In the ESOL Reading Program we have four levels of reading. Each level emphasizes similar reading skills which become more complex as students progress through the levels. This spiral curriculum enables students to practice on the skills and by reinforcement and actual practice students refine their reading skills as they go through the 4 levels. The purpose of our program is to enable our students to pass THEA and be successful in college level work.
The basic philosophy of the ESOL Reading Program is to nurture language acquisition and development in (ESOL Reading) students. In order to do this it is necessary to adjust or modify instruction to meet the needs of a very diverse student population in terms of cultural backgrounds, prior knowledge and English language proficiency. Students are thus given multiple opportunities to learn and create challenges aligned with their language proficiencies.
All students, including ESOL Reading students, are required to pass the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) exam before enrolling in college courses. The ESOL Reading program prepares students for this exam with the Pre THEA Test (PTT). Students in levels 2, 3, and 4 are required to take and pass this exam before moving to the next level, or exiting the ESOL Reading Program. This process establishes high expectations and standards for our students. To promote student success within a diverse student population, different teaching pedagogies are used to encourage critical thinking and problem solving skills.
In promoting the ESOL Reading Program we have recognized the need to be fair and yet maintain high standards in meeting the exit criteria. ESOL Reading students are intelligent, but as English language learners they need and appreciate a clear and structured format for acquiring reading skills and this is what we attempt to provide in our four levels of reading.
Placement of Students
In order to determine which of the four levels a student will be placed, the ESOL Reading Program uses the Michigan Test of English Proficiency (MTELP), and compass placement scores which are as follows:
Progression of students through the four levels
In order for ESOL Reading students to progress through the four levels of reading, they must successfully complete the exit criteria determined for each of the levels:
Students in levels 2, 3, and 4 take the PTT twice a semester (including the May, Winter, and Summer terms). Of the two attempts, students only need to pass the test once to exit.
THEA Remediation Requirements
ESOL Reading students are required to take the Reading portion of the THEA test after completing level 3 Reading. Students will need to get a referral for the test from an advisor in the Multicultural Center T150. If a student passes the Reading portion of the test, they do not have to take level 4 reading, as they have met the remediation requirement and may exit ESOL Reading. Please refer to the Richland College Assessment Information: The Texas Success Initiative-TSI web page for more information on the THEA requirements.
Steps taken to improve student learning and success
The syllabus clearly defines the objectives, expectations, and evaluation criteria for each of the four ESOL Reading levels.