In 2009, the Cañada College English as a Second Language Department reviewed data that indicated that students who were enrolled in other classes simultaneously with their ESL coursework experienced higher success and persisted at higher rates. For example, according to this data, ESL-only course takers had a fall-to-fall persistence rate of 32.9% compared to 59.7% for students taking other courses alongside ESL. This data was used to make significant changes to the curriculum. The core curriculum had been divided into four-unit skill classes: grammar, writing, reading and listening/speaking, for a full load of 16 units. The new curriculum integrated grammar/writing and reading/listening-speaking as two strands of five-unit courses for a full load of ten units. One of the key reasons for this class was to enable students to take non-ESL courses simultaneously with ESL coursework.
Since reviewing that data and making the subsequent curriculum changes, the ESL Department has been working intently to increase collaboration with other departments in the College, and to identify ways to strengthen academic and vocational pathways for ESL students.
Jeanne Gross, Rita Sabbadini, Michael Hoffman, Denise Hum, Amelito Enrique and Jenny Castello began an "ESL Students and Math" Focused Inquiry Network through Cañada's Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CIETL). The Focused Inquiry Network (FIN) affords an opportunity for ESL, Math and Student Services faculty and staff to begin a deeper inquiry into what has helped our students succeed in their Math coursework and what obstacles they have faced, as well as to review literature concerning language development and Math.
Hopefully the process of the inquiry and its information, data and analysis can be used to make informed decisions to improve teaching and learning. This site houses the progress toward that goal.