G R A D E S K - I N S T R U C T I O N A N D A S S E S S M E N T

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1 There are approximately six million English Language Learners, ELLs, in our country today. Exemplary Strategies has been designed for all teachers. Whether the students native language is English, Spanish or another foreign language, this resource gives teachers the tools to help them be effective through the integration of listening, speaking, reading, and writing along with the content curriculum. The following section is a brief overview of basic principles of second language acquisition and instruction, some effective teaching strategies, assessment options for ELL students, and suggested reading and web site reference lists. It is essential that we challenge our ELLs to think critically and to have access to the same curriculum as their native English counterparts. In order to accomplish this, ELLs require purposeful research-based instruction. Exemplary Strategies will provide teachers with strategies to meet the linguistic needs of ELL students as they learn content. These research based strategies include reading and writing techniques, cooperative learning, use of linguistic and nonlinguistic 1

2 English as a Second Language Development ESL Program Standards-Based Curriculum Standards-Based ESL Materials Trofeos (Harcourt Brace) Trophies (Harcourt Brace) Moving Into English (Harcourt Brace) Instructional Block: Daily minutes Supplemental Resources District ESL curriculum Leveled Reading Materials Moving Into English Santillana On our way to English Accommodations Standards-Based Curriculum Formal: Differentiated by ESL level Integrated Language Domains (L/S/R/W) Transferable and Nontransferable skills NJ State adopted ESL Standards (TESOL) Ongoing Monitoring Standards-Based Curriculum Formal: Text-based Assessments Midterms/Finals Benchmark Assessments Informal/Portfolios Work Samples Observations Checklists/Surveys Assessments Accountability School/District/State School/District: Student Monitoring ESL Standards Progress Report Annual District Evaluation Report of ELLs Progress (Needs Assessments) English Language Proficiency Test (IPT and MAC II) State: TerraNova Supera NJ ASK (Assessment of Skills and Knowledge) GEPA (Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment) HSPA (High School Proficiency Assessment) ELDA (Spring 2006) SRA Review ACCESS 2

3 representations, scaffolding, teacher modeling, higher order thinking, and alternative classroom ELL assessments. Finally, we recognize the need and value in providing native language instruction when possible. Since there are multiple languages and various levels of language proficiency, Exemplary Strategies supports language instruction for ELLs in the required elementary standards. What Are Some Basic Principles of Second Language Acquisition? Although ELL students come from many different backgrounds, with varying educational levels, there are some common characteristics that can assist all teachers in addressing their needs: Time Students acquire listening, speaking, reading and writing skills at different rates. Most experts agree that the average time for second language acquisition is five to seven years. Many factors affect this process. Factors to consider include prior schooling, family literacy status, age and first language competency. Stages There are some common stages that all ELL students follow as they learn English. STAGES CHARACTERISTICS Silent/Receptive Non-verbal, developing listening skills; may respond, nonverbally, to commands and questions Early Speech Uses single words or simple sentences (usually present tense); developing listening skills Speech Emergence Uses language socially, responds with 3

4 simple sentences, uses some academic language Intermediate Understands and uses more complex sentences, speech contains few errors; understands more academic language Advanced Uses more fluent speech with limited errors; understands most academic language and abstract concepts BICS and CALP Jim Cummins, a well-know researcher in the field of language learning, developed the concepts of BICS refer to basic interpersonal communicative skills. BICS can be thought of as playground language which most students acquire rapidly. Students may be competent in this type of language in less than two years. This language is characterized by phrases related to social interaction ( Good morning, How are you? ) and pictorial representations in simple texts ( The cat is black. I have two blocks. ) CALP refers to cognitive academic language proficiency. The CALP language characteristics include academic concepts and abstract thoughts. Students must have some CALP competency in order to explain feelings, relate opinions, and discuss a topic, etc Reading and writing difficulties may occur as the student is acquiring CALP language skills. It may take up to seven years to achieve CALP competency. Former Schooling Former schooling in the student s first language impacts second language acquisition. Former schooling affects the acquisition of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in English. For example, students who can read in their native langue will have an advantage in transferring literacy skills to English. At the same time, students who have not attended school in their native country have to learn how to learn as well as acquire skills in English. Family/Community Influences Family literacy, in either the student s first or second language, affects a student s learning. Reading to children, developing oral language skills, conversing about daily events and encouraging creativity are keys to first language literacy and educational success. The same principles of language development apply to second language learners. Students who come from literate households share language (native or second) that is fostered and often have an 4

5 advantage in learning English and academic skills. Also, the community plays a role in language learning. A student who lives in isolated communities where only the native language is used may have more obstacles in learning a second language. Other socio-economic factors may also affect the student s success in school. What Are Some Effective Teaching Strategies for English Language Learners? Increase wait time. All students need sufficient wait time to formulate an answer to teacher s question. ELL students may need some extra time to process the answer and the vocabulary to express their thoughts in English. Model English (Don t correct!) Especially in the early stages of language learning, it is important not to correct grammar constantly. Students will get frustrated and be hesitant to speak if they are constantly being corrected. Instead, model the correct English structure to the student. For example, if a student incorrectly says, He no giving to me the paper. The teacher could model the correct structure, while clarifying meaning: He didn t give you the paper? Simplify your language and use visuals, visuals, visuals. During lessons and informal conversations, teachers should employ a variety of techniques to ensure understanding. These include: simplifying language, rephrasing, repeating key words/ phrases, questioning for comprehension, using body language/gestures and using visuals (pictures, drawings, maps, graphic organizers, etc ). Speaking loudly and repeating the same words over and over again to a confused student are not effective. Students need comprehensible input to build their own comprehension and speaking skills. Incorporate a variety of learning styles. All students learn differently. Present material through a variety of learning styles (i.e., oral, visual, tactile, kinesthetic). For example, use flashcards for vocabulary; allow students to touch (rough/soft or hot/cold) to increase vocabulary; play Simon Says to review body parts or left/right/up/down, etc Modify the content. Classroom and ELL teachers should modify some of the content material. This does not mean that the content should be watered down. Instead, teachers should incorporate a variety of strategies to make the content more 5

