The topic of push-in vs pull-out sessions when it comes to setting up an English as an Additional Language (EAL) program is often debated. Some would argue that it is better to keep EAL students in classrooms as much as possible, while others would contend that pull-out sessions are more effective as learners will receive more individualized attention. If you ask me which one I think is the better option, I would say neither because as they stand they both possess a similar flaw – that of the EAL teacher not being provided access to the curriculum.
And how is it that two different approaches have the same flaw? In both cases, the EAL teacher is often coming in blind. EAL teachers usually arrive mid-way through push-in lessons and are expected to jump in and offer support on the fly. Because the EAL teacher hasn’t been briefed about objectives and expectations before the lesson, they arrive without the necessary scaffolded and/or differentiated materials to properly assist students in their learning. As for pull-out sessions, again, the EAL teacher has often not been filled in on what is happening in the classroom; as a result, the lesson focuses on something entirely different – perhaps a conversational topic. Or, students arrive to the pull-out session with materials provided by the teacher and again, since the EAL teacher hasn’t been privy to the lesson, they aren’t prepared to assist learners in the best ways possible.
The solution to the problem at hand? Before deciding which route to take – push-in or pull-out, we must address how EAL teachers will access the curriculum. To assist with this process, we have developed a presentation that can be used as a guide in determining the best path forward, and that covers the following:
Feel free to use any or all of the provided slides as needed!
Whether you opt for push-in, pull-out, or a combination of both methods, the success of your program ultimately rests on providing the curriculum information your EAL team needs to best support learners!
Feel like you might need some additional support in setting up your program? Contact us; we are happy to help!