In the scenario provided for this assignment, the matter is further complicated by the addition of ELL students - those who are from other countries and who do not speak English as their native language. Such students often suffer from slow processing. Many educators often mistaken believe that slow instructional pacing better suites such students. However, ELL and other students with learning disabilities are capable of performing at a normal pace providing certain elements are included in pacing decisions.
"It has been shown that for most students with learningproblems, relatively fast-paced instruction is most useful (assuming they are familiar with the instructional routine" (Ylvisaker, 2006, p. 1). If the pace is too slow, students will lose interest and their attention will wander, making it even more difficult for ELL students. Students need to be actively engaged in the learning process so consideration should be given to making the lesson varied and engaging.
It will also be easier to avoid loss of interest and wandering attention if the class operated on a routine that all students are familiar with. Ylvisaker (2006) likens this to a video game. When the game is new, it proceeds so fast that it is hard to keep up with it much less make progress. However, as the player becomes better acquainted with the routine of the game, progress can be made and the game eventually won. The same holds true in the classroom which is why educators put such effort into designing policies and procedures for their classrooms. The need to fit in a variety of learning trials is intricately linked to routine as well.
Instructional pacing will also vary depending on the kind of material being presented. New material should be presented at a relatively slow pace. Once the material is taken in, pacing should be regulated according to student response to learning trials. By carefully attending to student performance, educators can determine when a slow review is needed, when students need to engage in guided practice, and/or when the students are ready for individual practice. Educators can tailor the learning trials so that the pace progresses from slow to the fastest pace allowed and ultimately the final assessment for that learning objective.
It is here - student response - that teachers of ELL students must pay careful attention. Student response is often determined by behavior in the classroom. Zehler (1994) points out that "[d]ifferences in language and culture are often subtle but affect students' classroom participation in several ways" (p. 2). Educators often gauge student interest and attention from eye contact and asking of questions. However, some cultures such as the Japanese consider eye contact with elders to be disrespectful. Other cultures consider it disrespectful to ask questions of an elder. Plus an often misunderstood need for ELL students it the need for silence. These students often need to focus on listening rather than speaking and their silence can be misunderstood for inattention or disinterest (Zehler, 1994).
Once students understand the routine, material, and instructions well enough to attempt work, "errors can actually have a positive meaning" (Zehler, 1994, p. 4). The willingness of