Structured English Immersion (SEI) Strategies

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SEI Technique: Improving Education in Public Schools

It happens more frequently now for public educational institutions to have trouble educating students. Thus, the SEI technique has focused not only on students from other countries or immigrant children who speak little to no English, but also on students who were born in the US, speak English as their first language, and have low English proficiency in their parents. Since America is made up of people from diverse racial and ethnic origins, the lack of diversity in American schools is not becoming a problem. As a result, teaching and learning strategies differ between states and between schools. Due to the presence of diversity in schools, American education system introduced Structured English Immersion (SEI), which is a model used by the US education system for effective teaching and learning English to the learners studying the English language (Clark, 2016). The model was first used in Canada, where its success was evident, thus making Americans to adopt the same. The strategy is a research-based and is useful in addressing English learners' academic needs entirely in the US. The method could compose both behavioral and instructional procedures as discussed in the subsequent section.

Teaching Behaviors

Under teaching behaviors, many strategies can be adopted.

Appreciating and Welcoming Cultural Diversity among Students

Efficient facilitator of culturally diverse learners should be able to recognize both individuals' as well cultural variations earnestly, acknowledging such differences with a positive attitude. In consequence, such positive affirmation establishes a foundation for the growth and improvement of effective communication as well as instructional approaches. Hence, Ladson (2014) argues that social skills, for instance, respect and understanding of the cultural diversity of students can indeed be shaped, taught, and upheld by teachers.

Building a Positive Relationship with Learners

Williams & Bryan (2013) state that an interview carried on African-American students who showed some behavioral issues for staff brought to light the fact that the students interviewed wanted their facilitators to know the kind of life they were experiencing outside the school environment. Hence, they wanted the school to consider them in a rewarding plan of the school program. Understanding learners' lives enables the teachers to improve their relevance and the necessity of lessons.

Focusing on Student's Learning Methods and Helping Them to Select Their Task Orientations

According to Clark (2016), learners have differences when it comes to acquiring new knowledge and skills. Teachers have to honor the differences in preparation and practices that arise among their learners. For instance, some learners take more time before they can commence assigned tasks. The teacher can allow more time for all students to prepare before performing duties. Class instructors are required to focus on each student through keen observation of how they learn to identify their specific needs and suitable classroom tasks. Once learning needs are established, the teacher can structure activities that will address all students' requirements.

Teaching Learners How to Match Their Behaviors to the Environment

Different environmental settings call for different conduct, and thus, some occasions require formal behavior. Students should be taught the difference in their environments to help them become flexible in adjusting to changes in setting. A teacher can help learners understand which type of conversation is appropriate for school, home, or in a community setting (Poon, 2013). Students also need to become aware of the acceptable behavioral conduct and values in each of these environments. Teachers have to keep in mind the different levels of learning and understand that some students have to be taught and allowed time to practice. Family and community members can be involved to help accelerate the learning experience.

Instructional Strategies

The mode of delivery in learning is significant to the learning process. Using a mix of learning methodologies helps to improve learning outcomes and ensure efficient use of resources and student satisfaction (Poon, 2013). The purpose of different activities and teaching methods provides an opportunity for students to express their unique view and understanding. Social factors such as gender, disability, status, religion, and race also play a significant role in learning and should be considered when designing lesson guides and classroom activities. Instructors should find tasks that will engage all students regardless of their social differences. Learning opportunities should focus on aiding learners in enhancing their skills, talents, and strengths. Teachers should design learning process targeting students' interests, their need to relate, and the drives to understanding and to a self-expression for personal development.

Communicating Expectations

Communicating clear expectations will not only provide guidance, but also help learners to focus on the crucial aspects of learning. Each session should begin with a clear outline of guidelines to be followed in the course of discussions and performing tasks. Hence, this should include expected student participation, the duration of each activity, tasks that will be presented, learning objectives, and classroom movements. Informing students on their ability to complete the assigned tasks will help to encourage and challenge them to work through difficulties that they encounter during the learning process.

