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A Multimodal Approach to Push-in and Pull-out ESL Instruction

Inquiry Question: How can I integrate multimodal resources in my planning and instruction for both push – in and pull out structures ? How can these resources help struggling students  better access mainstream curriculum?




My name is Mary Tomac and I have been an ESL teacher at a public elementary Brooklyn for the last 7 years. Each year I strive to help my students grow as English language learners and do their very best work. Unfortunately, in this climate of high stakes testing, teacher and principal accountability, and the push for all students to achieve at the same rate, student’s personal best just isn’t enough. There is pressure from politicians, superintendents, principals, and parents to accelerate the progress of some of our most struggling students and newly arrived English Language Learners. Schools must look for ways help these students reach the same bar, the Common Core Standards, as their classmates; a task that presents significant instructional challenges. As part of my principal’s effort to meet this challenge she invited me to join a Inquiry to Action Group at the Teacher’s College Inclusion Project.  


In 2011-2012 School year I participated in the Multimodal Inquiry to Action group. We would meet once a month to discuss our students, explore resources, and plan our Inquiry Projects.  At these meetings we had an opportunity to work with many different modes or “methods” of instruction. We used video, collage, written and spoken word, audio, and art to present ideas and take in new information.