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In this self-reflective essay, an experienced secondary social studies teacher and her professor reflect on the new challenge the teacher embraced during the school year—teaching a sheltered English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) World History course to recently immigrated students. The teacher, who is certified to teach social studies and is also ESOL endorsed, and her professor examine continued teacher resistance to working with ESOL students in the context of the teacher’s school, which includes an International Baccalaureate program. Using Noddings’ model of care in schools, they examine teaching practices that the teacher found successful and others that she learned were less effective over the course of the year with her English Language Learners (ELL) students. The voices of the ELL students are conveyed by providing examples of notes the students wrote to the teacher during the year-long journey. The teacher will be able teach the students for a second year in a row, in a push-in model in a U.S. History classroom. Thus, the exploration of helping ESOL students find their voice in social studies classrooms will continue.


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Southall, A. B. & Bohan, C. H. (2014). Helping ESOL students find their voice in social studies. The Georgia Social Studies Journal, 4(1), 1−9.

Posted with the permission of the publisher.