Ch. 4 oracy & literacy for english language learners
Oracy & Literacy for English-Language Learners Chapter 4 Challenges
Standards for ELL Students Nationwide and Locally 1997 – original standards for student performance 2006 – brand new document incorporating content areas
ESL Goals and Standards Goal 1: To use English to communicate in social settings Use English to participate in social interaction Interact in, through, and with spoken and written English for persoal expression and enjoyment Use learning strategies to extend their communicative competence Goal 2: To use English to achieve academically in all content areas Use English to interact in the classroom Use English to obtain, process, construct, and provide subject matter information in spoken & written form Goal 3: To use English in socially & culturally appropriate ways Use the appropriate language variety, register, and genre according to audience, purpose, and setting Use nonverbal communication appropriate to audience, purpose, & setting Use appropriate learning strategies to extend their sociolinguistic and sociocultural competence
Arkansas English Language Frameworks Four skills areas How many of you took a course on listening or developing listening comprehension? Listening Speaking Reading Writing Integrating helps to build proficiency
Listening Passive? NO, receptive skill Use background knowledge, visual cues, expectations of what people will be saying to make meaning Backward buildup is technique to focus on difficult vocabulary
How can you tell listening happening? Have students listen to text (audiotape, ad from tv, video, announcement, etc…) Allow them to draw what they understand (see the example of integrated skills) first Allow them to order what happened first in the text, second, etc… by numbering or cutting out visuals that represent the text TPR activities--- listening first, then later other skills
Speaking Do we expect learners to come to school able to speak under most circumstances? Novice: Linguistically language learners begin with one/two word phrases or memorizable chunks Intermediate: Move to “almost” sentence structure Intermediate High: Next step is to complete simple sentences Advanced: Next is to more complex Advanced/Superior: Finally, to paragraph-length utterances Look at Table 4.2 – pg. 84, which are Novice speaking activities? Which are intermediate? Which would you avoid with a brand new language learner initially?
Speaking What about perfect pronunciation and intonation? Is it always a good idea to teach stress, intonation overtly or should we allow students to experience? Error correction: Does it matter if we correct student errors?
Reading The key most important element for a language learner (or any learner) to comprehend a reading passage is background knowledge! Not grammar! Important skill that can transfer if foundations laid Most important skill to gain content knowledge in many classrooms still
Wide range of literacy we serve K-3 whose beginning literacy instruction is in their primary language K-3 acquiring initial literacy in English because they do not have access in L1 Older learners with grade-level primary language literacy who are beginning to develop English literacy Older with limited formal schooling in home country Older learners with inconsistent school history, with limited development of either the primary language or English DESPITE this, national accountability is requiring us to assess these groups to the same standards!
Transfer of Reading from L1 to L2 Much easier to transfer knowledge of printed word, how words fit together if you have had experience in L1 IRA (2001) recommended that initial literacy be in the child’s L1 When not possible or serving other groups as listed above three major things to consider Literacy is introduced in meaningful way Link b/w oral language and print is made as naturally as possible Students have the opportunity to enjoy reading/writing
7 Strategies for teaching reading Environmental print Meaning-based Silent period in reading Low-anxiety environment Motivating activities Integration of structure & function Integration of content & literacy (see Table 4.4)
Phonics & Literacy for ELLs Often taught in early childhood Has been shown to be good for English-speaking children For ELL students, evidence is not clear-cut “English learners should not be involved in phonics instruction that isolate sounds and letters from meaningful use of text” Success for All (reading program in some central Arkansas schools)…elementary teacher found following problems: reading (decoding) is separate from comprehension; emphasis is on sound and sound-blend identification to the detriment of coherent, logical reading materials; specially written stories focus on targeted sounds and do not include commonly occurring English words and natural usage; and unnatural, awkward syntax contradicts ELL growing knowledge of spoken English and/or reinforces use of problematic language (Lee, 2000).
Strategies for ELL Literacy Development Visuals, visuals, visuals and meaningful content Prereading activities (activating schema/prior knowledge) LEA – students tell orally about experiences, teachers write down and read, and text becomes reading for the ELL students Other techniques listed in the chapter
Writing Often the last skill to be improved upon (think about yourself in your L1!) Moved from product to process writing Brainstorming Drafting Peer reviewing Publishing Remember that language learners may need to draw and label as alternative to longer writing assignments at novice levels.
Error Correction & Grammar Grammar should not be taught just for grammar’s sake, especially for ELL students who do not have enough abstract language to understand the “linguistic” talk – needs to be connected to meaningful interaction However, there does need to be meaningful connections to grammar Errors are a part of acquiring a L2 so we must encourage them Early on, fluency is more important than grammatical accuracy When student says, “I no got pencil”, the teacher should model back “well if you don’t have a pencil, ask your partner to borrow one”. Focus is ON THE MESSAGE, not the form. Younger children do not benefit from overt grammar instruction as much as older children who have had language experiences in their L1. If you notice a common set of errors over and over again, this may be the time to use the overhead or computer to show students and have them analyze the problem
CALL – Computer Assisted Language Learning Wonderful time to be teaching! At least where tech is concerned Lots of practice on language learning can be accomplished on commercial & FREE software Computer language learning can provide meaning authentic texts for learners Students can look up news stories in their own languages and newspapers to gain background knowledge for learning the content in English! (if they have L1 literacy skills)