Teaching ESL Students in Mainstream Classrooms: language in learning across the curriculum Information for Schools

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1 : language in learning across the curriculum 2013 Information for Schools What is Teaching ESL student in Mainstream Classrooms (TESMC)? (TESMC) is for educators seeking to develop understandings of the cultural and linguistic diversity and experiences of ESL students, the central role language plays in learning and the teaching practices which explicitly support the language learning needs of ESL students. Refer Attachment 1: Module content: Teaching ESL Students in mainstream classrooms. While TESMC is geared to ESL students, its language focus and explicit pedagogy are highly relevant to the literacy development of all students. It builds teachers understanding of how language works across the curriculum (years 3 12) and provides a range of practical teaching and learning strategies. The course aligns closely with the Australian Curriculum: Literacy capability and the Language and Literacy strands of the Australian Curriculum: English. The Literacy capability states, while much of the explicit teaching of literacy occurs in the English learning area, it is strengthened made specific and extended in other learning areas as students engage in a range of learning activities with significant literacy demands (ACARA 2012). The Language strand in particular, where students develop their knowledge about the English language and how it works is new learning for many teachers. The course is also highly relevant for teachers to make explicit the language and literacy demands of the SACE. is most effectively undertaken by a cohort of teachers at their site. The site should have a priority around teachers having common understandings about language in the curriculum and a commitment for all teachers to explicitly teach about language to their students in all learning areas. The course was updated in 2011 and is currently marketed successfully nationally and internationally by DECD Publishing. Various tertiary institutions provide accreditation status within post graduate courses. This rigorous course provides the professional learning needed to sustain approaches to literacy improvement over many years. Rationale The course is based on the belief that explicit teaching about language is the most effective way to scaffold students to successfully engage with the curriculum. The course is based on a belief that explicitly and systematically teaching students about language and its use in a range of contexts using a scaffolded approach will impact on the quality of their learning across the learning areas. It provides teachers with an introductory understanding of the English language system, including a language to talk about language. A common metalanguage then builds coherence and consistency between teachers and explicitly supports students in developing their literacy skills. Student learning about language is best undertaken within the context of a teaching and learning cycle that moves through four key stages: setting the context, modelling and deconstruction, joint construction and independent construction. In the cycle, the teacher has a clear understanding about the kind of language demanded in various teaching and learning activities and how this can help to make decisions about what to scaffold and how to go about doing it. Course Aims The course provides teachers with: - an understanding of the kind of support ESL students need to be successful learners - a pedagogy for explicitly and systematically scaffolding language 1

2 - strategies that teachers can use across the curriculum for effective teaching and learning - an understanding of the role of language in learning - whole-school approaches to addressing the learning needs of ESL students The course integrates a developed awareness of the ESL student as a learner, valuing what the student brings to their learning. This is developed through explicit teaching of language and literacy for cultural inclusion using a scaffolded Teaching and Learning Cycle which moves through defined stages of setting the context, modelling and deconstruction, joint construction and independent construction. This Teaching and Learning Cycle is informed by a developed awareness of genre teaching and supported by teachers having the capacity of to teach the associated text structure and language features of a range of genres. Teachers undertaking the course develop the ability to plan systematic teaching and learning programs and associated assessment using the specific language resources within the program. The course promotes a whole school approach towards inclusion of ESL students using cultural awareness and a genre approach based on high challenge, high support principles which lead to successful language and literacy outcomes for all students involved. Planning processes developed include aspects such as whole school genre mapping, teacher agreements around collaboration, planning and assessment, and ongoing dialogue around sharing, evaluation and the acknowledgement and sustainability of good practice. Teachers from all learning areas will understand more of the language demands of their fields and will be better able to teach their students how to deal with these demands. Underpinning theories and pedagogy The definition of literacy that underpins the Australian Curriculum is referred to as a social view of language that considers how language works to construct meaning in different social and cultural contexts (ACARA 2012). This social view of language is informed by Halliday s functional model which is concerned with how language varies according to the socio-cultural contexts in which it is used. This provides the framework for looking at language at word, sentence and text levels, using functional and traditional grammar terms. It considers: - the range of genres or text types, their structure and language features - how the register continuum can inform language choices appropriate to the context - a teaching and learning cycle to scaffold control of genres as they increase in complexity - how the shift from oral language to written language informs language choice - scaffolding listening skills - reading, writing and assessment for a range of genres and related language choices - how language shifts from everyday to technical fields - whole school models for supporting ESL students The pedagogy (teaching and learning cycle) for supporting students to develop control of language in a range of contexts is based Bruner s notion of scaffolding, where the adult does what the child cannot do, expecting that the child will take over, and handing over as the child shows that they are ready. This is combined with Vygotsky s social constructivism, where all learning is social and occurs for students when the learning is within their zone of proximal development, with the support of a culturally informed other. How is the course delivered? The course is delivered over 9 modules by a trained tutor who is also an experienced practitioner, able to apply the theory into practice. Five of the Modules are 3 hours duration and 4 of the Modules are 2.5 hours. Each Module has Between Module Activities and Readings. It is recommended that modules be delivered fortnightly so teachers have time to complete the readings and activities. A reflection session at the beginning of each workshop allows time to discuss the Between Module Activities (BMAs), Readings and to reflect on the material covered in the previous workshop. The workshops are divided into a series of sessions with a range of activities which may include: input from the tutor or through DVD or text material discussion or other collaborative learning activities practical activities that are transferable to classroom contexts 2

