Improving students’ descriptive writing skills
A bit about us…. Teresita Alano Cassie O’Boyle Donna McGufficke
Evans context   A co-educational secondary school    located in South Blacktown.   An IEC is located on site.   2011 en...
Class context - meet 7VHSIE
Student context                          4 3      3    3                                    3                             ...
Action inquiry focus How  does the use of ESL pedagogy improve ESL students’ ability to write descriptive texts?
Focus for todayBuilding the noun group              &Cohesive devices – referencing and connectives.
Phase 1:Metalinguistic &metacognitive awareness
Clause and Phrase T1  – Investigating the World Designed to show students the  difference between a clause and a  phrase...
Simple and ComplexSentences•Built     upon knowledge of clauseand phrase•Demonstrated how to find clauses•Built     upon k...
Phase 2:Metalinguistic &metacognitive awareness
Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives(Adnounials) In Term 3 students were introduced to a  proforma to help them build their noun g...
Assessment for Learning Term 3 ‘Rich task’ Based on the key characteristics of  Assessment for learning – Davison  2007,...
Contingent scaffolding   Extending the IRF   Linking to prior experiences   Recapping and meta comment
Cohesive devices Talking about language and not just  content This led to students being confident in  writing in the fi...
Significance
ESL scales results                     4   53 4         3    4           3   4           3 4                             2 4
Pre test                                         Post testIf their natural life is destroyed, the first and If their natur...
Significance   Professional Learning     Teacher practice has changed dramatically.     We have shifted in our approach ...
2012 TESOL Seminar 2: Evans High School
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2012 TESOL Seminar 2: Evans High School

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Improving students' descriptive language skills

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2012 TESOL Seminar 2: Evans High School

  1. 1. Improving students’ descriptive writing skills
  2. 2. A bit about us…. Teresita Alano Cassie O’Boyle Donna McGufficke
  3. 3. Evans context A co-educational secondary school located in South Blacktown. An IEC is located on site. 2011 enrolments of 606, 160 in the IEC. 62% of the school population is LBOTE. ESL students are mainly from, Sudan, Afghanistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, India. some of these are refugees. Growing population of Nepali and Burmese refugees.
  4. 4. Class context - meet 7VHSIE
  5. 5. Student context 4 3 3 3 3 2Write down what it was like on your first day at Evans HighSchool.Onmy first day of my schoolBut the room because weIn my first day it was nice I’m a little bit nervous butdont know the room.. my nervous went down, whenwhen I see my friendsthe bells go we all to hall to set our groups, lucky Ihave some friends in my groups
  6. 6. Action inquiry focus How does the use of ESL pedagogy improve ESL students’ ability to write descriptive texts?
  7. 7. Focus for todayBuilding the noun group &Cohesive devices – referencing and connectives.
  8. 8. Phase 1:Metalinguistic &metacognitive awareness
  9. 9. Clause and Phrase T1 – Investigating the World Designed to show students the difference between a clause and a phrase. This was required for their assessment task on a World Heritage site
  10. 10. Simple and ComplexSentences•Built upon knowledge of clauseand phrase•Demonstrated how to find clauses•Built upon knowledge of clauses•Demonstrated how independentand dependent clauses functionedtogether to make a complexsentence
  11. 11. Phase 2:Metalinguistic &metacognitive awareness
  12. 12. Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives(Adnounials) In Term 3 students were introduced to a proforma to help them build their noun group to write a descriptive sentence about housing in ancient Egypt This was built upon in Term 4 with a proforma on Rights and Freedoms in Medieval Europe Communication in the classroom was balanced between talk about language and talk about historical terminology Rossbridge and Rushton (2010), Conversations about Text, p28
  13. 13. Assessment for Learning Term 3 ‘Rich task’ Based on the key characteristics of Assessment for learning – Davison 2007, as quoted in the Assessment reform group 1999, pg 7. Teacher activities Program – Feedback – Hattie .72 Student samples
  14. 14. Contingent scaffolding Extending the IRF Linking to prior experiences Recapping and meta comment
  15. 15. Cohesive devices Talking about language and not just content This led to students being confident in writing in the first and third person in their rich task Teaching and learning activities were structured to achieve this.
  16. 16. Significance
  17. 17. ESL scales results 4 53 4 3 4 3 4 3 4 2 4
  18. 18. Pre test Post testIf their natural life is destroyed, the first and If their natural habitat is destroyed, the1 2 3 + may become extinct. animal and plant may become extinct.If their natural homes are destroyed… If their natural habitats are destroyed…Also, people of the future will not be able to Also, people of the future will not be able tosee these plants and animals in their own see these plants and animals in theirenvironment. natural environment.…. In their houses environment. … in their natural environment.Another thing why National Parks are Another reason…important is that native animals and plantswill be safe and survive.In conclusion, we try and keep National In conclusion, we must…Parks…In conclusion, we have keep National In conclusion, we must keep NationalParks why they are … Parks because they are…Firstly, is who live in cities … Firstly, people who live in cities…Firstly, why who live in cities… Firstly, people who live in cities…As we all know, because they are used for As we all know, they ____ are used forplaying, picnics and bushwalking. playing, picnics and bushwalking.
  19. 19. Significance Professional Learning  Teacher practice has changed dramatically. We have shifted in our approach to pedagogy from teacher centred, content focused lessons to pedagogy that is focused on metalinguistic and metacognitive awareness. Future directions  Programs, AFL, ‘rolling out’

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