments for ESL students will be explained. The participants in the course are challenged to develop an ESL Program Evaluation Model or expand/improve on their current LEA ESL Model they are using.


Teaching English as a Second Language (3  credits)

This course focuses on the teaching of English to speakers of other languages. Specifically, the course explores the multi-dimensional nature of the teacher as a learner of teaching, the contexts within which teaching occurs, and the activities and content of second language teaching and learning. Throughout the semester, students engage in a range of theoretical, pedagogical, and reflective activities that will enable them to: 1) understand their own beliefs and knowledge about beliefs in the classroom practices; 2) recognize the highly situated and interpretative processes involved in language teaching and be able to reflect on, critically analyze, and evaluate their own teaching practices; 3) become sensitive to the complex social, cultural, political, and institutional factors that affect language teaching and students’ language learning; 4) come to recognize students’ strengths and development as learners and language learners; 5) understand subject matter content from an instructional perspective and learn to anticipate areas that may require additional instructional support; 6) use their knowledge of theory to inform their instructional practices; 7) participate in professional collaborations with other teachers as they learn about language teachers, language teaching, and language learning.


Functional Discourse Grammar (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide an overview of the structure of the English language through a functional/discourse analytical approach to linguistic analysis. Grammar is viewed as holistic and dynamic in the sense that grammar and grammatical forms are intricately related to speaker stance, cognition, and interaction. That is, when speakers use certain forms of grammar (in any language), they are generally making choices over other possible forms. In addition, this course examines what types of motivations might underlie such choices and will investigate how this approach to grammar can be applied in teaching/learning of English (and other languages) as a second or foreign language.


Penn State Berks
Continuing Education
P.O. Box 7009
Tulpehocken Road
Reading, PA 19610






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