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Mingyi Zhang

Edu 160

March 23, 2017

Fieldwork Reflection

I accomplished my fieldwork in Karis Academy. This academic site is typical after school program

with different types of enriching courses. Karis Academy would provide tutoring to meet students'

basic needs in their common core courses such as writing, math, literacy and arts. And since Karis

Academy offers languages enrichment programs which are Mandarin and Korean. There are

numbers of immigrant parents choose Karis Academy as their first choice for children's after school

program. Karis Academy's scale is quite small, and there are six classrooms in using. But the

directors Mrs. Wendy arranges all area with different functions very well. Children have play area,

separate learning areas, and individually tutoring area. The defect in Karis Academy is the lack of

outside physic activity area. Children would be limited to go outside to do activities since it located

on the second floor. In Karis Academy, teachers would incorporate creative activities and interactive

games to engage different learning styles. In usual, there will 8-10 students in one classroom with

one teacher and one teaching assistance. I volunteer with Mrs. Lin with her first grade Chinese

Conversation class. There are seven students in the classroom. They are immigrants and ELLs.

Their parents send their children to attend Karis bilingual programs either learn English or Chinese.

I would like to pick Immigrants to explore my reflection. Based on the fieldwork, it is easy

to recognize that immigrants' parents always require their children speak their first language as

often as possible since their children's first language is English. Therefore, immigrants groups are

going to learn their original language rather than mainstream language. Those children participate in

the bilingual after-school program to master their household language in order to communicate with

the elder or take advantage in their future. As long as the development of economy tends to

globalization, more and more parents realize the benefits of learning one more language. Therefore,
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there are several needs need to be met for those immigrants to engage in after school program.

Firstly, students' interest needs to be considered while participate in after school program.

According to Kathryn E. Groan discussed in his article, "Students Engagement in After-school

Programs, Academic Skills, and Social Competence among Elementary School Students", students'

engagement has extremely importance in affecting their academic achievements. (2014) Educators

can practice subjective task value which utilizes students' interests to increase their engagement.

This idea will be considered as part of self-care factors in influencing participation. It is necessary

for teachers to fulfill children's needs in interesting topics while they attend after school program.

Secondly, students' needs of real practice opportunities need to be paid attention. Based on the

Maxwell Jolly's point in the article, "English Learner and Out-of-School-Time Programs", language

learners need opportunities to practice their language skills in various ways. (2011) It means it is

vital for students to produce language and for interaction. This idea indicates the bioecological

factor, which is interaction with the external world in affecting students' engagement. Hence,

teachers in the after-school program should be awareness of providing interaction opportunities to

let students produce their learning so that enhance their engagement. The above needs should be

considered carefully, while educators try to make immigrant kids actively participate in after school

programs. Both of those two points, Karis Academy accomplished very well. Teachers would

observe students' interests topics in creating curriculums. Those immigrants children will not able to

see the advantage in learning Chinese, they always are pushed to learn. Therefore, it is essential for

teachers to explore students' interests. Once children are motivated by task value, they will highly

engage in class materials. Moreover, during Mrs. Lin's Chinese Communication class, students will

have plenty of chances in practicing their learning, such as group dialogues. This activity can

influence immigrant students' participation level since they have chances to output their learning.

Socio-economic and/or cultural factors that influence participation (Simpkins) This theory

indicates that there are four factors will affect students' participation in the after-school program,
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which socioeconomic status, ethnicity, culture, and immigration. According to Simpkin's idea,

socioeconomic status influence students' participation in the after-school program the most. The

family who is higher income would be able to afford the expense of attending school. In Karis

Academy, most of the parents are middle-class level. Students' food and parents' dress indicate their

SES levels. For ethnicity, it will have both negative or positive effects of students' engagement.

Because the ethnicity may be discriminated by the mainstream. However, this factor does the

positive effect in Karis Academy, teachers diffuse equal and positive attitudes in introducing and

respecting another ethnicity. In culture aspect, since Chinese culture extremely cares about

children's education. Chinese parents always desire to utilize kid's free time to learn more things so

that their children can be better in comparing with others. Therefore, there are more children who

are in Chinese families than in Korean families. Chinese culture impacts those immigrant parents to

send their kids to after school program. And, students' participation is contributed to immigration

status. Both Chinese and Korean immigrants have a higher level of immigration status in nowadays

American society. So, it is the reason of why Karis Academy has lots of Chinese and Korean

children participated in.

