Vowel Focus: Improving All Four Modalities


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❧ Delivered a 50-minute presentation that highlighted the integration of all four-language modalities to improve skills in literacy, particularly for beginning English language learners, and ultimately, pronunciation.
❧ Exemplified classroom activities and provided materials as takeaways.

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Vowel Focus: Improving All Four Modalities

  1. 1. Vowels in Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing Improving all four modalities By: Heidi Laidemitt
  2. 2. Informed by…  Pattern recognition, student autonomy, humor, literacy foundation  Our development as children  Particular group of students at current job  Belief in connected modalities, especially for academically bound students (EAP)  Vocabulary knowledge: what is KNOWING a word?
  3. 3. Introduction  The importance of vowels: as roots, assonance, word play, rhyme, song, poetry.  I like to think of them as the core -> Name introduction. (In fact, you can extend this in reading activities)  Questions for you: What do you think are the greatest difficulties in teaching vowels? Do you think some vowels cause more communication breakdown? Or, irritation in native speakers?
  4. 4. Where to Begin with Beginners  short versus long vowel: reading and listening comprehension  After substantial practice, expect production in speaking and writing  Finally, expand rules to multisyllabic words  Note: I do not use IPA in the classroom. At least, not at beginning levels. However, I do use symbols from “Words Their Way: Word Sorts for Within Word Pattern Spellers.” (Invernizzi, Johnston, Bear, Templeton; 2009)
  5. 5. Honoring Literacy Development “Before Assessment” “After Assessment”  Create a day 1 spelling quiz with target short vowel and long vowel words.  Create a final spelling quiz with the same words.  Use those “errors” to inform you and the class. Share the mistakes with the actual form.  Have students analyze their own development.  Example: Like (lik, lice, liik) **It’s a good idea to do routine “quizzes.” My students like using individual white erase boards!
  6. 6. Activities for Beginners 1. Pattern Recognition and Explicit Instruction (Activating intuitive heuristics - Kumaravadivelu, 2003) 2. Self-discovery assignment – www.rhymezone.com 3. In class “assessment” - Vowel distinction, quizzes (before, after) 4. Authentic materials: rhymes, songs, short stories 5. Fun activities: rhyme trains, tongue twisters, vowels with communicative meaning, texting and internet language (disemvoweling) 6. Self-discovery practice: online games,  Note: it is important to teach “exceptions” (or “oddball” words), especially if they are common, throughout the process. For example: me, he, be, we, maybe, give, live, bread)
  7. 7. Activating intuitive heuristics  Explicit instruction? Or pattern recognition?  Please see handout with chart and follow-up homework that blends both  Rhymezone Homework: we come back and share results and start to form our own spelling rules/ observations -> Focus on spelling
  8. 8. Rhyme Creation See what words students can create with patterns. It’s probably to isolate some sounds at a time, especially based on their homework _ild _are _ce _ai_ _ay _y _i_e _in _igh _ore _tch _ui_ _ew _o_e _ake _old _oo_ _oy _ee_ _ue _u_e _et _ost _al_ _ge _ea_ _ow _a_e _it
  9. 9. Highlight Spelling Differences For example, these spelling patterns create “short-o” AU AW O __to s__ d__g h__l y__n n__t f__lt cr__l r__cket __gust l__n __dd
  10. 10. Vowel Distinction: Multiple Modalities Pedagogical ideas  Minimal Pair Bingo  A round with the teacher (listening + reading)  partner practice (speaking + listening + reading) “bingo”  Information Gap  teacher “comprehension” on the whiteboard or computer (speaking + reading)  Follow-up spelling quizzes
  11. 11. American Names are filled with long and short vowels! http://www.babynamewizard.com/archives/2011/9/babynames-now-with-a-long-vowel-in-every-syllable Jean, Jane, Jen, Jan, Jay, John, Joan, June Dean, Dane, Dan, Dawn, You can use these names in a story with follow-up “Who ________?” questions. .
  12. 12. Using Authentic Materials Poetry One-two, buckle my shoe; Three-four, shut the door; Five-six, pick up sticks. Seven-eight, lay them straight; Nine-ten, a big fat hen; Eleven-twelve, dig and delve Songs  “As Tears Go By” – Rolling Stones  It is the evening of the day I sit and watch the children play Smiling faces I can see But not for me I sit and watch As tears go by My riches can't buy everything I want to hear the children sing All I hear is the sound Of rain falling on the ground www.esl-lounge.com has songs organized by grammar focus (simple present typically seem to be easier songs)
  13. 13. Other Fun Activities Production: Rhyme Trains Tongue Twisters Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t very fuzzy was he? Homophones http://www.primaryresources. co.uk/english/englishA8.htm Betty bought a bit of butter But the bit of butter Betty bought was bitter So Betty bought a better bit of Butter **I give my students recordings of me reading, too!
  14. 14. Vowels with communicative meaning (Celce-Murica; Brinton; Goodwin; 2011, pg. 151) Ahhh! (satisfaction) Aw. (sympathy) Ow! (pain) Oh? (interest) Oh. (comprehension) Uh-Oh (trouble) Ew! (disgust) Oops! (mistake) Aha! (discovery) Huh? (confusion) Boo! (frightening someone) Uh-uh. (no) Uh-huh. (yes)
  15. 15. Disemvoweling – an internet phenomenon  Have students go “backwards” to guess determine what the actual word is. Examples luv OMG sum1 rly thnx k no1 cming c u l8r R u coming ez talk sn gr8 nside njoy sndz gd Th qck brwn fx jmps vr th lzy dg. (wikipedia)
  16. 16. Self-Exploration  http://learningenglish.voanews.com/  http://www.esl-lab.com/ (choose Easy or Medium)  http://thisibelieve.org/themes/  http://www.manythings.org/listen/  http://esl-bits.net/  http://shiporsheep.com/  http://www.manythings.org/pp/  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrIfQTOl97k  http://international.ouc.bc.ca/pronunciation/
  17. 17. Questions?  Happy to send you a copy of my slides, resources  heidilaide@gmail.com  Or additional ideas that I can type here…