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Closer Connections Conference / Sioux Falls, SD / Nov. 10, 2015
Keynote address by Jill A. Watson, Ph.D.
Watson Educationa...
1. Overview of SLIFE population
2. Learning challenges of SLIFE in
schools
3. Key program components for
meeting SLIFE lea...
Prior to entering U.S. schools:
 No or limited prior education
 No or very little literacy in ANY language
 No or very ...
 Minnesota: Exact figures impossible,
prior education data not collected in
the past
 A careful estimate:
 15,000 – 25,...
 Trauma / PTSD: family loss, violence (WIDA, 2015)
 Acculuration challenges (WIDA, 2015)
 Limited English / literacy / ...
 Second Language Acquisition research,
teacher preparation, and PD: focus on
K-12 language learners with previous
schooli...
 Administrators & teachers (even ESL)
are often unaware of the particular
profile and needs of SLIFE
 This group often n...
 NewYork DoE: offical SLIFE guidelines
 Boston: consent decree to educate SLIFE:
Hyde Park HS for SLIFE (Walsh, 1999)
 ...
 Have come of age in an
oral paradigm rather than
a paradigm of literacy.
 Cognitive / social maturation in an oral
para...
 Specific Skills
 transfixed listening, oration,
memorization
 Favored Forms
 stories, proverbs, fixed expressions,
lo...
Literacy-based education Orality-based education
Grounded in sight, phonetic alphabetic
literacy. Much learning is done al...
Think about it…
Curriculum theorist James MacDonald once quoted Einstein’s
question: “What does a fish know about the wate...
1. Learning based on abstraction & formal
categories rather than experience,
tradition, or the teaching of elders
 Abeced...
 The coin story
2. Learning by definition: Meaning as
contained in decontextualized
vocabulary or formalities of definition
rather than ex...
Is X really X?
Your mom says you are aT-rex,
but are you really?
Does X count as an example ofY?
 Classification tasks
 Frayer model
Example of an activity practicing definitional sufficiency from ESL Sheltered
Science (WIDA 1 & 2 combined, 75% LFS), MN h...
3. Learning that is based on formal
reasoning and logic rather than
experience, tradition, or the
teaching of elders
In the far north, where there is snow, all
bears are white. Novaya Zembla is in the
far north and there is always snow the...
 We all begin life in orality
 Only, ever, a one-way journey
 Not a mere matter of skills acquisition
 Journey across ...
To the palaces of literacy we are
accustomed to in theWestern
academic tradition…
Harper Memorial Library,
University of Chicago
We live in a culture
so saturated in
artifacts of literacy
that we find this
stash of obsolete
books, to be
discarded, in ...
 SLIFE education is an equity issue as
significant as race, gender,
exceptionality, and other areas of
equity focus.
 Cu...
 What does it mean for educators in the
receiving community to recognize this
abyss?
 What components should appropriate...
 Not a yes / no issue!
Quality and routinization are
paramount if the practices are
to benefit SLIFE
 English proficiency assessments
 W-APT (WIDA)
 Custom assessment for lowest literacy
levels (eg. ELLA)
 Native langua...
 Content knowledge assessment
 math
 symbols, maps, charts
 concepts
Important: ensure that these
assessments are not ...
 Records (if any): interpret with care
 Develop a custom prior education
intake questionnaire (eg. Marshall, 2013)
 Informal family interviews in L1
 interpretors required (not optional)
 don’t assume family literacy
 ask about: numb...
An English learner with limited formal schooling is defined
as a student who:
 comes from a home where the language usual...
 Psychological trauma: violence, family loss
or separation, flight / homelessness
 Physical injury, malnutrition, illnes...
 Counseling: necessary for many SLIFE (WIDA, 2015)
 Acculturation
 PTSD
 School nurse (vision, hearing, general)
 Spe...
 Students in school with same or similar
culture/language
 Cultural liaison adults in school, district
 Ethnic communit...
 Administrators, teachers
 Summer, before school starts
 During the year, as warranted
 Schools who do home visits say...
 Visuals: flags, posters, artwork
 Cultural festivals in school
 Students perform, contribute
 Admin, teachers , staff...
 Liaisons
 Behavioral support
 Elders in the classroom: experts, oral
sources
 Elders as Fonts of Knowledge approach
▪...
Adolescent SLIFE need custom instruction &
more time:
 Newcomer program, base on intake
profile:
 1-2 year academy: accu...
 EL service: direct ELD through Level 4
 Level 1 class: custom for SLIFE & non-
SLIFE
 Master scheduling preference (WI...
