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Is co-teaching always the answer?

Social media is all a-twitter these days about co-teaching. There are a couple of new books out, and the topic of co-teaching for EAL/ELL learners is now the theme of the moment. While I think that successful co-teaching can be a great thing, I don't think that it is the only answer for schools, and that the decision to adopt a co-teaching model shouldn't be taken lightly. Here is a brief overview of models for EAL/ELL support, along with pros and cons of each: 1. Stand-alone, with a specialist teacher (also called withdrawal or pull-out) Pros: Students get dedicated time with a specialist, usually using a strong language-based curriculum, to focus on language development Cons: Students spen

The myth of the 'native-speaker' teacher

Last week I worked with three different schools in the Netherlands, all with different profiles. All of them are international schools, using a variety of national and international curricula. When non-English background parents put their children in these types of schools, they generally have very high expectations for the language learning opportunities for their children. Without getting into the benefits and pitfalls of English-medium instruction schools, a common expectation is that their children should acquire English and be able to use it 'like a native speaker'. A part of the expectation then, is that their child will have only 'native-speaker' teachers. There are two issues with th

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