Can International Research Inform Spanish Literacy Instruction? A Look at the Mexico Experience

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1 Can International Research Inform Spanish Literacy Instruction? A Look at the Mexico Experience Diane Sharken Taboada Jill Kerper Mora NABE 2015 Las Vegas, NV March 6, 2015

2 Why Study Literacy in Mexico? To affirm the value of Spanish literacy in its own right. To apply research findings on early literacy instruction in Spanish for Spanish speakers in the USA. To strengthen the knowledge base of biliteracy teachers in order to implement a theoretically coherent Spanish literacy program.

3 Current International Research Goldenberg et al., 2014 Longitudinal comparison of phonological awareness and reading achievement of three groups: -First and second grade students in Mexico -US students taught to read in Spanish -US students taught to read in English only Findings Phoneme oriented instruction: -US: English 94%, Spanish 79%, -Mexico: 9%, Mexican focus on comprehension & writing. Mexico students: -Nearly erased beginning first grade achievement differences -Surpassed US-Spanish and US-English readers by end of 2nd grade

4 Implications of International Findings Imposition of English reading approaches on Spanish literacy instruction. Questions the need to precede reading instruction with phonological awareness training. Relationship between learning alphabetic principle and phonological awareness. Transferability of phonological awareness learning. A phonemic focus may facilitate the transition to English literacy instruction.

5 Common Core Standards Reforms A Fresh Look at Literacy 1. Close readings of complex informational and literary texts 2. Taking a stand and supporting it with evidence 3. Engaging in collaborative conversations about intellectually rich content 4. Using academic language and developing language awareness 5. Valuing multilingualism and cultural diversity

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12 An Exploration of Spanish Literacy Instruction To affirm Mexican teachers theoretical framework for early literacy instruction and program reforms. Explore the significance of Mexico s literacy reforms in light of United States educational reforms. Identify the impact on design and implementation of Spanish literacy instruction within dual language programs.

13 Spanish Literacy Instruction in Dual Language Programs Program models: Dual Immersion (90/10 vs. 50/50 models) Transitional or Maintenance Bilingual Education Spanish as a Heritage Language Spanish as a Second Language Purposes of Spanish Literacy Instruction: Establish L1 literacy Support cross-linguistic transfer in biliteracy Provide acquisition of L2 Spanish

14 Think-Pair-Share 1: Professional Context In what program model or type of program do you teach Spanish literacy? Have the Common Core reforms or most current state level reforms prompted you to revisit or reexamine the theoretical base for literacy instruction in Spanish and English?

15 Education Policy Contrasts Mexico/USA Constitutional powers Curriculum and program design National literacy curriculum Instructional strategies and materials

16 The Mexico Literacy Puzzle Constructivism Spain, Latin America & USA Teachers role Learning activities Four instructional components Interaction w/text

17 The Spanish-speaking World: Theoretical Context 1960s-70s: Methodological disputes (La querrella de los métodos) 1980s: Constructivist reforms: Emilia Ferreiro, Margarita Gómez Palacio, Donald Graves, Sofia Vernon, Frank Smith, Kenneth & Yetta Goodman 1990s: Federal program reforms (La nueva propuesta) implementation mature & established program : National development plan; maintain theory; emphasis on environmental text, writing & project-based learning.

18 Access to MNRP Mexico Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP) website: SEP Fichero teacher resource book

19 Mexican National Reading Program (MNRP) Reform Objectives Traditional Instruction in Spanish 1. Focus on mechanical decoding 2. Strategies taught in isolation 3. Repetition and memorization 4. Students passively receive information from teachers 5. Limited attention to student motivation Constructivism 1. Focus on comprehension 2. Strategies taught in context of meaningful & integrated text 3. Communicative/functional focus 4. High level of student participation & creative effort 5. Changes in definition of a good reader

20 Mexican National Reading Program from Libro para el Maestro Gr. 1 (1998) Functional Communicative Approach 1. First grade teachers deal with a heterogeneous group of conceptual levels in their students. Los maestros de 1er grado enfrentan la heterogeneidad de niveles conceptuales de los alumnos de primer ciclo. 2. Reading is not only the translation of written material to oral language; this would be the simple technical act of decoding. Leer no es simplemente trasladar el material escrito a la lengua oral: eso sería una simple técnica de decodificación.

21 Mexican National Reading Program from Libro para el Maestro Gr. 1 (1998) 3. Reading and writing are two different actions that represent the two sides of a single coin. Leer y escribir son dos actos diferentes que conforman las dos caras de la misma moneda. 4. Learning to read for understanding takes more time than learning to read as an act of decoding. Aprender a leer en forma comprensiva lleva más tiempo que aprender a descifrar. 5. Once you learn to read as a mechanical act, it is difficult later to change your definition of reading. Cuando se comienza a leer mecánicamente es muy difícil cambiar después la forma de leer.

