ESL Push-In Programs: Definition & Instruction

Instructor: Sarah Mills

Sarah is an educational freelance writer and has taught English and ESL in grades k-12 and college. She has a master's degree in both Literacy and TESOL.

In this lesson, teachers will learn about the push-in method of instruction for ESL students. The lesson will define the strategy and provide different approaches.

What Are Push-In Programs?

There are many different approaches to providing educational services to ESL, or English as a second language, students. The method you use depends on your school district, teaching environment, students' needs, administrative team, and personal preferences.

Some teachers pull students out of their general education classes and work with them in small, individualized groups. This is called the pull-out method. However, in recent years, the push-in method has been gaining popularity. The push-in method involves the ESL teacher working inside her students' regular education classroom to provide instruction.

Proponents of the push-in method of instruction claim that keeping ESL students in the mainstream classroom instead of pulling them out helps them feel like a part of their learning community. Let's look at some different models for push-in instruction.

Push-In Program Strategies

Collaborative Teaching

The adage 'two heads are better than one' applies to collaborative teaching. With this approach, the ESL teacher works with the classroom teacher to provide instruction to all students.

The logistics of this method can be tricky. It's important for teachers to have plenty of collaborative planning time each week so they can determine how they will share the co-teaching responsibilities. Will the general education teacher be the primary teacher, with the ESL teacher supporting the ESL students? Or will both teachers instruct all students?

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