Two Sides of the Same CoinReading to Promote Speaking in the ESL Classroom Prof. Teresa Renkema Kuyper College email@example.com
Session Goals Review the theoretical backgrounds of reading and speaking to show how they can be connected in classroom teaching. Demonstrate how ESL classroom activities using reading content can encourage and add depth to ESL classroom discussions. Show how using literature in the classroom can increase vocabulary and cultural learning. Lesson plan example
Thesis: English language learners are often adept at interpersonal conversations about everyday topics but making the step to the greater demands of in-depth conversational topics and ideas is a challenge for both the students and the teachers in the ESL classroom. Teachers can create opportunities in the classroom for in-depth discussions by intentionally designing interactions about topics in literature while also drawing on students’ experiences, ideas, and cultural background.
Communication Modes1. Interpersonal2. Presentational3. Interpretive (Brecht and Walton, 1995 )
Interpretive Mode Focuses on the interpretation of meaning when there is no possibility of negotiation of meaning with the speaker or writer. (Shrum and Glisan, 2010) Cultural knowledge and perspectives may be embedded in the materials.
Reading Both top down and bottom up processing occur when we read. ESL teachers tend to focus on bottom up processing, but should focus more on top down if they want to increase discussion.
What Are the Skills Our StudentsNeed to Develop in Reading andSpeaking?According to Shrum and Glisan,1. Move from sentence level/word level to paragraph and idea level interpretation.2. Be able to narrate and describe in the present, past and future time frames.3. Move from their own topics of discourse to topics of public interest and significance.4. Know when to take a turn, how to interrupt, how to end without being abrupt.
Guidelines for Types of Text Longer texts may be easier to comprehend because of redundancy and content clues. Texts of longer than 500 words are effective for activating the use of different reading strategies and recall. (Swaffar, 2005) Story format texts are easier for L2 readers to recall. Another linguistic feature for easier reading is redundancy. Age appropriate and interest appropriate.
Complications with Using AuthenticTexts Teachers think that texts are too challenging for the typical language students. Teachers and students focus on knowing every word. Teachers dominate the conversation. Difficult to find relevant pieces
Guidelines for Implementation Select texts that express basic shared cultural beliefs of the target culture. Do pre-reading activities which activate schema, and review the text features. Do a fly-over. If you need to edit, then edit the task, not the text. Establish a purpose for exploring the text. Tie complex ideas such as symbolism to more concrete examples in student’s lives. Goal is for all discussions to be interactive, collaborative and reflective.
Formulate discussion groups Groups of 4 work best after you have modeled. Students should have assigned roles in the groups which alternate over time. Leader – instigator of discussions. Lays out what must be done and makes sure that everyone has a turn. Vocabulary recorder/note taker Questioner Predictor All students must participate in the discussion.
Preparing a Lesson Plan Using Authentic Text. (Model by Shrum and Glisan, 2010.) Based on three modes of communication
Lesson Plan Model Preparation and comprehension phase (interpretive) Discussion phase (Interpretive and interpersonal) Creative phase (interpersonal and presentational) Extension phase (interpretive)
Preparation Phase This stage helps set the purpose for the activity and activates interest. Preparation Phase: students preview text, establish a purpose, predict meaning, activate background knowledge, preview unfamiliar content, anticipate new vocabulary and text language. identify main ideas, connect them to details, identify discourse markers and other linguistic features such as new vocabulary. Acquire new information that is needed to understand the document.
Interpretation/Discussion Phase Students discuss the content. Guess meaning of vocabulary in context, identify cultural practices and perspectives in the text. Ask each other questions about the content, and the inferences, and create explanations.
Creativity Phase Students use the information obtained to react to the information presented either by presenting, role playing or summarizing.
Extension (if appropriate to thecontent) Analyze another text and compare the two. Other ways to reuse the same information in a different avenue. writing
As I Grow Older – Langston Hughes It was a long time ago. I have almost forgotten my dream. But it was there then, In front of me, Bright like a sun-- My dream. And then the wall rose, Rose slowly, Slowly, Between me and my dream. Rose until it touched the sky-- The wall. Shadow. I am black. I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,Above me.Only the thick wall.Only the shadow.My hands!My dark hands!Break through the wall!Find my dream!Help me to shatter this darkness,To smash this night,To break this shadowInto a thousand lights of sun,
A Plan: “As I Grow Older” Step 1: Preparation phase: (to pique interest, establish goal) P Ask students what they know about poetry and poems and poets. Do they know any poets personally. Ask about the place of poetry in society. In their home country, was it customary to present poetry on special days such as Mother’s Day or Independence Day? Ask if any of the student’s know any poetry from their own country? Maybe you will be lucky enough to have someone volunteer to recite for the class. If not, recite a short poem yourself. Talk about the role of poetry in American education and society. Introduce Langston Hughes, Talk about dreams. Are they real? What is the American dream?
Step 2. Teaching- both interpersonaland interpretive modes. Ask students to listen to you as you read the poem, “As I Grew Older” by Langston Hughes. Then give them copies of the poem and ask them to read along silently while you reread the poem. Talk about vocabulary…dream, shadow, wall, idiomatic use of grow. Introduce the students to Langston Hughes through a biographical sketch. (could be a separate lesson) Rather than asking content questions, ask students to discuss in pairs their interpretations of the poem. They should be encouraged to guess at context and symbolism. Perhaps have them fill out a short answer sheet together. Do a vocabulary worksheet together.
Step 3 Full class discussion Ask each group to give a short summary of what they discussed. (presentational mode) Metacognition – what skills/strategies did they use to get through their roadblocks? Discussion of content and symbolism. Ask the class to list on the board the images that are in the poem. Dream –sun Wall – shadow, black , lie down (give up) no light , thick wall, My hands- dark, I am black. Shatter, break, smash
Step 4. Interpersonal andPresentational (creativity) Use new information acquired from the discussion to participate in a role play or write a summary of the discussion. Reflection on own involvement in the discussion is important.
Step 5 Interpretation revisited. Extension phase Students analyze another text and compare content. Perhaps - “A Dream Deferred”
Conclusions You can and you should introduce your students to and encourage their reading of literary texts in the classroom. It will provide them with an insight into American culture, the human condition, increase their vocabulary and provide opportunities for them to have more indepth discussion through which they will increase their ability to converse in the English language.
Resources “Old Man” by Ricardo Sanchez “Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexi “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber. “Molly’s Pilgrim “*by Cohen “The Babe and I” P by Adler and Widener.
Bibliography Bailey, K. M. “Issues in Teaching Speaking Skills in Adult ESOL Learners.” National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy, Vol. 6, 2006 On-line. Green, C., Christopher, E. and Lam, J. “Developing Discussion Skills in the ESL Classroom.” eds. Richards, J. and Renandya, W. 225-230. Print Krashen, Stephen. “The Case for Narrow Reading.” Language Magaaine, 3:5:17-19, 2004. On line. Schrum, J, and Glisan, E. Teacher’s Handbook, Contextualized Language Instruction. 4th Ed. Boston: Heinle Cengage , 2010. Print
Bibliography -continued Spack, Ruth. “Literature, Reading, Writing, and ESL: Bridging the Gaps” TESOL Quarterly Vol. 19, 4 (Dec. 1985) pp. 703-725. Accessed 27/08/2012 Online