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A Research-Based Framework for Teaching English Language Learners
A Research-Based Framework for Teaching English Language Learners
A Research-Based Framework for Teaching English Language Learners
Pérsida Himmele William Himmele
1703 N. Beauregard St. • Alexandria, VA 22311‑1714 USA Phone: 800‑933‑2723 or 703‑578‑9600 • Fax: 703‑575‑5400 Web site: www.ascd.org • E‑mail: email@example.com Author guidelines: www.ascd.org/write Gene R. Carter, Executive Director; Nancy Modrak, Publisher; Julie Houtz, Director of Book Editing & Production; Leah Lakins, Project Manager; Sima Jaafar, Senior Graphic Designer; Mike Kalyan, Production Manager; BMWW, Typesetter; Sarah Plumb, Production Specialist 2009 by ASCD. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from ASCD. Readers who wish to duplicate material copyrighted by ASCD may do so for a small fee by contacting the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), 222 Rosewood Dr., Danvers, MA 01923, USA (phone: 978‑750‑8400; fax: 978‑646‑8600; Web: www.copyright.com). For requests to reprint rather than photocopy, contact ASCD’s permissions office: 703‑575‑5749 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Translation inquiries: email@example.com. Printed in the United States of America. Cover art copyright 2009 by ASCD. ASCD publica‑ tions present a variety of viewpoints. The views expressed or implied in this book should not be interpreted as official positions of the Association. PAPERBACK ISBN: 978‑1‑4166‑0841‑7 ASCD product #108037 n7/09 Also available as an e‑book through ebrary, netLibrary, and many online booksellers (see Books in Print for the ISBNs). Quantity discounts for the paperback edition only: 10–49 copies, 10%; 50+ copies, 15%; for 1,000 or more copies, call 800‑933‑2723, ext. 5634, or 703‑575‑5634. For desk copies: member@ ascd.org. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Himmele, Pérsida. The language‑rich classroom : a research‑based framework for teaching English language learners / Pérsida Himmele and William Himmele. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978‑1‑4166‑0841‑7 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. English language—Study and teaching— Foreign speakers. I. Himmele, William. II. Title. PE1128.A2H525 2009 428.2'4—dc22
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A Research-Based Framework for Teaching English Language Learners
Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii
Acknowledgments ................................................................................................ 000 . . . . viii Introduction: A Schoolwide Effort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Introduction: A Schoolwide Effort..................................................................... 000
1. ELLs: An Overview .......................................................................................... 000 2. Developing Academic Language .................................................................... 000
1. ELLs: An Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
2. Developing Academic Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
3. Content Reading Strategies ............................................................................. 000
3. C = Content Reading Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
4. Higher-Order Thinking Skills ......................................................................... 000
4. H = Higher‑Order Thinking Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
5. A = Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5. Assessment ........................................................................................................ 000 . . . 107 6. Participation Techniques Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6. Total T = Total Participation....................................................................... 000 . . . 143
7. S = Scaffolding Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7. Scaffolding Strategies ....................................................................................... 000 . . . 161
Conclusion: Planning Your CHATSCHATS Units . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 000 . . . 181 Conclusion: Planning Your Units ........................................................ . . . References.............................................................................................................. 000 . . . 185 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Index ...................................................................................................................... 000 About the Authors ................................................................................................ 000
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191 About the Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197
To Caleb and Gabriela, thank you for your patience and sacrifices during this long process. We are so blessed to be your parents!
We would like to express our appreciation to our editor Leah Lakins at ASCD. Wow, we are so appreciative of all of the time and energy you placed into helping us shape the book through the editing process. We are grateful to have gotten the opportunity to work with you. We also want to express our deepest gratitude to the faculty and staff of the School District of Lancaster in Pennsylvania. Thank you for your willingness to invite us into your inspiring classrooms, for the way that you enthusiastically embraced the framework, and for your commitment to purposeful planning for teaching in inclusive and multilingual settings. We especially want to thank Pat Schreibeis, Iris Ayala, Dr. Janette Hewitt, Keely Potter, and the administrative staff at the Office of Teaching and Learning for the time and energy that they put into seeing the framework implemented well through professional development. And finally, and most importantly, thank you God for the gifts of language and cognition.
Introduction A Schoolwide Effort How many teachers in your school can say that they are comfortably prepared to teach in linguistically diverse classrooms? Although teacher preparation institutions may do a commendable job of preparing teachers to teach students with similar cultures and home languages as their own. English language learners (ELLs) are a historically underperforming population that many mainstream classroom teachers seem least comfortably prepared to teach. several assumptions are often made when it comes to teaching ELLs. any student who does not fit the typical majority culture and home language. this mind‑set will need to change. The unfortunate truth is that ELLs too often spend the majority of their time in mainstream classes with few accommodations made for learning. If ELLs are to be successful. In fact. Educating ELLs well must be a schoolwide effort. with everyone—administrators and faculty alike— understanding the importance of their role in the content learning and language acquisition process. viii . The first is that with a well‑developed English as a second language (ESL) program. This is especially true for low‑incidence schools and schools that use the ESL pullout model of instruction. too many teachers are flustered and unaware of what to do when they are thrown a curveball—namely. the needs of the ELL will be taken care of.
every teacher. needs to understand how to help ELLs be successful. but by simplifying the process in this manner. It takes more than plain old good teaching. The fact is that although an understanding of the second‑language acquisition process is important. it is the assumptions we make that cost us the most in terms of student achievement. the third assumption is that teaching ELLs is really no different than plain old good teaching. we hope to facilitate a collaborative effort toward understanding the content and language acquisition process for ELLs. In this book. It is these assumptions that lead to the historically low performance and high dropout rates of English language learners. Again. we run the risk of forgetting the linguistic and academic scaffolds that must be provided on a daily basis for ELLs. not just the ESL teacher. Although language development may best be done in the context of content and skilled instruction. Thomas and Collier (2002) found that teachers who were most successful at teaching in bilingual or multilingual settings were those who took a holistic approach to education that incorporated innovative strategies as well as a classroom that provided students with a socioculturally supportive environment. To that end. needs to understand how to help ELLs be successful. Teaching ELLs does require good instructional methods.Introduction: A Schoolwide Effort The second assumption is that the world of ESL. It takes linguistic scaffolding that is informed by an understanding of students’ language development. Oftentimes. every teacher. The components are broken up into five areas around the acronym CHATS: C = Content reading strategies H = Higher‑order thinking skills A = Assessment T = Total participation techniques S = Scaffolding strategies ix . teaching ELLs well does not require highly specialized linguistic training. To teach ELLs well. the foundational under‑ standings of language development must be front and center when it comes to developing both content and language at the same time. In sharp contrast to the second assumption. we describe a five‑ component framework for supporting ELL growth in both content and language. with its many acronyms. not just the ESL teacher. can only be understood by those with highly specialized linguistic training.
To us. ESL refers to the English as a second language program. x . it sounds better than “English learner. we’ve chosen to use English language learner because it has been commonly accepted among ESL practitioners and researchers. whether bilingual or not. and.The Language-Rich Classroom A Note on Terminology Used The term English language learner (ELL) has been criticized for its redundant use of the words English and language back to back. although we know that a deep analysis of this term would encompass bilingual students who may have grown up speaking two or more languages simultaneously. we use the term to describe students who. in this book we use the term English language learner to identify students who are acquiring English along with another or other home language(s). we like how it sounds. Native English speakers describes students who have been raised speaking English as their native language. in this book.” So. However. However. do not qualify for ESL services. It may also include some bilingual students who may currently qualify or at one time qualified for ESL services. quite frankly.
2005). if we were to take an honest look at the level of English language proficiency needed to do 1 . This chapter offers an overview of the characteristics of ELLs as well as the most pressing issues pertaining to them. compared to 15 percent who had fluent English skills. this student population represents a highly diverse group of students and thus a special set of challenges for the educators and administrators who work with them. If we look at statistics from 2002 graduation rates.ELLs: An Overview 1 As we’ll see in the section on the backgrounds of English language learners. found that of the 16. Richard Fry (2003).to 19-year-old Latino dropouts in his study. Academic Language We consider academic language in greater detail in Chapter 2. For Latinos. the dropout rate is the highest at 48 percent (Greene & Winters. about 60 percent had poor English language skills. the estimated dropout rate for whites is 29 percent and 44 percent for African Americans. For now. The Dropout Problem One of the greatest challenges that teachers of ELLs face with regard to bridging the achievement gap between these students and their native English-speaking peers is the development of academic language. of the Pew Hispanic Foundation.
However. patience. her teacher commented that ‘her oral answering and comprehension is so much better than her written work that we feel a severe learning problem is involved. One referral addressed a student from Portugal: “Arrived from Portugal at age 10 and was placed in a second grade class. In fact. too often the term exited from ESL sends an entirely wrong message to classroom teachers. it is important to note that the process of creating an integrated language-rich environment is not likely to happen without informed and intentional planning on the part of the teacher.The Language-Rich Classroom well in school. or even the level needed to marginally pass basic 12th grade proficiency tests in reading. and support given by school personnel for ELLs to acquire the second language. ELLs’ oral communicative language was more developed than their academic language. they must acquire not just a conversational fluency but a deeper type of academic language that continues to develop long after many ELLs have been formally exited from ESL programs. we would have to admit that ELLs face a daunting task. He found that in many of the special education referrals. In pullout ESL programs. 2001). which is most practically developed in grade-level and content-area classrooms. students may need the most help after they exit the program. 1994. the best kind of support that we can offer ELLs is not solely linguistic but that of meaningful content and language together (Echevarria & Graves. writing. In a nonbilingual ESL program. Freeman & Freeman. What is most notable in Cummins’s examples is the lack of accommodations. and if we were to go a step further to look at the type of English one would need to be considered proficient enough to do moderately well on an SAT exam for college entrance. and even math. Although in many referrals language was seen as a possible problem area. three years later in fifth grade. not just ESL specialists. 2003. 4). Cummins also noted referrals that demonstrated concern over learning disabilities as early as 2 . Teachers will often assume that the ELL no longer needs linguistic support. Faltis & Hudelson. Cummins (1991) examined the referrals and psychological assessments of over 400 English language learners. So then it is the classroom teacher. linguistic understandings. not just her non-English background’” (p. who must have the ability and the responsibility to provide a critical bridge into the rich world of academic language development. when all visible linguistic supports have been eliminated. others overlooked the topic of language altogether and suggested that the student had deeper problems stemming from learning disabilities. To succeed in school. history.
rarely come with information suggesting the com/cummins/. CALP. In the 1980s. children of this text.iteachilearn. Although they noted that because their study included only students who had been enrolled since kindergarten. “PR was referred in first grade by the school principal who noted that ‘PR is experiencing considerable difficulty with grade one work. refer in the process of acquiring. refer to Valdés’s (2004) article cited in the references section Sound simple enough? Unfortunately. rarely arrive with information that indicates If you are interested in additional articles on the level and extent of proficiency that they’re teaching ELLs and a quick look at BICS and CALP. the amount of time for many ELLs to approach grade-level norms may be closer to a range of 7 to 10 years (Thomas & Collier. they also to Jim Cummins’s Web site: www. In their study. In one example. An intellectual assessment would help her teacher to set realistic learning expectations for her and might provide some clues as to remedial assistance that might be offered’” (p. Butler. Hakuta. Cummins’s acronyms of BICS (basic interpersonal communicative skills) and CALP (cognitive academic language proficiency) became self-contained words among the bilingual and ESL teaching communities. Cummins’s research led to a greater understanding of the differences between conversational and academic language and the impact each has on school performance. academic language took about four to seven years to develop. with rebuttals to counterarguments. of academic language. CALP is the type of language one would experience while reading a textbook or hearing a formal speech. instructional approaches that would help them 3 . And.ELLs: An Overview the first year that the student arrived. 5). or academic language. Students For criticism of and expansion on the concept need academic language to succeed in school. with no mention of that child’s status as an English language learner. often took an average of five to seven years to acquire. Cummins found that it often took children an average of two years to acquire the conversational language he called BICS. and Witt (2000) confirmed Cummins’s findings on academic language development. 2002). conversational language is An In-Depth Look different from academic language. To summarize. In fact. a child was referred for special education services in 1st grade. Consider BICS to be the type of conversational English you might hear students speaking on the playground or in the cafeteria. their findings might have been underestimated. and these terms continue to remain so today.
is it that bad? Mariana: Oh. and common expressions to get their point across. but this time you are Mr. And they do! Hopefully. Mitsy’s parents are two lawyers living in the uppercrust section of town. Even though teachers may. Mr. when in fact they have not. Mitsy: Huh? No. They had potator tots for lunch today. know the definitions of BICS and CALP. Students may have reached a level of English proficiency where they are able to communicate at a conversational level but need support to reach the levels of their native English-speaking peers in tasks that require academic language proficiency. This has to be the gazillionth time in a row! Teacher: Is that a bad thing? Mitsy: Bad?! That stuff is so nasty! I look at it and I wanna puke! Teacher: Wow! It can’t be that bad. The fact is that we use a different type of discourse when we speak in conversations than we do when we are presenting formal speeches or writing papers. man..The Language-Rich Classroom succeed the most. ya gotta do something about that for us. and you’ve just come in after lunch and are approached by Mariana. Mitsy: Uh. G. Mariana came to the United States in the beginning of 1st grade and is struggling in your classroom. potator tots are so disgusting that people say they look like barf on a plate. Teacher: Oh. G. my goodness! That bad? Mariana: Worse! Teacher. And both have effectively made their point. if we’ve made our point well. on the surface. Mitsy is a 3rd grade native English speaker who approaches you about the same problem. You wouldn’t believe. G. The distinction between the two can lead to big misunderstandings on the part of teachers who misdiagnose students as having reached a high level of English language proficiency. Mariana: Oh. Both Mariana and Mitsy use slang. but it looks like barf on a plate. not to be rude. Teacher: Really. made-up words. Let’s say that you are a 3rd grade teacher (Mrs. I can’t tell you how bad.. G. you didn’t notice much of a difference in the language use of Mariana and Mitsy. (to be genderfair). Mrs. 4 . Now consider the same scenario again. can you believe they had potator tots again for lunch today? That stuff is so nasty it makes me wanna barf. the differences between the two can become muddled when working with actual children. Consider the following scenario.). The following dialogue takes place. and your student is Mitsy. Talk to the lunch lady or somethin’. You know.
when a student has little or no experience with these words in written form. Mariana scores sion in reading.” ongoing assessment of academic language development should be practiced by all teachers who have ELLs in their classrooms. Fillmore. The interdependence of literacy skills exists from one language to another for students who speak a home language with similar alphabetic foundations as that of English (e. For Mariana. often a truer measure of academic language proficiency than speaking or even comprehenMitsy scores well on tests. Writing is the top of her class. “Well. Mariana does not have Not only does the teacher become frustrated the academic language with which to explain her feelings of inadequacy in writing. Mariana is struggling at about the reflection of conversational competency. For 20th percentile. Mariana is at the bottom. then we have to vocabulary with which to effortlessly create writing activities that rely heavily on academic have a clearer understanding of the process language. Yet. Unfortunately. Although Mitsy may not use a poorly. She’s not with Mariana. 1984. you’re more likely to hear of second language acquisition.ELLs: An Overview In the context of a conversation. but it also exists for students who speak languages 5 . show that she is at about the 85th percentile she knows to pull it out in her writing. there’s no reason that their the result will be the oral form in the student’s performance shouldn’t also be about the same. Krashen. teacher. 1991. are written in the way or investigating ways to understand Mariana’s they sound or appear in oral conversations.. 1980. “could have” appears as “could of. But the fact the differences of academic and conversational remains there is a huge difference. Spanish). Simple and Mariana say. 1979. “I hate writing. Mitsy’s rankings on standardized tests great deal of academic language in her speech. For language development might very well believe example. (We cover classroom assessment of language development and proficiency in more detail in Chapter 5.” Instead. writing. words and word phrases that are intentionally assessing language development heard one way in oral language.) Dual Immersion Programs There is compelling evidence that prior literacy and schooling experiences in the home language are the most important factors that account for student success in the second language (Cummins. Mitsy is at fluency that the two students have. 2005. 1996). often what you get in writing is a in reading. but that appear differently in written text. a teacher who isn’t example. the same. If we are going to meet the needs developed a strong enough bank of academic of ELLs in our classrooms. I haven’t really with school. it’s hard A Note About Writing to see any difference between the linguistic Asking Mariana and Mitsy to complete a writing assignment provides a much clearer picture of competence of Mariana and Mitsy. but Mariana becomes frustrated likely to say.” that because Mariana and Mitsy sound about Oftentimes.g.
g. In dual immersion classes. 6 . with writing systems that are remarkably different from English (e. we also realize that in low incidence schools or schools with heterogeneous linguistic populations. and Mercuri (2005). 2004. bilingual education provides opportunities for students to continue cognitive development in their home language which has a positive effect on their academic development in the second language Cummins. see Soltero’s (2004) Dual Language: Teaching and Learning in Two Languages. While we support bilingual programming as the most successful model for teaching ELLs.. This text is helpful for a thorough understanding of the theoretical foundations behind dual language programming. 50 percent English. Instruction is given in both languages at a predetermined ratio of time (e. Gottardo. Chapters are followed by questions that can be helpful in facilitating discussion among faculty. often called two-way bilingual programs. Soltero provides background on dual language programs. & Wade-Woolley. bilingual programs are not always feasible. Yan. The challenge for teachers in these schools is to become mediators of compre hension for students of differing linguistic backgrounds in a way that provides all students with opportunities for meaningful access to academic language and content in English.g. by Freeman. 50 percent Spanish) without having content be repeated. 1980. 1991).The Language-Rich Classroom An In-Depth Look Interested in reading more about dual language immersion? For practical tools to help you run an effective dual language program. offer a practical alternative to English-only classes. Siegel. well respected among the ESL teaching community. Arabic or Chinese) (Chan. 2001). Another excellent text for understanding dual language is Dual Language Essentials for Teachers and Administrators. This book would be a good read for members of a steering committee charged with establishing an effective program. When a school’s ELL population is highly homogenous. but probably the most helpful feature of her text is the way she provides the nuts and bolts for how to actually plan and implement the program well within your school district. English language learners and native English speakers enjoy the cognitive and social benefits of learning a new language. In dual immersion programs. Dual language immersion programs. Freeman.. The authors effectively lay a foundation for understanding how to implement dual language programs. both native English speakers and native speakers of another language are provided with an opportunity to continue experiencing cognitively intense concept development while they learn another language. They are ESL gurus. In dual immersion programs half the students in the class are native English speakers and the other half of the class speaks the second language used in the program.
It honors many of the principles used in sheltered instructional programs. and they knew. We truly believe that making a dent in the dropout problem for our ELLs will take a schoolwide effort. with the grade-level or content-area teachers just as 7 . Not one of them stopped any adult. and the special education teachers. so it was almost 50 children. “Usually when you’re sending children out to go back and respond. more accessible for English language learners. . Lessons were so engaging that principal Dr.” Lessons were presented by any one of the teachers and included instructional strategies and approaches that foster engagement. such as science. and native English speakers. and the ELL teacher. . students with special needs. and students with linguistic needs are supported in class by the ELL teacher. It’s aimed at developing content and language through active learning at deep levels of thinking.ELLs: An Overview CHATS and Language Development No matter what program model your school implements. in that “sheltered instruction is a means for making grade-level content. and content learning. It differs from sheltered instructional programming in that where sheltered classrooms are designed so that ELLs of similar linguistic levels make up the entire class (Krashen. put this idea into practice. Richard-Amato & Snow. targeted support is provided to students with special needs by the special education teacher. 1992. our framework applies many of the principles of sheltered instruction for use in teaching and learning in mixed classrooms that include ELLs. They presented their lessons to 48 students as two teachers combined their classes to successfully make optimal use of their time with the special education and ELL teachers. where in-class units are coplanned by the grade-level classroom teachers. they knew what they wanted to write. Janette Hewitt commented. The 3rd grade team at Washington Elementary School in Lancaster. During the units. they went right back to their seats. and math. the CHATS framework can be successfully implemented in bilingual. Not one! And there were two classes together. 2003. ELL teachers. It involved coteaching and coplanning on the part of the classroom teachers. 2005). all students will benefit from the use of the framework. social studies. language growth. As you’ll notice. Pennsylvania. or multilingual classrooms. you get some laggers. This was an ideal inclusive structure that allowed for students to learn together and from each other. p. while also promoting English development” (Echevarria & Graves. 53). . sheltered. The CHATS framework works particularly well when used in a coteaching model. the special education teacher.
The Language-Rich Classroom
invested as the ELL teachers and special education teachers. However, the CHATS framework is based on best practices and incorporates sound methodology that has the potential to improve teaching and active learning wherever it is used, whether in classrooms that are cotaught or individually taught, and whether they consist of only ELLs, dual language immersion learners, or just a few ELLs in a grade-level class. Prior to 2007, the CHATS framework had been used with reported anecdotal success in individual classrooms in Pennsylvania, but during the fall of 2007, it became the district-adopted framework for the School District of Lancaster’s District Improvement Plan. The district is a small urban district in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, located about 1½ hours west of Philadelphia and 1½ hours north of Baltimore. It’s made up of 21 schools with approximately 12,000 students and 1,000 teachers. The 2007–2008 student population was 55.5 percent Latino; 22.7 percent African American; 19.5 percent Caucasian; and 2.3 percent Asian or other. Approximately 20 percent of the students received ELL services. During the 2007–08 school year, there was an increase in state standardized test scores for the district, as well as specifically for ELLs across the district. The adoption of the framework included training for all 1,000 teachers as well as for all administrators. Several of the examples throughout this book are of units created and shared by teachers in the School District of Lancaster; unless otherwise noted, all teachers, administrators, and schools mentioned in this book are from this district.
The Diversity of ELL Backgrounds
Although programming is, in fact, an important issue to review when looking at meeting ELLs’ needs, it’s important to note that the instructional needs of ELLs vary with the types of schooling experiences that the students have had in their home countries. The impact of literacy skills and schooling experiences in the first language has a strong impact on academic development in the second language (Cummins, 1979, 1980, 1984; Fillmore, 2005; Krashen, 1996; Thomas & Collier, 2002). This factor is sure to produce differences in the needs of ELLs when comparing, for example, an ELL who is a refugee from a war-torn country, where conditions have caused schooling to be inadequate and often interrupted, to that of a wealthy diplomat’s child who has had the advantage of the very best education in the home country, oftentimes even including prior English instruction. While the student with limited formal schooling may be struggling with experiencing
ELLs: An Overview
everything for the first time, including the concepts connected to literacy development, the student who has had English instruction in the home country may be struggling most with developing an ear for the language as spoken by Westerners but may be somewhat familiar with written English. Olsen and Jaramillo (1999) provided personal case studies of immigrants they described as accelerated college-bound immigrants, students who were newly arrived in the ESL sequence, the underschooled, and the long-term limited Englishproficient. Freeman, Freeman, and Mercuri (2002) modified these typologies to describe three types of ELLs: the newly arrived with adequate schooling, the newly arrived with limited formal schooling, and the long-term English learner. Each ELL type has its own characteristics, which leads to unique student needs depending on the prior schooling of the student. Let’s take a closer look at each type.
The Newly Arrived with Adequate Schooling
Freeman, Freeman, and Mercuri (2002) describe the newly arrived with adequate schooling as soon catching up academically. Although these students still face the challenge of learning new concepts, they get to simply relabel the concepts previously learned. The fact that they come with first-language literacy skills is critical. Because the development of first language literacy skills supports the development of second language literacy skills, for students with adequate prior schooling academic success comes much more easily than for students who have arrived with limited formal schooling or for long-term English learners. We all know these students. They’re the ones who learn English within just a couple of years and are at the top of their class within just a few more. In our own experiences, these students have stood out because they tend to learn the big words before they learn the little words. For example, they may end up saying something like this: “The book is so . . . eh, beautiful. Has fantasy and, eh . . . adventure, and I like very much. I will like to read more like this. You have?” They use words like fantasy and adventure but miss words like it and do. The reason makes perfect sense when you think of what the students already have acquired. They come with the academic concepts like fantasy and adventure in literature, and they simply relabel these words into English. The syntax, or sentence structure, will take them longer to acquire. Also, many students with adequate schooling have taken English language classes in their home countries or used English
The Language-Rich Classroom
textbooks. For these students, comprehension of verbal interactions takes some getting used to, because often their teachers have spoken with a heavy accent or have taught English primarily through the use of their first language. So these ELLs have some level of familiarity with the bigger words but have had little opportunity to listen to and converse with native English speakers. We’ve found that students with adequate schooling are more comfortable seeing both the written and spoken forms of what is said. They’ll often benefit from seeing you write things out on the board, rather than simply saying them. Though ELLs with adequate schooling may score poorly on standardized tests, they’ll often earn good grades and catch up rather quickly in the classroom when compared to students who have had limited formal schooling, or students who are not literate in their first language. Figure 1.1 shows Tuan’s (pseudonym) Vietnamese writing sample. Even without being able to read Vietnamese, a teacher can ascertain useful information from a first-language writing sample. The student’s written piece appears to be by someone who has had formal schooling. For example, the sample contains diacritic marks that can determine word meanings, indicating that the student has formally learned how to place these marks and is using them with some degree of success. On further investigation, through asking a Vietnamese-speaking colleague to translate the writing and tell what unique features point to formal schooling experiences, these initial assumptions are, in fact, correct. Being careful not to overgeneralize and adding information from additional assessments (see Chapter 5) would help us identify this student as being newly arrived with adequate schooling. This understanding has implications for instruction and helps us ask the right questions: Has the student been exposed to English in Vietnam? How much? What concepts and skills will most likely transfer from his prior schooling to English schooling?
Students with Limited Formal Schooling
The second type of ELLs are students with limited formal schooling. Although Freeman and colleagues describe this category as newly arrived with limited formal schooling, in our description, we will be dropping the “newly arrived” qualifier simply because we’ve found that often students with limited formal schooling have been in English-speaking schools for some time, so that they are not necessarily “newly arrived.” We know several migrant families, for example, who have been
ELLs: An Overview
Figure 1.1 Tuan’s Vietnamese Writing Sample
Tuan’s first-language writing sample consists of several indications that hint toward Tuan being a recent arrival who has had adequate schooling in his home country. Even if teachers are unable to read Vietnamese, a great deal of information can be derived from a first-language writing sample.
enrolled for brief periods in several schools. But, prior to entering English-speaking schools, they had limited or no formal schooling in their home country. Regardless of whether they are newly arrived or not, students with limited formal schooling face immense hurdles in U.S. school systems. They have experienced inadequate or interrupted schooling when compared to students raised in U.S. educational systems. They have little native language literacy to rely on when learning to read in English. And while the rest of the students have long passed the need for instruction in literacy, these students frequently are just beginning. According to Freeman, Freeman, and Mercuri (2002), their math proficiency is often considerably behind that of their peers as well. Being creative with programming is essential for students’ success if they have had limited formal schooling. They will find it very difficult to succeed in a traditional
The Language-Rich Classroom
pullout ESL program that leaves them to flounder in the grade-level classroom for most of the day without support. Bilingual programs work best for students with limited formal schooling. In the School District of Lancaster, additional one-on-one support has taken the form of volunteers from the local university’s teacher certification programs who work one-on-one or in small groups with the students using heavily scaffolded literature. Because their needs are so different from those of native English-speaking or other ELL peers, students with limited formal schooling really benefit from intensive one-on-one support. This is especially true the older the student is when he or she first arrives in Englishspeaking schools. Figure 1.2 shows Isabel’s (pseudonym) Spanish writing sample. Isabel has had very limited formal schooling in Spanish. Because her literacy skills in Spanish were significantly below grade level when she arrived, reading and writing skills in
Figure 1.2 Isabel’s Spanish Writing Sample
Isabel arrived in 5th grade having had very limited formal schooling. Now in 8th grade, her writing skills continue to lag considerably behind those of her peers in both English and Spanish.
ELLs: An Overview
English have progressed at a snail’s pace. A review of her Spanish and English reading and writing assessments indicates that she is functioning at about a 1st grade level in both Spanish and English, with her Spanish slightly more advanced than her English. Figure 1.3 shows Isabel’s English persuasive letter-writing sample where she was asked to tell about a school rule that she’d like to see changed. Both writing samples are indecipherable, though the Spanish one is stronger and begins with Isabel saying, “I remember the sea and I remember . . . .” The use of the ñ in the word niño indicates that she is familiar with the Spanish alphabet and would have benefited from continued cognitive and academic growth in Spanish. Teachers of students with limited formal schooling face significant challenges for several reasons other than the obvious lack of skills and exposure to schooling that students bring. • Very little research has investigated the cognitive toll of limited formal schooling on a student’s ability to learn in later years. Therefore,
Figure 1.3 Isabel’s English Writing Sample
Isabel’s English writing sample indicates that she is progressing slowly.
The Language-Rich Classroom
distinguishing between special needs and the cognitive costs of limited formal schooling is extremely difficult to do. Students with limited formal schooling are quick to be referred for special needs. But the question of whether a student would have qualified for special education services had their schooling been adequate is often impossible to answer. • Few schools are designed to provide the intensive support systems that students like Isabel will need to be successful. ESL pullout programs do not offer the extent of support that students with limited formal schooling will need. In addition, because the students spend most of the day in grade-level classrooms, with little attention given to their unique needs, they pass much of their time listening to “academic noise” of which they can make little or no sense. Targeted one-on-one support isn’t likely to occur unless teachers can become creative with tapping into community and school resources. Even schools in high-incidence states, such as California and Texas, don’t have many programs designed to support students with limited formal schooling. Needless to say, schools in lowincidence states are often deeply perplexed with how to teach students like Isabel. • Children with limited formal schooling may have parents who also have had limited formal schooling, adding an extra challenge to a teacher’s ability to support and extend the learning at home, past school hours. • Languages spoken by students who have had limited formal schooling are often varied. Some have arrived from refugee camps, where low-incidence languages are spoken; others speak more common languages like Spanish. When schools have students with limited formal schooling who speak a variety of languages, it’s difficult to design bilingual programs in one language that have enough of a representation to make the program feasible. Isabel would most likely benefit from native language literacy. Whether or not bilingual education is feasible in a district, Isabel would be a good candidate for additional in-classroom, one-on-one support provided by qualified community volunteers and university reading teacher candidates who simply need an invitation to come in and help out in the classroom.
ELLs: An Overview
Long-Term English Learners
The third type of ELL is the longterm English learner. These students have been in the country for more than 7 years, the amount of time that Cummins referred to as the 5- to 7-year time frame for developing academic language and that Thomas and Collier referred to in the 7- to 10-year time frame for students not literate in the first language. These students may have even been born in the United States. They usually don’t sound like English language learners. In fact, they may actually also be described as native English speakers. They often speak fluent English— sometimes even more fluently than their home language. Although they may have started English schooling in kindergarten, their reading is behind that of their native English-speaking peers, and they often have little idea that language is even a source of academic challenge for them. The example in Figure 1.4 shows Raul’s (pseudonym) Spanish language writing sample describing the things he loves about Puerto Rico. Raul is an 8th grader who has been in English-speaking schools for seven years. His Spanish sample indicates first-language linguistic features that are lost or were never acquired, such as the use of incorrect articles and frequent spelling errors. Raul considers himself equally strong in English and Spanish. Standardized test scores indicate that he is considered a fluent English speaker but that his English reading performance is at about a 4th grade level. His English writing sample (Figure 1.5), though better than his Spanish piece, also lags considerably behind grade-level expectations. Thomas and Collier (1997) discuss the toll of having all—or, in Raul’s case, most—of a student’s schooling in the second language. “When comparing groups, English language learners who have received all their schooling exclusively through L2 might achieve 6 to 8 months’ gain each school year as they reach the middle and high school years, relative to the 10-month gain of typical native English speakers” (p. 35). Compounded annually, the loss of 20 to 40 percent of yearly academic growth over time can lead to overwhelming academic frustration for students. Raul’s situation is not uncommon. As a matter of fact, oftentimes ELLs will linger in ESL programs because they can’t pass the reading and writing portions of the standardized tests that states require to determine eligibility for being exited from ESL programs. Moreover, if given the same tests in their native language, students might even score worse than they would in English, because most of their
long-term English learners have often been exited from programs that offer linguistic supports. Additionally.4 Raul’s Spanish Writing Sample An analysis of Raul’s first language writing sample suggests that he has never acquired or has lost certain skills in his Spanish development. as designed. They no longer officially qualify for linguistic services for which other ELLs qualify. formal schooling has been in English. may have ceased meeting their needs (especially in the case of a pullout ESL program). 2007.The Language-Rich Classroom Figure 1. 2003). 1989. • Long-term English learners often have come to believe in their own academic inferiority. & Dweck. And although the ESL programs. teaching long-term English learners poses several challenges for the following reasons: • Oftentimes students are conversationally fluent. Trzesniewski. Over the years they have met with repeated poor academic performance and may attribute their lack of success to fixed innate inability (see Blackwell. ELLs are 16 . • In most traditional programs. Schunk. and it’s not obvious to most teachers that the student needs linguistic supports.
Raul would benefit from the CHATS-type strategies discussed in this book.5 Raul’s English Writing Sample Having spent most of his learning in English-speaking classrooms. His reading and writing skills in English may lag behind those of his grade-level peers. but evidence indicates that he has mastered important reading and writing skills that. and 17 . those with limited formal schooling. Other Types of ELLs Within the three distinctions of the types of ELLs that schools will encounter— newly arrived with adequate schooling.ELLs: An Overview Figure 1. Raul’s English reading and writing skills are stronger than his Spanish reading and writing skills. mainstreamed into classrooms with teachers who’ve had little or no training on how to make adaptations or scaffold instruction in the gradelevel or content-area classrooms. with focused scaffolding. can promote academic success.
other ELLs have arrived with adequate prior schooling but are placed in programs where they never really have a fair shot at success. the timing of the student’s arrival might have significantly affected the quality of the instruction that he or she received. That’s where CHATS comes 18 . with limited formal schooling. Either of these scenarios will have a great impact on student success. it’s extremely important for educators to understand the importance of administering simple assessments. Trying to determine this in a second language is a challenging task. depending on program and teacher quality. newly arrived students with adequate schooling who may have been significantly behind grade level in their countries of origin or who. she is now at a disadvantage. what the student’s strengths are. Additionally. Because students won’t always neatly fit within the three distinctions described in this chapter. in contrast. While she may have been at an advantage had she arrived in the 9th grade with adequate schooling. a 9th grader with limited formal schooling. you also have ELLs in any of the three categories with legitimate special needs in their first language. To further complicate matters. Also. and what the areas of need might be. they don’t receive meaningful and targeted interventions at the level where they would have most benefited once they arrived. especially when trying to diagnose needs for students who speak low-incidence languages. so that all students can benefit from grade-level classrooms. may be gifted. but in many programs. That is. on top of the three distinctions made by Freeman and colleagues. Meeting the Challenge with CHATS The challenge before us is to prepare every classroom and content-area teacher to teach in a way that supports both linguistic and academic development.The Language-Rich Classroom long-term English learners—are a host of other distinctions that can greatly affect school success. Luci may need targeted literacy development. aimed at determining what the student’s former schooling experiences were like. Chapter 5 contains a template for conducting a first-language writing sample and explains classroom assessment for ELLs in more detail. Consider. such as the first-language writing sample. she isn’t as likely to get literacy development in the 9th grade to the same degree she would have had she arrived a few years earlier. for example. Take Luci.
while providing the extra scaffolds that ELLs need to participate meaningfully and actively in the classroom. too. although of the three. Within the School District of Lancaster. The CHATS framework will be useful to all three of the main types of ELLs described here. One advantage in using CHATS is that it benefits all students. and native English speakers alike. but they will still require additional intensive support. and accessible to both ELLs and native English speakers in their classroom. even students considered gifted were more engaged as a result of the relevant and authentic teaching that came about through the use of CHATS. The framework’s strategies will engage English language learners. rigorous. CHATS helps teachers make their content meaningful. The students with limited formal schooling will benefit. students with special needs. the ones who will probably benefit the most are the long-term English learners.ELLs: An Overview in. 19 . not just ELLs.
