Establishing Remedial Support in ESL: Trials and Tribulations
Teaching and learning in ESL are challenging activities for teachers and students respectively. In the former case, classes are invariably made up of mixed ability learners. In the latter case, students are learning a second language where the normal conventions of their mother tongue are largely absent. It is now generally accepted that multiple Intelligences exist, and while some learners might display linguistic intelligence and acquiring the target language seems effortless, others are not so fortunate. It is for these slower learners or lower achievers that some kind of support system or remedial intervention to accelerate learning of the target language is required. Using an Action Research framework , the authors trace the development of an ESL support facility at a college in Saudi Arabia. In each of the Action Research cycles there is some reflection on the issues of the day. In addition, further in-depth analysis of issues related to co-curricular tuition is undertaken: the issue of whether extra lessons make a difference to learning at all; the voluntary nature of the venture on the part of teachers and their “reward” for it; taking into account the different learning styles of students; the impact of instruction when given by someone other than the regular teacher; and the influence of location on learning.