Making Connections: Biliteracy Instruction for Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners
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Making Connections: Biliteracy Instruction for Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners

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This article describes a pilot that provided Spanish literacy instruction one day per week for sixteen weeks to a group of fourth grade Spanish-speaking English language learners enrolled in an ...

This article describes a pilot that provided Spanish literacy instruction one day per week for sixteen weeks to a group of fourth grade Spanish-speaking English language learners enrolled in an English-only instructional environment. The curriculum was not pre-set. Rather, instructional decisions were made based on knowing the students, their backgrounds, and affect toward literacy in English and in Spanish. However, all instruction was guided by 3 main tenets: a) Culturally responsive instruction; b) rich vocabulary instruction; and c) cross-linguistic awareness. Descriptions of the nature of instruction are provided.

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Making Connections: Biliteracy Instruction for Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners Making Connections: Biliteracy Instruction for Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners Presentation Transcript

  • Patrick Proctor & Claudia Vargas Boston College Amy Desmond Waltham, MA Public Schools
    • ‘ Every inhabitaunt within saide towne indevor theym selfe to speke Englyshe, and to use theym selfe after the Englyshe facion; and specyally that you, and every of you, do put forth your child to scole, to lerne to speke Englyshe’
      • Note to the people of Galway from Henry VIII discouraging the use of Gaelic, 1536 (Corcoran, 1916)
    • The English language is the common public language of the
    • United States of America and of the Commonwealth of
    • Massachusetts. It is spoken by the vast majority of
    • Massachusetts residents, and is also the leading world language
    • for science, technology, and international business, thereby
    • being the language of economic opportunity…. Therefore it is
    • resolved that: all children in Massachusetts public schools shall
    • be taught English as rapidly and effectively as possible.
      • Note to the people of California, Arizona, and Massachusetts from Ron Unz discouraging the use of any language other than English (MGL Ch 71A, 2002)
    • Question 2 in Massachusetts
    • Thoughtful research on bilingualism and second language acquisition
    • Language policy in the Netherlands
    • Provide supplementary Spanish literacy instruction to native Spanish speaking English language learners enrolled in a structured English immersion program.
    • Create a culturally-relevant curriculum designed to specifically meet the needs of the participating students.
    • Metalinguistic and metacognitive focus
      • Instruction that explicitly compares and contrasts Spanish and English in their spoken and written forms, e.g. cognates (Nagy, García, Durgunoğlu, & Hancin-Bhatt, 1994; Proctor & Mo, 2009)
    • Breadth and depth of vocabulary instruction
      • Semantic depth (Proctor, Uccelli, Dalton, & Snow, 2009)
      • Morphology (Kieffer & Lesaux, 2006)
    • Culturally relevant pedagogy (Bartolomé, 1994; Brisk & Harrington, 2007)
    • Note. Curriculum was not pre-set. Based on Tenet 3, themes and content were determined as we learned more about the students
    • Ninety minutes per week, once a week, for 16 weeks
    • Eight 4 th grade Spanish-speaking English language learners enrolled in a structured English immersion classroom – Pilot students
    • Three Haitian and 1 Brazilian ELLs – Non-pilot students
    • School demographics: 70% Anglo, 16% Latino, 7% African American, 6% Asian
    • Spanish-Language Instruction
    • Vocabulary instruction (20 mins)
      • Vocabulary maps
    • Phonics/phonemic awareness (15 mins)
      • Creapalabras
    • Discussion-based read alouds (30 mins)
      • Papelucho
    • Group project work (25 mins)
      • Dialogic interactions
      • Sensemayá la culebra
    • Guided Reading Instruction:
      • SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol)
        • Small group instruction.
      • Culturally relevant book selection for reading groups
      • Comprehension strategy instruction:
        • predict
        • summarize
        • clarify
        • question
    • Vocabulary Instruction:
      • Reading Vocabulary Notebook
      • Debugging the text
      • Text Features
    • Comprehension Strategy Instruction
      • Reading Strategy Cards
      • Margaret Bouchard: Sequencing, character analysis, summary
      • Subtexting
    • Relevant activities :
      • Literacy Puzzles
      • Word/Sentence Building
      • Just Right Books
      • Reading Response Journals
      • Modifications related to English Proficiency Level
      • Beginner students have native language reading and writing options
      • Buddy Reading: Allow students to buddy read and think, pair, share
      • Independent reading (“Just let kids read!”, Krashen).
    • Brisk and Harrington (2007) Interview Protocol
      • Pre administration
    • Woodcock-Muñoz Language Survey – Revised (WMLS-R; Woodcock, Muñoz-Sandoval, Ruef, & Alvarado, 2005). Letter-Word Identification, Picture Vocabulary, and Passage Comprehension subtests
      • Indicators of decoding, expressive vocabulary, and reading comprehension, respectively, in Spanish and English. Results are presented in standard scores, in which the norming sample mean is 100 with a standard deviation of 15.
  • * All names are pseudonyms. Data gathered using interview protocol from Brisk & Harrington (2007)
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    • Freedom of speech
      • Language of instruction
      • Use of preferred language
      • Increased opportunities for expression and understanding
      • Initiation of comments and relating to personal life
      • Use of Spanish to develop English skills
      • Linguistic merging
      • Support parent involvement in the school by providing child care and flexible scheduling for parent activities. (Zeljo & Doctoroff, 2008)
      • Stresses of single-parenthood interacts with the immigrant experience
      • Awareness of a certain level of at risk for literacy development.
      • Provide support before the student follow behind his/her peers.
    • Change in student’s affect
      • Initially reserved behavior Increased participation
      • 100% participation in final project
      • Students volunteered to present project at whole school assembly
      • Typical in most classrooms
      • Preservation of heritage language – Nicolas
      • Challenge and benefits of working in groups – Karen
      • Syntactic and grammatical differences across languages- Nicolas
      • Learning words in Spanish helps learning words in English - Antonio