Providing Rationales

Apart from communicating the learning objectives, it is essential to let learners know how they will benefit from completing activities. The teacher should use out of class examples to illustrate the significance of the skills learned.

Using Advance and Post Organizers

According to Korur et al., (2016), advance organizers are presented before introducing a new lesson to provide support in the learning process. Advance organizers aim to cue previous knowledge that is relevant to the current learning goals to give students an overview of the objectives and order of the lesson.

Post organizers use reviews to check whether students have mastered basic concepts introduced at the start and during the learning process. At the end of the lesson, a teacher provides a summary of the concepts covered and highlights the most critical areas.

Facilitating Independence in Thinking and Action

Teachers have a responsibility to encourage a classroom culture that empowers students to exercise their independence in problem-solving. Students should be given an opportunity to attempt to solve tasks on their own to adjust their reasoning and learn from each other through sharing ideas. Allowing students to perform tasks without specific instructions on what is required provides an opportunity for them to learn from their mistakes. Teachers should encourage students to evaluate their progress. Giving clues to questions asked by students will let them exercise their independence in unveiling answers.

Promoting Students' On-task Behavior

Classroom management skills are essential for effective teaching, which requires a teacher to keep students on task throughout the learning process. To ensure students stay focused during lessons, teachers have to minimize the time taken to transition between lessons. Smooth transitions will eliminate halts and time wastage to make the students remain attentive. Teachers can solicit the participation of students through asking questions that test their mastery and keep them actively involved (Korur et al., 2016). Alert students exhibit a high level of information retention and understanding, which makes the conveyance of lesson instructions easier for teachers.

Supervising Students' Academic Progress during Lessons and their Independent Work

The teacher has to frequently check the progress made by students in the course of undertaking tasks whether as individuals or as groups and confirm whether they are working towards the set objectives (Korur et al., 2016). The latter will give an opportunity to clarify instructions and identify areas that should be given more attention. Also, the teacher can determine whether the students understand the concept being taught. Monitoring progress also offers students a chance to ask questions.

Providing Frequent Feedback

Providing frequent positive and meaningful feedback increases student motivation to learn and participate in class activities. The manner in which a teacher presents feedback to students will determine whether it will be useful or counterproductive. There are many levels of feedback that a teacher can use to improve student awareness, such as acknowledging correct response, rephrasing questions, and suggesting areas for improvement. For feedback to be useful, it should be specific in addressing students' progress and should be given immediately. Most importantly, students should be involved in evaluating their individual and overall growth.

Requiring Mastery

A teacher has to provide students with guidelines on how they can obtain knowledge. Mastery of tasks ensures that learning goals are defined to give the students a direction during lessons. Students need to be involved in identifying the various functions to help achieve the set objectives. A feedback of their mastery of concepts discussed helps to determine which areas have been well perceived and which need more attention. Students should be required to master tasks and ideas one at a time.


Clark, K. (2016). 27. The Case for Structured English Immersion. Immigration and America's Cities: A Handbook on Evolving Services, 134.

Korur, F., Toker, S., & Eryılmaz, A. (2016). Effects of the integrated online advance organizer teaching materials on students' science achievement and attitude. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 25(4), 628-640.

Ladson-Billings, G. (2014). Culturally relevant pedagogy 2.0: aka the remix. Harvard Educational Review, 84(1), 74-84.

Nicol, D., Thomson, A., & Breslin, C. (2014). Rethinking feedback practices in higher education: a peer review perspective. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 39(1), 102-122.

Poon, J. (2013). Blended learning: An institutional approach for enhancing students' learning experiences. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 9(2), 271.

Williams, J. M., & Bryan, J. (2013). Overcoming adversity: High‐achieving African American youth's perspectives on educational resilience. Journal of Counseling & Development, 91(3), 291-300.

March 17, 2023

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