Indianapolis Public Schools teachers started some training
this week that takes a big step toward improving the way English as a Second
Language (ESL) students across the district receive instruction.

Teachers from Northwest Community High School, George
Washington Community High School, Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School
and Harshman Magnet Middle School participated in SIOP training July 8, 9 and
10.

SIOP stands for Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol.
According to Jessica Feeser, the ESL Coordinator for IPS, SIOP “is a research-based
method of instruction that is beneficial for English learners. The components
that will be taught are lesson preparation, building background, interaction,
comprehensible input, strategies, lesson delivery, practice and application and
review and assessment. The hope is to train content area teachers on these
components so that they can integrate them in the core content areas. Then
language is being intentionally taught throughout the day and not just in ESL
class.”

Pearson Education is conducting the training. Pam Groschke,
Education Specialist for North America School Services with Pearson, says what
the training provides teachers is “not a diet, but a lifestyle change in our
classrooms.”

She aims to change teachers’ point of view with the
training. “[We] want to stop and think about who is in our classroom, and what we
can do as teachers to make their learning more understandable. What I hope
to accomplish is for teachers to love our training and therefore choose
to tweak some things in their classrooms to really help their students to
stay with them all throughout the lesson with full attention and understanding
as they go.”

That sort of change won’t happen overnight, and our district
is aware of that. “This is the beginning of a three-year implementation plan
that will have follow-up sessions over the course of the year for the
teachers,” Feeser said. “We will also hold a second SIOP introductory training
over fall break. We will then train a new group next summer, follow up, and
repeat the following year.”

In IPS we’re committed to the education of all our students,
and with this training we’re happy to say we’re moving toward making our
classrooms a place where our ESL students have even more opportunities for
academic and career success!

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