Activities can be cognitively demanding. or cognitively undemanding. such as picking out flavors at an ice cream parlor. At the same time. Or. such as chatting with a friend about afterschool plans. activities can be context reduced with few contextual supports. Before we delve into each component of the CHATS framework in the following chapters. They can also be context embedded. Cummins (1991) discusses the complexity of classifying communicative activities by how cognitively intense they are and by the degree to which the surrounding context supports comprehension of what is communicated. Defining Academic Language At no point do English language learners wake up one day to discover that they suddenly have acquired academic language.2 Developing Academic Language The CHATS framework is meant to empower teachers who haven’t been formally trained in ESL with planning tools that make content comprehensible to their English language learners. The process of acquiring academic language is complicated and ongoing. The context of having the ice cream openly displayed and being able to point to items helps in communicating the message. such as taking a science exam. it provides ELLs with opportunities to build up their academic language in a place where they will most likely find it—the content classroom. such as reading a study about the 20 . let’s examine academic language and the special issues it can raise with our English language learners.
a holistic view of language acquisition that considers many theorists have tried to accurately the interdependence of sociocultural define the term and discuss its complexities. then it becomes imperative that we as educators go out of our way to teach it and to help students develop it. refer to Scarcella (2003). Coxhead’s research provides important insights in helping us examine the types of words that are problematic for ELLs. It is the type of language necessary to successfully participate in. and chances are they’ll be more 21 . despite. cited in the references. There are 570 word families in all. with few contextual supports. despite. and neutron? The answer is a combination of yes and no. If in fact a study like that For a readable. and detailed review of the many linguistic facets of exists. For those interested in a more in-depth study of academic language. Examples of words on the academic word list are albeit.000 high-frequency words used in text. demic language is too complex to describe in one sentence. we imagine that it would be hard to academic language. Vocabulary Coxhead (2000) developed an academic word list consisting of words that were not among the first 2. Think about the impact of this statement. Collier. academic Most would agree that the concept of acadevelopment. proton. in science. we have included some citations in the text box of this section. would the words be science-specific terms like electron. refer to Ovando. and cognitive development. But what exactly does “it” look like? Does academic language consist of the contentspecific words that are likely to emerge in particular classes? For example. language development. processes. we’ll try to fit the concept of academic language into one sentence: Academic language is the language of books. academic language is not usually learned outside the classroom setting.Developing Academic Language neurological processes affected by eating too An In-Depth Look much ice cream. principle. and communicate in cognitively demanding and context-reduced. Academic language is multifaceted. principle. for the purpose of keeping this text relatively readable (with a disclaimer that we recognize its simplicity). and style for ELLs. if in fact it’s true. because if academic language is more likely to be taught only in school. comprehend. However. interesting. and For a look at the prism model. and Combs (2003). According to Chamot and O’Malley (1994). It lays a tremendous responsibility on teachers. age-appropriate activities. and style. read. Try to define words like albeit.
and parallelogram within the context of your content presentation. during their several years in English-speaking schools.The Language-Rich Classroom stumped than if you’re trying to define words like solid. corruption. in contrast. An English language learner. 646) In this text. modest man. (Viola. They’ve mastered the decoding. he paid it. most middle-class native English speakers probably have heard these words in readalouds. is likely to have difficulty not only with the content-specific words. It includes content-specific vocabulary as well as non-content-specific vocabulary. he refused to take advantage of his position. he had disliked the fancy trappings of high military rank. which the teacher has made a point of explaining to all students. encountered them in books they’ve read. let’s imagine Tran. they’ve grown accustomed to reading without understanding. but the noncontent-specific words that carry enough impact as to make academic reading incomprehensible. Academic language is the language of books. When he received a $20 speeding ticket for driving his carriage too fast. Worse yet. It’s unlikely that you’ll hear students or even adults using these words within playground conversations. it is very possible that Tran. but not being able to understand the “in between” words has rendered the text incomprehensible. would read that same text in the following way (humor us. Grant brought a quiet dignity to the White House. and read this out loud for effect): 22 . Despite his promise of peace. government. It’s no wonder that ELLs will often read an entire page in their texts and not have a clue what they just read. Consider the following text taken from a 5th grade history text used in a nearby elementary school: A gentle. As president. Grant’s presidency was plagued by political conflicts. Yet Grant was not able to impose his standard on other members of the Republican Party. If we were to replace every word or concept that he might find incomprehensible in this text with the word BLAH. or heard them in the contexts of listening to adults speak in “fancy” English. 1998. and scandal. But whereas the non-content-specific vocabulary words may stump ELLs. p. During the Civil War. which words do you think would be problematic for ELLs? For example. so that the lack of comprehension really does not cause them the same annoyance or reason to complain that it would for a native English speaker. who has been deemed a fluent English speaker according to the school’s exit criteria. an ELL at about the intermediate level of development in his fluency.
are introduced to many content-specific words at about the same times. and unfamiliar speech patterns are plentiful in informational texts that tightly 23 . it’s the non-content-specific words that support and enhance comprehension of the text enough so that students simply decode their way through the text as opposed to reading for understanding. Sentences that make frequent use of the passive voice. he paid it. When he received a $20 speeding ticket for driving his carriage too fast. not just ELLs. relative and insubordinate clauses. he had disliked the fancy BLAH of high military BLAH. Grant brought a quiet BLAH to the White House. As president. it gives insight into the types of words that often trip up ELLs at any grade level when they are reading content texts. Yet Grant was not able to BLAH his BLAH on other members of the Republican Party. After all. BLAH man. he refused to take BLAH of his position. We’re not saying that schools should get rid of textbooks. But we do need to find innovative ways to support ELLs in their understanding of and ability to be successful in content reading. Imagine reading an entire page in the same way. Grammatical Nuances When it comes to content reading.Developing Academic Language A gentle. BLAH. it’s not just the vocabulary that’s confusing. but the real question is how much of the text could you understand? In light of the impact of non-contentspecific academic language. well-written textbooks. supplementing our content reading with additional high-interest nonfiction resources. any program aimed at helping bridge the achievement gap between ELLs and their native English-speaking peers must include strategies that support the cognitive and metacognitive content-reading processes for ELLs and struggling readers in a way that enhances content understanding as well as vocabulary development. We assume that it is the content-specific words that will cause readers to stumble. it is perfectly understandable why many ELLs have strong decoding skills but weak comprehension in reading. and we need to be strategic in how we use the textbook. Could you do it? You could probably decode your way through such a passage. Grant’s presidency was BLAH by BLAH BLAH. provide opportunities for academic language development as well as potential stumbling blocks. Despite his promise of peace. During the Civil War. like the one used in this example. Thus. Though the academic word list was designed for university students. and BLAH. Instead. Informational texts are written using different grammatical patterns than what students have experienced in their picture books and chapter books. but all readers.
Grant’s presidency was plagued. 15). and complex causes” (p. Corruption plagued it. “the grammatical component of academic English entails all the knowledge of the grammar of everyday English and.The Language-Rich Classroom condense information. 2008. The grammatical component of academic English also entails expanded features of the English verb system. This means that they must learn that the 24 . and scandal” (Viola. Political conflicts plagued it. knowledge of additional structures such as parallel clauses. verb systems. 481) compared to the more comfortable everyday language of most fiction In students’ production of formal texts (e. 646). modality systems. now made trappings in the segment that reads “He had disliked the fancy trappings of high military rank” • Density: tightly packed information made more complicated through the use of lengthy complex noun forms • Authoritativeness: the tendency of informational texts to sound “much more distanced. According to Scarcella (2003). in this particular quote.. For example. Fang (2008) describes the differences in the types of linguistic nuances inherent in a science excerpt on DNA as compared to a fictional text. and aren’t. it leaves students struggling with more than just unfamiliar vocabulary. Scandals plagued it. and.g. Grant’s presidency was plagued by political conflicts. the grammatical nuances of English pose an even greater challenge. it includes the following information densely packed into one sentence: Grant made promises of peace. Scarcella goes on to discuss the complicated features inherent in the production of academic English by addressing various features such as noun phrases. he discusses the following ingredients that can hamper comprehension for students: • Technicality: those words that are. impersonal and authoritative” (Fang. such as the word trap. corruption. expository writing). p. content-specific and that take on a new meaning when placed in the context of a particular sentence. in addition. p. such as the word plagued in the excerpt on Grant • Abstraction of nouns. Students need to learn that knowing a verb means knowing all of its forms (word families) as well as common grammatical collocations. Because this sentence contains several bits of important information couched in the passive voice and begins with an introductory prepositional phrase. Arguing for the importance of teachers preparing students in the art of expository reading. Take the example given earlier: “Despite his promise of peace. conditionals. 1998.
as well as transform and paraphrase written text (Fang. then.Developing Academic Language word assume can be used in a range of ways and has a finite verb form (assume) and a noun form (assumption). however. meaningful experiences with these types of texts. In this study. as opposed to trying to explicitly teach all of the grammatical forms students will encounter in English. p. by frequently exposing students to authentic. 16) To help ELLs be successful in content-area reading and writing. the average daily exposure dropped to 1. These findings are cause for concern both because of the missed opportunity to prepare students for informational reading and writing they will encounter in later schooling and life. Lack of Exposure The fact that the language in informational texts seems foreign to many students is not helped by the low prevalence of informational texts in most classrooms. She discovered that. Duke (2000) examined the use of informational texts in 20 first grade classrooms. we must prepare them to be able to effectively wade through a great deal of linguistic information in order to understand the author’s purpose. 2008). with noticeably less informational text present on the classroom walls and other surfaces. it is not possible to disagree against or discriminate with a person. only 3. especially in the primary grades. Part of this can take the form of helping students become aware of their need to deconstruct complex noun phrases. (Scarcella.9 minutes. For example. 2000. 220) The same point holds true about reading in general. Not only are students not exposed to informational texts early on. 2003. and for the missed opportunity to use informational text to motivate more students’ interest in literacy in their present lives. They must learn that verbs such as sanction are generally transitive and require objects (He could not sanction her behavior) and that verb + preposition combinations (fixed expressions such as I disagree with you and He discriminates against her) cannot be changed.6 minutes per day were spent with informational texts. but the time spent on actual reading 25 . students with less socioeconomic capital were offered fewer opportunities to develop this important form of semiotic capital—the ability to read and write informational texts. Even more disturbing was the fact that in classrooms of students mainly from neighborhoods of low socioeconomic status (SES). would be a daunting task for both teachers and students. on average. Teaching the grammatical nuances of informational text in isolation. Teachers are likely best served. (Duke. p. Many best-selling authors themselves are probably not explicitly aware of the linguistic features of their own informational texts. Of particular concern is the fact that informational text was particularly scarce in the classrooms in low-SES settings.
Chamot and O’Malley (1994) discuss the unlikelihood of academic language being taught at home. 56) Not exactly vocabulary likely to be found in playground conversation. Wilson. There must have been twenty or thirty of them at least. furiously. Words like aghast. over time. Oftentimes. “I love to read. 1961): They all watched. To quote our daughter. and all are found in the following excerpt from James and the Giant Peach (Dahl. because of their abstractness. enjoy. And now at a signal from the leader all the other sharks came swimming in toward the peach and they clustered around it and began to attack it furiously. Books are where we can consistently find academic language spoken. lashing. and learn from great books. so that by the time students see it in academic texts. they’re familiar enough with the meaning that they maintain comprehension. This observation leads us to wonder what type of motivation we are instilling in poor readers when our focus is so disconnected from what the purpose of reading really is: to understand. if we’re going to immerse our students in academic language.” Acquiring Academic Language Academic language is the language of books. and Gantt (2001) found that during reading instruction. are difficult to teach and to remember outside a meaningful context. but I hate learning to read. we educators don’t even use academic language on a regular basis in our teaching. churning.The Language-Rich Classroom during reading instruction may be significantly less for those students who struggle the most with reading. is it? Families who read aloud together are introducing children to academic language regularly. So. (p. Gambrell. but for those of us who do school-like activities at home with our children. we must immerse them in books. in fact. signal. and strategically embedded in exciting stories. Family Read-Alouds School-like discussions and family read-alouds provide a wealth of contextually rich academic language that. and froth might all be considered academic-type words. Even if native 26 . whereas poor readers spent more time learning about how to read and practicing isolated sounds and words outside the context of meaningful stories. taught at home. good readers spent more time actually reading in school. academic language is. a 3rd grade student. all pushing and fighting and lashing their tails and churning the water into a froth. familiarizes students with academic words that. clustered. aghast. modeled.
and could understand text in which it appeared. This book provides wonderful topics of discussion for a faculty book circle. grammar. a meaningful context. For hension. words in an academic reading doesn’t disrupt the flow of comprehension. technically.” She then paused and digestible. Peripheral vocabulary becomes active vocabulary when the student fully understands its meaning and is able to successfully use it in his or her own speech or writing. “Well. vocabulary. Mention the name of this book to reading teachers. so that seeing these attesting to its usefulness. our 8-year-old daughter recently spelling. The fact is that most fiction is full of academic language. They are understood within hit read-alouds by grade appropriateness. vocabulary. “What does technically mean?” She an easy read. studies done across the globe on the effects They may even experiment with these words that leisure reading has on students’ development in reading fluency. and she now uses the word frequently. when compared to traditional skill-based instruction. and writing for children internationally. reading self-selected books for pleasure) has on reading fluency. This book is readable and a great classroom resource. what we love most about this book of words that are currently on that student’s is the treasury at the end that describes surelinguistic radar. reading comprehension. The Read-Aloud Handbook (2001) Her attempts to try it out on us met with by Jim Trelease success. As use them. spelling.e. I teachers.. “In 51 out of 27 . reading comprein their speech or academic papers. particularly in the descriptive portions of the texts. Our copy has about 40 sticky notes attached. This book is a must-read for all corrected us by saying. all main points are summarized had experienced the word in different in the margins. and example. In addition to the main text being asked. writing. like books and conversations. grammar. Krashen. A language acquisition guru. Krashen (2004) makes an argument for this in his must-read book called The Power of Reading. they’re The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research (2004) by Stephen D. at least familiar enough with them to underKrashen summarizes the findings of numerous stand them in the context of a paragraph. Krashen writes in a light style that makes the research have two of them. Fiction is also where peripheral language is built and where academic language can most naturally and painlessly be acquired. contexts. Peripheral vocabulary is made up parents.Developing Academic Language English speakers may not actually be ready to Recommended Resources use these words in their own speech. and chances are they’ve read it! It We use the term peripheral vocabulary has sold over a million copies and discusses because students have only a vague underthe numerous research-based benefits that standing of what the words mean and how to read-alouds hold for children. He reviews numerous studies written on the impact that free voluntary reading (i.
Studies provide evidence of a strong positive correlation between read-aloud experiences and vocabulary development (Meehan. Sénéchal & LeFevre. In other words. He also reviews studies punctuating the significant impact that reading has on standardized reading test scores. Gabriela was beginning 28 . children are hooked. 2004. teacher modified the silent reading experience by including scaffolds and increased structure Additionally. Sharif. by the end of the first chapter. Those in the 90th percentile read on average 37. & Mulvihill. great! But both Trelease and Krashen discuss the lack of reading that’s taking place in schools and society today. whereas those in the 10th percentile read on average 1. see some people’s trust in the role of free reading on Heidi Trudel’s (2007) article “Making Dataacademic development. His review provides compelling evidence that significant time set aside on reading for pleasure is essential for leaps and bounds in the language development process for ELLs. are likely to benefit from the readaloud experience or experience opportunities to quietly read when they go home. Parents typically assume that substantial time is being set aside in school to read. A Personal Example of the Power of Read-Alouds Students come to school with vastly different literary experiences. not necessarily your ELLs. But eliminating free Driven Decisions: Silent Reading. 2003). Roberts.” reading opportunities in the classroom has the potential of driving a greater wedge in the achievement gap. Trelease (2001) makes similar arguments in his classic book The Read-Aloud Handbook (first introduced 1979). conflicting reports have lessened during her independent reading times. And over and over in our university classes.8 minutes a day.1 minutes a day (p. there is simply no time for reading.The Language-Rich Classroom 54 comparisons (94 percent). Dinkevich. Ozuah. where he discusses the importance of the readaloud in raising readers and in fostering language development. 3). 1999. p. teachers complain An In-Depth Look that with the pressure to raise student test For a look at how one elementary school scores. 2002. readers do as well as or better on reading tests than students given traditional skill-based instruction” (Krashen. We’ve witnessed this phenomenon firsthand with our own children. Is that true of your school? If so. since only certain types of students. 108). We chose it because we’re partial to Dahl’s books and because The BFG starts fast. 2008. The first chapter book that we read to our daughter Gabriela was The BFG (which stands for the Big Friendly Giant) by Roald Dahl (1982).
we also reading. Hey Listen to This: Stories to Read Aloud (1992) by Jim Trelease Now. and teachers for frustration. We were amazed! We found one particular question especially intriguing. He also shares risk of setting up unfair and uninformed interesting insights into the lives of the authors. along with suggestions for further generalizations and stereotypes. Here was a 5-yearold asking what peered cautiously meant. and then we reread the section and continued with the book. Mommy?) assured us that he was following along and comprehending. Recommended Resources Both of these books take the work out of That’s academic language! It’s not often that searching for great read-alouds. Sure enough. Although we want to avoid the read to older children). Caleb’s steady flow of questions (“Is the queen going to be mean. 29 . We figured it would be an interesting 45 seconds or so before Caleb would start “losing it. equity. she became fully engaged and comprehended what was being read. we finished The BFG. want to make it perfectly clear that the concept of reading to children nightly is Read All About It! Great Read-Aloud Stories. Gabriela interrupted during a climactic point in the story for some clarification. children on the playground talk about how they peered cautiously around the corner. then you’ll want experiences of children who are frequently a copy of this book. would be joining us. we decided to continue reading The BFG. and we thought it would be an appropriate time to begin reading chapter books.Developing Academic Language kindergarten. and For teachers of adolescents and teens.” But.” “What’s ‘peered cautiously’?” Gabriela asked. Poems and Newspaper Articles for Preteens not a universally shared tradition that is and Teens (1993) by Jim Trelease unaffected by issues of poverty. this access to information. We explained this term to her. and both Caleb and Gabriela had sat for the entire time in an oversized armchair completely enthralled. compare the literary and linguistic If you teach younger children. our very active 3-year-old. The Big Friendly Giant had “peered cautiously around the corner. only this time Caleb. One night. two and a half hours later. elaborating with a mime to demonstrate what peering cautiously might look like. To assume that all book has some wonderful selections taken from a variety of genres that can be read when students come to school with similar literary there are just a few minutes in the class period experiences is sure to set up both students to spare. Trelease provides excerpts read to and those of a child who has never or whole texts from 48 wonderful read-alouds that teachers can read to children ages 5 enjoyed a read-aloud prior to entering through 9 (although some stories could be school.
Grimm made the following observation: “If we used it. Use academic language in such a way that the meaning of the words is obvious to students because of the context. We repeated them in ways within the context of different activities. so that students could acquire non-content-specific academic vocabulary in ways that made the language comprehensible? What if we peppered our communications with sophisticated language made comprehensible by the context of the situation or embedded synonyms in our sentences to make what we say comprehensible to students? What if we took advantage of every opportunity to teach academic language? For teachers to increase exposure to academic language. . and then buffer it with a synonymous tag that makes the meaning clear to students. . even adults speak in conversational English. . Speaking It We don’t sound like the books we read. “What are some ideas for categorizing your words? How can you make categories. Here are two suggestions for doing this: • Use synonymous tags. If we talked a lot using a certain vocabulary word or we kept coming back and using it. Let’s get a bandage.The Language-Rich Classroom Increasing Exposure to Academic Language Whether at home or school. For example. or different groups?” • Embed in meaningful contexts. At the end of the unit. . opportunities abound for increasing students’ exposure to academic language.We deliberately used big words and then consistently revisited the words we wanted them to know. Use academic language (non-content-specific “fancy” words). For the most part. it’s important that they develop a mind-set where almost any verbal interaction is an opportunity for developing academic language. and Roseann Sinkosky—decided to drench their students in selected academic vocabulary from the book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (DiCamillo. as in “I’m sorry that you injured your knee. . But what would our speech sound like if we focused on building academic language. it would show up in their journals. Krista Grimm.” Three 3rd grade teachers at Washington Elementary—Quirine Gladwish.” 30 . . 2006). Teachers should make an intentional effort at speaking using academic language within a context that makes the meaning clear to students. say. they used it. Let’s explore a few in the following sections.
According to Gladwish. She then asked students to use the words when they referred to the story. he wrote. Vocabulary was repeatedly revisited. And 31 . showing them what it means to be prejudiced. Kelvin had arrived in English-speaking schools in 1st grade knowing no English.” Teacher Krista Grimm also noted that words like smug and conceited. 2003). tragedy. . a literacy coach. were now being used by students to describe one another when experiencing conflicts on the playground during recess. I think Pellegrina is the person Edward is comforted by. So. they would end up saying. wrote. his clothes.” Potter said. I told them at the beginning. I set it up at the beginning of Desperaux. and integrity.” The result of these efforts were student journal entries peppered with beautiful academic vocabulary used correctly by ELLs and native English speakers alike. Before reading each section. Potter selected certain words on which to ask the 4th grade class to focus. outrage. For example. “We always made sure to use the vocabulary that we had highlighted in the summary in the time line. She wrote these words on strips of chart paper before reading each section and introduced them to the class by first reading the sentence in which they appeared. DiCamillo’s books are great tools for developing academic language. his ears and his bendable elbows. showing them what symbolism is and light and dark. a 4th grade teacher. because Edward thought her eyes were like stars.” . . these teachers also took every opportunity to present the words in written activities that would remain posted on the walls and thus be seen repeatedly. “I think Edward is a self-centered rabbit. “Edward feels despair. and Brianne Mull. “We’re going to speak these words and we’re going to write these words. and then I talked off of them. his eyes.” Sean. Edward feels hollowness. Those to me were really big-big ideas. so everything we do is in the context of using these words in the book. .Developing Academic Language In addition to speaking the words.” Native English speakers also benefited. he had a lot of integrity. “Edward is a rabbit with penetrating blue eyes. . Now in 3rd grade. wrote. and so I gave it to them. because of the rich context in which she places these normally difficult words and the range of personalities that allow for in-depth discussions using higher levels of thinking. if they were going to say he was nice. because he only cares about himself. also a native English speaker. David. which the teachers had used to describe Edward. also placed an intentional focus on certain words in the story The Tale of Desperaux (DiCamillo. . showing them what it means to conform. a non-ELL. Edward was mortified when Amos and Martin took his clothes off. including aspiration. “I would ask them to use our words. Keely Potter.
. and in their writing responses. “It floored her that they were able to just pull those things out. He betrayed her and felt very guilty and sorrowful inside. Janette Hewitt. who then want to write and use the language in a way that allows them to express and celebrate their emotional attachment to the learning. She probably felt despair. When asked whether she noticed if learning the words in class had transferred into usage outside the classroom. He treated her like a princess. the principal at Potter and Mull’s school. . 32 . . This approach leads to an excitement among the students. “Absolutely. .” Potter said. because he felt empathetic. because of the way that they were exposed to the vocabulary. “So just that whole idea of immersing them and using it. who usually we have not seen achieving at the rate and at the height that they were achieving after using the CHATS process. . were allowed to explore it together as a class and with their teachers and with each other. so that they can own it.The Language-Rich Classroom Brianne’s idea was that they would have their own individual word walls. . . Potter immediately replied. toss in the words conform and empathetic in her discussion during ESL class. . A–Z. and they can understand it. The use of imagery is also pronounced. by using it in their own language. It is a book that inspires you and has life. He was born with his eyes open and no other mice were born like that. describes the experience in this way: Here you have a class of students with special needs and ESL students. Dr.” Then she told the story of how the ELL teacher of a student at the beginning levels of language development stopped her to tell her how surprised she was to hear the student.—by Idalia The Tale of Desperaux is not just a book. but when her dad came back she felt like the light came back to her.—by Norberto Creating language-rich classrooms involves students hearing the language in contexts that are comprehensible and have engaged their emotions through the use of activities that are relevant and authentic. who normally struggled with basic conversational skills. by reading it. children. . on paper to plug those in.” The following excerpts from literary essays written by ELLs attest to the use of the academic language targeted by Potter and Mull. and all of it was done with me modeling the vocabulary first before the reading. So. Sitting there and listening to them. Antoinette made Desperaux feel sad and betrayed. prejudice is a big theme. Desperaux was born a non-conformist.—by Daniella Antoinette only cares about her looks and called Desperaux a disappointment.—by Lois I believe that in The Tale of Desperaux.
Myrick. look for excellence in narration. (p. Coville. Recently. greater verbal fluency (Cardillo et al.. 2006. Beers (1998) found a heightened interest in reading as well as increased comprehension and engagement in Houston. Use of audiobooks has been positively linked to student motivation to read (Bomar. This is especially true for long-term English learners and those with limited formal schooling (as described in Chapter 1). the Witch and the Wardrobe (Lewis. on a road trip with the family. & Chera. you know. background music. . 32) More and more audiobooks are being added to public library systems. just the opposite has been found to be true. Wood. ELLs can usually understand more than they can read. The Odyssey Awards. Cardillo. I get chills just now sitting here thinking about it. Ditlow. we listened to HarperCollins’s unabridged audiobook version of The Lion. Audiobooks made the difference for those kids. and an increased use of reading strategies (Littleton. sound quality. and comprehension (Patten & Craig. By the end of that year. 2007). By February some of the kids were wanting to take the books home at night so they could keep reading to see what was happening. first presented in 2008. writing skills. Although some teachers may view audiobooks as a type of “cheating” that doesn’t promote print decoding and fluency development. increased vocabulary. 2007). It was almost like they were released from the way they had minimally responded before in their writing. 2007). Texas. classrooms that used audiobooks. and sound effects. The 33 . Audiobook publishers typically employ actors who add expression and different voices to the readings that aren’t typical in a classroom or home read-aloud. Listening to Audiobooks Another great way of exposing ELLs to academic language is to use grade-level fictional audiobooks at in-class listening centers as well as for homework. The growing popularity in the use of audiobooks and the respect given to them as academic tools can be seen in the recent decision by the American Library Association to grant awards to outstanding audiobooks for children and young adults. all 23 of the kids in that reading skills class had come up about two grade levels in their reading and all had better attitudes toward reading. as well as to school libraries. 2006).Developing Academic Language it really was . Audiobooks provide an opportunity to expose ELLs to the non-content-specific academic language that is plentiful in fiction but that the students may not yet be capable of reading on their own. She quotes a middle school teacher who recounted the following: It was incredible. & Lesesne. because of the way in which they were able to express themselves. 2000). .
and Death itself would start working backward. where approximately 20 laid out on your computer screen with specific emphasis placed on certain aspects of a parents participated. we all jumped! Here’s an example of the type of vocabulary embedded in an adventurous story like this one: Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. (Lewis. This is a great Web site with popular storybooks homework for which many parents could not read aloud by famous actors and actresses. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead. as well as for struggling readers. the storybook pictures are parent workshop. did so with a creative expression so rich and engaging that at times when the Lion spoke. from Frog and Toad Together (Lobel. Audiobooks are one solution because they present exciting. audiobooks were made available to parents to sign out through parent resource centers. After receiving a copy of Dan the Flying Man. audiobooks provide a read-aloud experience that can hook students on books much more efficiently and effectively than providing reading materials that are at their reading level. Michael York. 1972) to 34 . a book typically used in kindergarten. age-appropriate stories loaded with beautiful academic language that can be painlessly acquired through listening and comprehending grade-level literature that engages students’ interests. the Table would crack. 17). This is a common problem with ELLs whose reading and language skills are trumped by their interests and world knowledge. The audiobooks were meant to be used at home as alternative homework assignments Recommended Resources that would provide more “bang for the buck” For a free audiovisual literary experience.net. Ivey and Fisher (2006) describe 15-year-old Luke. As provide support. Finding suitable reading materials that will get such students hooked on reading can be very challenging. p. But if she could have looked a little further back. into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned. she would have read there a different incantation. This article addresses the dilemma of students having world knowledge that far surpasses their ability to read. than if a teacher gave overly challenging try logging on to www. “Do you think he’s on drugs?” (p.The Language-Rich Classroom actor who read the story.storylineonline. Books ranged in complexity very nicely done. The Web site is sponsored by sign out an audiobook and report on it the the Screen Actor’s Guild Foundation and is following week. During a Latino-focused stories are read. 163) When it comes to ELLs who are conversational. he read the title and asked. who was reading at below a 1st grade level. parents were asked to picture at a time. 1978. At Ross Elementary School.
Jackie Martin-Hair’s motives were simple. several of the parents mentioned that they still frequently signed out audiobooks from the parent resource center and popped them into the CD or tape player to listen to while they ride with their children in the car. said to me. 2008. including the building secretary. Audiobooks “enable students to internalize the basic structure of a narrative. who can normally be a little bit of a challenge. Onge. For a few minutes every day.Developing Academic Language Frindle (Clements. Every child and every adult was given a copy of the book to keep. their comprehension in content-area reading will also be positively affected. 2003b). 48). decode printed text. wonderful. Hair. One little guy. “I want children to value books. & Vega. Jackie Martin-Hair. principal at Ross. 1996) to The Lion. selected 4th or 5th grade students. exemplify the structural difference between written language and oral language. Everyone was asked to silently read along while the audiobook played. Scalia. provide a speech model. Parents reported back the following week that they enjoyed the audiobooks just as much as their children had. At a reunion dinner eight months later. and help improve English pronunciation” (St. ‘Mrs. modeled a brief book club dialogue over the announcement system and then left the students with a “question to go. At the end of the chapter. principal of Wharton Elementary School. 35 .’ ” In summary. . don’t you love Desperaux? It gave me goosebumps. . all activity at Wharton ceased while an audiobook chapter was played over the school’s announcement system. As these experiences build students’ peripheral vocabulary. and powerful?” These questions to go allowed all students an opportunity to reflect on and discuss important issues with their classmates. the Witch and the Wardrobe (Lewis. who had been trained in the art of asking great questions. This approach hooks kids that wouldn’t normally be hooked. I love the book. audiobooks immerse students in comprehensible academic English in a motivating way that also has a positive impact on reading performance and attitudes about reading.” Examples of questions included: “What do you think Migg hopes for. p. . 1978). and how will she achieve it?” and “Why is hope ridiculous. has observed that the real benefit of audiobooks is that families who wouldn’t typically partake in read-alouds are now exposing children to books they might otherwise miss. decided to implement a schoolwide book club using the audiobook version of The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo (DiCamillo. Camille Hopkins.
This goal is not just a politically correct wish of ours. We see parent orientation night as an opportunity to impress on parents the importance of continuing the learning process at home in the home language and to offer examples of how to do so. what are low-incidence schools to do if their populations of ELLs make bilingual education impractical. it’s important to reiterate that the home environment plays a critical role in attaining this goal as well. according to studies looking at long-term student performance. We’ve witnessed many programmatic changes to ESL programs in area schools in the Northeast. where we now live. The fact is we need them! Many parents are willing to provide support. We also see it as an opportunity to enlist parents who speak the home languages of our students as volunteers in the learning process during school hours.The Language-Rich Classroom Appreciating the Power of the Home Language Although this book is focused on helping students develop academic English. 36 . and useful tidbits of information to help families cope with the transition to the American school system. because of the wide variety of languages represented? One approach is to recognize and strategically work toward enlisting parents’ support. but they simply don’t know that support is needed in the first place or how to go about providing it. We’ve already discussed the value of family read-alouds. that students in well-constructed bilingual programs. We do parents a disservice by making it seem that we have it all under control. outperform students in ESL programs. We also know. the best way to do that is to encourage and applaud the use of the primary language in the home. In compliance with this new regulation. several districts took the route of providing a PowerPoint “tour” of the ESL program. but we advocate a much different approach to its implementation. So. It’s grounded in solid research. specifically dual language immersion programs. introducing parents to the ESL curriculum. ESL teachers. Believe it or not. In Pennsylvania. we know that students who arrive in English-speaking schools with several years of adequate prior schooling in their home language are the students in the best position to excel academically. one of those changes is a state-mandated parent orientation that all districts must provide to parents of English language learners. Now let’s explore further how we can facilitate home environments that foster academic language development at home. We love the idea of a parent orientation night. As discussed earlier.
Snow. especially in schools where bilingual programming is impractical or impossible. 2003. If ELLs Need to Learn English. We desperately need their help in the home language. Krashen. of their classmates spoke Spanish as a home language. points to the interdependence of English and the home language. The program has existed for over 13 years. 2005. Parents ought to be introduced to what the research says about the importance of the home language. where only a Spanish immersion program exists at school. Thomas & Collier. 1997. Actually.Developing Academic Language Both of our children are enrolled in a Spanish immersion program where their schooling is given almost entirely in Spanish from kindergarten to 5th grade. transfer theory. research overwhelmingly supports the fact that the stronger the academic language development in the first language. 1997. The stronger 37 . Why do they do well on exit? Because parents assume the role of teachers at home. and students have generally done well in school once exited into all-English programs at 6th grade. 1980. In fact. Carlo. we’re struck by how often educators indicate that they’ve assumed that parents should speak to their children in English in order to support their English development in school. 2002. As educators. it is the parents who are providing a dual language immersion program for the children. & Bailey. 1996. Fillmore. In other words. we need to let parents of ELLs in on this secret. understand the role of literacy and its effect on our children’s future success. & McLaughlin. 1984. Few. Manis. 2002) demonstrate how proficiency transfers from the home language to the second language. Thomas & Collier. Ordonez. or the linguistic interdependence principle proposed by Cummins (1991). As people well versed in the culture of American schooling. Why Encourage Parents to Speak to Them in the Home Language? In our workshops. the parents of students in this program. English literacy is never actually introduced until 3rd grade. the easier and faster the transition will be into English (Cummins. Research does not support this idea. if you think through this concept logically. 2002). if any. Neither of them spoke Spanish prior to entering school. 1979. as is the case for most of the children who have ever been in the program. Studies that support transfer theory (Lindsey. First. due primarily to efforts in the home. but most of these students are literate in English by the end of 1st grade. for the most part. it should make a whole lot of sense for several reasons.
Second. 2008). Krashen (2003) provides a useful representation of language acquisition in his “input hypothesis. Gottardo. Thomas & Collier. the parents speak to their children in Spanish. we sever parent-child communication if parents are made to feel guilty for communicating in the home language. If parents speak English. That’s fine for giving a child 38 . “If i represents the last rule we have acquired. and not too far above (i + 10). We know of several children in the intermediate and secondary grades who are unable to speak to their parents in their home language. Yan. 2003. how do we move from i to i + 1. a child’s foundation in the home language. the input has to be just slightly above the level of language acquisition that the student currently has for the student to acquire new language. & Connors. will need to communicate using English slightly above the level that their children already have. Instead. evidence suggests that maintaining the home language reading skills increases reading skills and vocabulary in English (Pichette. saying. 4). This is true regardless of native language similarities or dissimilarities to English (Chan. where i + 1 is the next structure we are ready to acquire? The input hypothesis claims that we move from i to i + 1 by understanding input containing i + 1” (p. then that scenario is clearly not going to help the child. If this hypothesis is true (and in light of theories by Lev Vygotsky and Jean Piaget). On top of that. Not too far below (i – 10). Segalowitz. What’s more likely is that students will surpass their parents’ levels of English acquisition within a very short time. refer to Cummins et al. and the children respond in English. (2005). or the student learns nothing. who oftentimes speak very little English themselves but who can be truly helpful in their children’s language acquisition process. Plus.” He uses the concept of i + 1. Siegel.The Language-Rich Classroom An In-Depth Look For a reader-friendly article that provides snapshots of students’ experiences as well as strategies for bringing the home language into the classroom through student-created materials. & Wade-Woolley. Roberts. then ELLs’ parents. most parents of ELLs wouldn’t be able to do this. the English that they speak is minimal. 2004. we’ve probably compounded the problem by inadvertently making parents feel disempowered and even guilty over being unable to help their child. 2001. or the student has no comprehension of what is being said. the stronger and more quickly he or she will acquire a second language. 1997). If we are asking parents to speak to their child in English and the English that parents use amounts to i – 10. So. In our experience. In addition.
But for a student who has Recommended Resources Reading A–Z is an electronic subscription service never developed the concept and is only that. so in the case of pain. the concept is not backs. Concepts. the desire to have an important. For example. These concepts are linguistically dependent in that they require quite a bit of context set up before they can be understood. books home. a teacher at Burrowes Elementary advise that “it is extremely important that School. For more information on Reading All of these reasons point to one concluA–Z. Simple translation is all that’s required.readinga-z. Spanish. Compared to pain. the term democracy takes a lot more explaining.” All of the ELL teachers in our district have a one language to another. At some point. all a teacher has to do is support them in relabeling the terms—for example.Developing Academic Language commands or asking basic questions. analytical conversation will be hampered by the limited comprehension of academic vocabulary that the child and parents have in their weaker language. we ought to encourage continual primary language growth at home in ways that support the ability of students to think critically and participate in deeply analytical conversations at home and in the home language. But what about the concept of democracy or photosynthesis? Would these concepts have been developed for you without the aid of language? Probably not. When we fiction and nonfiction printable books in English. For a student who has developed these concepts and terms in the home language. 43). relabeling from democracia to democracy. for about the same price as 10 trade paperconversationally fluent. you understood the basic concept of pain without needing the label pain attached. Instead. Thomas and Collier (1997) Vicki Legath. we also withhold important concept that are read at home can still be revisited in the classroom. I know it was a helpful many other linguistic skills. transfer from tool for encouraging and reinforcing reading. Third. subscription. like their take-home readers. but this type of interaction will only go so far. the concept was not so linguistically dependent. think about how many concepts you’ve learned where language was critical to understanding them. This resource provides an withhold first-language development from easy way of sending Spanish literature home. even if you don’t speak Spanish.000 likely to be as easily learned.com. sion: we should encourage parents to use 39 . development. gives teachers access to over 2. check out its Web site: www. especially loves the nonfiction readers cognitive development continue through a for building background knowledge on highly engaging topics. “I gave my students ‘Bedside child’s first language at least through the Book Baskets’ which they kept at home to store elementary years” (p. and French. students by encouraging English use in the Because the books also come in English.
