ESL Teacher Interview
Dr. Glenn Tracy
My person that I interviewed is very unique besides being a very good teacher. She had received the honor of being selected ‘Teacher of the Year” a few years back here at Perkins County Schools (Grant, NE), so I knew her methods and strategies were tried and true. She has several different hats in our school system with English Language Learner (ELL) being just one part. She was asked to work with/for me in this program with our high school ELL students while I concentrated on Elementary and Middle School. She is in charge of the district’s Speech department which has also had great success. Finally, she is the school’s Spanish teacher, and a very good one. I have had the privilege of sitting in on her classes, collaborating with her and also this interview which gave me some tremendous insight into the Foreign Language (FL)/ELL world. I always jump at the chance to gain more knowledge and insight from her experiences. I chose to interview Ms. Tate, not only because she has done some amazing things with her students (and my ELLs sky-rocket under her care), but to me, teaching Spanish is still Language Acquisition, just transferring the methods over. She still uses the same strategies as ESL: Krashen (whom she actually met and therefore adopted his ways of teaching), very big on Total Physical Response (TPR) and teaching through storytelling. Her classroom philosophy is the same compared to where I see the ELL program going. She works through 4-5 language acquisitions in somewhat the same order. Focusing on the Oral first with a concentration in vocabulary, Speaking using everyday conversations, developing their Listening skills, increase Reading comprehension and fluency with short stories and finally working on the Writing proficiency with journaling. Ms. Tate has experienced diversity throughout her life starting with Hispanic workers her father hired to work for him. At the...