Guiding principle: Challenge, not overwhelm
 Courses in student’s i+ 1 (Krashen, 1988);;
 Zone of Proximal Development (...
▪ Immediate push-in: PE, Art, FCS, Industrial
/ Ag Arts; modified grading, Pass / Fail
▪ Basic Skills focus in ESL classes...
 Resource period in the day
 Computer lab period: Imagine Learning, Rosetta
Stone, Raz-kids reading, Accelerated Reader,...
Build from SLIFE affordances:
 Orality - Listening
 Proverbs, stories, poetry
 Elders, traditions
 Actual experience, ...
 Plan and implement structures for L1 use
 Word / picture notebooks
 L1 oral turn-and-talk exchange: negotiate
meaning
...
 Guided literacy instruction
 Phonemic awareness (WIDA, 2015)
 Structured dialog to literacy (Watson, 2014)
 Running r...
Recall: SLIFE struggle with abstract,
decontextualized definitions & content
 Content – language integration
 Bridge fro...
 Realia (actual items)
 Pictures
 Videos
 Charts, concept maps
 Key vocabulary lists that remain posted
 Total Physi...
 Routine, Integrated, Structured,
Academic (RISA), (Watson, 2014)
 Infuse into regular practice in all subjects
 Routin...
 General PD on SLIFE for all staff
 Custom, on-going, job-embedded PD for
staff who work with SLIFE
 Teachers, counselo...
 SLIFE PLC for relevant staff
 4 - 6 times per year
 Invite community members, parents
 Google doc or other format to ...
 Develop performance review
procedures for administrators &
teachers that evaluate readiness and
skill to serve SLIFE app...
 Many SLIFE face the age-out limit: 21
years old in MN
 Resist pressures to rush graduation
 HS diplomas not based on a...
 ABE teacher visit HS class
 Tour ABE facility
 As appropriate, tell SLIFE and families
upon intake that they may end u...
During SLIFE HS experience, through
courses and counseling, support
students in exploring:
 Realistic employment options
...
You’re 18 years old, don’t know
English, and didn’t have a
chance to attend school or
learn to read before?
Come! (cf: Neb...
 SLIFE education is one of the most under-
recognized, but most urgent school equity
issues
 SLIFE futures depend on you...
 4th annual event, put on my MinneSLIFE– Standing
committee of MinneTESOL
 Held at Hamline Univeristy, St. Paul
 1:00 –...
Jill A.Watson, Ph.D.
Watson Educational Consulting
Adjunct Graduate Faculty,
Hamline University
Website: www.watsoneducati...
Jill Watson Essential Program Components for Meeting the Learning Needs of Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Edu...
Jill Watson Essential Program Components for Meeting the Learning Needs of Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Edu...
Jill Watson Essential Program Components for Meeting the Learning Needs of Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Edu...
Jill Watson Essential Program Components for Meeting the Learning Needs of Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Edu...
Jill Watson Essential Program Components for Meeting the Learning Needs of Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Edu...
Jill Watson Essential Program Components for Meeting the Learning Needs of Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Edu...
Jill Watson Essential Program Components for Meeting the Learning Needs of Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Edu...
Jill Watson Essential Program Components for Meeting the Learning Needs of Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Edu...
Jill Watson Essential Program Components for Meeting the Learning Needs of Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Edu...
Jill Watson Essential Program Components for Meeting the Learning Needs of Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Edu...