3 Between Module Activities (BMAs): the BMAs are small scale investigations of understandings developed in the modules. Participants complete a report sheet on each BMA which also includes feedback for the tutor on the workshop and the readings. Between Module Readings: there are one to three readings provided for each module to reinforce or extend the understandings developed. Course registration (a) School-based course: If you are planning a course for your school, please nominate a course liaison person to oversee the administrative and organisational aspects of the course. They should contact: The Project Manager, Literacy Improvement Literacy Secretariat Ph The project manager will negotiate timelines and determine tutor availability. A cohort of 12 participants is required for course viability. The cost of the course is currently $230 per DECD participant, which includes a manual for each participant and DVD of between module readings. Schools may choose to pay all or some participant costs. Once a course is in place to run at your school, the course liaison person ensures that participants have completed registration forms and that payment has been organised. All registrations and payments must be sent to CEASA at least 2 weeks before the course starts to ensure that participants receive their course booklets for the first module. It is recommended that the liaison person collects and sends the registrations & payments in bulk. Refer Attachment 2: Checklist for course liaison. (b) Education Development Centre, Hindmarsh courses will be delivered at EDC when 12 or more expressions of interest are received. Dates will then be organised. Registration forms/expressions of interest can be downloaded from the CEASA website: CEASA contact details: Phone: Fax: Service Agreement The Literacy Secretariat currently has responsibility for tutor training costs of around $3000 per tutor. For each course, the Literacy Secretariat provides a grant of $5440 to the tutor s home school for release time for course preparation and delivery. Engagement with this professional learning requires significant commitment and resourcing by both the Literacy Secretariat and the school. A Service Agreement will be entered into by schools to acknowledge the respective responsibilities of both the Literacy Secretariat and the school leadership team. How can our school support teachers to engage with and sustain their learning? The course offers deep and challenging learning. We know this learning occurs best when teachers can reflect, apply and discuss their learning within a professional learning community as they increasingly develop the confidence to use and discuss their new learning using a shared metalanguage. In order to support this, schools should consider supporting a cohort of around 15 teachers to undertake the course, usually over a semester. Resources could be allocated to support these teachers to undertake the course and some release time could be provided to allow them to undertake required coursework, or it could be incorporated into a student free day (with negotiation with the course tutor/project Manager). Staff should agree to participate in this professional learning as a key element of their performance development, aligned to the schools literacy priorities. A key strategy to ensure sustainability for the learning is for these staff to share their learning, successful strategies they have used and evidence of student improvement. Peer observation of those practices is supported, and over time, it is anticipated that all relevant staff will undertake the course. 3

4 What teachers are saying about Teaching ESL Students in Mainstream Classrooms Primary teacher I have learnt so much! Many things have become clearer to me. I am becoming more explicit in my teaching and feeling very confident about it. One of the most worthwhile courses I have ever participated in. Secondary teacher The emphasis on all subject teachers using the strategies in this course was very relevant. I think as a whole site we need to take on a more coordinated approach to teaching language across the school New teacher I am glad I did this in my first year of teaching. All first year teachers should do this course. Leader TESMC has provided us with a solid foundation on which to build a coordinated approach to literacy and inclusive practices across the curriculum. Worth the time and effort! Attachments: Attachment 1: Module content: Teaching ESL students in mainstream classrooms Attachment 2: Checklist for course liaison Attachment 3: How school leaders can support effective professional learning Attachment 4: Evidence base for professional learning Attachment 5: Literacy Improvement Plan 4

