Issues in Addressing The Needs
of English Language Learners
Dr. Margarita Jimenez Silva
Presented at
Claremont Graduate University
December 3, 2005
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Agenda for Today
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History of Bilingual Education
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Program Designs and Classification
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Importance of Addressing Needs of ELLs
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Teaching Their Minds: Beliefs and Practices
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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The Bilingual Education Act of 1968
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Prior to 1968, sink or swim model – most sank
Stage was Set…
Success of BE at Coral Way in Dade County
Research in early and mid-60’s found correlation
between bilingualism and intelligence
National move towards cultural pluralism and
ethnic revitalization, fueled by Civil Rights Mvmt.
Pres. Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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The Bilingual Education Act of 1968
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Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 had
already paved the way for federal intervention in
schooling efforts targeting poor, low-achieving
students
To combat spread of communism, needed more
bilingual government employees
Renewed interest in foreign language instruction
after the launching of Sputnik
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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The Bilingual Education Act of 1968
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1960 census indicated an increase by more than
50% of the Spanish—surnamed population
Spanish-speaking children faring poorly in school
and education was seen as a primary concern by
Hispanic families
Jan. of 1967, TX Senator Ralph Yarborough
introduced bill to provide assistance to local
agencies to provide assistance to LOCAL
agencies in setting up bilingual programs for
Spanish-Speaking children
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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The Bilingual Education Act of 1968
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Bill expanded to assist all low-income, nonEnglish-speaking groups in the U.S.
Pre. Lyndon Johnson signed into law 1/2/68
BEA defined BE- Quote
Grants awarded to applicants who:
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Developed and operated bilingual programs for lowincome, non-English-speaking students
Made effort to attract and retain bilingual teachers
Established communication between home and school
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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Bilingual Education in the 1970’s
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Several changes to original BEA policy
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Memorandum re: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
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Numerous practices which have effect of denying equality
of educational opportunity to Spanish-surnamed children
Lead to discrimination on the basis of national origin
Call for “affirmative steps,” but steps not defined
Led to Lau v Nichols : Chinese parents in SF – district
identified more than 2,856 non-English-speaking children,
but provided instruction to fewer than ½
U.S. district court ruled that separate but equal, ruling
affirmed by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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Serna v. Portales Municipal Schools (1972)
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Similar to Lau v Nichols
Mexican-American children in New Mexico
U.S. district court ruled: treated differently when given
same curriculum & instruction, therefore, discriminated
against
District submitted non-bilingual plan, rejected
10th Circuit of Appeals upheld, ruling that Title VI rights
were violated and as result, had a right to bilingual
education
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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Lau v. Nichols (1974)
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Supreme Court ruled in favor of the students and their parents
Also referred to Title VI and OCR’s memorandum
No specific remedy, recommended that each school district
look at its population
New guidelines for districts w/federally funded BE
programs, 1st governmental definition BE
Defined in transitional terms as “instruction given in, and study of
English, and to the extent necessary to allow a child to
progress effectively through the education system, the native
language”
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A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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Equal Educational Opportunity Act (EEOA) of
1974
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Extended Lau to all public school districts, not just those
receiving federal funds
Significant “discriminatory effect” vs. “discriminatory
intent”
Again, no specific remedy
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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Lau Remedies (1975)
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If schools have 20 or more students of the same language
group having a primary language other than English, need
to…
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Establish a means for identifying all students whose primary
language other than English
Evaluate the English-language proficiency of these students
Provide them with appropriate bilingual education programs
Only applied to districts out of compliance with Title VI or
with EEOA, so application not widespread
Remedies still in effect, but not monitored
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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Bilingual Education in the 1980’s
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BE increasingly coming under fire (Republican
Party became quite active)
Baker and de Kanter (1981) report was
sponsored by the Office of Planning, Budget and
Administration
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BE and English-Only programs: equal results
BE should not be only approach for ELLs
BE too costly
Study highly criticized for design, methodology & bias
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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Baker & de Kanter report set tone
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1984 – BEA amended to allow schools more
flexibility in the kind of educational remedies to
choose
Transitional BE now required to have a structured
English language component, tied to eligibility
testing and subject to approval by experts
Special programs with no native language now
allowed and even encouraged
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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To receive Title VII funding:
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Needed to have specifically designed curricula
Had to be appropriate for the language and educational
needs of the students
Had to provide structured English language instruction to
enable a child to achieve competence in English
BEA of 1984 also established an Office of Bilingual
Education and Minority Language Affairs with an
appointed director to oversee it
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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1988 Change to BEA
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Transitional BE (75% of budget)
Alternative Programs (25% of budget)
Biggest support for non-English programs
3 year limit for transitional programs, some
exceptions for years 4 and 5 and emphasis must
be on English acquisition
Every effort must be made to provide info to
students’ parents in a language they understand
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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Castaneda v. Pickard (1981)
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AZ case, schools must address special language needs of
ELLs
Central issue: Does court have the authority to direct a
school to use a specific educational remedy?