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Jill Watson Essential Program Components for Meeting the Learning Needs of Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education

Keynote address to Dakota TESL Closer Connections Conference, Sioux Falls, SD, Nov. 10, 2015

Agenda: SLIFE population overview, affordances of orality and learning challenges of SLIFE in U.S. schools, six essential program components for meeting the learning needs of SLIFE

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Jill Watson Essential Program Components for Meeting the Learning Needs of Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education

  1. 1. Closer Connections Conference / Sioux Falls, SD / Nov. 10, 2015 Keynote address by Jill A. Watson, Ph.D. Watson Educational Consulting Adjunct Graduate Faculty, Hamline University
  2. 2. 1. Overview of SLIFE population 2. Learning challenges of SLIFE in schools 3. Key program components for meeting SLIFE learning needs
  3. 3. Prior to entering U.S. schools:  No or limited prior education  No or very little literacy in ANY language  No or very little English proficiency  Often, no or little academic or literacy history in family  “Refugee Experience” (CAPM, 2012)
  4. 4.  Minnesota: Exact figures impossible, prior education data not collected in the past  A careful estimate:  15,000 – 25,000 SLIFE in MN schools (Watson & Bigelow, 2014)  22 – 36% of all ELs in MN schools are SLIFE
  5. 5.  Trauma / PTSD: family loss, violence (WIDA, 2015)  Acculuration challenges (WIDA, 2015)  Limited English / literacy / academics  Age of initial literacy / schooling is major factor in learning rate (Thomas & Collier, 1997, 2002)  Poverty, vulnerable to crime, gangs (Ouk, 2015)  High drop-out rate  25% of all HS drop-outs are ELs, 70% of EL drop-outs are SLIFE (Fry, 2005)
  6. 6.  Second Language Acquisition research, teacher preparation, and PD: focus on K-12 language learners with previous schooling and literacy in L1 (first language)  Recent increase in K-12 SLIFE focus Bigelow (2010); Bigelow &Watson (2012); Bigelow,Tarone, Hanson (2009); DeCapua & Marshall (2011), Freeman & Freeman (2002) , Menken (2013); Montero, Newmaster & Ledger, 2014);Watson (2010, 2012);WIDA Focus on SLIFE (2015)
  7. 7.  Administrators & teachers (even ESL) are often unaware of the particular profile and needs of SLIFE  This group often not recognized as distinct from ELs with significant / age-level prior schooling
  8. 8.  NewYork DoE: offical SLIFE guidelines  Boston: consent decree to educate SLIFE: Hyde Park HS for SLIFE (Walsh, 1999)  Faribault, MN: specific SLIFE Newcomer Program (Ouk, 2015)  Minnesota: since 2014, official SLIFE definition and data collection requirement in MN law, per LEAPS Act
  9. 9.  Have come of age in an oral paradigm rather than a paradigm of literacy.  Cognitive / social maturation in an oral paradigm brings with it characteristic orientations to learning and life. (Akinnaso, 2001; Battiste & Henderson, 2000; Bigelow, 2012; Bigelow &Watson, 2012; Bryce Heath, 1983; DeCapua & Marshall, 2013; Mosha, 2000;Olson &Torrance, 1991;Ong, 1982; Tarone, Bigelow, & Hansen, 2009;Watson, 2010, 2012)
  10. 10.  Specific Skills  transfixed listening, oration, memorization  Favored Forms  stories, proverbs, fixed expressions, long / epic poetry
  11. 11. Literacy-based education Orality-based education Grounded in sight, phonetic alphabetic literacy. Much learning is done alone: reading, writing. Lettered = educated, intelligent. Grounded in sound, the oral-aural dimension. All learning is physically proximal, face-to-face, premised on mentoring. Values definition, precision, abstraction, categorical thinking, formal syllogistic reasoning. Discursively sparse, favors detachment, objectivity, subject / object split. Values contexual understanding, lived experience, practical relevance. Discourse is additive rather than concisely subordinative. Volubility, formulaïc, repeated expressions. Empathetic and participatory. Knowledge based on referentiability to written authority and demonstrability via objective methods. Knowledge based on authority of elders, family and kinship relations, lessons of experience, tradition. Careful, sequential planning, pre-determined outcomes (objectives, standards), meeting goals. Heuristic—trial and error, development of practical skill and judgment (phronesis). Individualistic: individual performance Collectivistic: the common good
  12. 12. Think about it… Curriculum theorist James MacDonald once quoted Einstein’s question: “What does a fish know about the water in which he spends his life? (MacDonald, 1988, p. 102). From the literacy perspective, the fish knows nothing about water, not the chemical formula, not the temperature of freezing and boiling, not how to purify water or mix it with other substances, nor any of the scientific minutiae that are the province of hydrologists. From the orality perspective, the fish lives and breathes water, is enveloped by water, is born, finds a mate, gives birth in, and dies in water. A fish knows how to navigate water, sensing and responding to its slightest undulations every minute of its life. No one knows more about water than a fish. The difference is precisely to what extent knowledge is conceived as empathetic and participatory as opposed to something one has or wields from a state of separation. Both kinds may be considered knowledge, but not of the same thing, and not with the same costs and consequences (Watson, 2010, p. 201).
  13. 13. 1. Learning based on abstraction & formal categories rather than experience, tradition, or the teaching of elders  Abecedary classification  Luria’s (1976) example: tools and wood
  14. 14.  The coin story
  15. 15. 2. Learning by definition: Meaning as contained in decontextualized vocabulary or formalities of definition rather than experience, tradition, or the teaching of elders  Dictionaries, textual, or technological authority
  16. 16. Is X really X? Your mom says you are aT-rex, but are you really?