22 Mexican National Reading Program: Contents of Teacher s Guide (1998) 1. Introduction: Underlying theory Four program components: Reading Leer y compartir Oral language Hablar y escuchar Writing Tiempo de escribir Reflection about language Reflexión sobre la lengua Instructional strategies: Reading aloud Lectura en voz alta Shared reading Lectura compartida Guided reading Lectura guiada Reading in pairs Lectura por parejas Independent reading Lectura independiente Suggestions for initial evaluation: Sugerencias para la evaluación inicial Start a portfolio (carpeta) Written word list and dictated sentences Investigate student knowledge about text Observe Student Interaction with books Observe student oral participation 2. Lessons in the teacher s guide Each lesson includes: 5 blocks of 7-8 lessons (total 39 lessons) Story summary and lesson goals Divided into sessions 1-5. Read and share Leer y compartir Talk and listen Hablar y escuchar Time to write Tiempo de escribir Reflection about language Reflexión sobre la lengua 3. Bibliography and story credits

23 Plan de Estudios 2009 Propósito (Stated goals) En primaria, progresivamente, los niños pueden enfrentar la lectura y escritura de textos de manera autónoma. Entender el principio alfabético en los dos primeros años de la escolaridad A lo largo de la primaria, adquieren las convenciones propias de la escritura.

24 Mexico National Reading Program (2009) 1. Introduction: Underlying theory Enfoque focus Communicative Purpose El propósito comunicativo Social Context of The Audience Communication El o los destinarios El contexto social de la comunicación Type of Text El tipo de texto Competencias a desarrollar Developing competencies Knowledge Conocimientos Skills Habilidades Application Su puesta en práctica en una situación concreta Propósitos del grado Grade level goals Reflect on text Familiarize students functions with different text Reflexiona genres consistemente Se familiariza con sobre el diversos tipos funcionamiento del textuales sistema de escritura Introduce grade-level appropriate literature Se introduce a la literatura infantil Participate in writing, conversation and presentation Participa en la escritura de textos y en conversaciones y exposiciones

25 Mexico National Reading Program 2009 Program Organization 2. Program Organization Five project blocks, each approximately two months long Three structural planning and learning focuses divided into 1)Observable skills 2)Text analysis 3)Activities to reflect on the written system (reading and writing): products and evaluation Tres Ámbitos 1) Aprendizajes esperados 2) Temas de reflexión 3) Actividades para reflexionar sobre el sistema de escritura: productos e evaluación Exposure to expository text Ámbito de estudio Exposure to narrative text (Literature) Ámbito de la literatura Emphasis on environmental text in everyday life Ámbito de la participación comunitaria y familiar 3. Work within the classroom (teacher s role and instructional organization) Consideraciones para el trabajo educativo (intervención del maestro y el trabajo en el aula)

26 Reflexión Sobre la Lengua Reflection on Language Propiedades y tipos de texto Properties and text types Aspectos sintácticos y semánticos de los textos Syntactic elements and text semantics Conocimiento del sistema de escritura y ortografía Understanding systems of writing and orthography Comprensión e interpretación Comprehension and interpretation of text Búsqueda y manejo de información Searching for and managing information Usos sociales de la lengua Social uses of language

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30 Research Goals: 2004/2009 To describe the degree of congruence between the constructivist model of the MNRP & teachers self-reported theoretical orientation to reading instruction in Spanish. To observe the degree of congruence between the theoretical framework of the MNRP & teachers implementation of the program in first grade classrooms To explore how teachers themselves articulate the theories and understanding of how students learn to read and its advantages or disadvantages.

31 Congruence Model mandated program teacher s theoretical orientation Program implementation Theoretical Orientation as a Filter for Program s Mandated Theory & Practice

32 Mixed Methods Research Triangulated Data TORIS Questionnaire (242 teachers in 2004) (162 teachers in 2009) Open-ended questions Likert scale questions Interviews (51) Observations (290 Hours)

33 Theoretical Orientation to Reading in Spanish (TORIS) Total of 38 Items: 26 translated into Spanish & adapted for Mexico context from DeFord (1986) Theoretical Orientation to Reading Profile. Item categories: 10 Phonics; 9 Skills; 7 Whole Language. 5 items added to query about MNRP constructivist theoretical framework 7 items targeting specific strategies & practices from 1999 Gr. 1 Teachers Guide

34 Findings: TORIS The MNRP Theoretical Framework load as a single factor including constructivist principles with strategies from phonics, skills, whole language & Spanish reading. This suggests a theoretically coherent eclecticism. MNRP factor supports meaning-making as the purpose of reading (Enfoque comunicativo funcional). A factor identified as «traditional approach» emerged that emphasizes decoding.

