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English as a Second Language (ESL) Curriculum Design for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons
Current Federal Program Statement 5350.24 guides English as a Second Language (ESL) programs in the U.S. federal prison system. Specifically, the program statement addresses assessment and achievement of non-native English speaking (NNES) inmates who participate in the program. However, it does not provide guidance as to how ESL instruction should be conducted in prison classrooms. This study investigates the purpose of ESL instruction in prison education programs and the curriculum, instruction, and assessments currently used. Teachers' survey responses, academic literature, and Program Statement 5350.24 shape a sample curriculum comprised of a scope and sequence, unit plans, and lesson plans that recognize aspects the program statement does not. Survey responses inform the student profile, teachers' education and experience, and prison classroom challenges. A content-based curriculum addresses these aspects and program statement deficiencies by incorporating speaking and writing skills, materials and assignments to increase student motivation, and interactive lessons for multilevel classrooms.