  17. 17. Does X count as an example ofY?  Classification tasks  Frayer model
  18. 18. Example of an activity practicing definitional sufficiency from ESL Sheltered Science (WIDA 1 & 2 combined, 75% LFS), MN high school
  19. 19. 3. Learning that is based on formal reasoning and logic rather than experience, tradition, or the teaching of elders
  20. 20. In the far north, where there is snow, all bears are white. Novaya Zembla is in the far north and there is always snow there. What color are the bears in Novaya Zembla? (Luria, 1976)
  21. 21.  We all begin life in orality  Only, ever, a one-way journey  Not a mere matter of skills acquisition  Journey across a vast semiotic abyss: Leaving one noesis—an entire way of life—for another  Ong: “You have to die [to orality] to continue living [in literacy]” (1982)
  22. 22. To the palaces of literacy we are accustomed to in theWestern academic tradition…
  23. 23. Harper Memorial Library, University of Chicago
  24. 24. We live in a culture so saturated in artifacts of literacy that we find this stash of obsolete books, to be discarded, in a MN school basement… Hyperliterate Culture (Smith, 2006)
  25. 25.  SLIFE education is an equity issue as significant as race, gender, exceptionality, and other areas of equity focus.  Culturally responsive education is necessary to make the transition from orality to literacy and success in school and life in the U.S.
  26. 26.  What does it mean for educators in the receiving community to recognize this abyss?  What components should appropriate instructional programs for SLIFE contain?
  27. 27.  Not a yes / no issue! Quality and routinization are paramount if the practices are to benefit SLIFE
  28. 28.  English proficiency assessments  W-APT (WIDA)  Custom assessment for lowest literacy levels (eg. ELLA)  Native language literacy assessment
  29. 29.  Content knowledge assessment  math  symbols, maps, charts  concepts Important: ensure that these assessments are not based on knowledge of English.
  30. 30.  Records (if any): interpret with care  Develop a custom prior education intake questionnaire (eg. Marshall, 2013)
  31. 31.  Informal family interviews in L1  interpretors required (not optional)  don’t assume family literacy  ask about: number of years, months per year, hours per day, which subjects, assessments, how many students in class, location (U.S., abroad, public / private / refugee camp)
  32. 32. An English learner with limited formal schooling is defined as a student who:  comes from a home where the language usually spoken is other than English, or usually speaks a language other than English  enters school in the United States after grade 6  has at least two years less schooling than the English learner's peers  functions at least two years below expected grade level in reading and mathematics  may be preliterate in the English learner's native language (HF 3062, 2014).
  33. 33.  Psychological trauma: violence, family loss or separation, flight / homelessness  Physical injury, malnutrition, illnesses  Exceptionality  Discuss in family interview, check health records
  34. 34.  Counseling: necessary for many SLIFE (WIDA, 2015)  Acculturation  PTSD  School nurse (vision, hearing, general)  Special education referral  Immediately if indicated, eg. clear MR,TBI  Don’t delay up to 2 years– convene team and move quickly to support students
  35. 35.  Students in school with same or similar culture/language  Cultural liaison adults in school, district  Ethnic community organizations: create partnerships, in-school reps
  36. 36.  Administrators, teachers  Summer, before school starts  During the year, as warranted  Schools who do home visits say: “Essential component for serving SLIFE”
  37. 37.  Visuals: flags, posters, artwork  Cultural festivals in school  Students perform, contribute  Admin, teachers , staff attend  Conferences with interpretors, no literacy assumed  Transportation for families
  38. 38.  Liaisons  Behavioral support  Elders in the classroom: experts, oral sources  Elders as Fonts of Knowledge approach ▪ Will discuss in follow-up session  Traditional practices, history included in content
  39. 39. Adolescent SLIFE need custom instruction & more time:  Newcomer program, base on intake profile:  1-2 year academy: acculturation, basic skills  Separate classes  5 – 6 year graduation plan (per profile)
  40. 40.  EL service: direct ELD through Level 4  Level 1 class: custom for SLIFE & non- SLIFE  Master scheduling preference (WIDA, 2015)  Schedule early in process to ensure right teachers and courses for their pathway
