Implementing a Mutually Adaptive Model of Instruction for ESL LIteracy in Community-Based Programs


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Immigrant students with limited formal schooling have assumptions and experiences that are very different from those of their teachers. Our instructional model, the Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradigm (MALP) addresses the issues these students encounter by reducing cultural dissonance and transitioning them to formal schooling. We describe the implementation of MALP in community-based adult language and literacy programs and examine how this culturally responsive model encouraged participation, developed a sense of community, and reduced cultural dissonance.

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Implementing a Mutually Adaptive Model of Instruction for ESL LIteracy in Community-Based Programs

  1. 1.   Implemen(ng  a  Mutually  Adap(ve   Model  of  Instruc(on  for  ESL   Literacy  in  Community-­‐Based   Programs      Andrea  DeCapua,  Ed.D.                                                                                  Helaine  W.  Marshall,  Ph.D.        New  York  University                                                                                                                LIU  Hudson     Allegra  Elson                      Sara  Cole                            KaEe  Murphy     Greater  PiGsburgh  Literacy  Council   (c)  copyright  MALP,  LLC.  For  terms  and  condiEons  of  use,  contact  
  2. 2. Low  Educated  Second  Language  and  Literacy   AcquisiEon  for  Adults  (LESLLA)       LESLLA  Symposium    San  Francisco,  CA     August  2013   LESLLA  Partnerships     Researchers     PracEEoners   Andrea  DeCapua   NYU     Helaine  W.  Marshall    LIU  Hudson     Allegra  Elson   Sara  Cole   KaEe  Murphy     Greater  PiGsburgh   Literacy  Council     ✚  
  3. 3. The  Hidden  Assump(ons   •  Preferences  in  accessing  &   transmiWng  informaEon   •  Ways  of  interacEng   •  ResponsibiliEes  in  imparEng   &  receiving  knowledge   •  Ways  of  thinking  &  learning   90%   10%   Flaitz,  2012  
  4. 4. Three  Cultural  Differences   •  Orality  versus  Literacy     •  Informal  Learning  vs.  Formal  EducaEon   •  CollecEvism  versus  Individualism  
  5. 5. I  never  care  about  reading  unEl    I  come   here    In  my  country  nothing  to  read  but   here,  everywhere  print,  words  and   signs  and  books  and  you  have  to  read.   The  most  importants  I  have   learned  about  the  United  States   that  is  a  book,  newspapers,  or   notebook  and  pens.    These  things   are  always  let  me  know  how  to  live   here.        
  6. 6. Informal  Ways  of  Learning   •  Revolves around immediate needs of family and community •  Grounded in observation, participation in sociocultural practices of family and community •  Has immediate relevance •  Centered on orality (Gahunga,  Gahunga,  &  Luseno,  2011;  Paradise  &  Rogoff,  2009)  
  7. 7. •  “We” rather than “I” •  People see themselves as part of an interconnected whole •  “Web” of relationships •  Group is more important than any single individual Collec(vism  
  8. 8. •  Personal efforts praised, rewarded •  Personal interests, desires, primary •  Personal judgments •  Personal responsibility •  “Self-actualization”   Individualism  
  9. 9. SLIFE U.S. Classrooms CONDITIONS   PROCESSES   ACTIVITIES   (Adapted from DeCapua & Marshall, 2009, 2011; Marshall, 1994,1998) Aspects of Learning   Two  Different  Learning  Paradigms         Shared Responsibility Individual Accountability Pragmatic Tasks Academic Tasks Interconnectedness Oral Transmission Independence Written Word Future RelevanceImmediate Relevance
  10. 10. Two  Different  Learning  Paradigms   Struggling Language Learners U.S. Classrooms Immediate  Relevance   Future    Relevance   Shared  Responsibility   PragmaEc  Tasks   CONDITIONS PROCESSES ACTIVITIES Interconnectedness   Oral  Transmission   Independence   (DeCapua  &  Marshall,  2009,  2010;  Marshall,  1994,  1998)   Aspects of Learning Individual    Accountability   School-Based Tasks WriGen  Word     Standardized  Tes-ng!  
  11. 11. Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradigm MALPTM Instructional Model SLIFE* U.S. Classrooms ACCEPT    SLIFE   CONDITIONS   COMBINE  SLIFE                       &  U.S.   PROCESSES   FOCUS  on  U.S.   ACTIVITIES  with   familiar  language     &  content   with (DeCapua & Marshall, 2010, 2011; Marshall 1994, 1998) Interconnectedness Independence Shared Responsibility Individual Accountability Pragmatic Tasks School-Based Tasks Immediate Relevance Oral Transmission Written Word Future Relevance *Students  with  limited/interrupted  formal  educaEon  
  12. 12. Collabora(on:     Greater  PiQsburgh  Literacy  Council     Downtown  Center   •  Serves  adult  ELL  immigrants   &  refugees   •  ESL,  computer,  GED  classes     Familes  for  Learning  Center   •  Provides  adult  ESL,  parenEng   educaEon,  early  childhood   educaEon,  literacy    
  13. 13. Goals  of  Collabora(on   •  To  transi(on  low-­‐educated  adult  learners  to  formal   schooling  and  different  ways  of  thinking  and  learning   •  To  reduce  cultural  dissonance   •  Develop  English  language  skills   •  Create  posiEve  learning  experience   •  Establish  warm  classroom  climate   •  Build  relaEonships   •  Improve  aGendance  
  14. 14. Data  Collec(on   •   BEST  Plus   •  Classroom  observaEons   – peer   – researcher   •  MALP  Checklist   •  Google  Hangout  meeEngs  