Young. a lot of times they want to run up and show you what they’ve done. and it was almost like they could have cared less that I was there. The teacher will want to strategically embed this topic in a unit that she believes will so impassion students that they will want to try writing effective persuasive letters. This authenticity provides a perfect opportunity for a teacher to demonstrate effective and ineffective ways to write persuasive letters. They wanted to get down on paper what they were thinking about. Over the years. As a result of this authentic real-world activity. Let’s consider a class learning about persuasive letter writing. we should be making overt. Jennifer Reinhart. Incorporating Relevance and Authenticity Students learn best when they want to learn. assistant principal at Washington Elementary School. 2008. and for students to excel in the art of persuasive letter writing for real-life purposes. We can do that by injecting our curriculum with authenticity and relevance. You know. then do your students a favor by spreading the word. In this book. an internal change. Rumberger. 2008).The Language-Rich Classroom and maintain the home language. We’re always surprised by how few teachers and administrators know this fact. because it was meaningful for them. We will define authenticity as the ability to immerse the students in real-world experiential activities. If this is the case in your school. It was an internal motivation for them. intentional efforts at promoting literacy in the home language by stocking our libraries with primary language resources aimed at facilitating and furthering this effort at home. we will define relevance as the students’ understanding that the information they’re learning is important to them for their own intrinsic reasons. They were driven to do that. authenticity and relevance have become the focus of dropout prevention initiatives in the nation as well as worldwide (Klein. it goes without saying that an important aspect of our jobs as educators is to get students to want to learn. So. But it wasn’t like that. These studies report relevance as one of the critical measures for stemming the flow of dropouts in schools where teachers present materials in meaningful ways. said the following after visiting a lesson designed using these CHATS principles: It was an internal desire. On the contrary. but they didn’t have to show it to anyone. 40 . 2008. they see the relevance in learning to write persuasive letters well. We do students a grave disservice when we strip them of their use of the home language by encouraging their parents not to use it.
close to half (47 percent) of teens cited boredom and disengagement as the number one reason for dropping out (Bridgeland. a study that surveyed 470 dropouts nationwide. in Tanner’s (1990) study. In the report entitled The Silent Epidemic. not just for the purposes of learning to read 41 . “four out of five (81 percent) said that there should be more opportunities for real-world learning and some in the focus groups called for more experiential learning” (Bridgeland et al. In this study. I’m never going to be there. According to one student. Several students also used the word rushed to describe the pace at which material was being introduced. push. dropouts “objected to particular teachers. iv). The first of five recommendations in The Silent Epidemic to prevent dropout states. p. push all year long. 32). of the students surveyed. “Improve teaching and curricula to make school more relevant and engaging and enhance the connection between school and work. 80). and that contained opportunities for debate and discussion” (Certo. informational science texts were read. teachers in general. 33).’ They described their preferred instructional strategies as ones that were hands-on. You know how I said I like to take my time to learn what they’re doing? There’s none of that with the SOL [Standards of Learning]. specific subjects.” The report goes on to say that. the irrelevance of the curriculum as a whole. “They [the teachers] have really rushed us. p. DiIulio. Purcell-Gates. & Morison. researchers found an unintended negative consequence of a heavy emphasis on broad curricular coverage to meet academic standards: “the quality of instruction is less engaging to students” (p.” Tanner quotes one male respondent as saying. the acquisition of skills doesn’t have to come at the cost of authenticity. It’s just push. Authentic activities engaged students in meaningful reading and writing. and no breaks or anything like that” (p. Cauley. This need was echoed by another study with high school students in Virginia where researchers found that “high school students in this sample had a clear preference for instructional activities that could be described as ‘authentic. 2006. In authentic classrooms. Yet. 26).Developing Academic Language Several studies have cited a lack of relevance as a major cause for students dropping out. so why should I know about it?” (p. 2008. “I’m never going to go to Spain or use what I learnt about Spain or Europe or nothin’. Similarly. Duke. and Martineau (2007) studied the impact of authenticity and explicit teaching on learning to read and write. & Chafin.. Moxley. such as the creation of a brochure as requested by a nature preserve after a class trip. 2006).
these researchers found that it was the degree of authenticity to which 2nd and 3rd grade children were exposed that was “impressively related to their degree of growth in their abilities to both comprehend and produce such texts. explained how CHATS has helped content teachers step outside their sole focus—content— to shift toward helping students see the relevance in the content: In secondary schools. Jennifer Reinhart. the assistant principal of Washington Elementary. the content is one piece to consider. it’s often difficult for content teachers in the secondary grades to step back and see that their students don’t quickly share their passion for the content area being taught. such instruction is what education ought to be for all students. McCaskey High School. have special needs. described this phenomenon when discussing her observations of teachers using the CHATS framework. but when you’re a student sitting in a classroom. or are native English speakers. other than passing a test or answering comprehension questions)” (p. However. In addition. you can know the Battle of the Bulge or the Spanish Armada Conquest. you’re thinking ‘Who cares? What reference does that have to me? How should I think about that?’ CHATS reminds teachers of the different areas that they have to address in their effective teaching of their area of specialty. because they love their content.. and because she believes that to be true.g. but in order to teach it well. but “to acquire information about the natural world that one needs or wants to acquire for other than school-only purposes (e. whether they are ELLs. You read in research here and there where they tell the teacher “This is the gifted class.The Language-Rich Classroom or to answer questions at the end of a chapter. . Although authenticity and relevance are important for meaningful teaching. 41). they end up doing amazing.” and it really may be a special education class or a class of low achievers. the teachers focus on the C—the area of specialty. I’ve seen more engagement on the part of the teachers and the students using this method. you have to plan with the five components in mind.” These findings led the researchers to “support the theoretical claim that language forms are best learned within the context of authentic use” (p. Typically. That’s why they became teachers. chapter and verse. It was the teacher’s belief 42 . you could love mathematics. Gus Patukas. For example. . Teaching in authentic and relevant ways requires that we trust that every student has an inherent need and desire to learn and connect with a deeper understanding of life and the world around us. . 15). But the good thing about the framework is that in order to teach well. a literacy coach at J. To me that’s what this was. So. It expects that we create high expectations and allow students to pursue questions that will immerse them in real-life learning. it is the type of education that we think of when we think of gifted education. P.
2002. and then they got it. p. students with special needs. The successful approaches encouraged students to work collaboratively and interact in a socioculturally supportive environment. They didn’t talk down to them because they were language learners. with examples of how teachers can use them in their planning. CHATS: Five Tools for Supporting Academic Language Growth in the Classroom The CHATS framework helps teachers effectively meet the needs of ELLs. [teachers] talked to them in a way that they truly believed these are really intelligent kids. In light of research like this. In contrast. I wanted my children to be in those classes. rather than passive. And I felt like when I walked into those classes . . classrooms where teaching is based on best practices that help all students simultaneously develop language and comprehend content. Each letter in the acronym represents an important ingredient in making content and language accessible to ELLs: C = content reading strategies H = opportunities for higher-order thinking skills development A = assessment that is in the hands of the teacher T = total participation techniques S = scaffolded instruction Thomas and Collier (1997) found that students whose teachers had experienced intensive staff development programs in current approaches with ELLs progressed more quickly over the long term compared to students in classes taught using traditional methods. they modeled it. . the CHATS framework provides teachers with theoretically sound ways to create active. “when English language learners (ELLs) initially attend segregated.Developing Academic Language system. and native English speakers in mixed multilingual classrooms. They maintained the high expectations. they maintain or widen the gap in later years” (Thomas & Collier. 313). these students do not close the achievement gap after reclassification and placement in the English mainstream. remedial programs. Instead. 43 . Each of the following five chapters will focus on one of the components in the framework.
As the pressure to perform well on standardized reading and math tests increases. the spotlight on the things that matter to many students becomes dimmer and dimmer. Yet. so that they can experience success with informational texts. and you’ll often be disappointed by what you discover.3 C = Content Reading Strategies In CHATS. the C stands for content reading strategies. We are pretty convinced that children do not come to school with a burning passion to conjugate a verb or an overwhelming desire to write a persuasive essay. The same can be said for social studies in elementary classrooms. because it is within the content reading that students will experience much of their frustration and where gaps in comprehension of academic language are most noticeable. What happens to the water in puddles after it rains? What makes volcanoes erupt? How come that boat can hold so much weight and not sink? Ask elementary-age children what their favorite subject is. 44 . The C portion of the five-piece framework aims at supporting ELLs and native English speakers alike. content classrooms like science and social studies often contain some of the best opportunities for language acquisition. The things that matter to them are usually not related to how grammar works or how to identify a prefix and a suffix. Investigate a little further as to the amount of science taught in their classrooms. Instead. the things that matter to them are questions of wonder related to how the world works. and many will say science.
but to the full array of academic needs of students” (p. and plans a balanced curriculum that pays attention not just to English. With appropriate teacher scaffolding. After exit. Unfortunately. ELLs in the grade-level classroom can encounter rich academic language development opportunities that are often absent in pullout ESL programs. Our goal in CHATS classrooms is to bathe students in academic language and complex linguistic features in ways that are relevant and authentic. so that acquiring 45 . at the point where many students struggle most with the demands of the academic curriculum. their performance becomes stagnant or even slips. “A much more sensible policy would be one that sets aside the entire spectrum of the elementary grades as the realistic range within which English acquisition is accomplished. and Witt (2000) investigated the amount of time to acquire academic language and concluded that the expectation of English acquisition happening through short-term. Hakuta. 2002). Moreover. What’s called for is a schoolwide effort toward providing the necessary scaffolds for success for all students (see Chapter 7 for more on scaffolding). interactive. 14). intensive.Content Reading Strategies Content and Language Together Language is best acquired in the content classroom. which frequently focus on making students conversational. Butler. if not greater. English language learners who have attained conversational proficiency and have been exited from ESL pullout programs are often seen by teachers as not needing linguistic support once they pass the most obvious initial stages of language development. In other words. when in fact the need for support is just as great. Often these students are summarily dumped in grade-level classrooms and written off as no longer needing support in language development. Attention to “the full array of academic needs” of our students is precisely what the CHATS framework aims to give. the achievement gap between ELLs and native English speakers described in Chapter 1 is not closed but instead widens (Thomas & Collier. and engaging content lessons presented in ways that facilitate the acquisition of academic language. language-focused programming is misguided and unrealistic. they no longer receive the linguistic supports necessary for success. Language becomes a natural by-product of well-planned. what’s likely to happen once ELLs exit pullout programs is that they will have reached their highest level of academic performance at the point of exit.
Here’s How Found Poems Work 1. for the most part. it’s vital that teachers use content reading strategies in their lessons and teach students how to use them. In Chapter 7 on scaffolding. Comprehension Strategies: Teacher-Mediated Comprehension Because academic language is more likely to be found in books than in the imprecise language of conversations or even teacher lectures.The Language-Rich Classroom academic language and proficiency in reading and writing becomes. we discuss in greater detail some strategies for engaging student interest in meaningful topics of study. Ask students to underline 50 words that were significant to understanding the passage. In this section. simply ask students to choose any set number of words or sentences from a passage. Or. 2. The two elements contained in the C portion of the CHATS framework consist of the following: • Comprehension strategies: Teacher-mediated comprehension of informational texts • Metacognition: Student-mediated comprehension of informational texts Both of these elements function best under the umbrella of authenticity and relevance. The resulting list of words (isolated or chosen from connected phrases) is then the found poem. These strategies provide for both individual comprehension and student interaction. They can record them using no frills or adding creative touches by repeating phrases. 46 . Teachers can provide activities that help students focus on comprehension of texts as opposed to simply decoding their way through texts. a by-product of the activities inherent in our classrooms. we present and explain teaching strategies for helping students make sense of informational texts. Found Poems Found poems (initial developer unknown) are an excellent way of placing the focus on comprehension once students have completed an initial reading of a content passage. Ask students to write the words on a separate piece of paper.
Viola. The final product makes it clear to teachers whether students understand what they’ve read. People create governments to secure rights. Ask students to share their poems with at least two others with whom they normally don’t sit. fortunes and sacred honor. Congress promised to support independence with their lives. 1998. Here are examples of completed found poems based on readings about the Declaration of Independence and Frederick Douglass (original readings from which found poems were derived. The king had not allowed laws necessary for the public good. Students get to the essence of what the article is all about with just a few key words. The focus is entirely on the students’ comprehension of the text. As students share 47 .Content Reading Strategies 3. pp. 212. Once students have initially read the text. as opposed to their writing ability. the activity facilitates a review of the text and asks students to analyze the words and their significance to the main point of the passage. 404–405). with minimal need for editing. soul. The Declaration of Independence It began with the statement that all people have certain rights. and spirit Freedom bound—Not afraid to die Freedom bound—Fought for two hours—Covey gave up Freedom bound—The turning point Freedom bound—Escaped Freedom bound—A free man! Why Found Poems Are Good for ELLs Found poems are a low-risk activity for ELLs. Both ELLs and native English speakers are likely to experience the same type of success with this type of poem. Frederick Douglass Freedom bound—Barely 16 Freedom bound—Headed for trouble Freedom bound—Learned to read Freedom bound—A slave—had to be broken Freedom bound—Edward Covey Freedom bound—Violence Fear and Overwork Freedom bound—Frederick—Received his first flogging Freedom bound—Broken in body.
assign a historical figure or scientific object on which to write an “I am” poem. After students have finished a reading. I am (two characteristics you have) I wonder (something you’re curious about) I hear (an imaginary sound) I see (an imaginary sight) I want (a desire) I am (the first line of the poem repeated) I pretend (something you pretend) I feel (a feeling about something imaginary) I touch (an imaginary touch) I worry (something that really bothers you) I cry (something that saddens you) I am (the first line of the poem repeated) I understand (something you know is true) I say (something you believe in) I dream (something you believe in) I try (something you really make an effort about) I hope (something you hope for) I am (the first line of the poem repeated) 48 . they quickly catch on that they can add artistic flair to their poems simply by repeating a certain phrase.The Language-Rich Classroom their poems with others. Content-Based “I Am” Poems “I am” poems (initial developer unknown) are typically used as a way for students to introduce themselves and for teachers to build community in the classroom. Here’s How “I Am” Poems Work 1. as with the phrase freedom bound in one of the example poems. but they are also great ways of getting students to think about content in meaningful ways.
Ask students to share their completed poems with at least two others with whom they normally don’t sit. Once again. the prompts in the “I am” poems elicit responses from students so that what they’ve learned is simply “drawn out” of them. the focus is placed on comprehension of concepts learned. And whereas asking students to share what they’ve learned may result in blank stares. Science Example Social Studies Example I am a dormant volcano I wonder when my time will come I hear a rumbling beneath the earth’s surface I see the clouds out of my vast crater I want to explode! I am a dormant volcano I pretend I could shoot lava out of the earth I feel the heat beneath me I touch the land all around I worry I will never breathe fire I cry because I want to breathe fire I am a dormant volcano I understand that it has been hundreds of years I say.Content Reading Strategies 2. join me I dream that I will fill the earth I try to explode I hope I can someday feel again I am a dormant volcano I am a wealthy Pompeii villager I wonder what the future of this great city holds I hear an explosion I see pumice. The poems also allow students to place themselves in the shoes of historical figures or to deeply understand and analyze scientific concepts. come on magma. Completed poems give evidence of student comprehension and allow students to synthesize what they have learned into a writing piece that engages their emotions. ash and panic I want to escape this catastrophe I am a wealthy Pompeii villager I pretend I have a secure future I feel sad that I may not be remembered I touch the freshly painted frescoes I worry that no one will ever see them I cry for the children I am a wealthy Pompeii villager I understand that our city will vanish I say: We must run! I dream that one day. we’ll be found I try to think about the good times I hope that some will escape I am a wealthy Pompeii villager Why Content-Based “I Am” Poems Are Good for ELLs “I am” poems are another low-risk activity that doesn’t require outstanding skills in expository writing. 49 .
Kelly. we have found concept mapping to be helpful in teaching any content area with students from grades 3 through adulthood. Studies linked to concept mapping attest to its effectiveness in helping students deeply understand scientific concepts (Güvenç & Ün Açikgöz. Starr & Krajcik. 2007. Kinchin. 1987). 1990).1). Here’s How Concept Mapping Works Note: You’ll need scissors. concept mapping has been researched primarily in the area of teaching science. 2007. Martin.The Language-Rich Classroom Figure 3.1 Handout of Concept Cards Volcano Hot Melted Rock Rock Destructive Planet Magma Dormant Volcanoes Ring of Fire Erupting Mountain Ash Deadly Hardened Rock Cools Explosion Pacific Ocean Lava Blast Deadly Gases Earth’s Crust Create New Land Lava Active Volcanoes Extinct Volcanoes Concept Mapping Developed by Novak and Gowin (1984). 1994. 50 . and a teacher-prepared handout of concept cards (Figure 3. 2000. In addition to science. glue sticks. although its use has been studied with younger students who have also benefited (Stice & Alvarez.
using it as a resource to guide them in understanding the precise nature of the relationships between the concepts. we believe.2. It is useful to designate one card as the concept map title. A variation to the teacher-created handout of concept cards is to give students blank cards and have them create their own concept cards based on the themes in the readings that they feel are the most important. 2. For ELLs.” Figure 3. 4. 3.Content Reading Strategies 1.2. Ask students to cut out their concept cards and arrange them into categories. writing the linkages is a scaffold for informational writing. shows concept cards that could have been placed in several different places and still have made sense. Once the students have categorized their concept cards. students can make any final changes and then glue down their concept cards. The map can also serve as an assessment tool for teachers and as a reference or study guide for students. The best part of concept mapping. Students should connect the categories with words and phrases so that they can read through the concept map without ever leaving the page. the title is “Volcanoes. By the time students are finished with the concept maps.” If your classroom still has an overhead projector. though concept maps are useful for any type of student. The first thing that we notice when students receive a handout of concept cards is that they usually have a vague understanding of how the cards fit into categories. connecting the cards using words or phrases. But when students are asked to complete step 4. for example. and on the connections inherent in what they are reading. is found in step 4. In the example in Figure 3. Why Concept Mapping Is Good for ELLs Concept maps are excellent tools for taking the focus off simply reading complex passages and placing it instead on understanding what students are reading. 51 . they have a very good understanding of what they’ve read and can coherently explain it to others. it also helps to make a transparency of the cards and model placement of the title and a few subcategories. Remind students that concept maps can be different and still be “right. ask them to share their concept map with two other people. After interacting with peers. this is usually when students will refer back to the text.
2 Volcanoes Concept Map 52 .The Language-Rich Classroom Figure 3.
read to find answers. This step forces them to discuss the events or concepts and solidify the concepts in their mind. recite the 53 . It emphasizes comprehension of informational reading and allows students to go back and fix any misunderstandings or forgotten parts. The scribe takes notes with about 10 facts identified (or whatever number seems reasonable). Here’s How the Guided Reading Procedure Works 1. and the group verifies the information and corrects any misinformation. cited in Manzo & Manzo.Content Reading Strategies Guided Reading Procedure (GRP) The guided reading procedure (Manzo. turn headings into questions. 207). The group then places the information in the sequential order in which it was presented. The procedure for GRP. 5. 3. Why the Guided Reading Procedure Is Good for ELLs The GRP allows students to collaboratively review what they’ve read four different ways. asks students to survey a reading. The material is reviewed four times and thus represents a great use of class time for the teacher. When they’re finished. Responding to Headings The SQ3R Study strategy. The reading is again flipped over. . students read the passage. students may say little or nothing on the first invitation to recall and recite what they have read. . Manzo and Manzo (1990) provide this tip for teachers who are uncomfortable with silence: “In a typical GRP lesson. developed by Robinson (1946). In small groups of three or four. 2. 1990) is an activity that gets students to interact and review informational texts that they’ve read. 4. the flow of the language and thought will begin” (p. The small group identifies things that they remember about the passage. which the scribe writes down. This step causes students to analyze the importance of what they’ve learned and narrow it down. they turn the passage over. is as follows. If you can force yourself to wait silently for a few (seemingly interminable) seconds. with some modifications. 1975. Members add any new information that they feel was important but left out. The group decides what the main point of the article is and narrows it down to one sentence. .
Turning the headings into questions causes ELLs to read for a purpose. and then review what they’ve learned in the form of notes. 2. The ensuing interactions with classmates allow students to verify and fine-tune how they answered their questions. Students share answers in small groups of two to four. Why Responding to Headings Is Good for ELLs Strong readers will naturally go through this process as they read. filling in their answers on the right side of the T-chart (Figure 3. In small groups of three or four. Ask students to turn the headings into questions and then write the questions down on the left side of a T-chart. By writing down the questions and the answers. Each student passes his or her paper to the left. students read the text and then do a quickwrite (see Chapter 6) of approximately three minutes regarding anything related to what they just read. This frequently used strategy met with success in many classrooms when it was not overused (the same would be true for any strategy). Tell students that they may keep it informal and ignore perfect spelling and grammar in this context. 2. Here’s How Responding to Headings Works 1. Now.The Language-Rich Classroom answers out loud. 2004) are a great way of getting students to interactively react to what they’ve read. We’ve adapted it here to simply focus on turning the headings into questions and then. making this a total participation technique. in pairs or small groups. ELLs maintain their focus while reading.3). Here’s How Written Conversations Work 1. but not all readers understand this important fact. reviewing responses to the questions. Everyone participates at the same time. 54 . Written Conversations Written conversations (Daniels & Zemelman. Students read to answer the questions. 3. Ask all students to read their classmate’s quickwrite and respond in writing (no talking). as well as a great way to debrief what students have read. each person should have a peer’s quick-write. Headings alert readers of what to expect.
55 .3 Responding to Headings Responding to Headings Headings into Questions Answers to Questions Source: Adapted from “SQ3R Study Strategy” in Effective Study by F.Content Reading Strategies Figure 3. Robinson. P. New York: Harper. 1946.
and all students get to process collectively what they’ve learned. For example. they read a peer’s response. Students are then given liberty to talk about the quick-writes and the reading materials. the teacher or another student can act as a “Meet the Characters” talk show facilitator. Why Written Conversations Are Good for ELLs This activity is engaging and allows for students to have a means of expression. so that they can re-enact a specific point in history with historical accuracy.4) and ask them to research the information surrounding the event. Historical (or Literary) Role-Play A historical role-play lets students place themselves in the shoes of whomever they are studying. After the notes have been circulated and added to by each group member. give all of the other students a presentation grid (described next in this chapter). Here’s How the Historical Role-Play Works 1. it’s always exciting to get the original note back and see how others have responded. the papers are passed to their original owner and read by the owner. 4. 2. with the image being the famous painting George Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze.The Language-Rich Classroom 3. Once students are ready to present. Provide students with the prep sheet (Figure 3. All students get to react to what they’ve read at the same time. Daniels and Zemelman (2004) call this activity “legalized note-passing. which elicits more feedback from them. At the end of the role-play. asking questions from the prep sheet or taking questions from audience members. the theme might be the American Revolution. Assign small groups of students to a specific event centered around a theme that’s being studied.” Just when students think they have nothing more to say. The role-play prep sheet scaffolds the experience by prompting students to find essential information for effectively conducting their role-play. so that they can record 56 . Try to find images that will help the characters visualize their role. 3. and the event might be the crossing of the Delaware River. At the end of the activity.
I would choose to change . Is there someone with whom your character didn’t get along. who will also be appearing in the role play? Explain why the historical figures didn’t get along and how your character will respond to seeing this person in the role play. This person was alive around the years . .Content Reading Strategies Figure 3. . What are three open-ended questions that you would like to be asked by the facilitator? The facilitator may not actually ask you these questions but might find them helpful. Most memorable events in this historical figure’s life: Little-known facts about this historical figure: The defining moment in this historical figure’s life: My favorite and least favorite qualities about this person: If I could change history by having this person do something different in his or her life. 57 .4 Historical Role-Play Prep Sheet The historical figure I will be role-playing is .
Why Presentation Grids Are Good for ELLs It’s hard to listen in your second language. 2. events. If the nonpresenters have empty boxes. Presentation Grids Have you ever noticed that while one small group of students is presenting on a topic. and personalities surrounding the event that they will be role-playing. Students often end up going above and beyond what simple textbook readings would have required of them. Here’s How Presentation Grids Work 1.. remembering the events in more detail than if they had simply read about them.g. the rest of the class sits disengaged and uninterested? Presentation grids scaffold the experience for the nonpresenters so that they can actively collect valuable information about the presentation. they end up reading a variety of informational texts to gather needed information. Create a presentation grid that contains questions that would apply to any of the presenters. Presentation grids help all students remain actively engaged in the presentations. as all have a specific task to do. the nonpresenters can look for characteristics of the historical figures being presented. The 58 . As students become excited about playing their roles well. While a person or group is presenting. Why the Historical Role-Play Is Good for ELLs This activity engages students in wanting to know the facts. such as science.The Language-Rich Classroom essential information about the characters and ask any pertinent questions at the end of the role-play. findings). If the presentation is a role play. If the presentations are related to another content area. Questions should also be recorded as the presentations take place. instead of passively observing.5). 3. nonpresenters “collect data” by filling in the boxes of the grid with information related to the prompts on the top of the grid (see Figure 3. then at the end of the presentation. they have something from which to ask the presenters pointed questions. hypothesis. then the nonpresenters can be looking for common elements that are to be present in all of the presentations (e.
Figure 3.5 Presentation Grid Presentation Title and Type ___________________________________ Famous Events That This Person Was Involved With Most Memorable Event(s) in This Person’s Life Interesting or LittleKnown Facts About This Person Questions I Have for This Person Character and Dates Name Name Name Name Name Content Reading Strategies 59 .
this activity allows the teacher to quickly determine what the students know about the topic and what misunderstandings 60 . in fact. 5. without any discussion on the topic. Why List-Group-Label Is Good for ELLs List-group-label provides several benefits for teachers and students. The original activity has been slightly modified in our instructions. 3. List-Group-Label The strategy of list-group-label (Taba. 1967) is an excellent way for teachers to assess prior knowledge so that they can then plan to build on a group’s prior knowledge before a unit begins.g.. In small groups of four or so. After every word is placed in a category. Here’s How List-Group-Label Works 1. students produce a key in the corner of the paper where a label or title is provided for every category and the color that it represents. Words are circled or highlighted using different-colored crayons or markers to indicate found categories. Note: If you don’t have crayons or markers. students have a set time (e. With a diverse class with diverse experiences. If they weren’t. Students then group the words or concepts into categories. 2. relevant to the topic and a good fit for the categories that they had originally chosen. This guideline encourages students to discuss the concepts. After reading the assigned passage. groups revisit their lists and verify that the terms were. the terms are crossed out or modified so that they fit with the topic.The Language-Rich Classroom grids keep students focused on what’s being presented and allow for students to develop and record questions as they think of them. Every word must be placed in a given category. 10 minutes) to brainstorm 30 words or concepts that they think deal with the topic to be studied. and no two words can share categories. Small groups can then conclude the activity by sharing their categories with the class. students can simply write out their words in lists of like categories. 4. One student in the group is the scribe and writes down the words or concepts on a piece of paper.
Here’s How the Relevance Wheel Works 1.Content Reading Strategies need to be addressed. the groups have completed their list.6 shows a relevance wheel with World War II as the event in the center and with some of the major outcomes listed on the spokes. Then students are broken up into smaller groups and make categories by working off the list from the blackboard. English language learners can feel empowered by making contributions that serve the group’s purpose. this reaction triggers thoughts in others. then a whole-class brainstorm can be done. Write the event at the center of a wheel and ask students to tell of the outcomes of the event. In 61 . and before they know it. The relevance wheel is a simple strategy that we developed for helping students see the connections between what they are learning in science or social studies and where they are now. There are several ways to do this activity. Students are often surprised by how much they know about a topic. But as soon as a few contributions are made. Usually that reason is because the topic has deeply influenced their life or has the potential to do so. It requires whole-group modeling the first few times that it’s done in a classroom. It begins with a graphic initiated by the teacher at the chalkboard and completed by the students individually and discussed in small groups. Relevance Wheel There’s usually a reason for the things we ask students to learn while they’re in school. When students are asked to create a list of words. If the teacher believes that students have very little background knowledge on a topic. and then the teacher can gradually release more responsibility to the students to add their own information to their relevance wheels in subsequent lessons. our suggestion of having small groups originate the lists may provide more interaction and contributions from ELLs. Although this approach is more common. where the teacher writes the students’ ideas (right or wrong) on the blackboard. Figure 3. The collective knowledge and interaction between the students in the groups also set the stage for the topic to be more formally introduced by the teacher. their first reaction is often to simply sit and stare at each other. Write these outcomes on the spokes of the wheel.
g. 2.6 Relevance Wheel 62 . soil).. with discoveries (soils on the bottom of hills get more water than soils at the top) listed on the spokes. the center of the wheel would be the topic at hand (e. In small groups. the students reflect on how the event has affected them. 3. The outer edge of the wheel is where students can address how the discoveries might affect them (which might be better soil for planting a tree?). Figure 3. Ask students to individually hand-copy the wheel on paper and reflect on and write in the outer edge of the wheel the direct effect of the outcomes on their way of life.The Language-Rich Classroom science.
Figure 3. Causal Chart Causal charts are simple tools for helping students see the relationships between a cause and its effect in history. with diverse classrooms come diverse perspectives. We’ve included two examples of causal charts. one for science teachers (Figure 3. science. Discussions on personal relevance can lead to students having an opportunity to experience broader viewpoints and experiences than those shared by others with a similar culture.7 Scientific Causal Chart Topic: Scientific Discoveries Possible Impact on Our Lives 63 .8). all students need to be able to see the relevance in what they are learning.7) and one for history teachers (Figure 3. Additionally.Content Reading Strategies Why the Relevance Wheel Is Good for ELLs As discussed in Chapter 2. The interaction between the students also brings to light new insights where relevance may not be clear when it comes to some of the topics being studied. The relevance wheel causes these connections to be made clear. and literature.
Ask students to list the events or discoveries on the left side of the chart. 2. the causal chart takes the cause and results a step further by asking students to reflect on the unresolved issues and effects that are present today.8 Historical Causal Chart Event in History: Causes Results Effects Today Here’s How the Causal Chart Works 1. In the history example. 64 . noting these on the right side. Why the Causal Chart Is Good for ELLs Causal charts allow students to understand the relevance of scientific discoveries or historical events in their lives today.The Language-Rich Classroom Figure 3. Ask them to think through results and effects.
Once time lines are completed. Students think about and record their predictions in the bottom box for how this event affected later events in history. They should choose the most significant events from their unit and put them in sequential order. Choose a specific number of events to have students prioritize. and students will have reviewed previous events several times over the span of the semester or year by repeatedly revisiting the time line.9). 3. students are asked to think critically about how nothing happens in isolation. This historical event will surely affect later events. Add to the time line after every unit. history lessons seem disconnected from each other. Ask students to draw a symbol that represents each event and then tell why they felt the event was important enough to include. followed by a whole-class review. emphasizing connectedness as you begin or end another unit. 5. Historical events have benefits and consequences that are often felt for hundreds and thousands of years. By the end of the year. by hanging a different student’s time line next to the last one chosen or by taping the ends of their old time lines to their new ones.Content Reading Strategies Time Lines Too often. 2. Review all of the time lines sequentially. students share them in pairs or small groups. Time lines visually facilitate students’ understandings of the flow of events in history. Why Time Lines Are Good for ELLs By having to narrow the choice of important events down to the five or six most important events in the readings or units. Ask students to write the number on the space left blank in the directions of their time line activity (Figure 3. The creation of a symbol to represent that event further causes students to analyze and evaluate how this event might be captured in a nonverbal format. 4. you should have a sequential time line that spans the period allotted to your course. ELLs are being asked to weigh and evaluate the significance of each event in history. 65 . so that they fold out accordion-style. Start a time line chain of events by selecting one student’s time line (choose a different student every time) to hang on the wall. By predicting how the events affected later events in history. Here’s How Time Lines Work 1.
9 The Language-Rich Classroom Time Line Activity Instructions: Create a time line using the most important events in this reading. and tell why it is important. tell how you think these events affected later events in history.66 Figure 3. create and draw a symbol for each event. Next to each date. . Prediction: In the box below.
Content Reading Strategies Although units and courses tend to follow each other in sequential order. 418). and only 14% of the children shared expository text that had been assigned by a teacher. schools deem important enough to cover and who are hearing of the events for the very first time. as opposed to books or text that had been assigned. we’ve noticed that as students become engaged in a topic. 67 . In their study on reading motivation. at home. rainforests. The books may contain similar content to what’s in a content textbook. . students are encouraged to understand the big picture and the relevance of why the event is significant in the context of history. they will voluntarily pick up and sign out an informational text sitting in the back of the room and read it at leisure. They excitedly share new discoveries from their books with the rest of the class. specific events and authors. students often fail to see the connectedness between these events. It appears the children were motivated to read when they were given an opportunity to decide which expository text they would like to read” (p. “76% of the children shared expository text that they had chosen themselves. This is true whether they’re learning about spiders.S. In our own experiences setting up book tables. This may especially be true for ELLs who are unfamiliar with the history that U. The Informational Book Table An easy way to get ELLs and all students excited about reading informational texts is to introduce the topic as a unit and then set up an informational book table in the back of the room for students to leisurely browse during free moments. Edmunds and Bauserman (2006) found that children tended to want to discuss expository texts that they had chosen. Student choice is another feature that makes these books more popular than typical textbooks. or anything presented as a larger theme. The informational book table should have several library books covering the topic to be learned. but the fact that they feature beautiful photography and art and are attractively displayed makes them much more appealing to students. . Motivation to read is high when well-written informational texts are attractively displayed and introduced within an exciting context of wanting to know more about a topic that students find relevant. By connecting the event into a meaningful context of events that preceded and followed these outcomes. . or during silent reading times.
The Trifecta Trifecta is a term we use whenever all students are required to use the three domains of speaking. Here’s Why Quotable Quips Are Good for ELLs This activity adds motivation for any type of student. It doesn’t require mastery of informational writing skills. 3. whenever they have a two. and explain that comments they make regarding the texts (“Check out the mega-creepy spider on page 46!”) can be added to the existing quotable quips. As such. and it motivates and encourages students to read and share interesting parts of the text. Although this idea. Attach a long thin sheet of paper (about 4" 2 11". originally presented by Edmunds and Bauserman (2006). 2. Show students examples of the style of commentary typically made on DVD covers (“Entertainingly Hilarious!”) or book jackets (“If you liked Harry Potter. We suggest it as a way of encouraging written interactions among students in classrooms using informational book tables (the previous activity described). But a specific benefit for ELLs is that the quip is a low-risk activity. is not a content reading strategy. it allows for written interaction among classmates around the topic of expository texts. like those used for grocery lists) to the inside cover of informational texts sitting on the informational book table. Share quotable quips whenever there’s a break of a few minutes between transitions. You’ll notice that most of the activities described so far require that students overtly use at least these 68 . you’ll love The Dragons of Who-ville”). Teachers can highlight quotable quips fairly quickly. and writing in any activity. Here’s How Quotable Quips Work 1.The Language-Rich Classroom Quotable Quips A quotable quip is a one-sentence critique like those found on book jackets promoting books.to five-minute break in the day. we think it’s a great idea worth mentioning as a way of promoting the reading of informational texts. reading. it is a strategy for increasing student motivation in reading and for allowing students to briefly interact in writing about informational texts that they’ve read.
