Interplay of factors that contribute to ESL at school level

jeudi 12 novembre 2015, par Maša Vidmar

In the recent decade growing body of literature identified factors at the school level related to ESL (including classroom level factors). The aim of this article is to show that variety of classroom/school factors can contribute to becoming ESLer as well as to explain possible underlying mechanism. The article reviews the theory and empirical research in the field.

To better understand how school influence development and how it contributes to ESL, one needs to understand development trajectories of both – schools and individuals. In her model, J. Eccles (2004) argued that as individuals mature their emotional, cognitive and social needs and personal goals change. Schools need to follow this change in order to provide the social context that will continue to motivate and engage students ; she called this stage-environment fit. Author argued that the extent to which this does not happen lead to first psychological and later physical disengagement of school, which is ultimately what ESL is.

Based on literature review (e.g. Eccles, 2004 ; European Commission, 2011 ; PPMI, 2014) relevant factors at the classroom level identified are : teacher beliefs, classroom climate (teacher-student relationship, student-student relationships, classroom management, motivational climate), content of curriculum/tasks (relevance, flexibility), instructional practices (direct versus student-centered instruction), classroom assessment (formative versus summative), class size. At the school level identified factors are : school climate (including school management, teachers attitudes and educational expectations, level of bullying and discrimination, violence, disruptive behavior of students absenteeism), cooperation between schools and family, and school conditions (e.g. socio-economic status (SES) of the school, school size). SES of the schools was identified as one of the prominent factors related to ESL ; low SES school are schools which have a high intake of pupils from socially disadvantaged backgrounds and which lack targeted support for these pupils.

To conclude, when discussing school influences and school-level interventions one needs to observe if these reflect the increasing maturity and changing needs of student as they move through the education system.


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