6 comprehensible. For example, use visuals and diagrams, provide many opportunities to practice key vocabulary and utilize graphic organizers. Pair students and use cooperative learning. For ELL students at all stages, as well as for other students, pairing or grouping can be effective. Consider a variety of pairing and cooperative learning activities. Some examples are: pairing students who do not share the same home language, using heterogeneous groups to complete a project and using centers for small group activities. Diversify learning activities. Students need multiple opportunities to practice speaking, listening, reading and writing. Some appropriate activities include: cooperative learning activities, projects, book reports, dialogue or other types of journals, role playing, reading logs, language experience activities, story telling by students, games, discussions, songs, poems and plays. Use prior knowledge. In working with ELL students, using their prior knowledge and experiences are important tools. Students may have knowledge of a subject in their home language and may only lack the English vocabulary to share this knowledge. Students may have had experiences related to the story or content material. For example, students may have experienced riding in an airplane. Sharing these experiences make a story about airplanes more meaningful. Prior knowledge may be tapped through visuals, simplified language, graphic organizers, discussions or translations of the native language. Using students prior knowledge and experiences, the content becomes more real and comprehensible. Incorporate the students languages and cultures. Using the students home languages will give them a sense of pride. Teachers may incorporate the home languages in a variety of ways. Consider the word of the week in a different language. This word could be incorporated in various activities. Other examples of incorporating different languages include: the morning meeting greeting in different languages, parent visitors who teach a topic in the home language, outside visitors who might teach songs or poems, students who teach a song or rhyme in the home language, etc. Students home cultures can be incorporated through literature, poems, pictures, movies, field trips, etc. In our multicultural world, all students benefit from learning about different cultures. How Are English Language Learners Assessed? 6

7 Various instruments are used to assess English Language Learners in Paterson Public Schools: Step 1: Step 2: Step 3: Step 4: Step 5: The home/primary language of each student is specified. This is determined by using the Home Language Survey, which is completed by the parent or guardian of each student at the time of registration. For students whose primary language is not English, utilize a reading passage on grade level in English to ascertain students level of reading/check student s performance on standardized tests in students records, if available. If it is determined that the student is not fluent in English, move to Step 3. Administer the WAPT or the Language Assessment approved by the district, such as the IPT or the MacII to the identified students. Any student that places below the FEP (Full English Proficient) category and has at least one other indictor as per N.J.A.C. 6A15-1.3(c) is limited English proficient. (See enclosed Language Proficiency Test Standards for determining Limited English Proficient.) Parents of students identified as participants in the Bilingual/ESL Program are notified by mail within two weeks of their enrollment in the program. Language and Content Development 1. Model speaking, reading, writing, and thinking. 2. Honor and respect the silent period on language acquisition. 3. Use students native language, if possible, in the instruction. 4. Integrate content with listening, speaking, reading, and writing in all lessons. 5. Repetition and pausing during speech is essential. 6. Use nonlinguistic representations such as illustrations and graphic organizers. 7. Display or showcase work that represents all students. 7

8 8. Praise and reinforce students efforts to use English. 9. Provide collaborative experiences that promote socialization and academic language. 10. Encourage students to share their different backgrounds and experiences. 11. Allow students needed time to think when responding and rephrasing.. Teach to different levels of language proficiency. 13. Ask questions requiring higher levels of cognition. Cooperative Learning Roles Manager Keeps the group on task Makes sure everyone has a chance to participate and offer ideas Timekeeper Helps the group use time wisely Reminds the group of time remaining for activity at regular intervals Scribe With the help of group members, writes down group s ideas Spelling and handwriting do not count. Draws charts/graphs and key concepts Reporter With the help of group members, synthesizes key points and summarizes for the whole group Runner Gathers materials and supplies needed for the performance task Takes completed activities and projects to be display or showcased 8

9 Recommended Grouping Strategies Heterogeneous Grouping: Classrooms composed of multiple language proficiency levels, multiple languages, and monolingual English speaking children are grouped for various activities. The teacher is responsible for creating a trusting environment and encourages positive interactions. Students will benefit from each other socially and academically. Student Choice Grouping: Allow students to choose their groups for special projects or activities. Short-term Placement: Some ELLs will require targeted instructional support. He/she can rece3ive this help form other students that have these specific strengths. Working in Pairs: Pair an ELL with an English speaking student who work well together. Age-Appropriate Grouping: For multi-age settings, older Ells should be grouped with other older ELLs along with monolingual English speaking children. Collaborative Whole Group Instruction: The teacher directs instruction as students work in groups. Flexible Grouping: Students may need additional support for specific reading, math and other skills. Teacher should use flexible grouping for only short periods of time. Motivational Strategies 1. Accept and value students native language and cultural background. 2. Teach on grade level; do not water down intended curriculum. 3. Show your own excitement for learning new concepts. 4. Encourage students to be risk-takers in learning English and content. 5. Create an authentically engaged classroom. 6. Provide visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic learning opportunities. 9

10 7. Encourage students to share their own ideas and experiences. 8. Integrate listening, speaking, reading, and writing across all curriculum. 9. Model correct English without correcting students speaking. 10. Challenge students to think critically. 11. Use cooperative learning activities.. Draw on students own life experiences as a springboard for learning. 13. Provide explicit feedback through modeling. 10

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