As a teacher. write it. we often have students get into groups and play the popular card game Concentration. This point is true in K–12 classrooms as well. We’ll provide ideas for ways to help students notice and make connections between what is in their texts and what is in their heads. How are you making your way through this book? Are you writing in it? If so. In this section. and speak it?” If not. chances are you can maximize content learning and language acquisition for your ELLs by adding the missing domain. Metacognition: Student-Mediated Comprehension In our classes at Millersville University. and one has very few pairs. then write about it. keeping track of the last six cards and their locations. or students’ understanding of how they learn best.” The reason that one student did better than the others is because of the use of a strategy that worked for that student. “I just tried to memorize them. that person explains the use of a specific strategy to determine where the cards were. and finally talk about it. we stop to tally up the results to see who got the most pairs. We’ll also look at ways students can analyze their own methods of learning and how they 69 . or are you flipping from graphic to graphic? Did you start with the table of contents and skip to the chapter you thought would be most relevant? Chances are that you attack informational texts with a strategy that has served you well. Ask yourself.Content Reading Strategies three domains of language. The student who got the fewest pairs usually says. do you have a unique note-taking style? Are you reading word for word. as evidenced by your current station in life—the fact that you’re reading this informational text by choice (we hope). When we ask why or how the winner knew where the pairs were. Students who are successful at reading informational texts are usually those who have found success with a specific type of strategy or a series of strategies that they’ve come to use regularly. “Do students get to read it. it’s always a good idea to view your activities through this lens after initial planning. or even using a mnemonic device. After a suitable amount of time. Inadvertently. This trifecta allows ELLs to review the content in multiple ways and refine and add to their understanding of the content being learned. The strategy might be visualizing the cards and their locations after the card has been turned back over. Most strategies ask students to first read information. we address metacognition. one person has most of the pairs.
so that they were able to discuss the differences between basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP). We also ought to teach students to trust their instincts when something is just not right in a reading and to stop and question why it doesn’t feel right. and how they might be able to tackle a challenge. it’s the questions we ask. as opposed to the solutions. Our goal should be to help students develop a reflective awareness of the learning process. it’s important to help students monitor their own comprehension by asking questions and providing time to reflect on the process of learning. It requires that students individually analyze how they learn best and what has worked for them in the past. but because no one strategy works for every student. Thus. 70 . we give students preprinted graphic organizers or preset criteria to classify information rather than letting them discover patterns based on criteria of their own. She actually presented her ELLs with language acquisition theory. Part of this sense of self-awareness may involve students’ understanding of the process of language acquisition and of their own progress in language development. Metacognition involves different processes for different students. we deprive them of the opportunities to develop their cognitive structures” (p. that can help students understand their own learning better. We would love to include a tidy three-step plan that magically allows for students to understand their own processes of learning. 36). She believes that this approach has helped them in their motivation to develop academic language and in their understanding that they are.The Language-Rich Classroom process information through strategies such as note taking and self-assessment in learning logs. Self-Awareness Garner (2008) discusses the importance of helping students uncover and develop their own cognitive structures or ways of processing information. Oftentimes. Yara Graupera-Richardson of Burrowes Elementary School helped her students understand the process and the difficulty that goes along with learning a second language. but unfortunately. it’s not that simple. “Too often. It may sound rather unstructured to help students develop such a sense of self-awareness. One thing that we can do for all students is help them develop their internal observation skills that allow them to reflect on understandings related to how they learn best and why certain tasks are difficult for them.
or the effort and strategies that students use. Self-Efficacy The first myth that we should make every effort to debunk with students is that school success is all about innate ability.” . capable of learning. At no point did we want to validate the false and damaging assumption that she was “bad at math. this is the conversation that ensued: 71 . But. and they think that’s why everything is so hard for them. The understanding of academic language proficiency and the impact that this proficiency has on performance is usually something known by teachers alone. The phrase “You’re so smart” ought to be banned from every teacher’s vocabulary and way of thinking. whereas previously she’d felt as though students had been attributing low performance to lack of innate ability.” Even that statement is reassuring. As teachers. . this year they’ve understood “No. however. with seemingly less effort. perseverance. They know how to develop CALP. you just need more time to learn the language.” Being “bad at math” assumes two things: (1) you were born bad at math. relies on their being able to assess and analyze their own progress and to be able to take proactive steps toward learning. That’s a big thing with ELLs. they say. When Gabriela came home a few weeks later announcing that she had gotten a 100 on her math test. too. long-term English learners have come to believe that they are somehow academically inferior to other children who have experienced more success than they have.Content Reading Strategies in fact. we found that her poor performance was usually due to her rushing through math assignments. “I just need to read more”. and it was so simple. Part of developing metacognition with ELLs. we want to place emphasis on self-efficacy. The one thing that really made a difference this year was letting the children know about their language proficiency levels up front. . . and strategies. A lot of times they feel like they are stupid in the regular classroom. we worked on two things: taking her time and checking her work. and not going back to double-check her work. This is also true for many other struggling students who have withstood repeated failure in schools. . So. “These are CALP words—I have to remember these. I think that’s the best thing I did this year. Our daughter came home one day muttering the dreaded phrase “I’m bad at math.” When we investigated the reasons for her struggling. and they say. Our focus should be on effort. missing key information in problems. . Too often. and (2) there’s nothing you can do about it. you’re not stupid. as opposed to innate ability or lack of innate ability.
the belief that intelligence is fixed and that there is little that students can do to affect performance resulted in a downward trend in student performance. 258). We even received e-mails referring back to this nugget of information. Even though we felt this point was only a minor part in our presentation on learning in a second language. student motivation. and learning (Blackwell. 1987. she is coming to realize that success is more about effort and perseverance than innate ability. 2008. Studies have found that the degree of self-efficacy that children have predicts healthy learning habits. during which we discussed the importance of parents teaching their children that success is more about effort and perseverance than innate ability. Trzesniewski. the effect was increased motivation and improved performance. What we hadn’t realized was that 72 . focusing on a key belief. 1989. can have a significant effect on motivation and achievement” (Blackwell et al. where students learned how the act of learning physiologically changes the brain and that students are ultimately in charge of this process. The researchers concluded that “this finding supports the contention that it was the incremental theory message [the belief that intelligence is malleable as opposed to fixed] in particular that was responsible for the achievement benefit . Bong. Through that experience and others like it. and continues to experience. Schunk. Once these 7th graders were taught that intelligence is malleable. Dad: High five. 2007. 2007. & Dweck. Dad: And? Gabriela: And because I checked my work. . you’re so smart!” But it was important to keep the focus on the effort and strategies that she’d implemented. 1991. You did a great job! It was tempting to say “Gabriela.. the belief that one is capable of learning and performing at a certain level. The decline in performance was reversed when 7th grade students were provided an intervention during an advisory period. 2003). In the research of Blackwell and colleagues. The success that Gabriela experienced. I got a 100 on my math test! Dad: Awesome! Why did you get a 100 on your math test? Gabriela: Because I took my time. This was a principle included in a parent workshop we conducted at a local suburban school. and confirms that even a brief targeted intervention. p.The Language-Rich Classroom Gabriela: Dad. was empowering. . we were repeatedly thanked by parents weeks after the workshop for the importance of this message. Much has been written on the topic of self-efficacy.
students will feel efficacious and motivated to learn and thereby learn better. it’s up to teachers to deliberately bring this self-assessment process into the classroom. He figured out how to read at a very early age. An issue for teachers is that many students do not spontaneously self-evaluate their capabilities. motivation. “How much better do you think you are in dividing fractions now compared with how you were when the lesson began?”).. too: research shows that students who believe they can control their own learning processes end up doing just that and. For students who are not proficient in making self-evaluations. he has learned through his successes that if you work a little harder and you take it a step at a time. p. I didn’t understand that I needed to take a strategies-type approach with him. The workshop gave me the opportunity to analyze the difference between what their God-given talents are and the stepping stones that they need to achieve the same success. My other son. 165) Once students have had an opportunity to self-assess. working through a problem is the best way to achieve the end result that you want. . 73 . and he was reading everything. Schunk (2003) found that self-evaluations of learning progress also have a positive effect on self-efficacy and motivation. 2003.10 contains several prompts for learning logs. as a result. reported the following: It was just like a light bulb went off in my head for what I needed to do to flip the switch for my son. on the other hand. One way that teachers can highlight progress is to have students periodically assess their progress in skill acquisition. a parent who attended that workshop. When performance improvements become salient. their self-efficacy increases. effort.g. do better in school. In other words. it was a matter of the teachers explicitly teaching that intelligence is malleable. goal setting should follow. We ought to make this point very clear to all parents—and to teachers.Content Reading Strategies many of these parents viewed intelligence as fixed (either you have it or you don’t). So. how do we teach students to take control of their own learning? In the 7th grade study. (Schunk. Teachers can choose the most appropriate one for the activity at hand and focus on one or two of these questions at a time. teachers may need to give them prompts for assessing performance and gauging goal progress (e. and they are more motivated to learn. Elisa Simms (pseudonym). Until I attended that workshop. . So. had to learn what steps he needed to take to make progress. These prompts allow students to reflect on their understanding before or after a content reading activity. As discussed earlier. Figure 3. as the process of learning is brought into focus and students are asked to self-assess and reflect on themselves as learners. and achievement. . This increased self-efficacy then was shown to positively affect their choice of tasks. One son sort of had this innate ability to figure things out and a natural curiosity.
For example. pictures. 15. It’s a template for a content reading strategies log that allows for students to think through how the strategies they used (or didn’t use) affected their understanding of the content-area reading. 169). 7. what can I do to become a more avid reader? Why is this reading important? How can I use what I am learning later in life? What do I want to become as an adult? How can I get there? 4. 13. Where am I in terms of my language development? Once students have had an opportunity to reflect on and respond to the prompt. 11. perhaps this is a goal that can provide success for this learner later. they can set individual goals for their own learning. 10. 6. Individual goal setting can follow these interactions. 3. if a student took no notes. Especially important are cognitive models who verbalize their actions and thoughts as they work on a task” (p.The Language-Rich Classroom Figure 3.11 follows a similar line of reasoning. 74 . 2. what helped? If not. Did I understand this reading? If so. bold print) did I notice or fail to notice? 9. 12. What made this reading easy or difficult? 5. or how might they have helped me? How do I learn best? What helps my language development? If reading is good for my language development. Schunk (2003) encourages teachers to “make extensive use of models in the classroom. After students have responded to a prompt and shared their reflections. Figure 3. 8. then small-group followed by whole-group sharing is a way to provide cognitive models of people who’ve figured out certain tricks or strategies for understanding the learning. 14. why not? What were some strategies that I used or that I should have used to understand this reading? Did I take notes that I can refer back to? How did these help me. What text features (graphs.10 Learning Log Prompts 1.
then strategies can be modeled and shared by peers. I used these strategies in my head or on paper: A strategy that I think might have helped me understand the reading better: Predictions that I made as I read: Questions that I still have: This topic is important because: For students who didn’t use any strategies.Content Reading Strategies Figure 3. If filling out this template is followed by small-group sharing.11 Content Reading Strategies Log Text _________________________ Subject _______________ 3 Poor 3 Fair Date __________ 3 Good 3 Great My understanding of this reading was: As I read. this template prompts them to think through the strategies that might have been useful. 75 .
5. taking a bit longer than the other students. We want to facilitate the understanding of this active learner role for all students. but then we watched the first six students put their hands in the bag and seemingly call out any arbitrary number that they could think of. We vividly remember observing a kindergarten classroom where students were asked to reach into a paper bag and correctly identify the number of objects in the bag. not fixed. “Tommy. Explain that intelligence is malleable. while others will not. the teacher asked. correctly identified the number of items. Celebrate student effort and the increased use of effective strategies by making note of growth that students record in their logs and by addressing this progress with individual students. We initially thought this lesson was going to take very little time. through peer sharing or teacher think-alouds (where the teacher models out loud questioning. As you might guess. most especially for those who have bought into the understanding that they lack intelligence and that their poor performance is the result of something that is unchangeable. But students who are successful do something about their lack of understanding. 3. how did you know what the correct number was?” Tommy then explained his strategy for determining the correct number of items. 4.The Language-Rich Classroom All students eventually face situations where they simply don’t understand what they’re reading. 2. It’s important to reiterate that strategy instruction like that suggested here can begin in the preschool years. the seventh student put his hand in the bag and. Based on what research says regarding self-efficacy. Facilitate the process of goal setting and continual self-evaluation for students through prompted learning logs. and then counted the 76 . Model strategy usage. They find ways to remedy the situation. clarifying. Explicitly address the power of effort and strategies on student performance. and using text features that a strategic reader might use). After six erroneous guesses. he had put his hand in the bag. we encourage teachers teaching preschool through grade 12 to do the following: 1. Allow for students to self-assess their learning (both their successes and failures) and the impact of strategies on their performance. Instead of moving on with the lesson. predicting. pushed all the objects to one side of the bag.
Note Taking: Not Just for Lectures Note taking is not just for lectures. such as in the use of a concept map. it’s important to emphasize to students that they should try to personalize it as much as possible. note taking is extremely effective in helping process thoughts and remember what’s been read. If they find it hard to remember the use of the question mark and instead seem to gravitate toward 77 . In a study of 502 medical school applicants. The reason that Tommy got the correct answer. How often today. 164) to process and summarize what they have learned. have you written yourself a note? We’re guessing you’ve written at least one. Students can also learn to prioritize the importance of concepts presented in text by using a simple encoding strategy like the one in Figure 3. Students can practice summarizing in the margins of texts or using a graphic organizer like the one in Figure 7. It was his use of a strategy. was not that he was smarter than the others. By occasionally asking individual students to share their strategic note-taking techniques using an overhead projector or the chalkboard. What does this mean? Summarizing texts and processing learned information in symbolic relationships. & Lindblom-Ylänne. teachers can provide students with peer models using effective strategies and then allow opportunities to use their classmates’ strategies as well or to understand the need to develop their own. Chances are you take notes to help you remember something. perhaps on your calendar or a sticky note. And the students who had summarized or made concept maps scored better than those who had simply underlined or copied verbatim what they had read (Lahtinen. 1997). One thing that teachers can do is to highlight effective note-taking strategies when they notice students who are adept at interacting with the text and producing “repackaged” notes regarding what they have read. for efficient learners. teachers provide other students with models for how to individualize their note-taking techniques as well. No matter what encoding system is used.Content Reading Strategies objects one by one as he moved them from one side of the bag to the other. for example. The truth is. the students who couldn’t produce any notes taken during their medical school entrance exam were the students who obtained the lowest scores. or even in this book.12. while his classmates did not. Lonka. By asking students to share. requires students to interact with the text and make it their own by repackaging it.1 (see p.
explain why you disagree in the margin. Think of how overwhelming this task would be. These process points are important when teaching students of any age. we’ve highlighted the difficulties that ELLs can experience with the type of vocabulary found in informational text. outside of a relevant 78 . If the text is a schoolowned book or a photocopy.12 Text Encoding H ! Place a star by concepts that you think are very important. Even if it were a doable task. Vocabulary Throughout this text.The Language-Rich Classroom Figure 3. Many readers may assume. We should allow them times to stop and process what is being taught through teaching strategies such as quick-writes or pair-shares (see Chapter 6). The point is to encourage students to interact with the text as opposed to passively reading it. if you disagree with the concept. Since this concept is pretty important. from primary through adulthood. then allow them to do so. The rest can be underlined. add an exclamation point. Or. that the best way to help students approach this hurdle is to explicitly teach all of the vocabulary that students might encounter. would tackling individual words really be effective? We doubt that. the question is. summarize the concept in a few words in the margin. the verbatim copying that they do in lectures by attempting to summarize during note taking. then students can use sticky notes to attach to the text. or at least supplement. Place a check mark next to concepts that are somewhat important. Underline the concept using a squiggly line. Our job during direct instruction is also to get students to repackage and process what we say. especially if these words were taught outside meaningful contexts in isolated vocabulary lessons. Place a question mark next to concepts that confuse you. then. So. If the concept is extremely important. 3 ? placing sad faces next to a concept. Underline the concept in the text. remind students to try to minimize.
can be very helpful speakers and ELLs. study of vocabulary learning strategies and the student’s ability to analyze word meanings. students with special needs. “Teaching new words was subordinated to the goal of teaching about new words—various kinds of information about words that could help children figure out word meanings on their own” (p. Janette Hewitt. as opposed to the 20 or more words that are often assigned by language teachers. with that vocabulary. it doesn’t get used and reused in any other setting. ideas for graphic organizers. According to Carlo and colleagues. Dr. In the following excerpt. So. So. teaching of non-content-specific academic and blackline game templates that can be vocabulary had positive impacts on reading used across content areas. 2005).Content Reading Strategies and meaningful context. or if it’s even confusing them more. 2003a). In a study on vocabulary growth teaching academic vocabulary. contrasts vocabulary taught in isolated pullout lessons with those taught in integrated lessons where ELLs. it wasn’t simply in allowing teachers to see demonstrations of the memorization of isolated words and vocabulary lessons that integrate the six-step their meanings that made a difference but the process in their choice of elementary or secondary settings. 79 . Students weren’t just storing words. Also. • use of new words in different contexts. most students would even remember these words. they were learning how to figure out word meanings using vocabulary learning strategies. A Six-Step Process for Teaching Vocabulary (ASCD. However. how do we approach the teaching of Recommended Resources vocabulary with ELLs? Carlo and colleagues Robert Marzano and Debra J. The book with 254 participants in 5th grade. So. What I see when a teacher uses a canned curriculum aimed at certain vocabulary is that they’re learning a story for just that lesson. I really question whether or not that type of lesson is really going to help our ESL learners. This point is significant. Pickering’s book Building Academic Vocabulary: Teacher’s (2004) shed some light on this important Manual (2005) provides practical ideas for question. the principal of Washington Elementary. and it just raises their awareness and their use of that language because they’re all using it together to communicate about a story they’re in love with. The accompanying comprehension for both native English DVD. They’re all together and they’re learning with each other. because they don’t have any other opportunities to use the word merchant ever again. 205). the contains a simple six-step process for teaching new vocabulary. researchers chose to focus on fewer words weekly (12–14) and to focus on things like • contexts to figure out word meanings. and native English speakers were learning together through the vehicle of a story they loved: The Tale of Desperaux (DiCamillo.
too many ELLs will continue to decode their way through texts with little or no comprehension of what they’ve read. 205) The new vocabulary log in Figure 3.The Language-Rich Classroom • cognates in Spanish. who understand enough of the context to use contextual information in analyzing word meaning. and • analysis of morphological structure for cues to meaning. (p. To summarize. Teachers should also help students develop metacognitive strategies that will allow them to continually self-assess. teachers of multilingual classrooms ought to act as a mediator of comprehension between the student and the text by using comprehension strategies that help students focus on meaning in their reading. 80 .13 is one way of allowing students to analyze words and their contexts for word meanings. ELL success in the content area is facilitated by the effective use of strategies used in lessons that are authentic and relevant. and who remember to use them. embrace selfefficacy. and set future goals for becoming better content readers. without adequate supports in content-area reading. confirmed by our finding of a significant impact on reading comprehension. Their value at least in the short run was. Because students are likely to experience much difficulty with reading in the content areas. in fact. The researchers concluded that such strategies could have ongoing value to children who encounter unknown words in semantically rich contexts.
13 New Vocabulary Log Content Reading Strategies 81 .Figure 3.
82 . perhaps a hand to the chin. your generation’s perceived current attitudes about war. As educators. Another person asks a deeper question: “How has your perception of war been affected by the generation in which you were born?” Wow! You can’t just open one file and hand it to the person. a far-off gaze. other generations’ perceptions about war.4 H = Higher-Order Thinking Skills Picture your brain as a room full of file cabinets. the person who asked the question. Someone asks you. regardless of our area of specialty. draw some conclusions. and. But achieving this goal isn’t likely to happen without deliberate and consistent planning. This whole process is going to take some time. to engage in higher-order thinking. Our teaching can serve to continuously cause students to regurgitate simple forgettable facts. Some files may be related to the various major events that have affected your generation. finally. You’ll have to make correlations between the different files that you open. or withhold it from. or it can cause students to engage in deeper inquiry that requires that they open up files. and your own views about war. “How old are you?” You grab the file and give it to. furrowing of the brows. our ultimate agenda should be to get students to really think about content and its relevance toward life—that is. a brilliant (though slow and perhaps hesitant) response that is uniquely linked to your experiences and the files you’ve opened. and maybe even develop new theories to which you hadn’t previously given much thought. make connections. Now you’ve got to open up several files.
p. As described with the file analogy. responses to questions. The following paragraphs explain the six levels. “Like strenuous movement. human thought processes can become more broadly applied. and previously learned concepts in relation to the new concepts just learned. society. more complex. students need practice. With proper instruction. because they often seem to be misunderstood among educators. It demands intentionally setting up learning opportunities that require students to make connections and demonstrate deep understanding of a topic. reflection and coaching to think well. And as with athletics. Asking Bigger Questions: Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives Benjamin Bloom (1956) created his taxonomy of educational objectives. This is a critical piece to developing both language and cognition with our English language learners. higherorder thinking skills. and evaluation). with the first three levels entailing lower-order thinking skills and the last three levels. more than 50 years ago. read through at least the last four levels of these descriptions (especially application. We’ll be using Bloom’s taxonomy as we explore concepts related to higher-order thinking and the relationship between language and cognition. But developing higher-order thinking skills is not a guaranteed outcome in teaching. skillful thinking is hard work. and the world beyond the classroom. Critical thinking is most likely to take place when we create 83 .Higher-Order Thinking Skills ask questions. Even if you’ve studied Bloom’s taxonomy before. these connections often require students to analyze and evaluate events. previous experiences. and enjoy dialogues not only outwardly with each other but inwardly with themselves. 2008. and more insightful” (Costa. Bloom’s taxonomy explains six levels of understanding. 21). we are talking about helping students move from shallow understandings to deeper understandings that allow them to connect new learning to prior learning. synthesis. more precisely focused. its simple ability to explain shallow versus complex thinking still makes it a popular and useful reference tool in classrooms today. more spontaneously generated. in which he described cognitive intensity. and understanding the difference is important for developing questions aimed at higher-order thinking. Though Bloom’s taxonomy may seem dated. from knowledge through evaluation. When we talk about developing higher-order thinking skills.
Whereas synthesis requires students to consolidate what they’ve learned into something new that hadn’t existed before. of ideas. Summarizing and retelling stories are common examples of activities that require comprehension. Application is often confused with synthesis. Lower-Order Thinking Skills Knowledge: Being Able to Remember Facts and Recall Ideas Bloom (1956) describes knowledge as the lowest level of abstraction. and hand it to the teacher. In doing so. not the student. An example of a task requiring knowledge is the question “Who was the 16th president?” Comprehension: Being Able to Understand in a Way That You Can Summarize or Retell What Was Taught Comprehension is when students can demonstrate a limited understanding of what was taught but not evidence of a deep grasp of the topic or the implications of certain concepts on other aspects of life. If a student is asked a question requiring knowledge. 205). pull it out. Application doesn’t involve the creativity that synthesis requires. In a knowledge-type question. The teacher. the trick is to find in the task a signal. 62). Bloom also uses the analogy of a file.The Language-Rich Classroom questions and activities that require the type of thinking described in the last three of the six levels. provides the 84 . all the student really needs to do is find the file. If we are going to help students develop problem-solving and reasoning skills. material or phenomena” (p. application often requires students to simply apply as they’ve been instructed to do. or clue that opens the file that the teacher is looking for. Students don’t need to show that they understand connections between new concepts and other concepts learned. we’ll also do a much better job of coaching children in their development and acquisition of academic language. either by recognition or recall. cue. we must use activities and tasks that require higher-order thinking skills. Application: Being Able to Apply an Abstract Concept in a Concrete Situation Bloom refers to application as “the use of abstractions in particular and concrete situations” (p. It involves “remembering.
Results for all students usually look the same. given certain bits of known information. In this case. An example of synthesis might be if a teacher were to ask students to create a rule or formula that will consistently allow them to solve the area of a rectangle. if at all.” Higher-Order Thinking Skills Analysis: Being Able to Understand the Internal Components of Learned Material and How They Fit Together or Affect One Another Bloom describes analysis as “the breakdown of a communication into its constituent elements or parts such that the relative hierarchy of ideas is made clear and/or the relations between the ideas expressed are made explicit” (p.Higher-Order Thinking Skills abstractions. Now show me that you can use it in the following concrete problem or sentence. some that were not even given by the teacher. When students are analyzing. etc. 205). In other words. students take what they’ve learned and create something that is new to them. Synthesis: Being Able to Consolidate and Connect Learned Material to Create Something New Bloom defines synthesis as “the putting together of elements and parts so as to form a whole. parts. elements. or lack of impact. 206). they’re opening several files. and making connections to see how these files fit together. “How.. they’re examining different components of what’s being learned. it’s a matter of telling a student something like “Here’s the abstract formula or grammatical rule. synthesis is commonly confused with application. students apply abstract concepts to defined situations. The distinct difference between the two is that with application. This involves the process of working with pieces. looking at more than merely definitions. on the different events that happen during the school day. As already noted. A teacher might ask. the abstractions are offered by the students as opposed to being provided by the teacher. 85 . With synthesis. and arranging and combining them in such a way as to constitute a pattern or structure not clearly there before” (p. has democracy affected the way that our school is run?” Students have to put their heads and experiences together not only to define democracy but to connect its impact. With application.
What makes it a pattern. it can often lead to low expectations that directly limit the types of learning opportunities to which ELLs are exposed. A student might answer. Connor? Connor: It goes over and over. The criteria would be the concepts learned. when poorly channeled. Instead. 207). another comes in a much more subtle form. Maria—you knew that the next color should be blue. because I like triangles. Teacher: Uh-huh. Properly Channeled Empathy Teachers face many challenges when asking bigger questions of their students. Maria [an ELL]. Connor [a native English speaker]. Bloom defines evaluation as “quantitative and qualitative judgments about the extent to which material and methods satisfy criteria” (p. 86 . using evaluation. Although one challenge is certainly language. It is not simply asking a student to give his or her opinion. “A pine tree. but it doesn’t require evaluation. Teacher: Excellent job. Simply expressing an opinion does not require evaluation. by way of empathy. which color pattern block goes next? Maria: Blue. The opinions or judgments must demonstrate evidence of an integration and consolidation of what was learned. Consider the following illustration where a teacher asks students to explain the elements of what makes a pattern a pattern: Teacher: Now. a nonevaluation-type task might be the teacher asking students to determine what their favorite tree is and explain why. students are then required to evaluate what they’ve learned about the adaptation of trees as well as the environment of the state in which they live. I have here a pattern. All right. Though we generally view empathy as a very good thing. tell me why would the next color be blue? Connor: ’Cause it’s a pattern. at the end of a unit on trees.The Language-Rich Classroom Evaluation: Being Able to Evaluate Something Based on What Has Been Learned Evaluation seems to be one of the most misunderstood levels on Bloom’s taxonomy. For example. students realize that their opinion must be based on learned information. This task can be fun.” But if the teacher were to ask students to evaluate and explain which trees. The fact is that poorly channeled empathy can lead to underestimating and undervaluing the contributions that students may bring to the classroom. would be more suited to survive in their state. given a few choices.
79). found that teachers tended to do the same thing. 20 indicated that they skipped the verbally dependent interview questions altogether. green. “Teachers issued more directives to and asked proportionately fewer questions of their ESL students than of their EP [English-proficient] students. Teacher: OK. . red. green. blue. They also asked their ESL students fewer high-level cognitive and open-ended questions” (p. The ELLs were asked the closed questions that required one-word responses. Concern over language ability and whether the students could actually handle answering questions that required higher-order thinking was expressed by many teachers. p. students ended up simply playing with manipulatives. and others feeling they were impractical” (Himmele. green. blue.Which one comes next. red. Good job! This example illustrates poorly channeled empathy.Higher-Order Thinking Skills Matthew [a native English speaker]: It repeats itself! Teacher: Great! Now. . José [an ELL]? José: Green. let’s try it. “many of them feeling that they were unfair to English language learners. red. 2001. teachers tended to underestimate the ELLs’ language competency. In Verplaetse’s interviews. Providing opportunities for students to answer questions that required higher-order thinking was easier said than done. it was common for the teachers to end up reducing more complex questions to less cognitively demanding questions. . could it still be a pattern? Daphne: (pause) Yes. the interview questions were supposed to act as a bridge from the concrete exploration of mathematical principles to the abstract understandings of bigger mathematical principles that could be applied to other situations. we noticed this same approach. blue. red. Due to their empathy of the students’ perceived linguistic abilities. In observing several mathematics activities during our own research in Southern California. hands-on math program comprehensible to ELLs. red. when 40 teachers in linguistically diverse classrooms were interviewed regarding how they made a linguistically dependent. . blue. and “teachers 87 . in her observations of ESL students and teacher interactions. This information is significant because. Verplaetse (1998). In fact. red. 25). if we were to change this color to green. [Places the blocks on the overhead] Red. Without the crossover. while the native English speakers got the open-ended questions that required higher-order thinking. in this conceptually rich math program. Daphne [a native English speaker]. Teacher: How? Daphne: Because you could make it red. Teacher: Green.
In addition. 28).Teachers wanted to protect students from unnecessary embarrassment” (p. Verplaetse was not working with teachers who were deliberately trying to cheat their students of opportunities for developing higher levels of thinking. It’s a wonderful book for developing higher order questions and for developing a classroom environment where students’ voices are valued. 2007). she was working with middle and high school teachers who had been identified as being sensitive to ELLs’ needs. expressed concern with the amount of time it took ESL students to respond in teacherstudent interactions. was that they were less likely to ask ELLs the types of questions that might help these students cross over from concrete experiences to abstract understandings. one teacher echoed the expressed sentiments of others by saying. assessments that relied heavily on observation and anecdotal records failed to provide ELLs with the opportunities that might have challenged and extended their thinking beyond mere observations of final products. I can sense their frustration” (Himmele. . Properly channeled empathy can lead to creating classroom environments where students are free to take risks and where opportunities for developing higher levels of thinking have been heavily scaffolded. the solicitation of multiple responses. Empathy is a critical ingredient necessary for relating to students. . . but it shouldn’t be by way of eliminating 88 . 2001. “If I keep probing and probing. positive classroom environment where children are free to talk and where they learn to listen to each other’s unique perspectives. but it should also lead teachers to purposefully design opportunities for ELLs to think through questions and activities that require higher levels of thinking. p. This book explores how teacher language can establish a foundation for building a cohesive classroom community. In fact. In our own research. for at least 20 of 40 teachers. Our task is to present these strategies in a context where students can be successful as opposed to eliminating these opportunities altogether in order to do what we feel will protect students from unnecessary embarrassment. It lays the foundation for creating a safe. and tips for articulating questions that serve as cues to deeper thinking. 80).The Language-Rich Classroom Recommended Resources The Power of Our Words: Teacher Language that Helps Children Learn by Paula Denton. We can find other ways to protect the students from unnecessary embarrassment. Teachers’ empathetic reactions toward their students were often what ended up causing them not to venture toward allowing students time to process and think through big issues that require time and thought. EdD (NEFC. The book explores the power of open-ended questioning. The result.
It is imperative that we give access to the same curriculum to all students. they feel much better about themselves. many have become accustomed to not being asked the big questions. Also. This problem will take some undoing on the part of the teacher. In fact. reach these levels of understanding when lessons are adequately scaffolded. frequently it’s only these students who will raise their hands. both cognitively and emotionally. Some have even learned to tune these out. Kids don’t cut class anymore. If a question is significant enough that all students benefit from reflection on it. poorly channeled empathy can lead to ELLs not being exposed to the same challenging learning opportunities as their native English-speaking peers. She also found a renewed passion in her own teaching. they begin to feel successful.Higher-Order Thinking Skills opportunities for developing higher-order thinking. it’s often the students who speak only English that will raise their hands first. I just love teaching. then teachers should consider structuring the question so that all students have an opportunity to consider the question. or inner speech.” Rippling Questions When big questions that aim to engage higher-order thinking are asked of the whole class. It begins with the teacher’s belief that students can. in fact. Questioning activities need to be scaffolded to facilitate student success. “The bottom line of what it has done for me is that I’m still as passionate about teaching in April as I was in August. just because teachers decide to ask bigger questions that aim at developing higher-order thinking doesn’t mean that students will actually be prepared to answer such questions. According to Vygotsky (1986): 89 . In some cases. A Caution About Open-Ended Questions It’s important to understand some hidden obstacles that will need to be overcome in asking open-ended questions. by the time ELLs are conversational. including our ELLs. That can only take place when classroom teachers give the same opportunities to develop higher-order thinking skills to all students. Asking questions and getting suitable answers both require intentionality. and it has a lot to do with using CHATS. When they can begin to participate in the way that they do. And. This approach requires individual reflection times. Teacher Spotlight ESL teacher Barbara Mitchell began implementing the CHATS framework into her planning at the beginning of the year and found an immediate increase in student engagement. As discussed earlier.
In a case of a difficult cognitive task involving verbal material. 3) Allowing ELLs an opportunity to reflect on questions aimed at higher-order thinking through the use of “inner speech” ought to be part of the lesson planning process. (p. benefits from the presence of inner speech. which facilitates the selection of essential material from the nonessential.The Language-Rich Classroom Figure 4.1 illustrates how teachers may ripple questions so that all students will be afforded an opportunity to be successful in answering them.1 Ripple Questioning Individual Reflection Time Small Groups Share with Whole Class It was shown that speech movements facilitate reasoning. our questioning should be framed in three outwardly moving steps: 1. So. and finally engaging the whole class. inner speech helped to imprint and organize the conscious thought. and then progressing outward toward small groups. taken now as a sort of activity. first targeted toward each individual student responding. inner speech is considered to be an important factor in the transition from thought to external speech. The pebbles represent the question. Figure 4. Visualize pebbles being tossed into a pond. Individual reflection: students are given time to individually reflect on the question in a written quick-write or journal. The same cognitive process. 90 . And finally.
Finally. even if only one or two get to share their response with the class. the ground rules listed in Figure 4. Tips for Rippling Questions Not every question can be given the type of attention and time that this threestep sequence of rippling questions requires. Pair or small-group reflection: students work in pairs or small groups to interact and share what they came up with during their individual reflection. Rippling questions allows all students to respond to questions aimed at higher levels of thinking. After sharing with a small group. By ensuring individual thinking time before asking an ELL to share with the whole class. Providing an opportunity in the second step for sharing individual reflections in pairs or small groups gives ELLs an opportunity to be successful in expressing their ideas first in a low-risk setting. The great thing about quick-writes is that no preparation is needed. the third step gives the ELL a chance to sum up the group’s thoughts to the whole class. Whole-group reflection: the pairs or small groups share with the whole class. ELLs may be more willing to share their idea with the whole class. If students are given time to gather their thoughts before sharing them. It also lets them listen to others’ reflections on the topic and to become emotionally involved with the topic.2 allow the classroom to function 91 . and it avoids the traditional problem of the teacher having an animated conversation with one or two eager students while the rest of the class sits disengaged. 3. the student has much-needed time to process both the question and the answer. processing or sharing the information as a whole group. which is much less intimidating than being called on coldturkey. Every student has to respond to the question.Higher-Order Thinking Skills 2. particularly because their idea has already met with success. In those cases. Simple steps like pair-shares and quick-writes take only a few minutes of class time and significantly increase student engagement. and they can be inserted into a lesson during an unexpected teachable moment. We realize that sometimes teachers will simply want to call out a question to the whole group. Students have an opportunity to silently reflect on and analyze their thoughts in writing through the process of inner speech. they will be more likely to have something to say. When it comes time for step 3. it still only takes two to three minutes for students to do something as simple as a pairshare after the question is posed to the class.
Although students struggled at the beginning of 92 . P. we have to help each one of them feel successful in some way. Scaffolding Higher-Order Thinking Skills Scaffolding is discussed in detail in Chapter 7. Mitchell is responsible for delivering the high school English curriculum to students at the early stages of English language development.” Mitchell introduced her students to bigger questions by getting them used to asking bigger questions of each other. an ESL teacher at J. • reatothersinthesamewayyouwouldwanttobetreatedwhenit’syour T turn to talk. exemplifies an environment with the proper scaffolds in place to ensure student success. These ground rules let students feel as though each of them has something valuable to share. she decided to celebrate each of their birthdays by spotlighting each student in a class interview. Each student was given a key ring with the six levels in Bloom’s taxonomy labeled.The Language-Rich Classroom Figure 4. Key Rings and Podiums The classroom of Barbara Mitchell. McCaskey High School. • ewillingtolearnfromeachother. At the beginning of the year. but here we’ll describe additional strategies that can help encourage students to use higher-order thinking skills. Otherwise. they come in and say they can’t do it and they don’t. Each level had question starters from which the students could ask questions of one other. meaning that only one question could be asked from the knowledge level.2 Ground Rules for Whole-Group Debriefing You should all practice these rules: • ookatandlistentowhomeverisspeaking. Students had to ask questions from each of the six levels. B as a community and facilitate the process of students learning from each other in a respectful environment. L • aiseyourhandtovolunteerorcommentafter your peer has spoken (not R during). “Every day.
Each student received a cheat sheet (Figure 4.3) to paste onto their steno pads and use as a reference during their interviews. While verbally defending answers also proved initially to be a challenge. students are introduced to how to initiate discussions aimed at a greater depth by asking openended questions rather than questions aimed at one-word answers. Working with 3rd and 4th graders. Mitchell recalls the initial challenge with this activity: At the beginning of the year. we deliberately used big words like elaborate. they later became more adept at asking questions that required higherorder thinking. It provides 93 . To further encourage higher-order thinking. I think it’s because of low expectations. as well as a gift book for each of the interviewees. In our delivery. People say it’s unrealistic. They can learn to go to that level.Higher-Order Thinking Skills the year. and dates were set for each classroom interview. which usually ended up being a parent. Through the interviews. Though Rogovin was working with early elementary students and we were working with 3rd and 4th graders. and it is just amazing. Students were asked to invite a guest. Interviews In her book Classroom Interviews. students eventually became very adept at this task—so much so that some would ask to go to the podium to defend their reasoning. Closed question starters that produced only one-word answers were introduced and modeled. Invitation letters were sent. it was really hard. this strategy can be implemented at any grade level. Students were given tutorials on how to ask effective interview questions. detail. and accomplishment in the pre-interview discussions. to get students comfortable with them. Mitchell asked her father to build a wooden podium so that students could stand at the podium and defend their answers. and then contrasted with big questions—open-ended questions that provided listeners with details about the interviewee’s life and worldview. As a teacher we have to teach them how to go to that level. both linguistically and cognitively. because they just wanted to say. how old are you? Where were you born? What do you want for your birthday?” But only one person could ask that kind of question. Rogovin (1998) relates her experiences of using interviews in primary classrooms. describing highlights of the interviews. Students are exposed firsthand to various multicultural perspectives and given opportunities to develop questions for those interviews. “Well. now! They don’t struggle nearly as much. we decided to try classroom interviews. We also made class books.
scariest . . .Start U questions with these phrases: Tell us about . best . StudentJournalist: hatmakesyousaythat?or.The Language-Rich Classroom Figure 4. . proudest . . . A 2. greatest accomplishment biggest regret Tell us about your hopes for ____________________? the community your children the school the future List other great questions here: __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ 3. . . se“bigquestions”thatwillgetyouanswerswithagreatdealofdetail. henyougetanopinion. Jones: I think the neighborhood needs a community center. . ? Tell us about your ________________________ in life. . For example: W Mr. politely ask for reasons to back it up. voidyes/noquestionsorquestionsthatlookforone-wordanswers. funniest . worst . In what ways .3 Interviewing Techniques for Student Journalists 1. . . W Would you please elaborate on that? 94 . . . . . most important . . .