  15. 15. A. Accept Conditions for Learning A1. I am making this lesson/project immediately relevant to my students. A2. I am helping students develop and maintain interconnectedness. B. Combine Processes for Learning B1. I am incorporating both shared responsibility and individual accountability. B2. I am scaffolding the written word through oral interaction. C. Focus on New Activities for Learning C1. I am focusing on tasks requiring academic ways of thinking. C2. I am making these tasks accessible to my students with familiar language and content. MALPTM  Teacher  Planning  Checklist   © University of Michigan Press, 2011. DeCapua, A. & Marshall, H.W. Breaking New Ground: Teaching Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education in U.S. Secondary Schools.
  16. 16. Voices   Part  I:        From  the  Field     •  Sara:      MALP  Teacher  Planning  Checklist   •  Allegra:      Peer  ObservaEons   •  KaEe:      Mural  Project   Part  II:      From  the  “Ivory  Tower”     •  Helaine:  A  LESLLA-­‐Inspired  Partnership  
  17. 17. Sara’s  Class   •  2  Classes:  High  Beginner,   Bridge  Literacy   •  Prior  EducaEon:  0-­‐  16   •  Oral  Skills:  Beginning  to  Low   Intermediate   •  Literacy  Levels:  none  to  some   •  Ages:  19-­‐75   •  Time  in  US:  5  days  –  8  years  
  18. 18. Sara’s  Checklist:    Component  A   Accept  Condi(ons  for  Learning   A1.    I  am  making  this  lesson/project  immediately   relevant  to  my  students.                                                                                                               –    incorporated daily activities that the students engage in A2.    I  am  helping  students  develop  and  maintain   interconnectedness.                 –  interview each other and ask about where they shop on a daily basis –  must work together to get answers for the whole class
  19. 19. Sara’s  Checklist:  Component  B   Combine  Processes  for  Learning   B1.        I  am  incorpora(ng  both  shared  responsibility  and   individual  accountability.                                                                                                                                                 -  Shared Responsibility: create and fill out grid; put answers on board together -  Individual Accountability: complete worksheet by themselves, respond to questions B2.        I  am  scaffolding  the  wriQen  word  through  oral   interac(on.     -  worksheet & grid first introduced orally and talked about as class. -  class gives examples and talks about personal experience and preferences -  students ask questions and then begin working with grid
  20. 20. Sara’s  Checklist:  Component  C   Focus  on  New  Ac(vi(es   C1.      I  am  focusing  on  tasks  requiring  academic   ways  of  thinking   -  numeracy skills -  comparing and classifying -  drawing conclusions from data C2.      I  am  making  these  tasks  accessible  to  my   students  with  familiar  language  and  content.                   -  students are familiar with language about food, buying food, neighborhoods, and basic numbers -  Food shopping idea familiar from earlier units on daily activities.
  21. 21. Allegra’s  Class   •  Morning  FoundaEons   •  Prior  EducaEon:  None  to  some   high  school   •  Oral  Skills:  Minimal  oral  English   skills   •  Literacy  Levels:  Zero  to  minimal   literacy  in  first  language   •  Ages:    26  -­‐75   •  Time  in  US:    3  weeks  -­‐  2  years  
  22. 22. Allegra  –  Peer  Observa(ons   •  Teachers  observed  each  other   •  Teachers  took  notes,  reviewed  using  MALP   Checklist   •  Helpful  having  second  set  of  eyes  and  ears   and  sounding  board  for  beGer  ways  to   implement  Checklist     •  Challenge  to  schedule  observaEons  since  all   teach  at  the  same  Eme.    
  23. 23. Ka(e’s  Class   •  2  Family  Literacy  Classes   •  MulElevel   •  Prior  EducaEon:    0  -­‐  14  years   •  Oral  Skills:    very  low-­‐advanced     •  Literacy  Level:  alphabet  recogniEon  -­‐  4th  grade   •  Time  in  US:  1  month  -­‐  10  years   •  Age:    mid-­‐20s  to  mid-­‐40s   •  All  women  with  young  children  
  24. 24. Ka(e’s  Mural  Project  
  25. 25. Reflec(ons   The  Students  and  MALP:   •  Family  literacy  parEcipants  very  engaged  in  mural  project   •  Interconnectedness:     –  Students  developing  friendships  inside  and  outside  of  class     –  Support  and  helping  each  other  in  class     The  Teachers  and  MALP:   •  Very  enthusiasEc     •  Reminder  to  keep  lessons  learner-­‐centered  and  to  bring  ‘outside  in’   •  Open  entry/open  exit  program  challenges:   –  integraEng  new  students   –  keeping  lesson  on  track    
  26. 26. A  LESLLA-­‐Inspired  Partnership   •  Met  the  goal  of  bringing  together  researchers   and  pracEEoners  in  adult  educaEon   •  Significance  –  Helped  establish  validity  of   MALP  in  adult  ESL  and  literacy  program   •  Future  direcEons   •  On-­‐going,  not  ending  yet  
  27. 27. Website:            hGp://   Wiki:                          hGp://     Book:     Marshall,  H.W,,  &  DeCapua,  A.,   (2013).    Making  the  Transi4on  to   Classroom  Success:    Culturally  Responsive    Teaching  for  Struggling  Language  Learners.   Ann  Arbor,  MI:University  of  Michigan  Press     MALP  Resources   (c)  copyright  MALP,  LLC.  For  terms  and  condiEons  of  use,  contact  
  28. 28. Contact  Us!   Researchers   Andrea  DeCapua           Helaine  W.  Marshall     Prac((oners   Allegra  Elson                 Sara  Cole                                       KaEe  Murphy                         (c)  copyright  MALP,  LLC.  For  terms  and  condiEons  of  use,  contact