• ESL Terminology

    Acculturation:  Process of adapting to a new culture, being able to adapt to two or more cultural patterns.

    Bilingual Education:  An educational program in which two languages are used during instruction in order to 1) continue primary language (l1) development, 2) provide instruction in content in both L1 and L2, and 3) English acquisition. 

    Code Switching:  The alternative use of two languages - speaking one language and using words from another (their native language).

    Comprehensible Input:  Language that is understood by the learner.  Focuses on meaning first and uses simplified speech.

    Culture Shock:  Feelings of disorientation and confusion upon contact with new cultures.

    Deep Culture:  The non-tangible aspects of culture such as feelings, emotions, attitudes, and rules for interaction.  They are not seen at the surface level and they are not taught.

    Enculturation:  The process of culture being taught from one generation to the next.

    Inclusion:  When an ESL specialist goes into the mainstream classroom in order to work with the ESL student.

    Pull Out:  Classes in which students are withdrawn from the mainstream regular subject classes for one or more periods a week and are given English language instruction in smaller groups.

    Realia:  Concrete objects from the everyday world used during instruction to make input comprehensible.  For example:  magazines, books, toys.

    Sheltered English:  Also referred to as transition or bridge classes, students cover the same content areas as mainstream, English only classes but they do so in a manner that adapts the language components of the classes to meet the needs of the language minority students' English proficiency levels.  Adaptations include simplified speech, contextualization, task-function orientation, and interactional activities.

    Silent Period:  A time during which ESL students observe, gather and absorb information without speaking while developing listening comprehension skills and sorting out structures in the language such as the sound system (phonetics) and vocabulary.  Students also take in aspects of deep culture that are not taught such as the "common sense" aspects of everyday functioning.  This period varies in length depending on the student.

    Surface Culture:  The visible aspects of culture such as food art, dress, holidays, language, etc..  No real values are seen at this level.