Having the end in mind facilitates the development of these bigger questions to foster a deeper understanding of whatever content is being taught. verb lists don’t always help teachers engage in big-picture lesson design. is critical for developing a deeper important in what they teach. It causes teachers to examine the core of what is work. The Problem with Verb Lists We’re sure you’ve seen verb lists—another tool designed to help teachers take a big-picture view and plan lessons aimed at developing higher-order thinking skills. in their book Understanding by Design.Higher-Order Thinking Skills students with practice in asking questions aimed at gaining in-depth information that would be missed with closed questions requiring one-word answers. the relevance of the content being taught. Determining acceptable evidence 3. Planning learning experiences The best questions originate from an Recommended Resources understanding of the importance of and Understanding by Design (2005) by Grant P. Uncovering the enduring understandings. and how teachers can design learning opportunities around these. higher-order thinking if a teacher isn’t aware of the enduring understandings that should be gleaned from his or her lessons. It’s difficult to aim questions at thought-provoking ideas. For those who are unfamiliar with the model. Wiggins and Jay McTighe. The verbs work well if the 95 . they suggest a three-step planning sequence: 1. describe the importance of seeing the big picture when planning lessons. Understanding by Design provides learning. These tools provide easy one-word starters so that teachers can design activities at certain levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. Identifying desired results 2. In their backward design model. As common as they are. Big-Picture Lesson Design Wiggins and McTighe (2005). For essential questions aimed at helping students teachers aiming to tap into higher-order develop a deep rather than surface level of thinking. Understanding by Design would provide great as they’re called in Wiggins and McTighe’s fodder for a faculty book group. the “enduring understanding of the content being understandings” that students should walk presented and for the development of away with.
depending on how it’s used. whereas “Who had a greater impact on our economy?” will more likely lead to students thinking at the analysis level.The Language-Rich Classroom teacher understands the elements around higher levels of thinking. on average. then the verbs can be misleading. Gambrell (2001) found that. they should get to know the elements of the different levels in Bloom’s taxonomy and implement them into their daily lessons. “After three minutes. teachers should try to let discussions be student driven (i. If educators really want to develop lesson activities at higher levels of thinking.. explicit in the 96 . the verb create. Wait Time One of the first things that teachers of ELLs must keep in mind is that wait times should be increased. allow for more student talk than teacher talk). In actual classrooms. which is often linked to synthesis. Then verb lists can help educators generate more ideas.e.or lower-order thinking. can lead to either synthesis or application. As another example. The typical three. teachers should have their essential questions (Wiggins & McTighe. so that they can facilitate students’ deep understandings of the topic being discussed.to five-second wait time may need to be doubled for an ELL. Consider letting the students call on their peers to respond to what they have shared. rather than relying on verb lists.” As much as possible. It’s also important to let students know what to expect. Synthesis would only come after students have learned all about a certain concept and can consolidate their thinking into a finished product that is unique to them. The activity “Create a pulley system” might provide a better feel of application than synthesis if students are only duplicating what was previously modeled for them. 2005) prepared ahead of time. A teacher might say. “Of most concern was the finding that significantly more think-time was given for text-based questions [questions with obvious answers. using who as a question starter can lead to either higher. as opposed to being used in place of a deeper understanding of Bloom’s taxonomy. teachers asked students a question every 43 seconds and gave approximately a 1-second wait time after posing such questions. I’ll ask you to stop writing and be prepared to share your writings with a partner. wait time has been found to be sorely lacking. To further encourage higher-order thinking. For example. The problem is that if teachers don’t have a deep understanding of these levels. “Who wrote the Gettysburg Address?” will result in a response at about the knowledge level.
Offer students opportunities to interact with peers in pairs or small groups before meaningful classroom interactions. Provide individual reflection time to gather things. Witmer’s wait times weren’t usually this long. which may take longer than for a student who speaks English only. that will help students be successful in these 4. a 2nd grade teacher in Southern California. to students than being successful at simple 2. and then she waited for their response. So. When she asked a question that required higher-order thinking skills. where students were free to make mistakes. What’s even more disturbing is that those in “average and below average groups were asked significantly more text-based than scriptal questions. figure out how to verbalize this response in a second language. mean understanding what the students really 3. Detox old habits. textually implicit]” (p. This means we must deliberately allow for longer wait times after asking big questions. and. by not jumping in with the answer. in the case of higher-order thinkthoughts and to jot these down in a quickwrite (a brief time of two to five minutes for ing. Give students time to providing effective and concrete scaffolds think through a question and then come (e. The longest recorded wait time in her class was 36 seconds! Yes.” Tina Witmer. then process a solution to the question.. Being successful in something that is complex and Asking Bigger Questions deep poses much more interesting challenges 1. but she regularly allowed her students time to process questions and think through their solutions— something that in our task-oriented society educators can often forget to do. unusually long. seeks to help students avoid the discomfort 97 . This asking them to share responses with the perspective is very different from one that whole class. but she also created an environment of high expectations within a culture of discovery. finally. Get students to expect to need (higher-order thinking skills). Although silence can make us uncomfortable. but the student emerged victorious. rippling questions.Higher-Order Thinking Skills text] than for scriptal questions [with not-so-obvious answers. She was certainly empathetic and kind. and then be asked bigger questions. being truly empathetic toward ELLs will students to compose thoughts in writing).g. feeling comfortable enough to walk up to the overhead projector and demonstrate his thinking by moving pattern blocks to justify his answer. it is important to remember that the ELL has to process first the words in the question. she gave the students time to process their thinking. Increase wait time. longer wait times) back to them. 79). refused to stop probing during her large-group discussion times in math. Remember our earlier discussion of properly channeled empathy.
How can you use this style in your own writing? 1 1.The Language-Rich Classroom of a challenge. Students engage higher-order thinking skills as they reflect on what the opposing arguments or viewpoints might be and how someone with a Figure 4. being empathetic in this way means we’re helping our students overcome and even welcome a challenge. teachers should ask them to stop periodically and identify the author’s assumptions. Instead. 7. hatdoyouknowabouttheauthorthatmayhaveaffectedhisorherviewpoint? W (For example. a worldview. whether by manipulating our feelings to get us to like or dislike a fictional character or by swaying our opinions through carefully written nonfiction.4 Prompts for Author Analysis 1. As students read. Canyoutrustthisauthor’sviewpoint?Whyorwhynot? 5. Reflectonwhattheopposingargumentsorbeliefsmightbe. in what part of the world does the author live?) 3. Whatdoyouwanttoknowabouttheauthor? 4. Critical Readers and Writers: Analyzing the Author’s Craft Everyone has an opinion. Whataresomeassumptionsthattheauthormakes? 6. Who is the author’s intended audience? How do you know? 98 . Whatspecificwordsevokedspecificfeelings? 9. Howisthisstylesimilartoordifferentfromthingsyouhavereadinthepast? 10. owdidtheauthorusewordstoaffectyourfeelings(forexample. Analyzing authors in this way also helps students become critical writers themselves as they anticipate opposing arguments and write with these in mind. and prior experiences that deeply influence the views that they hold and how they express those views in writing.tomakeyou H like or dislike a character)? 8. An important aspect of encouraging students to become critical readers is to help them develop their ability to analyze the ways that authors effectively influence others.4 contains prompts for helping students think through the author’s point of view. Figure 4. Whatistheauthor’sviewpointorposition? 2. a perspective.
students can use this chart to anticipate opposing views and address these in their writing. Thought is not merely expressed in words. Similarly. Every thought tends to connect something with something else. Once students understand the author’s position. a continual movement back and forth from thought to word and from word to thought. Determine the assumptions inherent in the text they just read. Is it a causal relationship? Does academic language lead to higher-order thinking skills? Or do higher-order thinking skills lead to academic language? Vygotsky’s (1986) writings lead us to believe that the relationship between academic language and higher-order thinking is reciprocal. (Vygotsky. 218) 99 . solves a problem. p. and the reverse is also true: higher-order thinking is further challenged and grows as a result of the developing language. when writing their own position papers. Every thought moves. What he had to say more than 70 years ago is still highly significant in our understanding of the development of higher-order thinking skills and language today. fulfills a function. he also studied the interfunctional relationship between language and thought. 1986. Although Vygotsky is well known for his theories on the zone of proximal development (the idea that the learner is brought to his or her next level or potential level of development through problem solving and interaction with more capable peers or adults). Reflect on what the opposing arguments or beliefs might be. The relation of thought to word is not a thing but a process. it comes into existence through them. to establish a relation between things. Figure 4. In that process. Identify the author’s position. 3.5 is a chart to help students think through an author’s perspective and possible opposing beliefs or arguments. Language and Cognition It’s important to consider the relationship between using higher-order thinking skills and developing academic language. 2. 4. the relation of thought to word undergoes changes that themselves may be regarded as development in the functional sense. it may help them to do the following: 1. Academic language develops as a result of activities that nurture higher-order thinking.Higher-Order Thinking Skills different perspective might respond to the author. Examine the author’s bias and its effect on the validity of the statements made. grows and develops.
5 Assumptions Chart (Author Analysis) The Language-Rich Classroom Author’s Point of View: What evidence does the author use to support his or her point of view? .100 What does the author assume is true? What are some opposing beliefs or arguments that might be posed? Figure 4.
Higher-Order Thinking Skills
Words influence thoughts, and thoughts Recommended Resources cause the words to evolve, taking on bigger Critical Pedagogy: Notes From the Real World by Joan Wink, 2005. This book explores meanings as thoughts and words exchange in relationships between teacher beliefs and a back-and-forth relationship. Add to this classroom practices in a way that stirs up the language input that is acquired through reflection. Within this readable book, Joan Wink highlights the power that teachers interaction with more linguistically profihave in changing the classroom, and cient peers in verbal interchanges brought eventually society. Wink is a fan of Vygotsky about as a result of bigger questions, and and reflectively explores the relationship between language and thought. Though the both language and cognition benefit. Through concepts are heavy, Wink uses personal practice in activities that promote higherstories to make the book easy to understand order thinking, language doesn’t just express and enjoyable. our thoughts—it questions our thoughts, interacts with our thoughts, extends our thoughts, refines our thoughts, brings completion to our thoughts, and gives birth to new thoughts. According to Vygotsky, this interfunctional relationship between language and thought is one of the things that make us uniquely human. Animals communicate, but they can’t express the depth of meaning that humans can as a result of the interaction between language and thought. “A frightened goose suddenly aware of danger and rousing the whole flock with its cries does not tell others what it has seen but rather contaminates them with his fear” (Vygotsky, 1986, p. 7). Chamot and O’Malley (1994) stress the importance of teaching cognitive academic language skills, specifically to English language learners, in order for them to be able to perform at higher levels of thinking. “Academic language fosters thinking. When students listen and read to acquire new information and understanding, and when they speak and write to express their thoughts, interpretations, and judgments about what they are learning, they are using language as a medium for thinking. Academic language skills are an integral part of higher level thinking” (p. 44). The manipulation of speech is another acquired skill that is important in students’ ability to answer big questions. As students interact and become passionate about topics that engage their reasoning skills, they are more likely to pick up ways of manipulating speech so that they convey deep thoughts. It’s not just learning individual units of words. Students learn to manipulate speech to
The Language-Rich Classroom
convey (and interact with) bigger thoughts. The practice in back-and-forth dialogue with respected peers, and the confidence to say something insightful and meaningful, is integral in developing higher-order thinking. Partaking in this process is in itself empowering, and the classroom is an ideal place to do so. Content provides the perfect vehicle, as long as it can be connected to personally meaningful concepts. All of this takes practice and exposure to answering bigger questions as well as interactions with more capable peers. Jane Hershberger, a school administrator and former ESL teacher, designed a high school course to help ELLs develop strategic reading and writing skills. Actually, her 82-minute class was aimed at helping long-term English learners become successful in school, but Hershberger decided to devote a large chunk of time to literary analysis. After visiting her class, we noted the depth of student discussion and engagement during the reading of the book Tuesdays with Morrie (Albom, 2002). We commented on her ability to move ELLs beyond the literal and into discussions that required higher-order thinking skills. She responded, “The more complex it is, the better they do. The deeper the topic, the more engaged they become, because it’s interesting, for goodness sake! . . . They’re so ready to be taken seriously!” The students understood the responsibility that they had been handed when they were each being asked to analyze the author’s perspectives and motives and to make connections to their own worlds, and they did so gladly. Hershberger’s class was rigorous, but because students felt like what they were learning was authentic and relevant, they were willing to do the work. Expectations were kept high, and the students knew that their teacher trusted them and believed that they had the ability to meet high expectations.
As discussed in Chapter 2, we refer to peripheral vocabulary as that stored bank of vaguely understood, untapped, non-content-specific vocabulary that has never or rarely been attempted. We refer to active vocabulary as the words that are owned and used by the student either verbally or in writing. These are words that the student is already using regularly. Classroom interactions that require higher-order thinking provide perfect opportunities to use peripheral language in verbally defending one’s answers. Furthermore, as peers hear each other using words in a context that is understood, and within low-stress verbal interactions, they add to
Higher-Order Thinking Skills
their own bank of peripheral and active language. This phenomenon happens every day in the form of slang. We acquire slang through verbal interactions with peers. In a similar way, students can solidify their understandings of academic vocabulary through verbal interactions in contexts where they understand what is being said. But this isn’t likely to happen when we engage only a few students in activities that require higher-order thinking, as is commonly done when a big question is asked of a class and a volunteer is called on to answer the question. The interaction may be meaningful to the volunteer, but most of the class remains disengaged. Total participation techniques (see Chapter 6) are critical for getting all students to interact and become involved in this process of developing both language and cognition.
Connections for Relevance and Meaning
Let’s go back to the example of picturing our brains as a room full of file cabinets. Our task is to engage students in activities that require them to make connections by opening files that would not necessarily have earlier been considered relevant to their understanding of the topic. The more files that need to be opened, the better. Consider this statement on which students are asked to reflect and respond: “The American Revolution has had a profound impact on my personality.” We’ve used this prompt many times in our college classes, and students’ first reaction is usually to say that the American Revolution hasn’t had any effect on their personalities. But as opposing arguments are posed by peers and as evidence is weighed, most come to a different conclusion. The reason that they come to a different conclusion is because connections are made with existing files that they hadn’t initially opened. Our job is to get students to have to open up many files before they feel that they have adequately addressed a question. We can provide opportunities for developing language and cognition at the same time by engaging students in topics that link to their prior experiences and require them to open up personal files that they hadn’t considered before. Take, for instance, the following quote from a high school student enrolled in a Mexican American studies class that engaged her language, spirit, and mind: “Until this class, yeah, I knew who César Chavez was. Yeah, they named a street over this guy. Big deal. But I never knew what he did. I never knew about the farmworkers, about our civil rights movement which was a civil rights movement” (PBS Home
The Language-Rich Classroom
Video, 1998). This student had been interviewed during a documentary aimed at gaining insight into the problem of the high dropout rates of Latinos in U.S. schools. Her comments throughout the documentary drip with a seemingly newly awakened reality to the fact that she has something important to say. And she does. It’s also evident that the Mexican American studies class played an important role in her coming to this realization and to the development of her unique sense of voice. In her own words regarding the class, “It has made me a proud Chicana. It has made me want to strive for more” (PBS Home Video, 1998). Developing this sense of voice in the classroom must be intentional. It requires asking bigger questions and allowing the students time to process questions, meaning longer wait times for questions asked aloud and reflection times where students can record their thoughts on paper and through small-group interactions before sharing with the whole class.
Thinking Big in the Content Classes
As noted, content classrooms are the perfect vehicles for developing both language and cognition together. History, for example, lends itself well to the critical analysis of an author’s perspective. Although the comfort zones for some history teachers may be the accumulation of knowledge (“When was the first American colony founded?”) and comprehension (“Summarize what happened”), this content area has the potential to offer so much more by way of analysis and evaluation. For history teachers to effectively lead students to higher levels of thinking, they must keep in mind the enduring understandings (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005) that they hope students will walk away with. For Jim Weidemoyer, the history department liaison for McCaskey High School campuses, “The most important things that I hope my history students leave my classroom at the end of the year with is an idea of what the American society has gone through . . . that makes our society what it is today.” Having in mind the overall purposes for what they are teaching allows history teachers to introduce and revisit the critical questions that will lead to students’ critical thinking regarding historical events and their impact on modern society. In science, teacher comfort zones seem to be in the area of acquiring knowledge (“Here’s the principle” and “Here’s why it works”). According to Diane Patton, a science curriculum coordinator, however, so much more can be done than the
Higher-Order Thinking Skills
simple transmission of knowledge in teaching science. “Science isn’t finished,” she said. “We still have theories and facts that are being changed. So, students have to be allowed opportunities for that collaborative talk in the classroom so that they’re more able to ask questions. Science continually asks questions.” Done well, science is bursting with opportunities for analysis, synthesis, and student inquiry-based learning. The same is true for mathematics, where the comfort zones tend to be in the rote application of knowledge (“Here’s a problem. Here’s how you solve it. Now, you try it.”). Mary Leer, an elementary mathematics coordinator, believes that “if rote [application] without understanding worked, we wouldn’t have so many math-phobics that are my age or even younger. I was taught rote, and a lot of other people my age were taught rote. When you think about it, if it worked, we wouldn’t be in this situation. So, why would we go back to it?” Helping students develop critical thinking skills in mathematics focuses on the processes involved and a deeper analysis of how things work rather than a rote application of knowledge. Figure 4.6 offers content-based bookmarks that contain questions aimed at helping teachers think through their lessons and develop their own essential questions as they plan. The bookmarks can be photocopied and taped onto the insides of teacher plan books.
Critical Mathematicians How and why does it work? Does it always work? When doesn’t it work? What other ways could you solve this problem? this the most efficient (easiest) Is way of solving this problem? What would happen if . . . ? Why is this important? How has this been used in real life? How can this be used to simplify life? Make as many connections as you can to this finding and the world around you. Critical Scientists Make as many connections as you can to this finding and the world around you. What is affected by this finding? What bigger things have come about as a result of this discovery? How can this finding lead to other discoveries or improvements in the way we live? Does it always work this way? What happens when something else is introduced? you justify your claims with Can evidence? How is this relevant to life today? How should humans respond to this finding? How has your thinking about this topic changed? Deep and Open Questions for Narrative Stories you had to tell a friend what this If story was about, what would you say? Were there more important parts to the story? Was there a moment in the story that you felt was a real turning point (or very important to the way the story ended)? Why was it a turning point? How would the outcome have been different without this event taking place? How did the story make you feel? What in particular made you feel this way? How did the author use language to make you feel this way? What kinds of images, or pictures, were in your mind as we (you) read? How did the author use certain words to help you form these images? How did the author make you like (dislike) a certain character in the story? How did the author surprise (not surprise) you as you were reading? How did this author write differently than ___________ (another known author)? Would you choose to read a story by this author again? Why or why not? Would you choose to read this type of a story again? Why or why not?
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Critical Historians Why did this event happen? What were possible hidden motives behind the cause of this event? Why is this important to know today? What was the long-term impact? How does this affect society today? How does this affect you today? How were later events affected by this event? What are the parallels between this time period and the society we live in today? Who were the real winners because of this event? Who lost out? What other parties benefited or are benefiting from this event? How might the outcome have been different? Why is this event remembered? How is this event viewed by other participants receiving less focus? What might be an opposing view of this event? What do others say about this event?
A = Assessment
As we mentioned in Chapter 1, it is important to see efforts at improving instruction for ELLs as something pertaining not only to ESL specialists but to all teachers of ELLs. In pullout-type programs, the ELL spends more time in the content-area classroom than with the ESL teacher. The classroom provides rich content-based opportunities to develop academic language that are often absent in ESL pullout classes. In sheltered classrooms (where classroom teachers focus on language and content development), language assessment is also critical. Regardless of the program model(s) that your district uses, it’s imperative that classroom teachers have a working knowledge of language development, of their responsibility in the process of language development, and of ways to assess the linguistic proficiency levels of their students. This chapter provides classroom teachers with tools for informally assessing the linguistic proficiencies of the ELLs in their classrooms. Tools for checking ELL progress will also be presented for fine-tuning the assessment and monitoring of ELLs who have been exited from or are in the process of exiting ESL programs.
Assessment in the Hands of the Classroom Teacher
In too many districts, the language assessment of ELLs is left up to assessment specialists often housed in separate buildings, or it’s done by a solitary individual who then summarizes the student’s language proficiency in a single letter or
The Language-Rich Classroom
Recommended Resources Literacy Assessment of Second Language Learners by Sandra Rollins Hurley & Josefina Villamil Tinajero (2001). With 10 wide-ranging articles written by reputable authors like Jim Cummins, Alma Flor Ada, and Isabel Campoy, this book is a wonderful resource for any practitioner who has questions ranging from assessment of reading and writing to the assessment of parent programs and ELLs with special needs.
indicator meant to describe the developmental stage for the students’ teachers. Oftentimes, little or no elaboration comes with the score a student receives, and ESL and classroom teachers alike find themselves going weeks, or longer, without really having an accurate measure of the student’s linguistic proficiency. We’ve spoken to several ESL teachers who don’t know the proficiency test used by their district or the meaning behind the letter designations that accompany the students who arrive in their programs. And who can blame them? The arbitrary scores do little to inform their teaching. Wouldn’t it be helpful if these scores were placed in a meaningful context? In Chapter 2, we discussed the importance of teaching at what Krashen (2003) calls i + 1. This description means that for optimal language acquisition to occur, the student should be given linguistic opportunities that are just slightly above his or her current instructional level. This idea is similar to that of Vygotsky’s (1986) zone of proximal development. But doing i + 1 well hinges on our knowing what i is. In fact, we believe that much of classroom teachers’ frustration is due to their not understanding their students’ current levels of proficiency. Many schools conduct formal language assessments for each ELL on a regular basis, once or twice a year. We highly recommend that teachers themselves be administered the test at least once, so that they can get a feel for how the test is conducted and what the scores mean. Sitting through a formal language assessment test often takes no more than 20 minutes. We’ve assigned this project in our college class, and we often administer the tests in groups. Most teachers are thankful for the experience, having gained a much richer understanding of the standardized proficiency scores and a deeper appreciation for what ELLs experience in their classrooms.
First-Language Writing Samples
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of teachers getting a feel for a student’s academic development in the first language. This piece is so critically
Assessment essential in understanding what students’ needs are and how best to help them.youcangive little or no emphasis to the topics that will translate the writing for us. we likevocabularydevelopment. Regardless of how much they were able to write or whether they were even able to write anything at all. But we have found that regardless of whether or not we could read the firstlanguage writing sample. the writing sample provided vital information regarding firstlanguage competence and schooling (see Figure 5. decoding.sothatwhen students read. a substitute teacher. if a can read the student’s first language and studentisliterateinSpanish. This is especially true when working with experiences. fluency)andgivemoreemphasistothings or another teacher within the district. On the other hand. they can understand what it is have found that they often confirm what we they’re reading. studentswhohavelimitedformalschooling.1. The first-language • llowsyoutofocusonthecriticalquestion A writing samples that were presented in “What does this student need?” This question Chapter 1 can give you a feel for how this shoulddriveeverything—fromlessonplanning toinstructionaldeliverytoassessments. 109 . One of the very first things that we try to do with our own ELL students is get a first-language writing sample to gather information related to first-language schooling. after getting the writing • llowsyoutoplaceemphasisonconcepts A sample. then the first-language writing sample will be useless. When we could make our message known by translating or asking another student to quickly interpret. this leads us to ask Benefits of a First-Language Writing Sample further questions regarding prior schooling • avesyoumonthsoftryingtofigurethings S out. orderly characters leads us to believe that the student has had formal schooling that has probably been quite adequate. For example. might be true for you as well. Whether it be transfer (concepts of print. The first objection that we get from teachers when we suggest the practice of collecting first-language writing samples is that if the teacher doesn’t speak or read the student’s first language. For example. we always try to find a person who that are most needed. and also refer again to Chapter 1). Either way. and the school custodian. if students write very little and the little that they’ve written doesn’t seem to follow any orderly visual flow. a first-language writing sample from a Mandarin-speaking student who filled a complete page with beautifully formed. already suspected. we would ask students to write in their first language telling us what they missed most about their home country. we were still able to glean very important information from it.
110 .The Language-Rich Classroom Figure 5. as appropriate. Instructions: Write what you remember about your home country.1 First-Language Writing Sample Name____________________________GradeLevel_____Date_________________ Language spoken at home: Student’s dominant language: Grade at which student entered English-speaking schools: Note: Please ask a translator or class peer to translate the following prompt. or you can create your own prompt. What are some things you miss most? ______ minutes Record the actual amount of time that it took to complete this writing sample (suggested:fiveminutes).
we discuss different stages of linguistic development (see Figure 5. their comprehension of English is actively developing. Knowing a little bit about students’ educational backgrounds helps inform teaching. 111 . At the emergent stage. Typically. a period of days to months when ELLs may say nothing at all or no more than a few words or phrases. when you conduct your own informal assessment interviews. Stages of Language Acquisition In the following sections.4) and can be used to conduct informal language assessments of your students. Students at this stage may be experiencing what Krashen (2003) calls a silent period. reading. Though we want to be careful not to overgeneralize. These are followed by sample interviews of students at each of the five stages (pseudonyms have been used throughout). A student with an extensive schooling background may simply be in the process of transferring knowledge from the home language to English. the first-language writing sample provides an initial feel for students’ academic performance in their native language. Stage 1: Emergent Stage The emergent stage describes students who are newly arrived to English-speaking contexts. students are not yet at the point where they can carry on a conversation. A more detailed set of informal language assessment indicators appears later in the chapter (see Figure 5. keep in mind that the descriptions are given with the assumption that students have overcome shyness and are speaking to the best of their ability.Assessment Knowing that a student has had few academic experiences or limited formal schooling might point to a need for intensive support and creative ways of giving this student individual attention whenever possible.2 for an overview). whereas a student with limited formal schooling may be seeing the concepts taught in these lessons for the very first time. even though they are not able to demonstrate this through speaking. As you read the descriptions of the stages and the examples of student conversations. Similarly. For students with limited formal schooling. or writing. the differences in writing are often quite noticeable compared to pieces written by students with more formal schooling. remember that the students should feel comfortable enough with you or the interviewer so that the language samples will be typical of the students’ capabilities and everyday language. English language learners at the emergent stage are usually able to understand more than they can communicate.
The student uses gestures. The student’s answers are kept brief with little or no elaboration unless prompted. Grammatical errors are minimal and do not interfere with the message. two. The student is able to comprehend and participateinaconversation with minimal misunderstandings. This stage describes the student who is completely unable to speak in English progressing to one who can speak in comprehensible. comprehensible responses.Someevidence of sophisticated vocabularyisevidentin this student’s speech samples. facial expressions.” . The student is able to demonstrate his or her comprehension of class discussions. can form an outline or summary of many of the main points. Figure 5. Grammatical errors do not interfere with the message..or three-word sentences like “Girl cry. The student can respond in short sentences. The student is able to listen attentivelytolectures and. The student includes some elaboration in his or her speech with minimal teacher prompting. The student’s speech has noticeable grammatical errors. The student speaks in fragments and hasnotyetdevelopeda sophisticatedvocabulary. graphic organizers).Listening Speaking 112 Language Assessment Indicators Stage 2 Beginning The student can understand teacher prompts with minimal rephrasing. and lectures without the use of scaffolds. The student is beginning to use clichés and idioms. The studentfindsitvery difficult to comprehend lectures without the use of scaffolds (e. Lectures without a great deal of contextual supports are mostly incomprehensible to this student. and nonverbalcuestoget his or her message across. Stage 3 Intermediate Stage 4 Advanced The student is able to comprehend and participateinaconversation with few or no misunderstandings. Stage 5 Achieving Academic Fluency The student can comprehendaconver ation s with few or no misunderstandings. lessons.g. The student is likely to use clichés and idioms.2 The Language-Rich Classroom Language Assessment Indicator Reference List Stage 1 Emergent This stage describes the student progressing from no comprehension of English to comprehension of simple sentences with the frequent need for rephrasing of teacher prompts. with some support. The student is able to answer open-ended questions in detailed.
The student is able to be successful in reading and comprehending academic texts without the use of a scaffolding tool.Figure 5. The student is more able to write about c oncreteeventsthan expository type pieces. may not enjoy it. most likely. the student is able to clearly organize his or her thoughts into cohesiveandwell- transitioned paragraphs. but.g. Mechanical errors often disrupt the flow of the message being c onveyed. With the use of a scaffold. The student is able to adddescriptivenessto writings. because of the effortinvolvedincomprehending text.Thestudent.2 (continued) Language Assessment Indicator Reference List Language Assessment Indicators Stage 2 Beginning Stage 3 Intermediate Stage 4 Advanced Stage 5 Achieving Academic Fluency Stage 1 Emergent Reading This stage describes the student who is not yet demonstrating understanding of sound/ symbol relationships progressing to one who is able to sound out simple words. The student may be able to write two or three simple sentences. The student may or may not choose the option of using a scaffolding tool. Writing is becoming less of a fearedandavoided topic. The student’s writing is comprehensible. The student is able to independently read and comprehend chapter books that are age-appropriate or approaching ageappropriateness. Writing competency is at or is approachinggrade-level expectations. Writing This stage describes the student who is not yet demonstrating an ability to write anything in English progressing to one who can write s implewordsorhave letter-sound correspondence and can write simple words as they are dictated. Assessment 113 . This student is becoming more and more successful in his or her ability to read and summarize what has been read in academic texts without a scaffolding tool. graphic organizers). as good writingreliesheavilyon academic language.well-transitioned paragraphs. Grammatical and spelling errors interfere with the message being conveyed.Content area reading poses a significant challenge for a student at this stage of language development. The student writes in cohesive. The student may be able to decode readings but has minimal comprehension of academic texts without the support of scaffolds (e. The student is able to clearly organize thoughts into a multiparagraph essay. The student is able to read in all genres.. This stage describes a student whose reading fluency and comprehension are considerably behind those of his grade-levelpeers. The student is able to read. does not enjoy the writing process.
Interviewer: Do you write well . there is some evidence that Daisy was able to understand at least parts of the questions asked. no money. or class? Daisy: (Four-second pause) Writing. even though it took her time to formulate her 114 . currently being read aloud in class) Interviewer: Tell me a little about the book. .The Language-Rich Classroom The following are two interviews with students at the emergent stage of language development. Interviewer: Why is it writing? Daisy: Is good. Interviewer: Do you like books? Daisy: Mm-huh (yes). Interviewer: What kinds of books? Daisy: (Shrugs and waves hand in front of her) Books? Interviewer: Tell me. Interviewer: What made your parents move to Richmond? Marisela: (Asks for clarification) Why? Interviewer: Yes. why did they come here? Marisela: Eh. . . a 10th grader from Colombia Interviewer: How long ago did you arrive from Colombia? Marisela: Six month ago. Interviewer: Do you feel like you’ve learned a lot of English? Marisela: Mm-huh (nods). (three-second pause) your favorite subject . what is your favorite book? Daisy: (Three-second pause) The Time Wrap Toy (actual book is Time Warp Trio. nicely? Daisy: Mm-huh (yes). they had a job here . Emergent Stage—Secondary Grade Interview with Marisela. Daisy: Is good. . Emergent Stage—Elementary Grade Interview with Daisy. . (three-second pause) you think? Marisela: (Nods) Analysis of Emergent-Stage Interviews In the first example. a 3rd grader from Laos Interviewer: What’s your favorite thing to do? Daisy: (Shrugs) Interviewer: You don’t have a favorite thing to do? Daisy: (Shakes head) Interviewer: OK. . Interviewer: Did you speak any English there? Marisela: Uh-uh (no). . what is your favorite thing to do in school . Interviewer: And so. .
decontextualized speech. In both interviews. In the second example. as discussed in Chapter 2. they may be able to pick up the main points as they’re being read aloud. Marisela looked intently at the interviewer as she was interviewed. read-alouds provide an enjoyable and effective way of developing language. and she kept her responses to open-ended questions very short. Interviewer: What is your favorite book? 115 . Students at this stage may be able to understand the main ideas of fictional chapter books that are read aloud with the support of inflection. At this stage. Stage 2: Beginning Proficiency This may be a very frustrating stage for students as they try to express their deep understanding of concepts but are hindered by a limited vocabulary in English. the interview was completely dependent on the interviewer having prepared questions. The interviewer spoke slowly and articulated each question clearly. where the students are learning in highly contextualized and engaging environments through the use of hands-on and discovery learning. because students’ listening comprehension at this stage usually far surpasses their ability to explain what they know verbally or in writing. because listening is an active process of translation from their first language. students’ attention may drift to unrelated things. Her listening comprehension at the time of the interview was greater than her ability to articulate her responses. Beginning Proficiency—Elementary Grade Interview with Cindy. and questions for clarification.Assessment responses. And. They won’t be able to listen to long. a 3rd grader from Laos Interviewer: Do you like books? Cindy: Yeah. as if needing to see the interviewer mouth the words or searching for some contextual cues the interviewer might use in her interview. She didn’t have enough fluency in English to elaborate on answers to open-ended questions. Students greatly benefit from what Cummins (1991) calls context-embedded instruction. occasional pictures. Even if students aren’t able to read and understand chapter books on their own. The students didn’t have enough English proficiency to take the conversations onto a limb or to open up discussion on other related topics.
she’s my best friend. . Delia. Interviewer: Do you read a lot? Cindy: Uh-huh. Jones. Interviewer: Can you tell me about your family? 116 . Interviewer: What don’t you like about school? Cindy: Social science.The Language-Rich Classroom Cindy: (18-second pause) Junie B. Interviewer: What’s your favorite Junie B. Interviewer: Why does she get a sandwich on her head? Cindy: (10-second pause and shrugs) Interviewer: Can you tell me a little about school? Cindy: Think school is fun. Interviewer: What do you like about school? Cindy: Do math and reading. Interviewer: What things does she do that are funny? Cindy: She holler and (11-second pause) she hide in school. Interviewer: What do you do together? Miguel: Talk and . Interviewer: Were you able to understand it? Miguel: Some things. Interviewer: Why is that your favorite book? Cindy: ’Cause she’s funny. Interviewer: Can you tell me about your friends? Miguel: (Five-second pause) Interviewer: Do you have a lot of friends here? Miguel: Yeah. Interviewer: How did you like the book? Miguel: (Shrugs) Interviewer: Were you able to read the book? Miguel: Is boring. a lot of friends Interviewer: What are they like? Miguel: Marta and Delia. a 9th grader from Puerto Rico The class had finished reading the chapter book Holes by Louis Sachar. . Interviewer: What’s it about? Cindy: She hate the bus. and go shopping. Interviewer: Why? Cindy: ’Cause I don’t like writing. . Interviewer: Do you like to shop? Miguel: Uh-huh (yes). . . Interviewer: Why? Cindy: She get sandwich . Jones book? Cindy: Junie B. in her head. . listen to music . Beginning Proficiency—Secondary Grade Interview with Miguel. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus.
Students with beginning proficiency still don’t have the vocabulary necessary to carry on effortless conversations. date? Interviewer: Yes. developing academic fluency is an area that must be addressed. At this stage. it’s still noticeable that the students are in the process of acquiring competency in English. Stages 3 and 4: Intermediate and Advanced Proficiency Knowledge of what goes on at these stages is critical for teachers. the students clearly understand the questions being asked. Both Cindy and Miguel are able to carry on a conversation with less effort than students at the emergent stage. Students benefit from the use of nonverbal scaffolds. It is at these stages that students may be referred for special education services when. and I love them. Students at this stage appear to have acquired English because their verbal English. they are much more noticeable in the students’ writing. As discussed 117 . However.Assessment Miguel: They are special to me. . where the effort is so often placed on exactness and the mechanics of speech. such as the use of graphic organizers that the students can use as springboards for expressing their understanding of concepts. Interviewer: How did you feel when you first got here? Miguel: I was sad. thinking first in their native language and then translating key words that are similar to or known in English. the students actively go through a translation process. Analysis of Beginning Proficiency Interviews In both examples. because of the obvious effort that it takes them to answer the questions. Minor grammatical errors are easily overlooked when students are speaking within the context of a conversation. and good. in fact. but I like now. Although student errors are easy to overlook in the context of a conversation. teachers may believe that the student has acquired enough English fluency to succeed in school. Interviewer: That’s great! Do you remember when you got here? Miguel: (Asks for clarification in Spanish) The fecha . Because conversational language is not as difficult for students at the intermediate proficiency stage. It’s no wonder that students like Cindy dislike writing. These stages are the most misunderstood stages of language development where students are least likely to receive support because of their seeming fluency in English. seems to be comparable to that of native English speakers. . Miguel: August 29th. at first glance.
The real difference between native English speakers and ELLs comes not in oral language samples but in performance on writing tasks and reading tasks. They lack the comprehension of sophisticated textbook language even though their oral skills are good enough that they may be seen as talkative or even disruptive. they are in the process of developing the language and the higher-order thinking skills that allow them to answer open-ended questions. fluid conversation is dependent on context for students at this stage. when asked an openended question. a 3rd grader from Puerto Rico Interviewer: What kinds of books do you like to read? Mariana: I like to read chapter books. Students at the intermediate proficiency stage have difficulty understanding non-contentspecific academic words in academic texts. Therefore. Because the concept of academic proficiency is often overlooked. Intermediate Proficiency—Elementary Grade Interview with Mariana. Here’s the key to identifying students at the intermediate proficiency stage: Although conversational language differs from written language (even for native English speakers). As a result. Interviewer: Do you find them hard? Mariana: (Shakes head) Interviewer: What is your favorite book? 118 . many have been exited from programs that offer needed linguistic and academic support.The Language-Rich Classroom in Chapter 2. By the time students reach the intermediate and advanced proficiency stages. academic language is the language of books and the type of language found in textbooks and school-related exercises. Students at the intermediate proficiency stage have often become accustomed to using “I don’t know” as an acceptable answer. Depending on their first-language experience. the students seem to need a great deal of prompting to explain themselves. These students are often mistakenly seen as slower learners and consequently may be retained or end up dropping out of school altogether. they are left to struggle in contexts that rely on academic language. student failure and teacher frustration are both high at these stages. careful analysis of their oral and written language indicates that these students often speak and write in fragments as opposed to paragraphs. Although students with intermediate and advanced proficiency seem to speak well with others and can make themselves understood.