Up to the judge presiding over the case, but some criteria:
program based on sound educational theory, be
implemented in an effective manner, must produce results
to substantiate that language barriers are being overcome
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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Spoke to need for capable educational
personnel, materials, and other relevant
support – led to credentials, endorsements,
coursework
Keyes v. School District No. 1 (1983)
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Denver, also ruled that district had failed to
develop an educationally sound program and that
teachers were pedagogically underprepared
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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Teresa P. et al. v. Berkeley Unified (1989)
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exiting too quickly, teachers not qualified,
Ruling for district, no special credentials for
teachers of ESL students BE=EO
Consequences, if BE=EO, go with less costly
One expert witness, employed by district
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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Bilingual Education in the 1990’s
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Shifts in funding
Only 5.6% of all students served by BE in 1989
1988 – only 22 states allowed native-language use
“U.S. English” movement
AZ case 1995 – parents opposed to Spanish-English
program due to lack of Spanish proficiency of many of the
teachers
CA, AZ and MA passed propositions
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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1990’s – Pro-English-Only propaganda
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BE Advocates
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Major Republican candidates for Pres. in 1996
Opposition in Non-English in public places
Title VII reform, all teachers need to be prepared for ELLs
Flores v. the State of AZ (2001), State of AZ responsible for
providing training in English immersion teaching strategies
to all teachers in the state
CA Prop 227, court case – only individual parents, not
schools can apply for waivers
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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Unz – English For the Children
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http://www.onenation.org/index.html
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CA Prop 227
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AZ Prop. 203
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NCLB era, BE under attack
A Brief Account of Bilingual Education
in the United States
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Under Pre. George W. Bush
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Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorized
under new name NCLB Act of 2001
Bilingual Education Act or Title VII renamed the English
Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and
Academic Achievement Act, which became known as Title
III
Office if Bilingual Education and Minority Affairs (OBEMLA)
given new name of Office of English Language Acquisition,
Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for
Limited English Proficient Students – brought to close a
period in U.S. history when the legal term bilingual
education was used in U.S. law and government offices
Program Designs
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What are you seeing in your schools?
Concurrent Language Models
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Separate Language Models
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2-Way, Dual Language, language status issues
Subtractive Bilingual Programs
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Content, Person, Time, Place
Additive Bilingual Education
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Preview/review, Concurrent translation, Code-switching,
New concurrent approach
Majority – SEI, ESL, Early-exit
Entry, Reclassification, and Exit
Criteria
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Getting in and out of special language
programs is largely determined by tests
All tests have some drawbacks
Have to be advocates for children – many
stop receiving services before they are ready
Determining Program Eligibility
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Lau remedies made identification and evaluation
mandatory in all school districts
Entry, Reclassification, and Exit
Criteria
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Determining Program Eligibility
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Many identify through home survey
Next step to determine proficiency levels
Criteria for entering special instructional program
vary from state to state
Assess using Oral English proficiency, English
reading scores, and home language reading
scores
Entry, Reclassification, and Exit
Criteria
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Determining Program Eligibility
Oral Language Proficiency Tests
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*Language Assessment Scales (LAS)
*Bilingual Syntax Measure II (BSM)
*Language Assessment Battery (LAB)
Basic Inventory of Natural Language (BINL)
Individualized Developmental English Activities
(IDEA)
Entry, Reclassification, and Exit
Criteria
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Oral Language Proficiency Tests
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Stanford English Language Proficiency (SELP)
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Assesses oral and written abilities using picture and
language text and has versions for primary, elementary,
middle and high school students
Claims to be aligned with NCLB standards
Test developed by Harcourt Brace in 2003
Gaining popularity nationwide
Entry, Reclassification, and Exit
Criteria
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Commonly used Standardized English
Reading Tests
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Non-English Language Standardized
Reading Tests
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Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (CTBS)
California Achievement Test (CAT)
Spanish version of LAS
Spanish version of BSM
Entry, Reclassification, and Exit
Criteria
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Increasingly, schools using standardized and
alternative assessments
Closer look…
Language Assessment Scales (LAS)
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2 versions, LAS 1 for grades 2-5 2 for g6 and up
Measure oral lang. skills in English & Spanish
4 linguistic subtests: sound system, vocabulary, syntax, and
pragmatics
5 Proficiency levels
Not considered valid
Entry, Reclassification, and Exit
Criteria
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Bilingual Syntax Measure (BSM)
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2 versions: K-2 (BSM I) and 3-12 (BSM II)
Developed in mid 70’s
Individually administered
