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Document Details :
Title: Adult immigrant Latinas' Attitudes towards ESL Classes
Author(s): GAULT, Thomas
Journal: ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Volume: 139 Date: 2003
Although the majority of limited English proficient adults in the United States are Hispanic immigrants with 12 years or less of school, few studies have looked at their special needs. This study looks particularly at immigrant Latinas. The most common reason for not attending ESL classes was the lack of childcare. The study also points up the need for information dissemination, including locations, times, and levels of classes. Respondents showed a strong preference for various features of a traditional classroom, particularly grammar instruction, error correction, tests, and 'mak[ing] sure that I understand everything'. This explains why in many districts teachers using natural or communicative approaches do not retain students as well as traditionalists, and why many students fail to achieve, despite the ample research showing the superiority of natural and communicative methods. Hence, teachers and programs need to clearly explain why they do what they do, and they may need to carefully frame the natural language lesson so that students feel they are learning something new and tangible in each class.