I don’t know. Interviewer: Yuk! Can you tell me about your friends? Mariana: Michaela. Intermediate Proficiency—Secondary Grade Interview with Marcos. Interviewer: Tell me. Interviewer: Do you read when the classes make you? Marcos: Sometimes. Interviewer: Can you tell me about school? Mariana: School’s my favorite. wait. Interviewer: Tell me about the kinds of books you like. something like that. how she treat the other guys and the other guys that work for her. Interviewer: What would you do? Mariana: I would play with my friends. how would you spend your perfect day? Mariana: Probably. actually. how she treat them. Interviewer: What makes her your best friend? Mariana: Sometimes she’s kind of silly. Interviewer: Why? Mariana: Because she’s funny in the book. 119 . Interviewer: What kinds of things do you like to read? Marcos: I read. Interviewer: Like how? Mariana: Like.Assessment Mariana: Junie B. to study. Interviewer: How come? Mariana: Because you get to learn so many things. I like it. like truth stories. so. the Witch and the Wardrobe (read aloud in ESL class)? Marcos: Yeah. Interviewer: What about her? Mariana: She’s my best friend. uh. Interviewer: How is she funny? Mariana: She spits on her shoes to clean it. Interviewer: Oh. like biographies. Interviewer: You read books sometimes? Marcos: When I get bored I like to read. Interviewer: What did you like about the witch? Marcos: Like. Marcos: Yeah. Marcos: Um. Interviewer: What did you like about it? Marcos: About like the witch. just. a 10th grader from Honduras Interviewer: How did you like the book The Lion. like I don’t read that much. I don’t know. Interviewer: Like what? Mariana: Like build something or paint something. Jones. you get to do a special thing.
from my country to here it’s kind of different subjects. Interviewer: What do you do after? Marcos: Then I go to my house. if a third party were to catch pieces of this conversation. play basketball and play soccer. They speak in fragments. Neither Marcos nor Mariana shows evidence of having developed a sophisticated level of vocabulary. The students’ answers are easy to understand. They settle for simple. Interviewer: What’s difficult about it? Marcos: ’Cause. Analysis of Intermediate Proficiency Interviews The conversational examples of Marcos and Mariana suggest that both are at the intermediate proficiency stage. Grammatical errors are present but do not necessarily interfere with understanding the message that the students are trying to convey. the students understand more than what is evident in their explanation. At this stage. Marcos: I get to play with my friends. At this stage. he or she would have to hear the question to fully understand the students’ answers.The Language-Rich Classroom Interviewer: OK. uncomplicated ways of explaining themselves. who might have reverted to their first language. and their grammatical errors are easy to overlook without seeing them in writing. although their vocabulary is growing. This fact is not as obvious as it was for the students at the beginning proficiency stage. Tell me how you would spend a perfect day. Interviewer: What would you play? Marcos: I get to go. We’ve included conversational examples. That is. and the challenges of language development are easier for teachers to overlook at this stage. like. the conversation is highly dependent on contextual supports such as teacher prompting (note that both of the students need to be prompted at every step). Interviewer: Mm-hm? Marcos: I do my homework. 120 . Interviewer: What’s your least favorite subject in school? Marcos: Math. In addition. The easiest way to do so is probably through reading engaging fiction and nonfiction in order to process academic language in meaningful contexts. The students’ answers could not be understood in isolation. the students need a great deal of meaningful and painless exposure to academic language. Interviewer: Why math? Marcos: It’s kind of difficult. then watch TV for a little bit. but academic language proficiency is most easily seen in comprehension of academic texts and in student writing samples.
Well. Interviewer: Were you able to understand it? Irma: Yeah. and what else. like. I know English. we have six. We go to computer lab on Cycle Day 5 and. like a broom. Interviewer: Do you like science and history? William: Well. I think. zoo books. and I have to go to the library to exchange books every Cycle Day 1. kind of. not subjects—it’s like we go to music. we do. so I’ll be feeling like they don’t know English at all. Interviewer: Like how? William: And if it’s dusty. problem that are easy. like about animals and stuff. and I think we go to computer lab. and the other stuff. um. and then they don’t have to sweep it. and there’s a lot of stuff that you could do that’s.Assessment Advanced Proficiency—Middle Grade Interview with William. Advanced Proficiency—Secondary Grade Interview with Irma. your teacher helps you with it. William: Um. math. Interviewer: What kinds of books do you like? William: I like Harry Potter. social studies. it’s hard for me. gym? William: I think it’s the funnest in all of them. like hard. Interviewer: Do you feel funny about that—about being in the same ESL class? 121 . the Witch and the Wardrobe? Irma: I don’t know. so I mostly like all the subjects. Interviewer: What about PE. a 10th grader from the Dominican Republic Interviewer: What did you think of The Lion. I like. we go to art. Interviewer: What is hard for you? William: In the subjects? Interviewer: Yeah. there’s a lot of stuff to say. we do reading and stuff like that. Interviewer: Do you like books? William: Yeah. when you sleep. I don’t know. it was like dusty on the floor. Interviewer: Why math? William: Because like there’s. I like ghost books. but I’ll do something nice to my mom and I’ll help her. Interviewer: Tell me how you would spend a perfect day? William: Uh. a 6th grader from Germany Interviewer: What is your favorite subject? William: Uh. because I live in an apartment. I think. ’cause. I like them too. like. ’cause I like science. I understand it. like. Like there’s another student there that just came from PR. I go to ESL. we do. Interviewer: What kinds of things do you do in school? William: Well. And. not inside the house. we do. um. um. and if it’s dusty on the floor. then I sweep it off for them. social studies is the hardest. like. like. I don’t know why. but I really like math the most. well.
some of them. Interviewer: Is it because you like them all or don’t like any? Irma: Oh. I like math. Analysis of Advanced Proficiency Interviews For students like William and Irma. However. there is very little sophisticated. and they’re able to anticipate the next question and answer it. Achieving Academic Fluency—Elementary Grade Interview with Eduardo. I don’t got one. The students understand that open-ended questions should be answered with details. and they can do so without much hesitation. and they need only a minimal prompt to explain themselves. . Students’ reading comprehension and writing are becoming comparable to those of their native English-speaking peers.The Language-Rich Classroom Irma: No. ’cause I’ve been in the United States since I was in kindergarten. Stage 5: Achieving Academic Fluency The main difference between students at the achieving academic fluency stage and those at earlier stages is that students now can perform well in linguistic contexts that don’t offer a great deal of nonverbal support. non-content-specific academic vocabulary in their speech samples. Interviewer: What is your favorite subject? Irma: Um. um. Interviewer: Are there subjects that you don’t like? Irma: ’Cause some of them are hard. Students also elaborated without being prompted. more compacted sentences and paragraphs. They speak in longer. Students at this stage were more likely to ask for clarification when they didn’t understand a question. science. a 5th grader from Cuba Interviewer: What is your favorite subject? Eduardo: History 122 . we got biology. . Interviewer: Which do you like most? Irma: Like. so . grammatical errors still occur. but they are minimal and don’t interfere with the meaning conveyed. it’s just like I could speak more English than Spanish. I don’t feel funny. ’cause some of them are hard. no. it’s just—I know enough English. Students at the advanced proficiency stage still benefit from the CHATS strategies described in this book. I like them. like social studies. Students at this stage often provide detailed answers. that’s like my favorites. peppered with sophisticated non-content-specific academic vocabulary. .
They’re pretty nice. and his greatgrandfather had the same name as his. It was just a desert. And he was accused of stealing some shoes. a week to finish a big project. ancient stuff that you can’t. They teach you good things. Interviewer: Can you tell me a little about your friends? Eduardo: I have a couple of friends. Can you tell me a little about your friends? José: Friends? In which way? Interviewer: What are your friends like? Are they generally Latino? José: Well.Assessment Interviewer: Why history? Eduardo: Because you could learn. Interviewer: Can you tell me a little about school? Eduardo: School is OK. Interviewer: Are there things you don’t like? Eduardo: Sometimes you have to do a lot of work. I like most of the teachers here. a 10th grader from Nicaragua Interviewer: Can you tell me about your favorite book? José: Right now. and he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Achieving Academic Fluency—Secondary Grade Interview with José. something like that. what was interesting was that his grandfather. and sometimes. a lot of stuff from the past. I think it was. like. I watch cartoons sometimes. well. Interviewer: Do you like books? Eduardo: I like the boxcar children. like. 123 . Like. his great-grandfather. Interviewer: What’s it about? José: It’s about these kids. Interviewer: How do you feel about ESL? Eduardo: Yeah. they don’t give you a lot of time. Sometimes I watch whatever is on. like. it’s actually just one main character. like. it pretty much helps ’cause in ESL we learn like. out in Texas. uh. and they took him to a prison. so he got in trouble. like they say. about kids coming up to him and bothering him. but I also have a lot of American friends. Interviewer: Do you like TV? Eduardo: Yeah. They mostly like the stuff that I do—that’s how I usually find my friends. reading strategies and learn how to write better. They help you. and he was gonna be there. different types. I watch dramas. I like it. Interviewer: What did you like about the book? José: I liked how they portrayed his trials. um. It was called a lake. and a lot of work in class. They’re whites. I get along a lot with the Hispanics. he ended up leaving the place because he wasn’t guilty. About a kid. learn in other places. Most of them are my age. on an adventure. Interviewer: That sounds like a neat story. Interviewer: What do you like about that? Eduardo: They’re always. A lot of homework. like. had left some things. and he got to take this suitcase of his. And. and then at the end. just. you know. but it wasn’t a lake or anything like that. I think my favorite book was called Holes (by Louis Sachar). and yet I don’t like it. it was not practically a prison—it was like a temporary place to keep kids.
and yet. sophisticated vocabulary characteristic of achieving academic fluency is evident in words like ancient. but Mom’s a little boring. he or she would not have to hear the interviewer’s question in order to understand the student’s answer. such vocabulary is exemplified in words like accused. At this stage. Interviewer: Is there anything you like about school? Emma: Uh. in school there’s not much free time. but if I’m at school. and yet. Analysis of Achieving Academic Fluency Interviews In the case of Eduardo. I love gym. yes. and gym is very close to sports. because it’s a lot of work and I miss my family. or if it’s at home. first of all. Emma: Well. Emma: Well. uh. José was able to provide clarification when he felt as though he might have led the interviewer to a false impression: “Well. portrayed. really annoying.” Similarly. guilty. my brother James is really. Samples of Conversations with Native English Speakers For the sake of comparison. drama. I like my dad cause he’s fun. Interviewer: Mm-hm? 124 . Interviewer: Why? Emma: Because I like sports. If a third party were to catch pieces of these conversations. strategies. in school there’s not much free time. the students’ answers could be understood in isolation. I don’t like it. . but if I’m at school . In the case of José. temporary. Students at the achieving academic fluency stage can address details and verbally clear up misconceptions. go swimming with my friends or things like that. here are samples of interviews with monolingual native English speakers. adventure. . Interview with Emma. I. like. It’s almost as if their linguistic confidence had developed to the extent that they knew that they were owed a better question. a 2nd grader Interviewer: Tell me about school. I talk with my friends and hang out. . and trials.The Language-Rich Classroom Interviewer: What do you like to do with them? José: Well.” One noticeable difference between the advanced and early language learners we’ve described here is that the advanced language learners took greater ownership of the conversation by asking for clarification when asked a vague question. such as Eduardo explaining his attitude toward school by saying. first of all. “I like it. Interviewer: Tell me about your family. I don’t like school. and.
. and they can’t bore you to death. fun activities. and Dad always is fun. . we never go to the pet store. Interviewer: OK? Lauren: You know what I mean. I don’t know. they get annoying sometimes. and then I’d just sit in my house. I mean . and this is the only one. and if you tell them something that they’re not supposed to tell anybody. but I would like that. You know. you know. Interview with Lauren. I mean. all those kinds of things. but sometimes you wish they weren’t. Interviewer: Anything else? Emma: Um. Interviewer: Can you tell me a little about your family? Lauren: Uh. Interviewer: How would you spend a perfect day? Emma: I would play outside with my friends. hey . like. For 2nd 125 . my brother’s annoying. either. well. like. like softball and stuff. and do something different. doing. my mom likes to go to furniture stores. and you have to know that you can depend on them. or at the mall. They peppered their conversations with sophisticated vocabulary or non-content-specific academic words for their age group. and then when Dad goes away it’s really boring. . the native English speakers were more likely to ask for clarification when asked a vague question.Assessment Emma: Mmm. honest and trustworthy. we hang out a lot. and just doing stuff that I like to do. . that they won’t tell. As is the case with advanced speakers learning English as a second language. I can’t stand boring people. Both Emma and Lauren responded to minimal prompts (“OK?” and “Mm-hm?”) with more elaboration. probably at their house. like. go somewhere different. Interviewer: Are there things you like to do with your family? Emma: I like to go bike riding with my dad. Like. movies. spontaneously. and I’d probably look for . . But. a 10th grader Interviewer: Tell me about your friends. The most important is. well. no. I’d like to read. Lauren: What about ’em? Interviewer: Can you tell me what you do with them. they’re there for you. so when Mom goes away it’s really fun. OK. what you look for when you’re looking for friends? Lauren: Oh. . I’d go in my house and read. My family is important. They often elaborated in their responses. OK. Like. . I get bored doing the same stuff all the time. really plan and really do something. answering more than the question asked. . but I like to go to TJ Maxx and the pet store with my mom. maybe to the ice cream store. like. Interviewer: How would you spend a perfect day? Lauren: I would probably have to spend my perfect day with my friends. yeah. and I’d go bike riding. I mean. an interesting personality. Analysis of Interviews with Native English Speakers Much of what was said for the students at the approaching academic fluency stage is true for the native English speakers in these samples.
both Emma and Lauren describe their brothers as “annoying”—but that’s a cultural discussion we’ll leave for another book. 135) . mentioned in Chapter 2). there are still grammatical errors. The federal government requires that we monitor English language learners for two years after they have been exited.” The informal language assessment indicators in Figure 5. What amazed her most about listening to each student’s recordings back-to-back was the amount of growth that had not been as obvious through day-to-day interactions. we’ve included in Figure 5. Jeanne Oakes.) For 10th grader Lauren. speaking. it became obvious to me how the sophistication of word-usage improved over such a short period of time [4 months]. monitoring means very little in terms of systematic record 126 (text continued on p. Unfortunately. for too many districts. those words were evidenced in her use of activities and annoying. (Interestingly enough. According to Oakes. and of course you can always think of your own questions that link your literacy or content-area goals with your language assessment goals. The indicators allow you to keep records regarding ELL growth in listening.4 can assist you in keeping informal records of observable language behavior that might inform your teaching. uses wordless picture books as prompts for oral language samples which she records and catalogs using her computer’s standard recording capabilities. (Wordless books are also available from Reading A–Z. and writing. You may elaborate on these in order to get about a three-minute language sample. reading. Interviews and Informal Language Assessment Indicators Because audio recordings offer rich information on oral language long after the interview ends. “In the recordings. ELL teacher at Burrowes Elementary. sophisticated vocabulary was evidenced in words like trustworthy and spontaneously. We recommend that the indicators be filled out about three times a year and serve as one of multiple sources of assessments included in each ELL’s portfolio.3 a set of interview questions for your own audio recorded interviews. Monitoring Tools Effective monitoring of your exited students is a critical aspect affecting students’ long-term school performance. It is important to note that even in the context of conversations with native English speakers.The Language-Rich Classroom grader Emma.
keepinmindthatevenone-word answersprovideyouwithinformationonthestudent’sorallanguagedevelopment. TellmeaboutthekindsofthingsyouliketowatchonTV. hat’syourfavoritekindofmusic?Howdoyoufeelwhensomeonetellsyouthatthey W don’tlike_______(yourfavoritekindof)music? 9. 12. 6. Tellmeaboutyourfavoritebook.However. How would you spend a perfect day? 127 . Doyoulikebooks?Whyorwhynot?Tellmeaboutthekindsofbooksyoulike.youcanjotdown anecdotalnotesduringtheintervieworimmediatelyafter. Tellmeaboutyourfriends. 4 What’syourleastfavoritesubject?Whyisityourleastfavorite? 5. idyouhavefunthelasttimeyouwenttoPE(gymclass)?Whyorwhynot?What’s D yourfavoritethingtodoinPE(gymclass)? 8. 7. Tellmealittlebitaboutyourfavoritesubject. If youfeelthatrecordingtheinterviewwoulddramaticallyaffecttheresults. Tell me about your family. Try to record approximately three minutes of dialogue.Assessment Figure 5. 1 1.) 2. hatisyourfavoritethingtodoatrecesstime?(Askthestudenttoelaborateonhow W heorsheperformsthisactivity. Tell me about school. 1. 10. If the student answers with one-word answers.andthese can be used as a basis for comparison with later assessments done with the same student. rephrase the questions so that you can gather as much information about thestudent’sorallanguageproficiencyaspossible.3 Interview Questions for Recorded Oral Language Samples Name _____________________________ Instructions: Use two or three questions that are open-ended and allow for the student to elaborate. 3.
speaking.gesturing. o hestudentreliesonverbal T andnonverbalcuesfor understanding what is spoken. o The student can identify his or her name in print. o The student can sound out many simple words. o The student can sound out English words but may not know the meaning of the words that he or she reads. reading. o The student is able to physically follow through on commands such as “Pick up the pencil. o When asked.4 Informal Language Assessment Indicators Student’s Name ____________________________ The Language-Rich Classroom Language spoken at home: Stages and Dates Listening Stage#_____Date_________ Stage#_____Date_________ Stage#_____Date_________ Place a checkmark and the dateneartheskillsastheydescribethestudent. o The student is experiencing a “silent period” and is not yet producing speech utterances in English. Students may be at different stages for each of the four domains (listening. or that use a similar writing system as is used in English. o The student can answer yes and no to simple questions. the student is able to show comprehension of simple stories through nonverbalmeanssuchas pointing to pictures.” o The student can identify common objects in the room by pointing to them.Feelfreetoskiptothe page that best describes this student’s language proficiency. o The student can read and understand simple sentences of aboutfiveorfewerwords. and writing).Youdonothavetocheckeveryindicator. the student will tell you his or her name and basic personal information. o The student can write simple words. or using other nonverbalcues. o The student can write his or her name using letters of the alphabet. Writing o Can the student write in his or hernativelanguage? o Yes o No o The student is not demonstrating an ability to write anything in English.” Reading o Can the student read in his or hernativelanguage? o Yes o No o The student is not able to demonstrate understanding of letter-sound relationships. o The student can copy basic letters and words. Note: Students from countries or locations that require English as a course of study. nodding. . Note: Students from countries or locations that require English as a course of study.mayhavereadingand/or writing skills that surpass listening and speaking skills.mayhavereadingand/or writing skills that surpass listening and speaking skills. o Student shows comprehension of simple questions and commands by answering in the nativelanguage. o While being read to. o The student can identify a handful of objects in the room by naming the objects. Stage 1: Emergent Speaking o hestudentisusingnative T language to communicate. or that use a similar writing system as is used in English. Listening o The student is not yet demonstrating comprehension of simple questions or commands. such as “Girl cry. o The student can identify friends’ names in print. o The student understands lettersound relationships and can write simple words as they are dictated. o The student forms incomplete but comprehensible sentences consisting of two or three words.128 Informal Language Assessment Indicators For use by Classroom Teachers of ELLs in Grades 2–12 Student’s dominant language: Grade at which student entered Englishspeaking schools: Reading Stage#_____Date_________ Stage#_____Date_________ Stage#_____Date_________ Writing Stage#_____Date_________ Stage#_____Date_________ Stage#_____Date_________ Speaking Stage#_____Date_________ Stage#_____Date_________ Stage#_____Date_________ Figure 5.
although the questions may not be grammatically correct (“Where is?” instead of “Where is he?”). or frustrated.isnowheard laughingwithandconversing with friends. o The student is beginning to use question words. or write. o The student can listen to a beginning chapter book read aloud with the support of intonation and feeling and occasional pictures. similar writing system as is used in English. o The student. o The student participates in silent reading times. (continued) Assessment Please refer to the additional comments page for additional prompts. middle. o The student is able to write aboutconcreteeventsas Note: The students from countries opposed to expository writing. and be able to get the gist of the story. o Comprehension of non-contentspecificacademicvocabulary poses a significant challenge for this student. or that use a similar writing system as is used in English. o The student responses are kept short(fourtosevenwords). o The student’s speech has noticeable grammatical errors. who at one time seemed unable to carry on a conversation. animated. o The student’s writing has noticeable grammatical errors that interfere with the message conveyed. and end. Note: The students from countries or locations that require English as a course of study. and simple sentences. o The student is not likely to elaborateonanswersgiven without prompting. the student’s attention often drifts to nonrelated things. You can also add an edited copy if you feel it helpstogiveaclearerpictureofthe student’s writing ability. o The student’s ability to comprehend what he or she has heard noticeably surpasses his or her ability to speak.4 (continued) Informal Language Assessment Indicators Stage 2: Beginning Proficiency Speaking Reading Writing Can the student write in his or her nativelanguage? o Yes o No Attach a nonedited writing sample for each marking period that the student is in your class (include at least three per year). and speaking skills. 129 .mayhavereadingand/or writing skills that surpass listening and speaking skills. or that use a beginning. o The student is able to follow along in lessons that are context embedded and show comprehensionbyproviding simple input. o The student can write two or three simple sentences. o The student can read simple picture books. o The student is considerably behindhisorhergrade-level peers in reading comprehension. o The student can retell a story usingsimplevocabularyor pictures. o The student’s writing has numerous spelling errors that interfere withthemessageconveyed. read.Figure 5. o hestudentmayreverttohisor T her first language when confused.mayhavereadingand/or o The student can explain his or her thinking in the content areas writing skills that surpass listening using simple sentences. o It is difficult for you to carry on aconversationwiththisstudent without your need for restating whatyouhavesaid. Listening o hestudent’svocabularyisstill T limited. o hestudentvolunteersto T answer direct (usually not openended) questions in class or is able to answer when called on. o The student can explain his or her thinking through the support of facial expressions. o The student has considerable difficulty with comprehension of content-area reading. o incelisteningisanactive S process of translation at this point. Can the student read in his or her nativelanguage? o Yes o No o The student is considerably behindhisorhergrade-level peers in reading fluency. gestures. or locations that require English as Thisincludesacohesive a course of study.
4 (continued) Informal Language Assessment Indicators The Language-Rich Classroom Listening o The student is able to comprehend and participate in aconversationwithminimal misunderstandings. o Spelling errors are becoming less common and do not interfere with the message conveyed. this remains a difficult task. such as graphic organizers. Thisfactisnotasobviousasit was for the students at the beginningconversationalstage. o Through the use of well-chosen scaffolds. the student’s answers are kept brief. o Writing is not yet as fluid as thatofnativeEnglishspeakers. the student is able to successfully summarize what has been read in academic texts. with little or no elaboration on the topic. this student does not enjoy most types of writingactivities. o The student is able to participate in silent reading times. o hestudent’soverallwritingis T comprehensible. o The student can comprehend engaging read-alouds with minimal support. uncomplicated ways of explaining complex concepts. Please refer to the additional comments page for additional prompts. o The student is able to paraphrase ideas. o The student speaks in fragments (much more so than anativespeaker)andhasnot yetdevelopedasophisticated levelofvocabulary. o hestudentisabletogivean T oral report with the help of organizers. although without scaffolds. such as a graphic organizer and highlighted key points. o For the most part. . o The student. with the use of a scaffold. o The student understands some figurativespeech. o The student is able to read chapter books and some gradeappropriate material (though may choose not to do so). Reading Writing Can the student write in his or her nativelanguage? o Yes o No Attach a nonedited writing sample for each marking period that the student is in your class (include at least three per year). understands jokes and humor (though he or she may not use them in his or her speech). Mechanical errors often disrupt the flow of this student’s writings. In other words. o Grammatical errors are present but do not necessarily interfere with the message that the studentistryingtoconvey. o The student settles for simple. o For the most part.idioms. o Answers are not self-contained. o The student is able to take notes in class. o hereisevidencethatthe T student understands more than whatisevidentinhisorher explanations and writings.130 Stage 3: Intermediate Proficiency Speaking Can the student read in his or her nativelanguage? o Yes o No o The student is able to read fictional books but may not enjoy the process of reading. who noticeably struggled with vocabularyorrevertedtotheir first language. o The student writes about abstract as well as concrete concepts. for the most part. Figure 5.and metaphors. o The student reads aloud with minimal mistakes.althoughhis orhervocabularymaybe growing. a third party’s understanding of a student response would be dependent onthatthirdpartyhavingheard the question. regardless of grammatical errors. o The student can “get through” a chapter reading in a content area text but has minimal comprehension without the help of scaffolds. You can also add an edited copy if you feel it helpstogiveaclearerpictureofthe student’s writing ability.
Figure 5.4 (continued)
Informal Language Assessment Indicators
Stage 4: Advanced Proficiency
Speaking Can the student read in his or her nativelanguage? o Yes o No o The student is able to participate in and remain on task during silent reading times. o The student is able to independently read fictional chapter books that are approaching ageappropriateness with minimal difficulty. o The student can participate in small-group discussions centered around the analysis of a particular book, though this student may benefit from writing his or her thoughts beforehand, using some type of a scaffold. o houghthestudentmayhave T preferences, he or she is able to readfromavarietyofgenres. o This student is becoming more and more successful in his or her ability to read and summarize what has been read in academic texts without a scaffolding tool. The student may or may not choose the option of using a scaffold. Reading Writing Can the student write in his or her nativelanguage? o Yes o No
Attach a nonedited writing sample for each marking period that the student is in your class (include at least three per year). You can also add an edited copy if you feel it helpstogiveaclearerpictureofthe student’s writing ability.
Listening o The student is beginning to use clichés and idioms in conversation. o The student answers in longer sentences that can be understood within the contextoftheconversation. o With clarification and prompting, the student is able toverballyexplainhisorher thinking in a way that is understood. o hestudentvolunteersto T answerquestionsandgiveshis or her opinion in class. o Although the student may alwayshaveanaccent,the studentmakesveryfew grammatical mistakes. o When the student makes any grammatical mistakes, they are notsevereenoughtointerfere with understanding the message. o hestudent’sconversationis T becoming less dependent on contextual supports such as teacher prompting. The student is able to answer open-ended questions with minimal prompting. o The student is experimenting with more sophisticated vocabulary.
o The student is able to comprehend and participate in aconversationwithfeworno misunderstandings. o The student can comprehend engaging read-alouds with minimal support. o With the help of prompts, the studentisabletoverbally,and/ or in writing, demonstrate his or her comprehension of class discussions, lessons, and lectures. o The student is able to take notes based on his or her in-class learning but benefits from the use of a scaffold. o The student is able to listen attentivelytolongerlectures and, with some support, can form an outline or summary of many of the main points. o The student understands jokes and humor. o The student understands figurativespeech,idioms,and metaphors.
o With the use of a scaffold, the student is able to clearly organize his or her thoughts intocohesiveandwelltransitioned paragraphs. o Mechanical errors are common in first drafts, but the student is able to identify most of these errors through editing. o The student is able to write a multiparagraphpersuasive paper explaining his or her thinking. o The student is able to add descriptivenessthatenhances his or her writings. o With some guidance, the student is able to complete essays and research reports using sophisticated publications such as textbooks, newspapers, and encyclopedias. o Writing is becoming less of a fearedandavoidedtopic.
Please refer to the additional comments page for additional prompts.
Stage 5: Achieving Academic Fluency
Speaking Can the student read in his or her nativelanguage? o Yes o No o This student is able to be successful in reading and comprehendingthevocabulary in age-appropriate academic textswithoutheavyrelianceon a scaffolding tool. o The student is able to independently read and comprehend chapter books that are ageappropriate or approaching age-appropriateness. o The student is able to participate in small-group discussions centered on the analysis of a particular book. o houghthestudentmayhave T preferences, he or she is able to readandcomprehendavariety of genres. o The student is able to participate in and remain on task during silent reading times. Reading Writing Can the student write in his or her nativelanguage? o Yes o No
Attach a nonedited writing sample for each marking period that the student is in your class (include at least three per year). You can also add an edited copy if you feel it helpstogiveaclearerpictureofthe student’s writing ability.
Figure 5.4 (continued)
Informal Language Assessment Indicators
The Language-Rich Classroom
o The student is able to comprehend and participate in a conversationwithfeworno misunderstandings. o The student is able to demonstrate understanding of comprehensionofnarrative texts read aloud in class. o The student is able to demonstrate his or her comprehension of class discussions, lessons, and lectures. o The student is able to take notes based on his or her in-class learning (in the first or second language), as would be gradeappropriate. o The student is able to understand jokes and humor. o The student is able to understandfigurativespeech,idioms, and metaphors.
o The student is able to answer open-ended questions in detailed, comprehensible responses (though it is importanttonotethateven nativeEnglishspeakersdonot speak in complete sentences). o Understanding the student’s response is not dependent on contextual supports such as teacher prompting. The student isabletogiveself-contained responses that can be understood by a third party without havingheardthequestion. o The student needs only a minimal prompt to explain him- or herself. o The student elaborates on a topic without being asked to do so. o The student’s speech is peppered with sophisticated vocabulary(non-contentspecificacademicvocabulary). onconversations,thestudent I is able to clarify misunderstandings by elaboration or asking another student to clarify him- or herself. o The student is able to use clichés, idioms, metaphors, andfigurativespeechin conversation.
o The student is able to clearly organize thoughts into an ageappropriate multiparagraph essay. o hestudentwritesincohesive T and well-transitioned paragraphs. o The student writes multiparagraph essays using longer sentences that are tightly packed with information. o The student is able to complete essays and research reports using sophisticated publications such as textbooks, newspapers, and encyclopedias. o The student is able to write a persuasivepaper.Heorsheis able to explain his or her thinking, articulate what he or she knows, and defend his or herpointofview.
Figure 5.4 (continued)
Informal Language Assessment Indicators
Stage 5: Achieving Academic Fluency (continued)
Speaking o Although the student may alwayshaveanaccentand may always make certain grammatical errors, the student’s grammar does not interfere with the message conveyed. o The student is able to explain his or her thinking and articulate what he or she knows. Reading Writing o The student is able to write using some sophisticated vocabulary(non-contentspecificacademicvocabulary). o The student uses idioms, metaphors,andfigurative speech in writing. o The student is able to “paint a picture with words,” using descriptivespeech. o The student’s writing has few grammatical and mechanical errors. The student is able to edit his or her own work. o Writing is no longer a feared andavoidedtopic. o Older students are able to include disclaimers and enhancers such as • though, • in fact, and • while.
Please refer to the additional comments page for additional prompts.
Speaking Please keep records as they inform you regarding this student’s Please keep records as they inform you regarding this student’s • eadingfluency; r • eadingcomprehension; r • ontent-areareading; c • eadingpreferences; r • eadingprogress. r Please date and include titles of books read. Date_______________ Can the student read in his or her nativelanguage? o Yes o No Reading Writing Can the student write in his or her nativelanguage? o Yes o No Please keep records as they inform you regarding this student’s * areas of concern in writing; * areas of progress in writing; * attitudes about writing; *narrativewriting; * expository writing. Please date and include copies of writing samples. Date_______________ • bilitytocarryona a conversationwithminimal prompts; • bilitytoverballyinteractwith a peers; • bilitytoanswerclosed(direct) a questions in class; • bilitytoansweropen-ended a questions in class; • rogressinspeakingability. p Date_______________
Figure 5.4 (continued)
The Language-Rich Classroom
Informal Language Assessment Indicators
Student’s name ____________________________
Please keep records as they inform you regarding this student’s
• bilitytounderstand a commands; • bilitytofollowduring a interactivelessonswith contextual supports; • bilitytofollowduringlectures a and lessons with minimal contextual supports; • rogressinlistening p comprehension.
keeping and follow-up support. Because classroom teachers are unaware of monitored students’ status and their responsibility to these students, and because ESL specialists are often preoccupied with the needs of ELLs on active status, typically very little support and attention, if any, are given to monitored ELLs. This lack of attention is often detrimental to ELLs’ long-term success, as they receive the least support when they need it the most. As noted earlier, Thomas and Collier (1997) found that “students being schooled all in English initially make dramatic gains in the early grades, whatever type of program students receive, and this misleads teachers and administrators into assuming that the students are going to continue to do extremely well” (p. 34). On exiting, after just a few years of exposure to ESL or bilingual programs, ELLs can fall progressively behind the achievement levels of their native Englishspeaking peers with an ever-growing achievement gap year after year. “Thus, an achievement gap that was partially closed in elementary school becomes wider with each passing year” (Thomas & Collier, 1997, p. 35). Just to keep up at the same pace as native English speakers, ELLs need to make more than one year’s progress in a year. Thomas and Collier (1997) calculate the progress needed in a typical 10-month school year to be 15 months, or 50 percent more than for native English speakers. Compound this problem with the absence of any additional academic and linguistic support or teacher understanding of the impact that language has on long-term school success, and it’s easy to see why Latinos who are learning English as a second language drop out of school at higher rates than any other group of students (Fry, 2003; U.S. Department of Education, 2002). If we hope to influence ELL success over the long term, then we must address the problem of improving our efforts toward monitoring student progress. We must make targeted efforts toward in-class support aimed at developing the academic language that our students need to succeed in school and in life. Effective monitoring is not difficult to do. The monitoring tools included in Figures 5.5 and 5.6 are designed to painlessly facilitate this process. They are meant to be filled out at the end of each marking period so that progress can be compared with that of previous marking periods. If a decline in progress is noticed, then support can take the form of meeting with the student to determine sources of difficulty, helping the student self-assess, and setting goals for future learning.
(text continued on p. 141)
The Language-Rich Classroom
Figure 5.5 ESL Monitoring Tool: Elementary Grades
Note: Special thanks to Sandra Dunn, Laura Topakbashian, and Barbara Almstead from the Lower Merion School District for their helpful feedback on this tool. Name Grade at which student entered English-speaking schools Primary Language Grade Level ESL Exit Date
In the boxes below, indicate range or average grades that this student received during each marking period. 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Using the scale below, rate this student’s performance, in comparison to native English speakers, in each of the areas indicated: Marking Period Well Below Average Below Average Above Average Well Above Average
Listening Comprehension (understanding of lessons; ability to take notes) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Speaking (ability to share in class, answer questions, participate in large- and small-group discussions) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Content-Area Reading (ability to understand and show comprehension of content-area texts) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Figure 5.5 (continued) ESL Monitoring Tool: Elementary Grades
Well Below Average
Well Above Average
Content-Area Writing (ability to show understanding of concepts in written form) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Computational Math (participation; cooperation; working with others; asking questions) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Conceptual Math and Word Problems (sharing comments; asking questions; taking notes) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Science 1st 2nd 3rd 4th History 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
The Language-Rich Classroom
Figure 5.5 (continued) ESL Monitoring Tool: Elementary Grades
Well Below Average
Average Social Skills
Well Above Average
1st 2nd 3rd 4th E ort Toward Performance 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Marking Period 1st
Comments Regarding This Student’s Overall Progress:
The Language-Rich Classroom
Figure 5.5 Figure 5.6 ESL Monitoring Tool: Elementary Grades ESL Monitoring Tool: Middle and High School
Note: Special thanks to Sandra Dunn, Laura Topakbashian, and Barbara Almstead from the Lower Merion School District for their helpful feedback on this tool. Name Student Grade at which student entered English-speaking schools Subject/ Period/Grade Level Subject/Period/GradeLevel ESL Exit Date ESLExitDate
In the boxes below, indicate grades that this student received during each marking period. 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Using the scale below, rate this student’s performance, in comparison to native English speakers, in each of the areas indicated: Marking Period Well Below Average Below Average Above Average Well Above Average
Listening Comprehension (understanding of lessons; ability to take notes) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Speaking (ability to share in class, answer questions, participate in large- and small-group discussions) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Content-Area Reading (ability to understand and show comprehension of content-area texts) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
cooperation.5 Figure 5. asking questions.6 (continued) Elementary Grades ESL Monitoring Tool: Middle and High School Marking Period Well Below Average Below Average Average Above Average Well Above Average Content-Area Writing (ability to show understanding of concepts in written form) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Social Skills (participation. taking notes) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Effort Toward Performance in This Academic Area 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Overall Academic Achievement in This Subject Area 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 41 140 .The Language-Rich Classroom Content-Reading Strategies 5. working with others. asking questions) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Active Engagement (sharing comments.
141 . Classroom teachers and ESL specialists who want to facilitate the academic success of exited students can explore the following suggestions to support the academic growth of their students: 1.Assessment Figure 5. Exited students benefit from integrated content classrooms that make use of strategies like CHATS. Schedule a conference with the student. the ESL support may no longer be adequately designed to meet the student’s linguistic and academic needs. Depending on the school’s program. Ask probing questions and help the student determine what works best for him or her.6 (continued) The Language-Rich Classroom ESL Monitoring Tool: Middle and High School Marking Period 1st Comments Regarding This Student’s Overall Progress: 2nd 3rd 4th Declining performance should not automatically lead teachers to readmit the exited student into an ESL program. Facilitate the self assessment process for the student.
Develop goals and a plan that can be revisited and monitored by the ESL specialist. ESL teachers). Schedule a conference with the student’s parents. 142 .. Ask parents about what additional support they can provide at home. the student. The forms are also useful for ESL teachers who may or may not see students in the context of grade-level or contentarea classrooms. and the classroom teacher. who typically need to document progress for more than 100 students. Make CHATS-based suggestions as needed. 4. Make adjustments to the student’s schedule and status based on results from the interventions listed above. 5. These forms are especially useful for secondary teachers.g.The Language-Rich Classroom 2. content teachers. 3. Schedule a conference with the student’s other teachers (e.