Expectancy-Value Theory (Eccles). This theory explores the factors in microsystem in

intensely affecting students' engagement. Expectancy-value indicates that while people are

motivated and consider the thing is worth to put effort, the person will highly engage. There are two

major motivators, which are expectations for success and subjective task value. In Karis Academy,

the students may be too young to hold the expectation for success, but their parents do. In order to

aid their children to achieve success in the future, those kids parents push their children to

participate in the after-school program. Children are motivated indirectly by the expectation for

success. On the other hand, Karis Academy teachers use interest-enjoyment value in attracting

students' attention. Students would be motived directly by their interests so that actively engage.

There are more factors in subjective task value which are attainment value, utility value and relative
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cost. Those elements may be motivators to parents since Karis Academy students are all in

kindergarten and elementary level.

Engagement factors among ELLs (Jolly) Maxwell-Jolly's theory focus on explaining

interaction is important and benefit for language learners. And, after school will better provide

opportunities for students to do interaction activities. "Interaction as part of this output provides

learners with more input, and improves understanding as learners construct meaning through their

interaction" (Jolly.4) Students will be able to express themselves in different types of

communicative situations. During regular school time, teachers need to care about many students,

there is less chance for language learners practice those interactions. In Karis Academy, teachers

will create whole Chinese environment during class. Students are only able to talk in Chinese to

explore their thoughts or findings. Teachers will also speak in Chinese in order to cooperate with

students. Students have abundant opportunities to practice their language learning outcomes through

interesting activities such as dialogues presentation and sing Chinese songs.

Use of Alignment (Noam) Based on Noam's bridging theory, Karis Academy program is

self-contained. In this site, the only connection between students' schools and this after-school is the

participation. In general, this site will assign time for students to do their homework. However, the

site will not put many efforts in teaching students with which their school day offers. Karis

Academy has strong, self-designed academic curricula, which is language enrichment courses.

(Noam.128) This bridging indicates that after-school program is totally independent with students'

school time. Due to the self-contained relationship, Karis Academy will not interact with schools or

communicate with teaching contents. Therefore, students who learn languages will not have lots of

time to consolidate their knowledge. So, if it is possible, coordinated or integrated relationship may

better enhance students' engagement and learning.

Use of SAFE features (Granger) This theory emphasizes four evidence-based practices in

after school program. This theory is what Karis Academy program lack of and need to be integrated.
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The first practice is sequenced. In Mrs. Lin's classroom, she used sequenced step-by-step training

approach in order to teach children through one word to two words to dialogues in Chinese. The

second one is emphasized active learning. In this case, students always are required to keep reading

same sentences. Even though Mrs. Lin will input students' interesting topics, while students learn

the concrete contents, they show negative feelings. Students would not actively learn in some ways.

The third one has specific time in arranging current learning objects. Mrs.Lin always tries to focus

on specific time, however, students are too naughty to follow instructions, so that Mrs. Lin may be

failed in focusing specific time. The fourth one is teachers should be explicit in know what they

attempt to promote. Mrs.Lin know what are students need to be promoted, but not good at

promoting their learning. SAFE programs will benefits for students' academic achievement, self-

perception and positive social behaviors. (Durlack) Therefore, it is a significant effective theory that

Karis Academy should integrate.

The volunteer experience in Karis Academy is my first time working in an after school

programs. I deeply understand the importance of why American society needs various after school

programs to let children learn. Those programs exist will not only release parents' pressure in

looking after children but also have a tremendous affection for children's future. This fieldwork

experience and course learning allow me to get in touch with after school programs and also

American educational society.


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References

Grogan, K., Henrich, C. & Malikina, M.M. (2014). Student engagement in after-school programs,

academic skills, and social competence among elementary school students. Child Development

Research, vol. 2014, Article ID 498506, 9 pages, 2014.

Maxwell-Jolly.(Feb 2011). English Learners And Out-Of-School-Time Programs: The Potential of

OST Programs to Foster English Learner Success. Davis, CA Retrieved from http://

www.afterschoolnetwork.org/

Noam, G. G. (2003), Learning with excitement: Bridging school and after-school worlds and

project-based learning. New Directions for Youth Development, 2003: 121138. Retrieved from

https://eee.uci.edu/15w/12320/syllabusandreadings/Noam_G+bridge.pdf

Durlack and Weissberg: Afterschool Programs That Follow Evidence-Based Practices to Promote

Social and Emotional Development Are Effective Retrieved from http://

www.expandinglearning.org/docs/Durlak&Weissberg_Final.pdf