As part of a collection of comprehensive research into the teaching of ESL, this article is a valuable addition to the literature in the field – its focus on the teacher’s need to reflect constantly on practice and pedagogy is worthwhile 3. Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards through Classroom Assessment by Paul Black and William Dylan (2001) The writers propose that the central element if any improvement in education is to take place is not policy change, or government decree, but the change which is implemented in the classroom – the “black box” of the title. They then outline a possible method which will effect improvement, and which has been proven to increase output – formative assessment. This article presents a fairly persuasive argument for the advantages of formative assessment as a learning and teaching tool, and even suggests some strategies to use in the implementation of formative assessment techniques in the classroom, and the educational system (in England). The importance of the teacher is stressed, but so is the value of formative assessment strategies such as self-assessment in the building of students’ competence, confidence and motivation. The value of formative assessment in assisting to improve student performance is proven fairly conclusively in the article, and it should be part of the strategy of all teachers. The argument and rhetoric surrounding summative v. formative assessment is ongoing, and this paper does add a measure of good argument and some empirical evidence to the debate. 4. Engaging Minds: Changing Teaching in Complex Times – Second Edition by Brent Davis, Dennis Sumara and Rebecca Luce-Kapler (2008) The writers test the issues surrounding inclusive...
The changes required in teachers’ approaches, thoughts and beliefs will be considered in depth in this paper, and some consideration will be given to the practical measures required to address the needs of ESL students, and it will be presumed that the same requirements apply to students with diverse backgrounds and abilities. Also, the dangers of not addressing the individual learning needs of students, as a dominating factor in the system of education will be examined from the perspective of an education system in which diversity and inclusivity are addressed to some degree but in many Australian schools and classrooms, the situation is far from satisfactory.
At secondary schools in Australia, the situation sometimes exists in which smaller schools find themselves challenged with primarily a lack of funding for anything other than mainstream schooling. Yet, schools do have to accept enrolments of international students, and indeed even refugee students, as the need arises. Thus, on the level of physical infrastructure, schools are strained to provide something as basic as venues to accommodate for example English Second Language (ESL) students, and such students have to be accommodated in one classroom despite differing levels of English proficiency, and even age differences. Social problems can emerge among students – as radical a condition as racism can develop – and if not addressed, these social problems can be extremely detrimental to students’ learning.