Implementing TPTs is a critical piece in an ELL’s learning experience. but it also maximizes the time spent learning for all students. In our experience in overcrowded classrooms. and so will everyone else. anyway. Many of the students are passively disengaged or. In many cases. And because they increase active engagement. Because of the high accountability placed on student participation. we have noticed that teachers who consistently use TPTs have better classroom management. but only a few students actually benefited from the time and creativity expended in creating the lesson. calling on individuals was not an option. ELLs are often the students who have been unintentionally left out.T = Total Participation Techniques 6 In our years of observing classroom teachers and student teachers. but the only participants are those with a lot of practice answering big questions at higher levels of thinking. TPTs spice up lessons that require that students show evidence of learning. TPTs aim to remedy this situation by creating opportunities within our lessons for all students to demonstrate active engagement at the same time. one thing we’ve noticed is that implementing Total Participation Techniques (TPTs) tends to be the most common suggestion we make. Quality discussions are held using high-order thinking skills. in some cases. actively disengaged and causing problems. we’ve found that the teacher has done a beautiful job of planning a lesson. Your ELLs will benefit. Not surprisingly. Nor was 143 . And the few students who benefit are those who tend to be the most vocal and regularly participate.
TPTs allow students to do just that. He quickly asked students to take out a sheet of paper. Waller decided to quickly implement a strategy that we had discussed in our university class. For Marcus Waller’s 5th grade lesson on the three branches of government. For Sarah Strybos. a primary language arts teacher. if any. total participation came while she was thinking on her feet during a lesson on phoneme segmentation. TPTs were an instant opportunity for a “do-over. the more you’ll be able to insert one as soon as you notice disengagement. Teachers have to think on their feet and create ways for all students to process and demonstrate understanding at the same time. the continual implementation of TPTs caused enrollment in her class to be consistently 144 . she quickly asked them to stand up and count the sounds using their heads. Judith Lingenfelter’s undergraduate diversity class at Biola University. In Dr. just so we’d remember that no matter how old students are. as students now had a reason to look through their resources to figure out which of the three branches would apply. When she noticed that students were becoming disengaged in the mouthing and counting of sounds. and the more experience that you have with them. they still need an opportunity to actively process what has been presented and create linkages between what they collectively know and how that is related to concepts presented in class. She obtained an instant assessment.The Language-Rich Classroom waiting until students finished projects or performed badly on a test before we realized that they had not learned certain concepts. as students quickly became engaged in the lesson and kinesthetically demonstrated the number of sounds in each of the words being called out. “Hold up the branch of government that you think would most likely deal with the situation that I am describing.” After noticing that few. of his students were truly understanding the concepts behind the three branches of government that he had already spent several days introducing. instant engagement as well as assessment resulted. we’ve noticed that we had to write our TPTs in red in our lesson plans and include them at frequent intervals. shoulders. This activity also comprised a great opportunity for students to verbally interact as they defended the reasoning behind their choices. Even while teaching in higher education. fold it in three. It’s important to plan for the implementation of TPTs in lessons. stomachs. and knees. and write out the names of one of the three branches of government on each of the three different sections.” Again.
Lingenfelter moved desks to the perimeter of the room. Then she posed questions that required students to find their value. TPTs allow for intermittent pit stops that ensure comprehension and engagement. because students would have very little need for them during the semester. Over 30 students were simultaneously developing their understandings behind these complex concepts. whether by gradual conditioning on the part of teachers or because an ELL lacks the linguistic confidence to participate. While ELLs often unintentionally get left out of typical whole-group comprehension checks. When explaining diversity in terms of placement on two axes that represented value systems. For students who have become accustomed to not participating in classrooms. Lingenfelter was able to introduce concepts and allow students to personally link those to their own experiences. Creating a Community TPTs offer an additional benefit in that they have the power of creating class community and of socially integrating ELLs (or students with special needs) in a 145 . instead of lecturing about it.Total Participation Techniques high. and explain their positions in relationship to those standing on opposite sides.and y-axes that corresponded. discuss their position with those around them. In this way. It’s important to remember that it is easy to tune out presentations when chunks of those presentations are not understood because the lessons are being delivered in the student’s weaker language. TPTs ensure active participation and accountability. stand on the point on the x. implementing effective TPTs requires that teachers continually ask themselves these questions: • “Will all of my students learn during this lesson?” • “How will I know?” • “What can I do to get instant evidence that all students are engaged and processing the concepts that are being presented?” How TPTs Help English Language Learners TPTs support ELLs’ linguistic and academic growth by facilitating the process of active engagement in any content area. Whether planned or not. TPTs allow for low-risk interaction with peers and the content being presented. she created a room-size grid using tape and string.
they are often disengaged. and only 17 graduated. Building Confidence Even more than the linguistic ability and its effect on class participation is the perception common among ELLs that due to their difficulties in articulating responses. Everybody just spoke in English. grouped thematically by multiple intelligences. What was clearly lacking in the transition to the content classrooms for these ELLs was a bridge ensuring their success and acceptance in the mainstream classroom. but even more damaging was that they experienced ridicule and a sense of social isolation outside the ESL program. “This year I had a regular class. Lively classroom discussions resulted in students better knowing each other and becoming a community.The Language-Rich Classroom Recommended Resources Active Learning Handbook for the Multiple Intelligences Classroom by James Bellanca (1997). classroom where they are more likely to quietly sit in a corner and not be noticed by their peers. Whether it was actual or perceived. students commented that as a result of her classroom community. they found it difficult not to greet a peer when passing by each other on campus outside of class. only 2 were mainstreamed into regular classrooms. TPTs can alleviate this fear and build academic confidence that can help integrate ELLs into the classroom community. 146 . My English isn’t that good” (p. minimizing opportunities for the English learners to develop relationships with the other students or to strengthen their English language” (p. 50). I went a few times but there were gringos and everything and I didn’t like it. Most of the activities fall under the category of TPTs. Oftentimes it was not just their academic and linguistic abilities that prevented their success in the mainstream classroom. We highly recommend this book as a way to support planning that engages all students. In contrast. Of the 70 students. One student reported. they feel that they aren’t as smart as their English-speaking peers. when ELLs are integrated into grade-level classrooms that have little community established. In Lingenfelter’s college classes. This book presents 200 strategies for engaging students through active learning and reflection. 45). “the ESL students were socially segregated from the rest of the student population. Norrid-Lacey and Spencer (2000) studied this situation by following 70 Latino immigrant students at an urban high school from a 9th grade ESL program through 12th grade. This is a wonderful resource formatted in a way that makes it easy for busy teachers to use.
she always felt as though she didn’t have something really smart to say. Remaining Focused One more important thing for teachers to understand regarding the challenges that English language learners face in content and grade-level classrooms is the difficulty expended in actively listening in a second language. Armed with the knowledge that movement is connected to cognitive learning. especially if you first have to translate and process what is being said into your home language.Total Participation Techniques During a workshop on using TPTs. That’s what we believe TPTs can do for ELLs and all students: they place students in low-risk situations that require active engagement and increase their confidence as well as ownership of the course in which they are participating. . Sousa (2006) discusses the linkages between movement and long-term memory. His research on how the brain learns indicates that the cerebellum. we had teachers participate in a line-up. she found that her answer or perspective was just as good as theirs. She also noted that due to her language skills not being as strong as her native English-speaking teaching colleagues. impulse control. TPTs allow teachers to make every minute count in a classroom. and they provide insurance against the tuning out that would normally occur when students are trying to actively focus in a second language. she was less apprehensive and more willing to share. . It’s so easy to “tune out” when what you hear requires such active focus. but the quick-write and line-up activity did two things for her: (1) it prepared her to have something meaningful to share. . so that by the time for wholegroup sharing. When it was time to debrief this activity. teachers and administrators need to encourage more movement in all classrooms at all 147 . According to Sousa: The more we study the cerebellum. and cognitive processes in the frontal lobe. But during that activity. acts to support other brain functions such as attention. one Korean teacher stated that she is normally apprehensive about sharing in a large group. TPTs also can help students in the retention of concepts in the form of movement. and (2) it gave her practice expressing and refining her view in a less stressful format than with the entire class. the more we realize that movement is inescapably linked to learning and memory. where they shared the results of a quick-write with a colleague lined up opposite them. the area responsible for movement.
At some point in every lesson. or a peer preselected for them. • Offer assessment opportunities within the lesson. 2. • Build community among students within the classroom through student interactions. presentation grids. These include the graphic organizers presented. 148 . TPTs for Any Lesson Many of the activities described in Chapter 3 could also be called TPTs. 231. (pp. But this forced reflection time is important for learners of all ages. preferably talking about the new learning. Ask students to share their thoughts about the topic with the student sitting next to them. even adults. • Spice up lessons as the focus is taken off of the teacher and placed on students. Pair-Shares Pair-shares are common in elementary classrooms. • Provide movement in learning-focused activities that reinforce retention of important concepts. students should be up and moving about. concept mapping. Here’s How Pair-Shares Work 1. the student across from them.The Language-Rich Classroom grade levels. TPTs can do the following for English language learners and all students: • Provide evidence of active engagement on the part of ELLs and all learners. • Build linguistic and academic confidence among ELLs as they interact with their peers in nonthreatening ways. The following are additional examples of TPTs that can enhance the delivery of any lesson. by increasing time on task. 233) Whether carefully planned or impromptu. and written conversations. Present a topic for consideration. • Maximize the time spent learning for all students.
As soon as you notice disengagement or feel as though students need an opportunity to process what they’re learning. or any other TPT. 2.Total Participation Techniques Here’s Why Pair-Shares Are Good for ELLs Pair-shares let students stop and reflect on what they have learned. 149 . a teacher might ask students to take five minutes to write about how they feel the Industrial Revolution affected the balance of world power in history. During a social studies lesson on the importance of the Industrial Revolution in America. or simply ask students to write about what they have learned. share-out. Provide specific open-ended prompts for students to write about. as shown in Figure 6. because you want to increase the number of comprehension checks throughout a lesson. this time in writing and within a certain interval of time. add a quick pair-share prompt that allows the students to think about and discuss the implications of what they’re learning. especially since they require no preparation. Here’s Why Quick-Writes Are Good for ELLs Quick-writes are another activity in which ELLs benefit from additional time to gather their thoughts and process what they will be sharing in English. after a science lesson on electrical circuits. Quick-Writes Quick-writes are another opportunity for students to pause and process their thinking.1. a teacher may ask students to pull out a piece of paper and write for three minutes on the reason electricity flowed or did not flow during the demonstration activity. We encourage you to get in the habit of using pair-shares frequently. students can be asked to summarize their understanding of the day’s presentations. Or. This mental pit stop is critical for ELLs. A pair-share also serves as a quick comprehension check for students for whom comprehension may need additional bolstering through peer explanations and individual reflection time. Here’s How Quick-Writes Work 1. They provide a wonderful way of getting students ready to participate in a pair-share. Give students a certain amount of time to do their quick-writes. For example.
1 Closing Quick-Write Prompt So then. we’ve tried this activity in our college classrooms. . you’re saying that . Here’s How Quick-Draws Work 1. if I understand you correctly. Students respond by drawing on scrap paper or in subject-specific journals. 150 . Though the concept may seem elementary. Try drawing a picture of “democracy. It’s harder than it looks and requires that students really understand a concept before they can make a visual representation of it.The Language-Rich Classroom Figure 6. At a predetermined point. Date _______________________ Topic ____________________________________ Quick-Draws Quick-draws get students to process what they’re learning through symbolic representation. ask students to stop and draw a word or a concept. 2.” Could you do it without an accurate understanding of the term? The quick-draw also serves as a quick formative assessment for teachers who collect the drawings after students have had a chance to share in small or large groups. .
you might ask students to sketch a diagram that shows how planes fly. you might ask students to sketch symbols that they believe would accurately represent. As students complete their quickdraw. if you’re teaching on the constitutional amendments. which may be ideal especially for ELLs first learning English. Here’s How Three 3s in a Row Works 1. be sure to ask students to be descriptive in their boxes. they question and refine their thinking in order to be able to demonstrate their deep understanding of this complex topic. First. 151 . Students are asked to complete all nine boxes after interacting with nine different peers. Ask the student who helped them to explain the answer to only initial the box. Then the students should paraphrase and write their classmate’s answer in the box. 2. Find someone who can explain to them what is asked for in the box (one person per box).Total Participation Techniques For example. say. students must have first understood the lesson topic and then be able to represent their understanding in a nonverbal way. Quick-draws also let ELLs “double-swipe” their “cognitive cards. Conduct a whole-class review where students can share answers. Three 3s in a Row This is a wonderful activity. If you’re teaching on the topic of flight.” In other words. We have two cautions about this activity. 3. Here’s Why Quick-Draws Are Good for ELLs Words are optional with quick-draws. similar to some of the Bingo scavenger hunts that children do as a getting-to-know-you activity. the first three amendments to the U. Ask students to do the following: a. c. b.S. Constitution. Choose nine concepts for students to review. They shouldn’t be responding in one-word answers. You might suggest that they use symbolism in their quick-draws and then ask them to share in small groups.2). and write these in the boxes of a prepared handout (see Figure 6. Even teaching concepts as complex as President Roosevelt’s New Deal can use the quick-draw strategy.
Ask him or her to initial your box and tell you the answer. Note: You are the only person who should be writing answers in your boxes. Then you should write the answer in your box.2 Three 3s in a Row Instructions: Find someone who can explain what’s asked for in the box (find one person per box).152 Can discuss the relationship between academic language and the dropout problem Initials ______ Can give two content reading strategies for making content comprehensible Initials ______ Can discuss how taking first-language writing samples might inform their teaching. even if they don’t speak the student’s first language Initials ______ Can describe two students for whom CHATS may have worked Initials ______ Can describe how they might help students develop skills in metacognition Initials ______ Can explain why ripple questioning is helpful for students Initials ______ Figure 6. The Language-Rich Classroom Can explain two strategies for increasing student exposure to academic language Initials ______ Can describe two ways to scaffold content Initials ______ Can describe the rationale behind authenticity and relevance in teaching Initials ______ .
make sure you don’t allow students to write anything other than their initials on their classmates’ papers.Total Participation Techniques Second. Give students a printout with four to six answer options. second. verbally and in the directions on the handout. Hold-ups allow teachers to monitor comprehension. Pose statements or scenarios that either have 153 . hold-ups can easily be done as an impromptu activity where students can quickly take out a sheet of paper and write down the various options in large letters. when they had to paraphrase the concept and write their summary in the box. To avoid this “shortcut. you ensure that everyone learns all nine concepts. a hold-up was done using the three branches of government. and use them in a hold-up. third. you end up having students who simply pass their papers around the room to collect answers. Hold-Ups A hold-up is a quick activity that can be used anytime you would like students to understand the differences between options. in Figure 6. After a prompt or a question. when they listened to their classmate explain it. 2. By asking students to paraphrase their classmates’ answers. Here’s How Hold-Ups Work 1. Otherwise. Here’s Why Three 3s in a Row Is Good for ELLs By the time that ELLs complete the Three 3s in a Row. ask students to hold up the option they believe is the best choice. For example. Not True.” be sure to explicitly spell out. True with Modifications. when 5th graders demonstrated confusion. In an earlier example. rip each option out. when the teacher presented it.3. In addition to being planned within lessons. they will have processed the concepts at least three times: first. that students are only allowed to write their initials in classmates’ boxes. and Unable to Determine. The completed product serves as an excellent assessment of student understanding or as a springboard for whole-class discussion. the options are True. This activity allows ELLs to negotiate their understandings of the topics in nonthreatening ways—through interactions with peers.
based on the pictures in their text. Teachers can create predictive statements or students can create them.3 True/Not True Hold-up Cards TRUE NOT TRUE TRUE WITH MODIFICATIONS UNABLE TO DETERMINE Based on Information Learned a clear true or false answer or have answers that can be debated and modified to be either true or false. a prediction was made that “Bald eagles have white heads and white tails.” but 154 . The handout in Figure 6. and the teacher can select some predictions to be used with a True/Not True hold-up at the beginning of the unit or as a comprehension check throughout or at the end of the unit.” Students can vote on this statement. the most obvious response may be “True. during a unit on birds.3 can also be used with student predictions at the beginning of units. Here’s Why Hold-Ups Are Good for ELLs Hold-ups allow for critical thinking opportunities within lessons. At first. holding up the appropriate True/Not True response.The Language-Rich Classroom Figure 6. For example.
All of a sudden. then congratulate them on their social skills and ask them to find someone they have spoken with the least that day. 3. This reflection time is especially important for ELLs. They’ll critically evaluate statements and look for loopholes and exceptions to what may seem true at first glance. Ask students to respond individually to a prompt or a question in a quick-write. 2. we’ll pose it as a networking 155 . other than the essential questions or prompts that the teacher has prepared. If students complain that they have spoken to everybody. The Networking Session The networking session is a truly simple activity with the extra benefit of needing very little advanced preparation. instead of asking a question that may have been intended for a spin-off to a lecture or presentation. ask students to find someone else they haven’t spoken to that day and do the same.Total Participation Techniques usually a few observant students will hold up “Not True” or “True with Modifications. an increasing number of students will start being more cautious about jumping to a conclusion. we sometimes notice that students have been sitting for too long. ELLs who tend to be isolated or tend to speak only to their same-language peers are required to find someone they haven’t spoken to that day.” The ensuing dialogue between those who voted “true” and those who did not can lead to a fine-tuning of the statement so that it is made true: “Mature bald eagles have white heads and white tails. It’s a learning opportunity that also builds community in the classroom. During teaching at the university level. Ask them to find someone they haven’t spoken to that day and share their response with that person. Here’s How the Networking Session Works 1. After a specified period of time. or modify their task in some other way. the least popular students become very popular as they are less likely to have conversed with others that day.” Teachers who have tried this activity tell us that as students practice voting with True/Not True cards. Here’s Why the Networking Session Works for ELLs In networking sessions. so.
Roosevelt played one of the most influential roles in the outcome of World War II. Here’s How Four Corners Works 1. It also allows students to hear the views of several others in class. The New Deal granted equal power among the classes in America. 156 . 240). c. Roosevelt would never be elected in a society like we have today. Four Corners Four Corners lets your students verbally interact regarding a specific topic or prompt. Give students four somewhat opinionated prompts. b. The physical movement wakes them up and gets their cognitive juices flowing. Roosevelt was the most influential. so that every student’s view can be heard. we’ll still ask the question.” This approach immediately engages the students in active reflection on what will next be introduced through a lecture or PowerPoint presentation. 2. it could be a very worthwhile investment of time” (Sousa. Of all the presidents that took office after Abe Lincoln. Franklin D. a Four Corners activity might include the following prompts: a. 2006. 4. For example. One thing we always tell our students is that they must get out of their seats. In other words. After time is called. Students then select a prompt to which they should respond. If too many students choose the same response.The Language-Rich Classroom session. Franklin D. but before moving on. “Because trading a few minutes of teacher talk for a movement activity can actually increase the amount of learning retained. Franklin D. Doing so allows for opportunities to reflect on content and engage in peer dialogues that require and develop higher-order thinking skills. Provide the students with 5 to 10 minutes to individually prepare for their group discussion. students break up into groups designated to one of four corners where they can discuss their reactions to the prompt (each corner corresponds to one of the prompts). Students should discuss or record on chart paper the varying positions held by the members of the group. split that group into smaller groups. d. p. 3. we ask students to respond in a quick-write and then “network.
Students can have time to discuss their rationales for making their choices and to prepare to report out to the class. In a large-group format. In this activity. within the small groups of each corner. students from each corner prepare to present their positions while the students from the other corners (who are not presenting at the time) prepare to ask questions. Neutral. Use Likert scale options such as: Strongly Agree. students stand at certain locations and discuss their reasons for choosing their answer. and Strongly Disagree. Note: Stick to topics focused on content learning. Post the following response options along the walls of the classroom: Strongly Agree. 3. ELLs have a relatively low-risk context in which to share their opinions. 4. One student per group can serve as a group reporter to speak for the group. students articulate their reasons for choosing their options. Disagree. Similar to the Four Corners activity. Disagree. The Likert Scale The Likert scale is a simple scale often used in surveys to determine people’s level of agreement or disagreement with a particular statement. Together in the respective groups. Here’s How the Likert Scale Works 1. 157 . Ask students to determine their level of agreement with the statements by completing their survey.Total Participation Techniques 5. This includes the middle option of “Neutral”— students should have a reason articulating why they are neutral based on what they have learned. 2. 5. Steer clear of politically charged topics that can create discomfort or feelings of censorship among classmates. Agree. Students walk to the area where their Likert scale choice is posted. and Strongly Disagree. prepare a survey with a set number of prompts (perhaps five) that clearly lean toward one point of view or another. Agree. Neutral. Why Four Corners Is Good for ELLs The verbal interaction inherent in this activity can lead to deeper engagement in the topic and great comprehension.
students get an opportunity to hear the content presented by a peer in a conversational tone. By taking a pitstop to do this simple comprehension check. they emotionally connect with topics and get opportunities to listen to opposing views that they may not have considered before. review the concept. this activity allows them to feel like an expert in something related to the topic. This activity allows for the clarification of concepts in the middle of a lesson. As soon as students seem confused about a concept. As students are asked to take positions. Here’s Why Explain It to Your Neighbor Is Good for ELLs This activity allows ELLs to discuss what they know about a topic or actively address their lack of understanding by generating questions that will help clarify their confusion. Pairs then join into groups of four. this TPT can be used to review complex concepts. By doing so. It helps stem any confusion or misunderstanding before real frustration sets in and students tune out. for ELLs who can answer and clarify peer misunderstandings. Explain It to Your Neighbor Very similar to a pair-share. they must think critically. and continue with the lesson. For students who join another group that can actually answer their questions. 2. On the other hand. review what they know. address any outstanding questions. 3. take a few minutes for students to pair up and explain the concept to their neighbor or to generate questions to help clarify what they don’t understand. This comprehension check also gives teachers useful assessment information with which to modify future instruction that will enhance student learning.The Language-Rich Classroom Here’s Why the Likert Scale Is Good for ELLs Likert scales are an engaging way of reviewing complex concepts that have been covered in readings. Here’s How Explain It to Your Neighbor Works 1. before the lack of understanding snowballs into disengagement. After groups have met. and ask each other the questions that they generated in pairs. 158 . teachers can engage a class in a topic with which they were previously confused or disengaged.
students flip back the white sheet and project their work or quick-draw onto the overhead projector while explaining their thinking to the class. Then when it comes time to hand out wet paper towels. Here’s Why Transparency Sheets Are Good for ELLs This activity can be messy. the principle behind transparency sheets is still useful. For classrooms without an Elmo machine. To minimize the mess. or sit one end of the stack in a paper cup full of water. Whether classrooms have overhead projectors or Elmo machines. Because of the added motivation of sharing. In that way. give students a transparency sheet stapled to only one corner of a white sheet of paper. students can share concepts with peers using plain paper projected on the Elmo. students do their best and try to outdo each other with quick-draws and the creativity that they use to solve math problems. have a stack of paper towels handy and run one side of the stack through water. students do not individually have to get their paper towels. to wipe off any water droplets that might form from excess water. teachers should no longer be looking for students who can answer questions. having been largely replaced by Elmo Visual Presenters that project onto a screen objects or anything in print. 2. Students who didn’t get a chance to use the overhead can share with a partner or in small groups.Total Participation Techniques Transparency Sheets Nowadays. Total Participation as a Mind-Set Using TPTs ought to be a mind-set. it’s highly engaging. When it comes time for sharing. Keep one end dry. but students love it! They especially like playing the role of teacher and having their math problem or quick-draw projected for the whole class to see. In other words. Here’s How Transparency Sheets Work 1. 3. (For classrooms with an Elmo. You simply pass out the dampened paper towels as if they were any other handout. overhead projectors are less common in the classroom.) 4. teachers should be looking for 159 . Students can work out math problems or create quick-draws to be shared with the class on the transparency side of the stapled set.
This book sounds like it could be a real cerebral about themselves. with teaching applications tied to all in the lesson. Even the students whose hands were not raised were reading the poem. but it is actually very readable! Our by the actions of the class as a whole.The Language-Rich Classroom all students to process and reflect on questions. This would be an excellent book for our students develop both academic language a truly brain-based study group that you could and attain greater comprehension of the also practically apply to teaching and learning. and diagrams regularly injecting TPTs into lessons will help and pictures supporting the research that he highlights. 160 . Total copy has at least 50 sticky notes attached that participation techniques require that all highlight relevant best practices. a TPT like this means that all students get an opportunity to share their thinking. This type of communal learning is critical for ELLs who will take longer to process what they’re thinking when they must translate the text first. When followed by a pairshare activity. Sousa takes his own advice in how the book is written and students prove that they are actively engaged formatted. a literacy coach. She asked students to raise their hands if they could tell her. so she repeated the question and asked students to raise their hand as soon as they had something to share. But instead of calling on them. Potter explained that she saw the two hands up and wanted everyone to have a chance to think about the poem. Slowly. more hands went up. content being presented. Adapting a mind-set of major concepts. asked students to explain the possible meanings of a poem the class had just read. which only makes the How the Brain Learns by David A. One example of a simple TPT that we observed recently was when Keely Potter. Sousa teacher and that one student feel great (2006). one by one. Two hands immediately shot up. In addition to individually processing what they are learning using TPTs. Instead of accepting the first eager Recommended Resources student’s answer. until after about a 30-second pause. we need to judge learning challenge. nearly all the hands were raised. colorful text. students get to interact and learn from each other.
many with pictures.S = Scaffolding Strategies 7 During our first trip to China in 1990. To the novice (and we admit we know nothing about construction). Had the lower scaffolding been nonexistent. . . we stopped off in Hong Kong. The city seemed the model of efficiency. except for its construction system. We were amazed by scenes like this as we watched people quickly scale buildings in an unfamiliar way. interacting on cell phones and with colleagues alongside them. Welldressed businesspeople walked quickly along the busy streets. The scaffolds turned out to be made of bamboo. people! That’s right—construction workers were actually scaling buildings on these Pixy Stix structures called scaffolds. An Internet search using the terms Hong Kong and scaffolds will get you thousands of sites. workers would have needed a crane or an elevator to take them 161 . Beautiful modern buildings seemed to be draped in Pixy Stix that crossed in every direction. all addressing this unique aspect of Hong Kong culture. the scaffolding on the modern buildings stuck out like a sore thumb. and climbing upward often 20 stories or more. On even closer inspection. On closer inspection. It was a lovely metropolitan city with a feel of “movers and shakers” all around. small “things” seemed to be moving along the scaffolding. with no safety harnesses. and construction workers and window cleaners seemed to show no hesitation in starting from the bottom. those “things” turned out to be . And apparently we’re not the only ones mesmerized by the stark contrast between Hong Kong’s construction system and the city’s modern feel.
The Big Picture When thinking about scaffolding for tasks.” or “How long does it have to be?” They may even hear the dreaded “I can’t!” from students who have gotten used to the feeling of failure on unscaffolded assignments. if students are being asked to respond to an author’s perspective. a common expectation for students past the 3rd grade is that they’ll be able to write multiparagraph expository essays. Just the idea of the end product is enough to make some ELLs wince.The Language-Rich Classroom to the higher scaffolds. our students can indeed learn to scale buildings on their own. If teachers feel that any assignment is valuable enough to assign. For students who have difficulty verbalizing their thoughts or putting them in writing. this performance is often attributed to a lack of effort or cognitive ability. For example.” “I don’t know what to write about. teachers may want to progress from written phrases by using a graphic organizer to help students pull out the essential components that they can then use as a scaffold with which to write. then it is imperative that they place proper attention on the types of supports necessary to pave the way for student success. In fact. Teachers of ELLs will want to think through the following three questions in relation to the various proficiency levels represented in their classrooms: 1. Teachers complain about how frequently they hear comments like “I don’t like to write. the assumptions 162 . It was all done on their own strength through the help of scaffolds. For example. having an end picture in mind is as essential as having a starting point in mind. there were no artificial supports in allowing these workers to scale buildings. How can I build a bridge from question 2 to question 1? Having a starting point in mind requires ongoing formative assessments that are part of everyday practice. When we think of helping second-language learners in language arts and the content areas. On the contrary. What can they currently do? 3. what is missing is the scaffolding structure that allows students to go from the bottom floor to the top floor through small steps that are supported. When students don’t. What do I want my students to be able to do? 2. often the expectation is that with virtually no support.
The ability to scaffold activities assumes that the teacher is aware of the needs of the students and that ongoing opportunities for assessments are in place. One of the reasons that we believe that graphic organizers such as concept mapping have been strongly supported in the research (as discussed in Chapter 3) is that they allow students to connect concepts visually. we’ve provided several graphic organizers to support learning. Throughout this book.Scaffolding Strategies chart in Chapter 4 (Figure 4.1 is aimed at scaffolding students’ ability to process what they’re learning by reminding students to reflect at certain designated points in their reading of the text. Graphic Organizers Graphic organizers are probably the first thing most teachers think of when they think of scaffolding understanding. then we start with quick-draws and move on to corresponding phrases. The graphic organizer in Figure 7. They can also be cumbersome for those who don’t need scaffolds. Understanding in what areas Juan will most likely experience difficulty requires that we know what Juan is good at and in what areas he struggles. Oftentimes. and through peer interaction. Scaffolding is entirely a matter of providing manageable steps to get a desired end product. we end up restricting the creativity of the end product. This is the strength of effective graphic organizers that help students think through the main ideas being expressed in a text. which then develop into topic sentences. In addition. a look through free Web sites such as www. We also have to be careful not to “overscaffold” and get in the way of what would happen naturally. So.readingquest.5) can provide manageable steps to help students think through the assumptions and biases that an author holds and then form a response to that author. when we overscaffold. The designated points at which students should stop and 163 . which then move on to paragraphs. These tools provide an opportunity for students to process their thinking with few assumptions made on the teacher’s part. through self-talk. They can be an excellent way to help students think on their own. if students are expected to write a story or an essay.org will provide numerous others that are well explained and ready to print. and we believe that creating quick-draws (described in Chapter 6) is the tool with which they are currently most comfortable.
My Thoughts About This Paragraph/ Page/Chapter (circle one): ________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ Try to narrow this down to one sentence.The Language-Rich Classroom Figure 7. what would you say? Use the back of this paper to write your summary. ________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ Try to narrow this down to one sentence. ________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ Try to narrow this down to one sentence. 164 . ________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________ If you had to summarize this section/chapter/book in about three sentences. ________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ Try to narrow this down to one sentence. ________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ Try to narrow this down to one sentence.1 Content Reading Scaffold The Most Important Thing to Know from This Paragraph/Page/Chapter (circle one): __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ Try to narrow this down to one sentence.
She predicted that her predominantly Spanish-speaking class of recent arrivals would want very little to do with Frost or his poetry. Sousa’s (2006) information processing model details how the brain deals with information from the environment. to get students to pause. McCaskey High School. In most classrooms of varying abilities. Asking students to choose which designated stop point would best facilitate their comprehension once they have self-assessed provides for more ownership of their learning. and through a process of selfassessment and conferencing with that small group of students. Although this kind of graphic organizer can be overused and end up being an encumbrance for students who no longer need it. Sousa goes on to note that “how a person ‘feels’ about a learning situation determines the amount of attention devoted to it. students can begin to understand the process of learning and begin to analyze the learning aides that work best for them. Emotions interact with reason to support or inhibit learning” (p. P. During her unit on Robert Frost with early language learners. she knew that she would first have to make students want to learn about Frost. and retention will be greatly diminished. we would ask students to stop using it. Engaging Emotions: Scaffolding Interest If students don’t personally care about what they are learning. “If the learner attaches sense and meaning to the learning. understand. He was an old man and. An interview with 12th grader Johandeiry confirmed this view. 41). Barbara Mitchell. an ESL teacher at J. I don’t 165 .Scaffolding Strategies reflect can be determined according to the students’ needs and be indicated at the top of the page. Johandeiry described her initial reactions to Frost’s poetry at the beginning of the unit: “I don’t like Robert Frost. and her teaching aims at winning over hearts as well as minds. knows this intuitively. one of our goals ought to be to create learning experiences that engage students’ emotions. in the form of the five senses. and do more than simply decode text. “Students are more likely to gain greater understanding of and derive greater pleasure from learning when allowed to transform the learning into creative thoughts and products” (p. Once this graphic organizer has served its purpose. it can also serve as an aid for students who are so used to simply decoding their way through text that they fail to comprehend what they’re reading. it is likely to be stored” (p. So. 39). then much of what we teach will fall flat. 44). only a small group of students might benefit from this type of scaffold.
This is a great resource to have on hand for the everyday lesson planning targeted at brainbased learning.” In describing the power of good literature. want to learn about him. He was self-centered.The Language-Rich Classroom Recommended Resources Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies that Engage the Brain by Marcia L. 2006). The chapters end with templates for thinking through linkages between the highlighted strategy and the specific standards being taught. He needed to keep his promises and get on time to his girlfriend’s house. The 20 strategies engage student interest as well as scaffold understanding. He also promised her that he had something special for her. she described that it had been taught in “little pieces. They were given opportunities to ask questions on sticky notes that were posted on a “Wonder Wall. Tate’s book is broken up into chapters that are themed by overall strategies.” Mitchell had interjected opportunities to investigate Frost’s personal life using the Internet. Mitchell especially played up the love story between Frost and his wife. through the use of picture walks (described later) and other scaffolds. ‘Why are we reading this?’ They didn’t like him.” They also were invited to write their own poetry reflecting on their Wonder Wall questions. Students became emotionally attached and wanted to know what the symbolism meant behind his poetry. such as the use of storytelling. Roseann Sinkosky. Tate (2003). A similar process of engaging emotions was evident for the 3rd grade team at Washington Elementary. Grimm noted that “they had been pulling for him in the entire book. Within each chapter. and create their own story about the writer’s intentions. Tate provides examples of how the strategies can be used to teach even complicated concepts. the students at first couldn’t connect with the main character. By the end. 166 . we were all in tears. ‘He thinks he’s all that!’ they’d say. “They thought. students became hooked. Cerenela wrote.” When we asked her what changed her mind. and Quirine Gladwish introduced the story The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (DiCamillo. and smug. Grimm told us. In response to the prompt “So what really happened in the poem ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ (Frost.” Mitchell had intentionally planned for students to become emotionally connected to Robert Frost. When teachers Krista Grimm. 1961)?” students were asked to imagine.” But through the process of engaging the class in Edward’s inner world. speculate. vain. Sinkosky stated. “He promised his girlfriend that he would eat with her at her house. The fact that he had owned chickens and was a baseball coach gave him rapport with students who realized he wasn’t just a stuffy intellectual to whom they could not relate.
a quick Internet search using the words news. where the goal is simply to “cover the material. One blogger posted this firsthand experience: “When I was a kid. the eruption didn’t affect us directly. when it comes to observing teachers in practice through quick visits and nonscheduled informal observations. The goal of simply making it through the curriculum by the end of the year stifles any thoughts of engagement and teacher creativity. For example. but the whole town was covered by thick. This type of instruction requires an investment in helping students discover the inner workings of characters. a BBC News story. 2006). a moving graphic slide show of why volcanoes erupt. authors.” 167 . Another consisted of a press release describing the first evidence of an under-ice volcanic eruption in Antarctica (British Antarctic Survey. we’ve found this type of teaching to still be prevalent. story. for the subject of volcanoes.Scaffolding Strategies “That’s what good books do to you—they draw you in. projected on a screen in many of today’s technologically fitted classrooms. But providing authentic purposes for learning requires that we set the stage for students to simply want to know the material. 2008). gray ash and we spent hours to sweep it off our roof and garden” (BBC News. Unfortunately. One in particular. So. Setting the Stage: Using the Internet The Internet provides wonderful opportunities for increasing engagement and interest in topics. as much as this type of dry teaching is discouraged in teacher preparation courses. 2006). would be sure to generate more student interest than traditional methods relying solely on packaged curricula. included live video taken of volcano activity on the slopes of Mount Merapi in Indonesia. and blogs of concerned friends and relatives recounting personal experiences of those familiar with the area. These images. and volcano produced three intriguing stories regarding recent discoveries of volcano activity. Good teaching draws you in. for our sample topic of volcanoes. Other stories sure to generate student curiosity were “Giant Deep-Sea Volcano with ‘Moat of Death’ Found” (Lovett. and concepts that involve all five of the CHATS components over time. a traditional approach would be to ask students to read the science chapter and answer the questions at the end of the chapter.” This profound statement is more than just about good books. It’s about good teaching.