5 Module Content: : Language in Learning across the curriculum Attachment 1 Module Topic Contents 1 ESL students and learning in a second language Who are ESL students and what affects their learning? Learning an additional language How we can support ESL students 2 Language and learning and the role of scaffolding 3 Oral Language: how the task shapes the talk 4 Interpreting and producing talk as performance 5 Working with written and visual texts 6 Working with written and visual texts at the text level 7 Developing knowledge of genre and language: the language level Language text and context A functional model of language Scaffolding a teaching and learning cycle Oral language across the mode continuum Oral language tasks Oral language: talk as performance Talk as performance: issues for ESL students and classroom strategies Assessment of oral language Different ways of making meaning Exploring genre Genres across the curriculum Looking at language at the text level Supporting ESL students with reading Linking back to the Teaching and Learning Cycle Moving across the register continuum Focussing on the nominal group Moving to highly written texts through nominalisation Matching the register: Dictogloss 8 Assessing written texts How accessible are the texts we use? 9 Programming & whole-school models of ESL support Assessment of written language Programming Whole school framework for supporting ESL students 5

6 Checklist for Course Liaison Attachment 2 Actions Coordinating a course on your site ensure all participants receive course information and registration forms send all registrations & payments to CEASA at least 2 weeks before the course is due to start contact CEASA to confirm delivery time for participant manuals ph: contact course tutor to confirm dates and times ensure all participants know dates, start & end times and location of workshops ensure course tutor and all participants are notified of any alterations to dates, times and location of workshops book appropriate room: Person responsible Comment/ Completed - large enough for cabaret seating - easy & quick access to tea and coffee facilities - near to toilet facilities - see equipment requirements below organise catering for the course check that participant course books have arrived (tutor responsible for distributing these at first workshop) ensure that after school hours access arrangements are in place: - caretaker/cleaners informed - ensure process is in place for lock up get list of equipment needed for each workshop from course tutor and book equipment for each workshop set up room for each workshop: - chairs and tables at adult height - cabaret seating - check equipment is working organise how clearing up will occur after each workshop ensure course evaluations have been forwarded to the Project Manager, Literacy Improvement 6

7 Attachment 3 How school leaders can support effective professional learning The following is intended to support schools undertaking a professional learning course at their site with a cohort of teachers. This should be part of the school s Site Improvement Plan, and relate to an identified need within the school. Schools may choose to include targets around teachers undertaking professional learning courses. For example: - A minimum of 75% of teachers will be supported to undertake literacy professional learning courses over the next 3 years - Literacy professional learning will be part of all teachers performance development plans, and for formal PMP meetings, incorporating literacy into teaching and learning will be a requirement Central to supporting effective professional learning are strategies to: - engage teachers - support them to undertake courses - sustain the professional learning and transform classroom practice. The following provides some guidelines to help achieve the above. Engage Develop and implement mechanisms that strengthen teacher s willingness to engage in increasing their knowledge, skills and practice in supporting students language and literacy development in all areas of learning by: establishing a Literacy Improvement Group that identifies and implements strategies aligned to the Site Improvement Plan mapping genre and language features across the curriculum and the year levels to determine student language learning needs and hence staff professional learning needs mapping the Language and Literacy Strands of the Australian English curriculum and the Achievement Standards to determine staff professional learning needs undertaking/providing targeted professional learning (eg TL cycle, nominalisation, reading comprehension) through staff meetings to build staff awareness of need for further systematic professional learning (cherry pick or deep systematic engagement) supporting self reflection on capacity for language and literacy instruction (eg through performance development processes, use of capacity matrix). strategically engaging key personal in the initial course at the school: staff leadership team, faculty leaders, year level groups, learning area groups Support Promote and support teachers in undertaking sustained professional learning by: providing course subsidies to participants (they are already putting in a lot of their own time) providing regular meeting times to support collaboration with between module activities and readings (i.e. their homework/opportunities for consolidation, clarification of new learning) exploring flexible delivery of course and providing some TRT time release for teachers (incorporate course into student free days). 7

8 Sustain Plan and deliver follow-up that ensures implementation of learning and ongoing changed classroom practice by: providing opportunities for peer mentoring and classroom observation providing regular meeting times, post course workshops/tutorials (and release time?) to support ongoing professional learning discussions around TESMC (eg to develop teaching and learning programs/materials, collaborative planning and teaching, resource development) providing resources (model texts, library resources, research and publications, support mechanisms) developing resources for explicit teaching - faculty scope and sequence with specific reference to literacy requirements - modelling and scaffolding use of teaching learning cycles - focussing on specific language features (eg noun groups, nominalisation, conjunctions) - sharing teaching and learning programs and resources using participant rubrics and course evaluation sheets to identify areas of growth and areas for continuing development training a site based tutor who can provide ongoing implementation support. 8