Provides a direct measure of syntactic proficiency in
Spanish or English by stimulating natural conversation
through a structured interview
Discuss a story depicted by the test’s cartoon characters
Correct responses determine proficiency level: BSM I has 5
levels and BSM II has 6 levels
Entry, Reclassification, and Exit
Criteria
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IDEA Placement Test
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Developed in 1982
Designed to assess oral proficiency in English or Spanish for
grades K-6
83 items divided among the areas of vocabulary, syntax,
comprehension, and verbal expression spread over seven
proficiency levels
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35 items – students respond to questions about figure drawings
Rest – discriminate between minimal pairs, respond to verbal
commands, retell a short story, describe common object,
identify main idea from a passage that is read to the student
Entry, Reclassification, and Exit
Criteria
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IDEA Placement Test
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7 Levels of oral proficiency
Uses NEP/LEP/FEP designations
Entry, Reclassification, and Exit
Criteria
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Problems with tests:
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Assume children will perform in English when
called on to do so
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Often tests require specific answers for the child
to receive credit for a response
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Cultural norms not considered
“barber” example
Entry, Reclassification, and Exit
Criteria
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Given the ways that the tests are scored, some
children may be labeled as not proficient either in
English or Spanish
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Tests are based on monolingual norms of
reference
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Semilinguals
May refuse to play the game
Qualitative and quantitative differences between
bilingual and monolingual children
BOTTOM LINE: Use multiple assessments
Entry, Reclassification, and Exit
Criteria
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Reclassification and Exit Criteria
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Reclassification: practice of regularly assessing
students to determine continued eligibility
Used primarily in late-exit and maintenance
programs
In early-exit or English-only, FEP means exiting
program so exit and reclassification is =
Assessments usually occur 1 x yr. in final weeks
Entry, Reclassification, and Exit
Criteria
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Reclassification and Exit Criteria
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Cutoff percentile scores differ according to
publishers of tests
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AZ – 36th
TX 23rd-40th
Lower exit scores, more remediation
At 40th, less than 20% need remediation
Entry, Reclassification, and Exit
Criteria
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Reclassification and Exit Criteria
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Other criteria for exiting:
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Teacher evaluation of the student’s oral English-language
proficiency
Assessment of oral English-language proficiency as measured
by state-designated tests (LAS. BSM, IDEA: BINL or SELP)
Assessment of writing ability as measured by teacher-scored
writing samples or standardized tests
Assessment of English-language arts
Consultation with parents
Few states assess home language literacy
Discussion
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Triad Activity:
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What assessment tools are being used in your
schools?
What issues have you seen in regard to
assessment?
What do you see as the role of assessment?
What do you predict will be the next chapter in the
history of BE?
Importance of Addressing The Needs
of English Language Learners
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Why address their needs?
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SDAIE: Goals
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Issues affecting ELLs
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Surenos vs. Nortenos
Issues Regarding Change
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Changes in…
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Geography and climate
Rural to urban settings
Size of the living environment and/or economic situation
In the culture of school
Social status or opportunities and goals
Reasons for the changes
Change itself
The language
In the way language is used
Relationships with their parents
Issues Related to Culture
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Mismatch between cultures
Different Cultural Behaviors
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Avoiding eye contact
Different attitudes about cooperation
Fear of making mistakes
Fear of being singled out for individual praise
Different role expectations for boys and girls
High or low motivation to achieve based on
gender
Issues Related to Learning: High
Expectations
“When I came Here To the school some of the
girls would treat me badly because I was
black and they thought that they were better
than me. But by luck I found a friend from
the First day I felt very alone and didn’t know
what to do But later I started getting used to
their way of being and Also At school there is
a lot of discrimination Because when
students Have to do something they let those
in the regular class know first and they leave
the hispanics last for everything,
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High Expectations
For example in the class they teach us
purely childish things and in the regular
class they receive class For the grade
in which they are and when we want to
receive class appropriate to our age the
teachers say that we can’t do it and
they know that we can’t because they
haven’t taught our minds.”
-Rosa, 8th grade
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High Expectations
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Triads: What are your expectations?
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Do they differ across students?
Based on what characteristics?
How do you communicate those characteristics?
High, yet realistic expectations
Learners and Teachers
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Important Factors
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Personality
Motivation
Age
Schemas
State of Mind
Multiple Issues
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Challenges you are facing?
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Multiple Issues of Language, Culture and
Academic Achievement
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Good teaching NOT Optional
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