. 194). Picture walks are commonly used with young students to prepare them for a picture book that they are about to read. we brainstormed what we saw and then wrote questions about the painting. Copyright law allows for educators to make one copy of a picture in the text (not exceeding 10 percent of the text) for use in their classrooms (Becker. Who are the two figures on the bridge? Why are they meeting at night in the cold? Are they friends or enemies? What would be so urgent as to bring them outside at this late hour? Where could this painting take place? (p. An effective scaffold for introducing or revisiting textbook themes is to scan. or cut out images from a packaged text and tape them around 168 . diagrams. He discusses the importance of teaching to the whole brain. He encourages the use of diagrams. Consequently. “Although the two hemispheres process information differently. “Reading” the Painting and Picture Walks Williams (2007) practiced the art of reading paintings in her primary classroom as an activity of visual literacy. We are fortunate in that modern textbooks come heavily laden with beautiful photography. “As a whole class.” These experiences allowed Williams to rethink the traditional definition of literacy to include inquiry centered around visuals. and scenes from videos that contain maximum meaning. We propose picture walks for content texts in a similar way. as a springboard to discussions and as a way to engage students in learning. . . It may even be worth sacrificing one copy of a text for cutting out the images in order to use them in picture walks. she asked students to study the paintings. we learn best when both are engaged in learning. Beginning with modeled think-alouds and stretching into their own stories. and pictures already enhancing many of their pages.The Language-Rich Classroom Scaffolding Through the Use of Visuals Sousa (2006) encourages a multisensory approach to teaching. visual cues. copies of paintings. Sousa suggests that we deal with concepts verbally and visually. We catch more information with both hemispheres processing and integrating learning” (p. 638). Pictures are first shown to students in order to allow them to predict and become engaged in the story or concepts to be introduced. 2003). This same depth in inquiry can serve as an effective scaffold and source of engagement when working with students in the content area. color-photocopy.
students were prompted to delve deeply into what they saw in the pictures.Scaffolding Strategies the room. once the students became hooked on the story. and the impact of the historical events on the lives of those that experienced them firsthand. the colors. asking students to examine the images in small groups. During the second picture walk. Lack of depth is a common problem in content textbooks. by displaying only the pictures in sequential order around the room before the story would be read. Certain pictures were misleading. “They analyzed the pictures: ‘Look. 2006) at Washington Elementary. they wanted to know whether the pictures indeed predicted the outcome they hoped for. as was the case with one picture that turned out to be a dream. According to one of their teachers. 169 . the teachers were struck by the artistic beauty of the illustrations. This narrow and shallow coverage presents extra challenges for ELLs who already come with a possible disadvantage of not having the prior grade’s content to act as a foundation for the current year’s material. descriptions. Teachers either can ask students to generate questions. Student-generated questions can be posted on sticky notes around the images. They decided that they would implement the picture walks for chosen sections of the text. or students can answer and discuss thought-provoking questions that the teacher has given them. or whether there was more to the picture. and because the children became so heavily invested in the story. he’s walking. While the first picture walk produced basic. or create prescribed questions for students to consider as they examine the pictures. and predictions became more complex. emotions. What do you think is happening?’” Opportunities like this one allowed for engagement and drew students in. Describe it. Using scanned textbook pictures in a picture walk allows students to have an opportunity to stop and reflect on the people. Where do you think he’s going? Look at the mood. During the 3rd grade team’s readings of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (DiCamillo. social studies textbooks often eliminate differing perspectives and affective issues for the sake of coverage. For example. their questions. similar to what Williams did in her picture readings. whereas simple text readings might not have done so. factual responses from students. Asking students to attach comments or questions using sticky notes actively engages students in processing what they see and allows students to revisit and collectively address initial questions and impressions.
e. without the students’ knowledge. and these visual kinds of things put it in their space. even after students discover the trick behind the teacher’s artistic skill (i. it’s not just words—it’s connected to an experience they’ve had as a class. Her image of a “red coat” soldier and the description of his life and the times helped prepare students for their upcoming trip to Philadelphia. Without generating mental imagery. Sinkosky noticed a distinct difference between this history unit and the science unit that she also taught. Inducing Mental Imagery: Understanding Starts with Images One of the crucial processes that occurs when good readers read is that of generating mental imagery. provides for a hard-to-forget experience. And. As the teacher traces an image that has been faintly penciled in on chart paper. using a thick marker. because the image and the vocabulary develop right before the students’ eyes..The Language-Rich Classroom Pictorial Input One of the most visually engaging activities that we’ve experienced is the pictorial input activity introduced by Brechtel (2001) in her book Bringing It All Together. This activity is highly engaging and effective even when used with challenging content. context-embedded vocabulary. students sit mesmerized as a beautiful image appears. “I think it’s because they just didn’t live with it [the science material] enough. comprehension is 170 . that the image is only being traced). Roseann Sinkosky used this activity repeatedly in teaching her social studies unit on the American Revolution. since images are first projected onto paper using an overhead projector and penciled in on a large piece of paper. vocabulary and important concepts are introduced alongside. Teachers don’t need to be even remotely artistic. coupled with the accompanying descriptions that embed the academic language relevant to the topic. By using Pictorial Input. students are captivated by an image developing before their eyes while the teacher provides the linguistic background to the picture.” The power of the pictorial input technique is that students experience the words meaningfully linked to images developed right in front of them. This image. so that the teacher remembers to add these in. And imagery is used as a scaffold for meaningful. allowing students to hang what is being taught onto visual pegs. As the teacher traces the image in front of the students. it wasn’t in their space enough. Even the academic vocabulary that teachers hope to target is penciled in on the chart paper.
subjects received simple instructions reminding them to “make pictures in your mind to help you understand and remember what you read” (p. not in meaning-making. 168). especially struggling readers. according to Cohen. The subjects who were reminded to use mental imagery significantly outperformed the control group in their ability to identify both explicit and implicit inconsistencies in text. through hemispheric integration. a struggling 17-year-old reader. Luckily. The major problem presents itself in assuming that all readers naturally create mental images when they read. instead. Mario did develop the ability to see mental images while he read. they were directed to “do whatever you can to understand and remember what you read” (p. more than a year later. “the research evidence is clear: Individuals can be taught to search their minds for images and be guided through the process to select appropriate images that. This simple process of mental imagery is not something that all readers. enhance learning 171 . It was clear to me that he needed help with creating images in his mind of what he was reading to help him comprehend. indicated that he had developed into a capable reader. This may be far from the truth for struggling readers. Cohen spent time thinking aloud with Mario and practicing the act of monitoring comprehension by asking him to describe the mental images that he encountered and reminding him to create a television in the mind as a way of monitoring comprehension. “Mario told me that he never knew that he was supposed to do this [create mental images] when reading” (p. do. The control group didn’t receive an explicit reminder to induce mental imagery. Cohen’s (2007) case study of Mario. In fact. the answer ‘I don’t know’ was very quick leaving his lips. When asked what he had read. Not only does imagery lead to comprehension. notes the following: “His strengths were clearly in decoding. 168). and Cohen’s interactions with him. by hearing words in context that are comprehensible within a good story but that might otherwise be incomprehensible when taken out of that context. According to Sousa (2006). Mental imagery during reading is critical for English language learners. but it also allows ELLs to expand their vocabulary. 458). Though it took some practice. 458). In their study. not just decode” (p. Gambrell and Bales’s (1986) study with 4th and 5th graders provides evidence that simply reminding students to induce mental imagery can have a positive impact on their monitoring and comprehension in reading.Scaffolding Strategies nonexistent. explicit teaching in mental imagery is not all that complicated.
Although the students pleaded to see the illustrator’s version of the two aunts. Their interests and oral fluency may far surpass the level assumed in the books that they can read fluently. each one saying how beautiful she thought she was. Aunt Sponge was enormously fat and very short. we didn’t let them see it until after they had completed their portraits and briefly discussed it with a partner. and she wore steel-rimmed spectacles that fixed onto the end of her nose with a clip. and one of those white flabby faces that looked exactly as though it had been boiled. They also talked about themselves. We then showed them an 172 . ELLs’ verbal fluency may be more developed than their reading fluency. This is where readalouds (see Chapter 2) coupled with the strategies to induce mental imagery are a simple practice that can support ELLs’ comprehension and vocabulary development. but also to once again expose them to the rich vocabulary embedded in comprehensible sentences. (Dahl. In an effort to induce imagery during a read-aloud of James and the Giant Peach (Dahl. on the other hand. pp. 1961) in a 2nd grade multilingual class. Almost all of the students were adding final touches to the images that they had drawn as we reread the description of Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker—a perfect opportunity to focus on the vocabulary embedded in the author’s descriptions. Additionally. And there they sat. we asked students to create mental images based on the following description of Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker: Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker were sitting comfortably in deck-chairs nearby. She had a screeching voice and long wet narrow lips. these two ghastly hags. so that the students could check their illustrations to see whether they wanted to add anything. During one section. And the vocabulary in the books that they can read fluently may be so simple as to not provide enough of a challenge and enough exposure to academic language embedded in good stories. 1961. 230). sipping tall glasses of fizzy lemonade and watching him [James] to see that he didn’t stop work for one moment.The Language-Rich Classroom and increase retention. 5–7) We gave students a picture frame template for them to draw what they imagined the aunts looked like. Aunt Spiker. When the brain creates images. the same parts of the visual cortex are activated as when the eyes process real world input” (p. Then we reread the section. and she kept picking it up and gazing at her own hideous face. and whenever she got angry or excited. was lean and tall and bony. Aunt Sponge had a long-handled mirror on her lap. She had small piggy eyes. we asked students to practice visualizing what was read. a sunken mouth. She was like a great white soggy overboiled cabbage. sipping their drinks and every now and again screaming at James to chop faster and faster. little flecks of spit would come shooting out of her mouth as she talked.
Theatre of the Mind The theatre of the mind template (Figure 7. we let them know that at the end of each chapter or section.2) is a simple tool to help students demonstrate evidence of using mental imagery during read-alouds or as an independent tool to be sent home with audiotaped chapter books. Before reading. The theatre of the mind template in Figure 7. It can be used as a scaffold for summaries. or writing activities that will follow. this activity amounts to a five-minute detour in the read-aloud that serves to engage learners in the process of generating mental imagery. This way their summaries can be combined with any missed elements shared by their partner. It’s only partially completed. we show the template and explain that good readers see mental pictures as they read (similar to that of a movie or a dream). At that point.Scaffolding Strategies enlarged copy of the illustrator’s version. It is important to note that both types of templates can also be used effectively in the content area. or sentences to capture the most important theme in the segment of the book that had just been read. they will have two minutes to quickly draw what they saw in their mind’s eye while we read the story. we felt that (text continued on p. because by the time the student completed the fourth picture. especially with excerpts from historical fiction aimed at boosting engagement and interest. We read a chapter or an appropriate segment and then ask students to take two minutes to do a quick-draw. Figure 7. We then ask a few students to share with the class and call on others who had differing pictures to share.3 allows for students to jot down phrases. After two minutes. we ask students to pair up and share their drawing and a verbal explanation with their partner.4 shows a template filled in by a student. and we ask students to practice creating mental images as we read. we stop using the quick-draw and pair-share scaffolds. We usually ask students to add any writing after they have shared the pictures with their partner. This pair-share allows students to compare and cross-check their comprehension. Here’s how we use the template: Before reading. All together. We then read the next chapter and follow the pattern until we feel that the students are hooked or invested in hearing the rest of the story. This step is helpful for ELLs who might have missed certain important details because of a misunderstanding due to their lack of English vocabulary. however. words. a study of story features. 177) 173 .
The Language-Rich Classroom Figure 7.2 Theatre of the Mind Template 1 2 3 4 5 6 174 .
Scaffolding Strategies Figure 7.3 Theatre of the Mind Template with Space for Captions 1 2 3 4 5 6 175 .
The Language-Rich Classroom Figure 7.4 Completed Theatre of the Mind Template 176 .
Scaffolding Strategies she was hooked. Once the scaffold was no longer needed. When students are asked to create a visual representation of something that they’ve learned or read. This can also be 177 . actively focusing student attention on the diagrams that are meant to support student comprehension can indeed go a long way in improving their comprehension. such as in the use of quick-draws. Taking the quick-draws any further. This activity can really help students solidify what they know and then repackage it in the form of a visual representation. would have disrupted the flow of the story and defeated the purpose for which the scaffold was intended: to induce mental imagery. Student-generated visual images have the effect of focusing student attention on comprehension as opposed to simply decoding. participants who were asked to create their own illustrations of what they had read in a science text. Aleksic. in a second experiment. and by that point. Schwartz. Schraw. So. They found that those who had read the text and studied the causal drawings understood the content better than those who had only read. the graphic organizer had served its purpose.and Text-Generated Images McCrudden. and Poliquin (2007) examined the use of causal drawings on the understanding of content among university students. Lehman. In fact. and Garner’s (2006) study. and then to compare this illustration with the features on the provided illustrations. students have to actively and deeply understand a concept. To create their own visual representations. they go through the process of creating a mental model as they read in a more active way than simply directing their attention to pictures and diagrams that have been prepared for them in the text. Student. we eliminated it. In Van Meter. by asking her to continue sketching after every chapter. There was no longer any need to remind her to induce mental imagery. students were given either the text or a causal drawing. had equal or better comprehension than those who were simply asked to read the text and inspect the provided illustrations. The researchers found no difference in understanding between the two. Comprehension may be even further improved by having students generate their own imagery. Scaffolding Understanding Through the First Language Allowing students to process their thinking first in their native language and then in English is an excellent way to get the cognitive juices flowing.
or outside of school. Lao. and during their interchanges. in your groups. providing a model of the vocabulary for the other student. By the time they came back to the classroom. without the frustration of fumbling for the right words.S. Inviting small groups to process their thinking in their native language and then come back and translate their ideas into English is an excellent way to get students to deeply think through concepts. which Evelyn models for her. and one frequently used academic English in her speech. Look at the Preamble. Take. Use any language. redo it in English. this example from Critical Pedagogy: Notes from the Real World (Wink. “Since I know both classrooms. some of our stronger bilingual students could translate their Spanish thinking into English.The Language-Rich Classroom accomplished through strategically pairing students with bilingual peers who can help support the ELLs’ language growth. Tiffani Peoples.” Yaritza’s thoughts are deep and complex. the two students were thought to qualify for gifted services. Students were studying the U. Use street language if you want. Constitution in a multilingual classroom. I was able to pair them with someone in another room. Afterwards. strategically paired two high achievers in order to scaffold the learning for the one who was in the process of learning English. 1997). Spanish. (p. She explained.” Early arrivals were also given the benefit of a Spanish read-aloud experience from their bilingual ESL teacher. they could understand the discussion around the book and could participate along with their more proficient peers. but just demonstrate the thoughts of the Preamble. who had deep understanding of concepts but lacked the English vocabulary to go with them. so that in the middle of the chapter where they had to turn and talk to their partner. Cambodian. but Yaritza [pseudonym] has only been in the country for a year and half. pick it apart and put the thoughts back together with any language that you want to use. According to Peoples. so that I can understand. Peoples’s pairing of the two was strategic. ESL teacher Krista Grimm strategically paired early language learners with peers who were fluent in both Spanish and English. 2006). Words like everyday talk at home. For example. “Evelyn [pseudonym] is gifted. English. 87) 178 . Yaritza needs that extra help with the vocabulary. During the unit on The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (DiCamillo. a teacher at Washington Elementary. The teacher asked the students to do the following: Rewrite the Preamble using your own language. Evelyn provides Yaritza with the vocabulary to express her deep thoughts in English. for instance. and those two are on the same level of thinking.
imagery. all at the same time without the initial pressure and stress of doing so in English. students were allowed the opportunity to use thought processes such as comprehension. then the translation of their deep thinking becomes a simpler task. the process of scaffolding learning takes an investment on the teacher’s part to know his or her students and to develop manageable steps to achieve the desired outcomes. The investment. 179 . Once students have participated in this process. visuals. and first-language support. is sure to engage students in meaningful. however. and synthesis. analysis. relevant activities that produce both interest and increased understanding.Scaffolding Strategies In this example. evaluation. The process involves scaffolding interest by engaging emotions as well as scaffolding understanding through the use of graphic organizers. As this example and the earlier ones in this chapter indicate.
we encourage you to encode your lesson plans so that you’ve included the C. T. Assessment of linguistic proficiencies also helps you determine what kinds of outside support you will need to maximize learning in the classroom. and S components. ELL teachers. Assessment of linguistic needs ought to be a continuous process that allows you to design learning experiences and to scaffold them from practical starting points. Thus. H. Our goal was to provide you with a framework designed around research-based best practices and classroom-tested strategies for teaching English language learners. the classroom can be an optimal place for fostering the academic and linguistic skills that ELLs need to succeed in school and in life. Delivery of effective lessons that will meet the needs of all students requires purposeful planning that includes many of the principles described in this book. This is especially true when units are coplanned and cotaught as a collaborative effort among classroom teachers. Although the A (assessment) component may not take the form of actual activities in every lesson. As you plan.Conclusion Planning Your CHATS Units We hope that you have found this text useful in your goal toward making learning comprehensible and meaningful to all students in your multilingual classroom. it should serve as a driving rationale for the rest of the activities that you choose. and special education teachers. 181 . This lens for delivering content also provides a perfect vehicle for developing language.
who continually aimed at interjecting higher levels of thinking in their classroom interactions. we want to leave you with unit. so the more colleagues you can collaborate with as you plan your lessons and deliver your instruction.2). We nonetheless believe that this goal is perfectly achievable through strong teaching practices that are informed. Before we end the book. Even in preschool. a content reading strategy may be a TPT and a scaffold all at the same time. including vocational education teachers. What we discovered is that although some of the strategies may not be appropriate for all classes and grade levels. the principles are universal across grade levels and areas of specialty. As our interviews progressed. students need to be able to competently read informational text and be able to make analytical connections between theory and practice in their content area. and authentic. when we interviewed literacy coaches and teachers. as well as preschool teachers. we found that our best tactic was to simply smile and pretend it had been our idea all along to include the wide span of grade levels and areas of specialty in the CHATS planning process.The Language-Rich Classroom When the School District of Lancaster. our intent was that it would be used mostly in grades 3 through 12 in content classrooms and in whole-class contexts. and content still provides the engagement that a simple focus on language acquisition does not. so long as they result in increased student learning. By now you’ve undoubtedly noticed that sometimes the components overlap. After you’ve laid out your unit. We hope the CHATS framework will help you create just such practices in your own classroom. In vocational education. who aimed at exposing students to informational texts and strategically highlighting how text features can support comprehension. However. For example. it became clear that it had been successfully used by teachers at all levels and areas of specialty.1 and C. adopted the CHATS framework as a part of its District Improvement Plan. relevant. 182 . Pennsylvania. thinking of which strategies might best fit with certain topics. Don’t worry too much about how you label the strategies you use. Remember that making a dent in the ELL dropout rates will take a schoolwide effort. then move on to planning individual lessons. We encourage you to start with the unit planning worksheet and roughly plan out your unit. purposeful.and lesson-planning worksheets that can serve as reference tools in designing units that integrate the five components of the CHATS framework (see Figures C. the better. Attaining linguistic and academic competence is daunting for many ELLs. children need comprehension tools to make sense of informational texts.
1990) Responding to headings Written conversations (Daniels & Zemelman. and peer modeling of higher levels of thinking? Activities: Pair-share Quick-write Quick-draw Three 3s in a Row Hold-ups Networking sessions Four Corners The Likert scale Explain It to Your Neighbor Transparency sheets Others 183 .Conclusion: Planning Your CHATS Units Figure C. 1984) The GRP (Manzo & Manzo. 2006) Metacognitive Strategies: Teaching Self-Efficacy Self Assessments Learning log prompts Content reading strategies log New vocabulary logs Goal Setting Higher–Order Thinking Planning: Develop your unit’s enduring understandings and essential questions (Wiggins & McTighe. 1967) Time lines Causal charts The Relevance Wheel Informational book table Quotable quips (Edmunds & Bauserman. Set in place respectful “Ground Rules for Debriefing. What do you want your students to be able to do? 2.” Continually analyze author’s viewpoint.and text-generated images Scaffolding understanding through the L1 Others Total Participation Techniques Do your daily lessons provide opportunities for instant evidence of total participation? Do the TPTs allow for a deeper understanding of concepts. How can you build a bridge from question 2 to question 1? How will you engage emotions? Scaffolding Techniques: Use of graphic organizers Use of related stories found on the Internet Picture walks Pictorial input (Brechtel. 2004) Historical role plays Presentation grids List-group-label (Taba. 2005) Develop your daily essential questions aimed at higher-order thinking (Bloom. 2001) Inducing mental imagery Theatre of the mind Use of student. 1956) for each activity. Use the critical content-area bookmarks if you get stuck.1 CHATS Unit-Planning Worksheet Content Reading Strategies Aim for: Authenticity and relevance Increased overall exposure Comprehension Strategies: Found poems Content-based “I Am” poems Concept mapping (Novak & Gowin. Assessment Which of your students need linguistic support? Where is each of your students in terms of his or her linguistic development (linguistic stages and ELL typologies)? Have you obtained first-language writing samples for each ELL? What does each student need? How will you document growth for individual students? How might collaboration with the ELL teacher and special education teacher provide more meaningful learning experiences for your students? Will you need additional university volunteers for students who have limited formal schooling? Scaffolding 1. What can they currently do? 3. Delivery Strategies: Ripple your questions. interaction.
and other supports will you use to scaffold engagement and understanding? 184 . 2005) aimed at higher-order thinking (Bloom.The Language-Rich Classroom Figure C. respond to. what prompts or tools will you use? Objectives & Lesson Sequence: Higher-Order Thinking: What essential question(s) (Wiggins & McTighe. and share responses to your question(s)? Assessment: For which students will you assess linguistic growth during this lesson? Will any of your students need additional scaffolds? Do you know individual students’ linguistic stages of development? Total Participation Techniques: What TPTs will you use to ensure that all students are engaged and learning? Scaffolding: What visuals. 1956) will drive your lesson? What will you do to ensure that all students get an opportunity to reflect on. graphic organizers.2 CHATS Lesson-Planning Worksheet Lesson: _______________________________________________ Date: ___________________ Content Reading Strategies: What strategies will you use to support content reading comprehension? Will students self-assess and set goals for their own learning in this lesson? If so.
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in Bloom’s taxonomy. 36–40 writing activities. 32 family read-alouds. 146 analysis. in Bloom’s taxonomy. 103–104 using the home environment. 101–104 context embedding. methods of audiobooks. 45–46 educational background. 9–18 higher-order thinking skills and. 30 using relevance and authenticity. 147–148 Active Learning Handbook for the Multiple Intelligences Classroom (Bellanca). 30–40 success elements for.Index Note: The letter f following a page number denotes a figure. 108–111. 6–8 content classrooms and. methods of (continued) cognition. 21–23 active focus with TPTs. 28 academic language development. 110f 191 . 20–21 grammatical patterns of. 33–35 academic language development. 84–85 assessment additional resources on. 40–43. 101–104 increasing exposure for. 3. 1–5 vocabulary of. 108 first-language writing samples in. 30 conversation. 30–33 emotional engagement. 23–25 overview. 4–5 CHATS and. 5–6 time requirements for. 99. effect on. academic language defining. 25–26 time requirements in. 31 academic word list. 99. 26–29 synonymous tags. 3. See also specific CHATS components additional resources on. 21 assessing proficiency in. 85 application. 21–23 academic language development.
81f content reading comprehension strategies. 66f trifecta. 78–80. 44–45. 64f CHATS framework. 30–33 with native English speakers. 63–64. 99. 50f. 98f. 8. 5–6. informational. properly channeled. 78f 192 . 52f found poems. 124–126 proficiency stage of language development. 69–70 note taking. 75f conversation. 32. 122–124 conversational vs. 98–99. 61–63 author analysis. 36–40 emotional engagement. 146–147 content reading comprehension strategies. 114–115 to increase academic language development. creating with TPT.. 83–86 bookmarks. 56 content reading strategies log. 43 coteaching model in the. 86–91. 40–43. 6–7 success and the. 7–8 Critical Pedagogy (Wink). 68–69 written conversations. 60–61 presentation grids. 88 introduction. 101 dropout rates and prevention. 67 list-group-label. 84 concept mapping. 50–52. 54. 59f quotable quips. 58–60. 77–78. content-based. 136–138f. 50–52. 63–64. 181–184 overview. 43 cognition and language.The Language-Rich Classroom assessment (continued) involving teachers in. 115–122 written. 107–108 monitoring tools. 126. 3–4 causal charts. student-mediated additional resources on. 97 encoding systems. 50f. 70–71 self-efficacy. 3–4 Bloom’s taxonomy. 135–142. 67 CALP (cognitive academic language proficiency). 18–19 sheltered instruction vs. 57f “I am” poems. 55f time lines. 62f responding to headings. incorporating. 78f self-awareness. 1. 56 coteaching model in CHATS framework. 40–41 dual immersion ESL programs. 145–146 comprehension. See also specific components components of the. 63f. 3–5 emergent stage of language development. 101–104 communicative activities. 68 relevance wheel. 7–8 lesson design. See also reading content reading comprehension strategies. 48–49 information book table. 53 historical or literary role play. 6–8. 71–77. 54. 165–167 empathy. 56–58. classifying. in Bloom’s taxonomy. 53–54. 74f. 75f vocabulary. 52f confidence building with TPTs. 74–75. 46–48 guided reading procedure (GRP). 106f book table. 139–141f authenticity. 64f concept mapping. 77–78. 65–67. 61–63. 100f BICS (basic interpersonal communicative skills). See also speaking academic fluency stage of language development. 63f. teacher-mediated causal charts. academic language. 20–21 community.
Yara. 26–29 first-language writing samples. 38. 126. 12f. 1 limited formal schooling students. 8–9 defined. 95–96 history. 12f. 122–124 emergent stage of language development. Krista. 94f techniques for student journalists. 48–49 informal language assessment indicators. Janette. 11f evaluation. 53 headings. 104 hold-ups. Quirine. See also informal language assessment interviews with native English speakers. See also interviews academic fluency stage of language development. 16f. 98–99. 115–122 suggested interview questions. 156–157 Gladwish. 99. 73–74. 97 verb lists and. Jane. 31. 160 “I am” poems. 95. x distinctions within categories. 9–10. 31 goal setting. 124–126 scaffolding strategies. 178 guided reading procedure (GRP). 32–33. 86 experiential learning. 74f grammatical patterns of academic language. 98f Bloom’s taxonomy of. 29 higher-order thinking skills additional resources on. 164f Graupera-Richardson. 101 author analysis. 82–83 in language and cognition. 53–54 Hershberger. 70–71 Grimm. 10–14. 110f limited formal (Lil) schooling students. 79 Hey Listen to This: Stories to Read Aloud (Trelease). 85–86 introduction. 92–98 higher-order thinking skills. 101–102 peripheral language in. developing conversation for. 166. 13f long-term English learner. 102–103 properly channeled empathy in. 23–25 graphic organizers. 13f long-term English learner. in Bloom’s taxonomy. 89–90 input hypothesis of language acquisition. 17f newly arrived with adequate schooling.Index English language learners (ELL) background diversity of. 46–48 four corners. 102 Hewitt. teaching. 127f information book table. 94f 193 . 30. learning logs for. 158 family read-alouds. 26–29. 114–115 proficiency stage of language development. 16f. 86–91. 15–17. 93–95. 10–14. 17–18 dropout statistics. 163–165. See also writing assessment and. 101–104 scaffolding of. 17f newly arrived students with adequate schooling. 88. 108 Internet for engagement. 40–43 explain it to your neighbor. 30. 11f found poems. 9–10. 108–111. 15–17. 128–134f informal language assessment interviews. 7. 36–40 How the Brain Learns (Sousa). 154f home environment and academic language development. 67 inner speech. 167 interviews. responding to. 153–155.
124–126 defined. 115–122 learning emotional engagement and. Jackie. 74f Leer. 89. 105 mental imagery. 99. 102–103 thought and. 84–85 Martin-Hair. relationship to learning. 157–158 listening informal language assessment indicators. methods for engaging. 78–80. 40–43. 78f Oakes. 155–156 nonbilingual ESL programs. 72 learning disabilities. academic. 111. 75f vocabulary. 88 note taking. 2 note taking.The Language-Rich Classroom key rings and podiums. 74f. 77–78. 105 Legath. 106f scaffolding strategies. 168–169 poems. big-picture CHATS unit planning. 93 oral language samples. Vicki. 112–113f proficiency. 181–184 content-based bookmarks. 88 . 26–29. 38. Gus. 84 language context embedded. 104–105 Patukas. 108 lower-order thinking skills. 73–74. 170–177 metacognition strategies for students additional resources on. 135–142. 92f list-group-label. teaching. creating when reading. 147–148 native English speakers conversation with. using primary language. 173 parents. Keely. 112f monitoring tools. 3–5 at home. 60–61 194 Literacy Assessment of Second Language Learners (Hurley and Tinajero). 165–166 movement and. in Bloom’s taxonomy. 170 picture walk. 70–71 self-efficacy. 30 conversational vs. 147–148 relevance and authenticity in motivating. 35 mathematics. 114–115 overview. 81f Mitchell. 78f self-awareness. 45–46 input hypothesis of. 122–126 emergent. 31–32 The Power of Our Words (Denton). Barbara. 39 lesson design. 89. Mary. x networking session. 92–93 knowledge. 42 pictorial input activity. 71–77. 34–35 Patton. 36–40 peripheral to active. 126. 126 open-ended questions. 162–165 teacher comfort zones and. 108 language acquisition stages academic fluency. using for comprehension. 139f whole-group debriefing ground rules. 101–104 language acquisition content classrooms and. 2–3 learning logs. Diane. 139–141f movement. 136–138f. 92–93 monitoring tools. 128–134f language acquisition stages and. Jeanne. 45–49 Potter. 61–63 self-efficacy and. 104–105 Likert scale. 148–149. 77–78. 136f. See informal language assessment interviews pair-shares. 95–96.
98f. 92–93. 149–150. 177 wait time. 165–167 higher-order thinking skills and. 101–102 interviewing techniques. 36–40 pullout ESL programs. 95–96. 177–179 visuals for. 104–105 self-awareness. 161–162 mental imagery in. 96–98 quick-draws. 150–151. 90f role-play. 40–43. motivating through (continued) free voluntary reading. 98–99. 93–95. 93–95. 164f interviews. 164f text encoding while. 150f quotable quips. 71–77. incorporating. 107 195 . 97. Poems and Newspaper Articles for Preteens and Teens (Trelease). 107 questions additional resources on. 100f elements affecting comprehension. 27 presentation grids. 168–169 student-generated images. 174–176f. 68 relevance and authenticity. 45. 103–104 relevance wheel. 173. 136f. 39 reading. 89–92. 170–177 using native language in. See also content reading comprehension strategies to acquire language. 170–177 monitoring tools. 45 introduction. 166 big-picture lesson design and. 89–92. 27. 96–98 science. 162–165. 29 The Read-Aloud Handbook (Trelease). 58–60. 94f key rings and podiums. 90f Reinhart. 26–29. 173 quick-writes. 74f. 170 picture walk. 75f sheltered instruction. 78f reading. motivating through audiobooks. 94f open-ended. 172–173 readers. 164f emotional engagement with. 55f rippling questions. 6–7. 40–43 reading the painting. 92–93 pictorial input. 67 quotable quips. 57f scaffolding additional resources on. strategies for. 92–98 importance of. 163–165. 59f primary language. 68 Read All About It! Great Read-Aloud Stories. 27–28. critical. 93 properly channeled empathy when asking. 61–63. 56–58. 28 read-alouds. 139f scaffold example. 42–43 relevance. 168–169 presentation grids. 113f mental imagery. 97 rippling. 62f responding to headings. 98f. 68 author analysis and. 25–29.Index The Power of Reading (Krashen). historical or literary. 88 asking bigger. 177 theatre of the mind. 168–177 scaffolding tools graphic organizers. 98–99. 61–63. 89. encouraging use at home. 100f reading. teaching. 24 informal language assessment indicators. 2. creating when. 70–71 self-efficacy. 58–60. 168–169 real-world learning. 33–35 foreign language take-home readers. 59f reading the painting. 89–92. 86–91. 90f wait time before answering. Jennifer. 40–43 reflection. 128–134f language acquisition stages. 77–78.
157–158 networking session. in Bloom’s taxonomy. 152f time lines.The Language-Rich Classroom Sinkosky. 136f. 145–146 introduction. 100f writing. 95 verb lists. 168–177 vocabulary of academic language. 153–155. 160 benefits of. 25–26 speaking. 113f monitoring tools. 85 text encoding. 21–23 learning strategies. 159 trifecta. 156–157 hold-ups. See also conversation informal language assessment indicators. 146. 150–151 quick-writes. 143–148 building confidence using. 37–38 transparency sheets (TPT activity). 139f written conversations. 151–153. 143–145 maintaining focus using. 68–69 two-way bilingual programs. 166–167 social integration with TPT. See dual immersion ESL programs Understanding by Design (Wiggins and McTighe). 174–176f. 128–134f language acquisition stages. 154f Likert scale. 96–98 Weidemoyer. 98–99. Jim. 31 informal language assessment indicators. 159 transfer theory. activities (continued) three 3s in a row. 112f monitoring tools. critical. 99. 177 thought and language. 27 vocabulary log. 166 writers. 66f total participation techniques (TPTs) additional resources on. 78f theatre of the mind. 81f peripheral to active. 148–149 quick-draws. 159–160 total participation techniques (TPTs). 54. 77–78. 128–134f language acquisition stages. 81f wait time. activities. Roseann. 173. 158 four corners. 2 synthesis. 155–156 pair-shares. See also first-language writing samples developing academic language through. 147–148 using as a mind-set. 56 196 . 152f transparency sheets. 95–96 visual literacy tools. 151–153. 98f. 136f. 101–104 three 3s in a row. 149–150 total participation techniques (TPTs). 150f explain it to your neighbor. 104 Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites (Tate). 139f special education services. reading time and. 78–80. 145–146 socioeconomic status. 146–147 creating community with. 65–67.
He earned an M. Trinidad & Tobago. China.D.A. Fiji. Nepal. in Intercultural Education. and Tonga. She has a Ph.About the Authors Dr. in Intercultural Education and has been a teacher in bilingual and multilingual classrooms in New York and Southern California. Nepal. 197 .edu. and Thailand. He is a former speech and ESL teacher in New York and Southern California and has served as a teacher trainer and an educational consultant for various school districts and educational projects in the United States. Chile. Puerto Rico. Pérsida and William have been married for over 20 years and have two beautiful and compassionate children. Argentina. William Himmele is an assistant professor and coor dinator for the ESL certificate program at Millersville University in southeastern Pennsylvania. She has served as the ELL coordinator for curriculum and professional development for the School District of Lancaster and as a consultant to school districts and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.edu and whimmele@millersville. Pérsida Himmele is an assistant professor in the education department at Millersville University in south eastern Pennsylvania. Dr. Korea. Bill is a lifelong Buffalo Bills fan and keeps hoping for a brighter day. They can be reached via phone at (717)8233788 and via email at phimmele@millersville. China. in TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) and a Ph.D. She has served as a consult ant and teacher trainer for educational projects in the United States. Pérsida is Puerto Rican and was raised on Bustelo coffee.
engaged. visit www. Hill (#106009) Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners.org. ASCD stock numbers are noted in parentheses.. the following ASCD resources were available.wholechildeducation.org). For additional resources. Print Products Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners by Kathleen Flynn and Jane D. Beauregard St.ascd. send an e-mail message to member@ascd. To learn more about other books and resources that relate to the whole child. VA 22311-1714 USA. supported. for the most up-to-date information about ASCD resources.Related ASCD Resources: The Language-Rich Classroom At the time of publication. Grades K-4 by Sylvia Linan-Thompson and Sharon Vaughn (#108002) Mixed Media Strategies for Success with English Language Learners (ASCD Action Tool) (#706088) Videos and DVDs How To Get Started with English Language Learners (one 15-minute DVD) (#608032) Maximizing Learning for English Language Learners (one DVD with a facilitator’s guide) (#603326) Raising the Literacy Achievement of English Language Learners (one DVD with a facilitator’s guide) (#606122) PD Online English Language Learners in the Mainstream: Strategies that Work (ASCD PD Online Course) (# PD05OC48) The Whole Child Initiative helps schools and communities create learning environments that allow students to be healthy. Alexandria. send a fax to 703-575-5400. . ASCD.org. Facilitators Guide by Jane D. Hill and Cynthia Linnea Bjork (#108053) Content-Area Conversations: How to Plan Discussion-Based Lessons for Diverse Language Learners by Douglas Fisher.ascd. 1703 N. safe.org. call the ASCD Service Center (1-800-933-ASCD or 703-578-9600. go to www. or write to Information Services. and challenged. Nancy Frey and Carol Rothenberg (#108035) Getting Started with English Language Learners: How Educators Can Meet the Challenge by Judie Haynes (#106048) Managing Diverse Classrooms: How to Build on Students’ Cultural Strengths by Carrie Rothstein-Fisch and Elise Trumbull (#107014) Meeting the Needs of Second Language Learners: An Educator’s Guide by Judith LessowHurley (#102043) Research-Based Methods of Reading Instruction for English Language Learners. Hill and Cynthia Linnea Bjork (#108052) Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners. visit us on the World Wide Web (http://www. then press 2). Participant’s Workbook by Jane D.
J. T = Total participation techniques. attain greater language skills and deeper content comprehension.” Dr.P. When they can begin to participate in the way that they do. they begin to feel successful. and it has a lot to do with using CHATS. Teachers are feeling empowered. That enthusiasm just propelled them forward into trying out other strategies…They’re able to reach kids that they didn’t know how to reach before. and scaffolding tools. and teaching techniques to boost language learning in any classroom. and S = Scaffolding strategies The book contains helpful planning worksheets. as well as other students. Principal. the needs of English language learners (ELLs) can seem overwhelming. In The Language-Rich Classroom. H = Higher-order thinking skills.” Barbara Mitchell. research-based framework—CHATS— that teachers can use to help ELLs. comprehensive overviews of second-language acquisition. And. The CHATS framework provides teachers with C = Content reading strategies.ascd. increase their comprehension across all subject areas. As teachers strive to help all students reach their full potential. and build classrooms that are engaging and welcoming to students of all cultures. Janette Hewitt. Washington Elementary School “The bottom line of what it’s done for me is that I’m still as passionate about teaching in April as I was in August. This field-tested framework includes diagnostic tools. A = Assessment tools. in terms of students’ understanding and engagement. they saw instant results. educators and consultants Pérsida and William Himmele present a five-part. The Language-Rich Classroom is an invaluable resource that will help teachers foster greater gains in students’ language development.Education T oday’s multilingual classrooms challenge even the best teachers’ skills. Virginia USA Browse Excepts from ASCD Books: www. I just love teaching. assessment logs. Teachers will also find more than 25 classroom and team-building activities and specific tips about how these activities benefit ELLs. McCaskey High School Alexandria. “When [teachers] started experimenting with CHATS strategies. ELL Teacher. they feel much better about themselves. Kids don’t cut class anymore.org/books STUDY GUIDE ONLINE .
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