35 TORIS Consensus Items: Constructivism R-23: Al enseñar a leer, el maestro debe de buscar desde el principio que el alumno dé sentido a todo lo que lee. When teaching reading, the teacher should ensure from the beginning that the student understands the meaning of what he/she reads. (Constructivism) R-27. Cuando el maestro enseña gramática, ortografía o puntuación, lo debe hacer en un contexto funcional. When teaching grammar, spelling or punctuation, the teacher must do so in a functional context. (Constructivism) R-17. Es indispensable que el maestro constituya sub-grupos de alumnos para completar algunos trabajos de lecto-escritura con el propósito de apoyar a los que tengan distintos niveles de conocimiento. It is essential that the teacher form sub-groups of students to complete some literacy tasks for the purpose of supporting those who have different knowledge/skills levels. (Constructivism)

36 Una maestra lo explica así (Response to open-ended questions Agosto 2009) Los niňos aprenden a leer por medio del análisis y la reflexión para llegar a la comprensión. No utilizan sonidos para leer. Con el apoyo del maestro y compaňeros, adquieren más seguridad para expresar ideas y lo que sienten. Aprenden a trabajar en equipo. Escriben de manera natural según el dibujo y su vocabulario. Aplican sus aprendizajes en su vida cotidiana.

37 Findings: El Buen Lector Los niños tienen que despertar su interés en la lectura. Mi buen lector es el que me lee y me interpreta lo que lee; describe con su propio lenguaje lo que acaba de leer. Todo lo que ve escrito le interesa. (Classroom Teacher Interview 2003)

38 Think-Pair-Share 2: Communicative approach and YOUR classroom. Think about your implementation of Spanish language and literacy instruction in your program model and/or classroom: To what extent are communication and comprehension the focus of instruction? How does your state standards document (Common Core en Español) inform your instructional decisions?

39 Spanish Literacy Instruction for Dual Language Programs Be true to Spanish! Focus on use of language for communication and language function determines form. Teach for transfer based on metalinguistic knowledge.

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41 Findings: Observations & Interview Data Teacher educators and staff developers show a high level of belief in and support for the MNRP constructivist framework; teachers range in beliefs and preferred strategies. Classroom teachers with greater articulation of underlying theory of the MNRP exhibit higher levels of congruence with the program.

42 Observations: Adherence to MNRP Fidelity to core program scope & sequence Use of additional materials to core program Instructional grouping Setting instructional purpose Assessments (ongoing, informal) Low adherence teacher Medium adherence teacher High adherence teacher -oral discussion of text -explicit phonics instruction -oral discussion of text -explicit phonics instruction -some Fichero activities -oral discussion of text -word study embedded in reading and analysis of text m--any Fichero activities -Teacher made materials -Some environmental print -Little use of Rincon books -Commercial workbook -Teacher made materials -Some environmental print -Rincon books used often -Teacher made materials -Lots of environmental print -Rincon books used daily Whole group, individual Whole group, some partner work, individual Whole group, Small group, Partner, Individual Activities rarely explicitly stated to students Activities explicitly stated to students occasionally Activities explicitly stated to students almost every lesson Few assessments -Few assessments -Student writing samples -Many student writing samples -Frequent teacher made assessments (dictation/word lists) -Teacher formally identifies developmental groups

43 Adherence to MNRP Low adherence teacher Medium adherence teacher Articulates theory High adherence teacher -oral discussion of text -word study embedded in reading and analysis of text -many Fichero activities -teacher made materials -lots of environmental print - Rincon de Lectura books used daily Varied instructional grouping: whole group, small group, partner, individual Purpose of activities explicitly stated to students almost every lesson -many student writing samples -frequent teacher made assessments (dictation/word lists) -teacher identifies developmental groups

44 MNRP Implementation: Successful strategies Environmental print & teacher ingenuity -teacher made materials -manipulatives Grouping for instruction -collaborative group work -student led activities -project-based learning Assessment on-going & linked to theory

45 Rural school: First/second grade, 21 students

46 Environmental text: posters, wrappers, tickets, signs

47 Portadores de texto: carteles, envolturas, etiquetas

48 Students names as a source of text

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50 Discos silábicos

51 Sharing instructional materials & practices

52 BIBLIOTECA ESCOLAR Adquirir el gusto por la lectura y la comprensión con la biblioteca del salón.

53 Rincón de Lectura: classroom library

54 Second grade board assignment

55 Second grade independent work

56 Assessment tool: samples of developmental writing

57 Monthly evaluation tracker: color coded by proficiency level

58 Presentation to class: reading big books

59 Parallels Between MNRP and Common Core MEXICO UNITED STATES

60 What International Research Tells Us... Effective Spanish Literacy Instruction: Articulate reasons for program design and instructional practice based on expert knowledge, experience and relevant research. Program/classroom Implementation: Draw from approaches, strategies and activities that have coherence through a theoretical orientation. Collaboration: Our shared and pooled professionalism is essential to effective biliteracy program implementation.

61 Contact Information Diane Sharken Taboada Mt. Diablo Unified School District Jill Kerper Mora San Diego State University Website: moramodules.com

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