  41. 41. Guiding principle: Challenge, not overwhelm  Courses in student’s i+ 1 (Krashen, 1988);;  Zone of Proximal Development (Vygotsky, 1978);  Match to student challenge level (Nebelsick, 2015)  Progressive, targeted, sheltered instruction: EL and content  Avoid premature co-teaching  No evidence of effectiveness with SLIFE (Honigsfeld, 2012)
  42. 42. ▪ Immediate push-in: PE, Art, FCS, Industrial / Ag Arts; modified grading, Pass / Fail ▪ Basic Skills focus in ESL classes: Math, Science, Social Studies ▪ Sheltered content for SLIFE Levels 1 & 2 ▪ Clustered scheduling in core content when SLIFE ready: ESL teacher meaningfully co- teaching, or para support
  43. 43.  Resource period in the day  Computer lab period: Imagine Learning, Rosetta Stone, Raz-kids reading, Accelerated Reader, etc.  Read 180 is not ideal  After-school, summer tutoring  L1 support in and after class  L1 literacy classes  Paras in newcomer & clustered classes
  44. 44. Build from SLIFE affordances:  Orality - Listening  Proverbs, stories, poetry  Elders, traditions  Actual experience, practical relevance  Collectivistic culture (DeCapua & Marshall, 2010, 2012)  SLIFE need face-to-face instruction, not only or primarily on-line or technology-enabled
  45. 45.  Plan and implement structures for L1 use  Word / picture notebooks  L1 oral turn-and-talk exchange: negotiate meaning  L1 stories translated to English  L1 literacy class, content  Consider: Imagine Learning, iLit software
  46. 46.  Guided literacy instruction  Phonemic awareness (WIDA, 2015)  Structured dialog to literacy (Watson, 2014)  Running records (Montero, Newmaster, & Ledger, 2014)  PALS Partner reading (McMaster, Miura, Kao, &Watson, 2011)  Academic language  Vocabulary AND structures needed to access content
  47. 47. Recall: SLIFE struggle with abstract, decontextualized definitions & content  Content – language integration  Bridge from SLIFE approach to academic mode (DeCapua & Marshall, 2011)  Accomodates group work (collectivist orientation)
  48. 48.  Realia (actual items)  Pictures  Videos  Charts, concept maps  Key vocabulary lists that remain posted  Total Physical Response, role-plays  Language Experience Approach Visuals and movement are not just for elementary school!
  49. 49.  Routine, Integrated, Structured, Academic (RISA), (Watson, 2014)  Infuse into regular practice in all subjects  Routine formats minimize confusion  Structure it: Don’t just say, “Now talk…” Watson’s law: “Instruction that uses only reading, writing, and the teacher talking dooms SLIFE to fail.”
  50. 50.  General PD on SLIFE for all staff  Custom, on-going, job-embedded PD for staff who work with SLIFE  Teachers, counselors, nurse, coaches, administrators
  51. 51.  SLIFE PLC for relevant staff  4 - 6 times per year  Invite community members, parents  Google doc or other format to share information
  52. 52.  Develop performance review procedures for administrators & teachers that evaluate readiness and skill to serve SLIFE appropriately  Include SLIFE skills on observation rubrics
  53. 53.  Many SLIFE face the age-out limit: 21 years old in MN  Resist pressures to rush graduation  HS diplomas not based on actual skills are meaningless  Many (diploma’d) SLIFE flounder after HS
  54. 54.  ABE teacher visit HS class  Tour ABE facility  As appropriate, tell SLIFE and families upon intake that they may end up completing their diploma in Adult Ed
  55. 55. During SLIFE HS experience, through courses and counseling, support students in exploring:  Realistic employment options  Vocational education (Krashen, 2015)  Community college  University
  56. 56. You’re 18 years old, don’t know English, and didn’t have a chance to attend school or learn to read before? Come! (cf: Nebelsick, 2015)
  57. 57.  SLIFE education is one of the most under- recognized, but most urgent school equity issues  SLIFE futures depend on your leadership and advocacy!
  58. 58.  4th annual event, put on my MinneSLIFE– Standing committee of MinneTESOL  Held at Hamline Univeristy, St. Paul  1:00 – 5:00 pm (approx.)  Refreshments included  Keynote + breakout sessions, all on SLIFE issues  Teacher clock hours (CEUs) available  Registration is appreciated but not required  Free -- all are welcome  Website: https://sites.google.com/site/minneslife/  Contact me (JillWatson) for more info
  59. 59. Jill A.Watson, Ph.D. Watson Educational Consulting Adjunct Graduate Faculty, Hamline University Website: www.watsoneducationalconsulting.com Email: watsoneducationalconsulting@gmail.com Telephone: 763.458.1167

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