Service Learning in a Fifth-Grade Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Classroom

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Honors Theses

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Hanson, Emily
Digital Commons at Salem State University
Sheltered English immersion; English language learner; Native language; Foreign language; Limited English proficient
thesis / dissertation description
In the public school systems of the United States, there are thousands of English language learners (ELLs) who are struggling to develop literacy skills in the English language. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, “Sheltered English Immersion” (SEI) has been introduced to try to improve academic achievement for ELLs. SEI is a methodology in which English language learners (ELLs) learn English via the mainstream curriculum, which is delivered by a teacher skilled in making content comprehensible for English language learners.My service learning project looked at how SEI programs have been developed to try to improve literacy rates and academic achievement among ELLs and allowed me to gain first-hand knowledge of daily life in an SEI classroom. Through observations within a fifth-grade SEI setting and by assisting the classroom teacher, I sought to learn more about effective teaching strategies for ELLs, differentiating instruction, and the challenges of trying to implement best practices in SEI. This experience led me to value the importance of implementing SEI programs throughout the United States and helped me to discover effective teaching techniques to better instruct students with limited English proficiency.