Reflections on 20 Years of ESL Teaching in St. John’s: Changes and Challenges

Martha Trahey

Abstract


My career teaching English as a second language (ESL) in K-12 in Newfoundland and Labrador began at the elementary level in 1999 and quickly shifted to secondary.  For nearly two decades I have been teaching ESL at one of the largest high schools in the province, and certainly the one with the densest population of secondary English language learners (ELLs).  In that time, I have witnessed some changes in the ELL population and the visibility of newcomer students in our schools.  However, in some surprising ways, much has not changed at all.  In this paper, I present my perceptions of the changes, along with what I feel to be the major challenges still facing schools with regard to the delivery of ESL instruction to newcomer students.

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