Be the change you want to see in this world

"Be the change you want to see in the world."
-Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, May 15, 2008

ESL Standards Project: Participants in the course LN494/G – Special Studies: Second Language Acquisition through Standard Developments are spearheading the development of Guam’s PreK-12 English Language Proficiency Standards. The course was sponsored by the Guam English as a Second Language Certification Plus Project, a federally funded Title III National Professional Development grant by the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), U.S. Dept. of Education. Guam ESL Cert+ Project is administered by the Micronesian Language Institute, University of Guam in consortia with the Guam Public School System. The course was co-taught by Dr. Margo Gottlieb from the Illinois Resource Center and Professor Rosa Salas Palomo, Project Director.

Pictured front row from L-R: Faye Camacho Kaible, Melissa Pablo, Margo Gottlieb, Rufina Mendiola, and Teresita Flores. Second Row, L-R: Jocelyn Santos, Marilyn Perez, Marife Fernandez, Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera, Lucy Leon Guerrero, June Taitano, and Cecilia Bermudes. Back Row, L-R: Lorena Montague, Roy Leon Guerrero, Dr. Jose Cruz, Lois Taitano Gumataotao, Zander Refilong, Keith Juarez, Rosa Salas Palomo, and Priscilla C.T. Perez. Not pictured are Gene Dydasco, Kirk Drygas, and Dr. Dan Robertson.
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I’ve been extremely busy in ESL projects for both GPSS and UOG’s Micronesian Language Institute. As long as I know that all my effort will ensure that the needs of our ELLs are addressed, then it’s all worth it. Read the following story I wrote regarding one of the projects I’m involved in:

Resource Guide: Guam English Language Proficiency Standards Developed

We have a diverse community with an increasing population of students who are learning English as an additional language.


To address the needs of our English Language Learners (ELLs), a cadre of educators, namely, GPSS ELL/ESL Standards Cadre 2008, are spearheading the development of Guam’s PreK-12 English Language Proficiency Standards.


The cadre is enrolled in the course LN494/G, Special Studies: Second Language Acquisition through Standard Developments, which was sponsored by the Guam English as a Second Language Certification Plus Project, a federally funded Title III National Professional Development grant by the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), U.S. Dept. of Education.


Guam ESL Cert+ Project is administered by the Micronesian Language Institute, University of Guam in consortia with the Guam Public School System. The course was co-taught by Dr. Margo Gottlieb from the Illinois Resource Center and Professor Rosa Salas Palomo, Project Director.

To meet U.S. DOE guidelines and to be in compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the cadre designed a resource guide, which provides a detailed assessment of the four language domains (listening, speaking, reading and writing).


The resource guide will assist teachers and administrators in the development of curriculum and instruction. It includes English Language Standards for social, intercultural, and instructional purposes; language arts; mathematics; science; and social studies. They include the following:

• Standard 1: English language learners communicate for social, intercultural, and instructional purposes within the school setting.

• Standard 2: English language learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic advancement and success in the area of language arts.

• Standard 3: English language learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic advancement and success in the area of mathematics.

• Standard 4: English language learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic advancement and success in the area of science.

• Standard 5: English language learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic advancement and success in the area of social studies.

The English Language Standards, which are aligned with the Guam Public School System content standards, were developed to address the needs of GPSS English Language Learners, close the achievement gap for ELLs, and help ELLs attain English proficiency.

Phase I of the project was conducted by Dr. Gottlieb of the Illinois Resource Center from August 6-10, 2007, to assist project staff and GPSS teachers and administrators begin the process of developing the standards. There were 21 teachers and 1 administrator in this course including participation by the Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, and two GEPB members, namely Dr. Jose Cruz and Mrs. Rosie Tainatongo.

Cadre members include teachers from GPSS’ Curriculum and Instruction ESL Cadre, CHamoru language teachers, a PREL specialist, and teachers recommended by Cadre members or expressed a sincere interest in the development of the project.

Phase II took place in January 21-24 at which time participants and Dr. Gottlieb reviewed the first set of English Language Content Standards developed by each grade cluster. After many months and hours of uncompensated work and six drafts later, the cadre publicly presented the resource guide to the Guam Education Policy Board on April 9, 2008, so that it may be adopted for the Guam Public School System, in order for it to be implemented to ensure that our ELLs are able to fully access the curriculum.

It is the hope of the cadre that the resource guide be adopted to further ensure that ELLs attain proficiency in English and meet the same academic and content standards as all students are expected to meet.

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