9 Attachment 5 Evidence base for effective professional learning Research shows that professional learning and development is effective when teachers: - integrate theory with practice (ie have a theoretical perspective which drives beliefs and actions). The selected sustained courses have a strongly and internationally accepted theoretical base - have existing assumptions, knowledge and skills engaged but also challenged. Sustained courses allow for the iterative attention to existing and new knowledge and skills that will dispose teachers to changes in practice - have multiple opportunities to learn and practise new knowledge and skills in a trusting yet challenging environment. Sustained courses with the same group of people allow for the development of a trusting and challenging environment. Professional learning communities could be established, in individual schools, in existing clusters of schools or in self-selected new ones. School leaders are strongly encouraged to be active participants in Teaching ESL Students in Mainstream Classrooms and to engage in regular professional learning discussions to support a common language and coherent practice across the school (refer Robinson below). Hattie: Teachers make a Difference: What is the research evidence? - Feedback (telling students what they have done well, and what they need to do to improve) Effect size:1.13* - Instructional quality Effect size: Direct instruction (explicit teaching) Effect size: 0.82 *An effect size of 0.4 is equivalent to a one grade increase in a year). McKinsey: world s top performing schools - getting the right people to become teachers - developing them into effective instructors - ensuring that the system is able to deliver the best possible instruction for every child. Timperley, H: Teacher Professional Learning and Development - it typically takes 1 to 2 years to build the pedagogical content knowledge to change practice - leaders are active participants, setting up ongoing opportunities for teacher learning. data/assets/pdf_file/0017/16901/tplanddbesentire.pdf Robinson, V: Uni of Auckland, Oct, Establishing Goals and Expectations: Effect size: Strategic Resourcing Effect size: Planning, Coordinating and Evaluating Teaching and the Curriculum Effect size: Promoting and Participating in Teacher Learning and Development Effect size: Ensuring an Orderly and Supportive Effect size data/assets/pdf_file/0020/13727/leadership_oration.pdf 9

10 Attachment 7 Literacy improvement Plan The Literacy Improvement Model is designed to support site and regional teams build and strengthen coherent whole site approaches to literacy. Developing an agreed and coherent whole site literacy approach requires consistent attention to: Focused literacy leadership Quality literacy teaching Challenged and engaged literacy learners Successful literacy pathways with high expectations Partnerships with families and communities Use of evidence, data and research A key aspect of literacy improvement is the quality of the teaching. The professional learning in Teaching English as a Second Language in Mainstream Classrooms supports an agreed and coherent whole site collaborative approach to ESL student inclusion and whole school literacy practices, where teachers gain understandings of ESL students and a shared language for literacy teaching and assessment relevant for the whole school context. This supports a consistent and coherent implementation of curriculum and pedagogy across year levels and content areas that uses data evidence to drive instruction, interventions and resources. Collaborative professional learning is central to building educators capacity to refine literacy practices and apply differentiated teaching and learning to support each learner achieve improved literacy outcomes. The Literacy Improvement Plan below is intended to support schools to frame professional learning within a sustainable, whole school approach. and to their 10

11 Literacy Improvement Plan Aspects of a coherent whole site approach Strategies/Activities Intended Outcomes Timeline Key Personnel Literacy leadership What role will leaders take in supporting a common vision and focus for literacy professional learning? Quality literacy teaching What professional learning will support teachers to provide balanced and integrated literacy instruction taught explicitly across all levels of schooling and each curriculum area? Challenged and engaged literacy learners How will you actively engage students to build their literacy knowledge and skills to listen, read, view, speak, write and create increasingly complex and sophisticated texts across the range of text types with accuracy, fluency and purpose? How will you support students to apply their developing knowledge of the English language confidently, effectively and critically in a range of contexts? How will you support students to have the dispositions and abilities to use language in powerful and effective ways to make decisions, take actions and influence the world they live in? Successful literacy pathways with high expectations How will you ensure each learner is provided with continuing, progressive and sequenced opportunities to develop their literacy skills? How will you ensure teaching and learning, including intervention support, is targeted to the individual s literacy needs? Partnerships with families and communities 11

12 Aspects of a coherent whole site approach Strategies/Activities Intended Outcomes Timeline Key Personnel How do you build on home literacies, provide information on student progress and work authentically y with families to support literacy improvement? Use of evidence, data and research How do you systematically review the effectiveness of your literacy programs, practices and resources? How do you collect and analyse multiple measures of literacy data to inform site and teaching priorities? How are staff supported to engage with and apply research, inquiry and professional learning into practice? How do you use improvement cycles to improve outcomes, build staff expertise and deploy resources 12

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