For our purposes, we will expand the notion of language study to include awareness and exploration of… morphology– study of words (parts, sounds, origins, etc.) syntax– study of sentence structure (of which traditional grammar is only one small part) semantics– study of forming patterns, making connections, and creating meaning Intended Outcomes: To increase students’reflectiveor metalinguistic awareness and overall ability with the totality of language. To increase the syntactic complexity of students’ writing.
1. The study of genuine authentic language instead of abstract & contrived textbook examples and models. 2. An insistence on premise that language learning activities in schools must be student-centered rather than teacher-centered. 3. A requirement that students make observations of authentic language, then formulate generalizations based on those observations. 4. A recognition of the linguistic fact that good English is a rigorously enforced but floating social standard that is attained through varying uses of language depending on their diverse contexts of use. A social tax is assessed against those who violate the expectations and requirements for Good English, standards that are embedded in every communication event. 5. A basis in the proposition that as students’ language continues to develop, their growth in language also helps them to grow through language. CHARACTERISTICS OF ANDREWS’ LEA APPROACH:
Origins of English Language Robert Lowth and the Enlightenment Tradition A Short Introduction to English Grammar (1762): prescriptive, evaluative, critical of Shakespeare, Milton, Donne, etc. Self-appointed experts and “mavens” Rather than consensus Based on Greek and Latin Models Including multiple, sometimes conflicting grammars; not of its own origin Assumption English was a decayed form of classical languages Not the standard at that time—irony of it being considered decayed form! No acknowledgement of language development and change over time Instead, language was steeped in hierarchical control and characterized by prescriptive rules and fixed notions NOTE: On next slide, Language Tree FrontpieceImage Source: Webster, Noah. (1969). Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged. New York: World Publishing Company.
Language Exploration & Awareness: The Criteria LEA activities emphasize meaning. LEA activities use authentic language found in genuine social circumstances. LEA activities provide for a developmental view. LEA activities develop awareness of several aspects of language. LEA activities are student centered and inquiry oriented. LEA activities require reflection.
3 Prerequisitesfor the LEA Approach: 1. Language study should focus on genuine and authentic uses of language; (rather than decontextualized, disconnected examples) 2. Language success (“correctness”) is determined by the application of multiple criteria of effectiveness; (rather than just one) 3. There should be more opportunities in classrooms for student talk. (rather than just the teacher)
observe language ask questions about how and why language forms are used as they are in various contexts make closer and more focused observations form tentative hypotheses Andrews’ Lea Model:The best way for people to learn about language is for them to…
the many reasons why we use language where language comes from how it changes and varies according to CONTEXT… - who is using it - their purpose - their audience - the setting and, the ways of assessing language effectiveness in these changing contexts A balanced language curriculum will include numerous opportunities to explore:
1. People (their formal and informal relationships). 2. Their purposes (to convince, describe, apologize, please, flatter, obscure, etc.) 3. The general discourse rules through which the conversation operates. 4. The particular talk being used (intimate, informal, or formal). Neil Postman’s 4 Elements of aSEMANTIC ENVIRONMENT(Andrews, p. 56)
Examples of 3 Different Semantic Environments a batter’s box
a witness box, and >Each of these has its own /definite purposes and rules /that are implicitly understood a confessional box/by its respective participants. Breaking the rules in a given environment results in a semantic disruption.
Semantic Disruption(humorous example; they’re not always humorous)
Spontaneity – one’s ability to speak freely and with confidence so that the speaker allocates more attention to what is being said, the message being shared (opposite: reluctant) Precision– using a more expanded repertoire of words to speak more directly and cogently to accomplish purposes (opposite: vagueness) Elaboration – ability to use more complex language structures, weaving phrases that provide support, subordination, clarification, and greater specificity into the natural fabric of a sentence or series of sentences; demonstrates ability to combine and coordinate several ideas and propositions in a coherent and cohesive manner and draws upon own knowledge about the larger frames of discourse effectively (opposite: fragmentation) Andrews’ 3 Essential Long-Term Goals for Language Learning(pp. 62-63):
“Good English” is… marked by success in making language choices so that the fewest number of persons will be distracted by the choices; appropriate for the speaker’s/writer’s purpose; appropriate for the context; comfortable to both speaker and listener/audience; appropriate for the format/genre used. Ignoring any of these results in the speaker / writer being judged and having to pay a “social tax”which can range in severity from being embarrassed to being thought of as insensitive to being thought of as uneducated. Also referred to as a “sin tax” – a play on… syntax!
NC Course of Study for ML ELA: Grade Level Language Standards Local Curriculum Requirements/Standards Weaver’s Minimum Approach for Maximum Benefits Status-Marking Errors Most Frequently Occurring Errors Address needs of your students! Ways to Narrow the Focusof Grammar Instruction
Weaver’s 4 Examples of Ways to Teach Grammar in Context Incidental Lessons – mentioning grammatical terms and connections incidentally or casually in the course of discussing literature and student writing [i.e., way we will discuss terms and patterns in some of the model poems and student poems in class] Inductive Lessons - guiding students to notice grammatical patterns and connections themselves in literature and student writing [i.e., when we not only read but discuss some of the stylistic and grammatical patterns in literature we read with students] Conferencing with Students – conferencing one-on-one with students provides an opportunity for the teacher to focus on a particular student’s individual needs in terms of language growth and grammar ability [Lisa Delpit found this to be the second most important feature of writing instruction for African-American students.] Writing Mini-lessons and Extended Mini-lessons – means of presenting new and useful information to students which may involve opportunities for them to trying out or applying the concept as a means of promoting greater understanding [Delpit found this to be the most important feature of writing workshop for African-American students!]
Mission Possible Presentations Mini-Inquiry on Inquiry-Based Learning Strategies Your Secret Dossier: Team Work Presentations MSL Methods Wiki Inquiry Activity Remember! Turn your dossier in afterwards!