Patsy VinogradovTESOL, March 2013 Dallas, Texas
Adult Basic Education, Adult ESL, LESLLAClassrooms and TeachersCollaborative Inquiry as ProfessionalDevelopment for TeachersCrossing Contexts- Adult Ed meets K-2Case Study: Our Study CircleFindingsImplications for Teachers
ABE: Adult Basic EducationESL: English as a Second LanguagePD: Professional DevelopmentLESLLA: Low-educated Second Languageand Literacy Acquisition
-Differ greatly, but can meet2-5/days per week for 2-5hours-Groups of 4-30 learners-Are generally free forstudents-Have limited resources
Knowledge Base for LESLLA TeachersEarly LiteracyInstruction Adult Teaching Learning Language & Immigrant Language & Refugee Acquisition Experience
Often part-time employees or volunteersMay not be licensed teachersMay lack specific training in adult learningand/or early literacy instructionAre often isolated from other LESLLA teachersMay not be supported to attend professionaldevelopment activitiesHave limited research and materials specificallyfor LESLLA to draw fromOften turn to materials used with children whohave similar reading level
What can happen when we gather a group of smart, thoughtful teachers in the same room, give them something important to talk about, and provide the tools and time to investigate?
Regardless of age, in order for a person tobecome literate in an alphabetic language,he or she must have a certain set of pre-reading skills and concepts (i.e., printawareness, phonological concepts,alphabet knowledge, and narrative skills).K-2 teachers are experts at developingthese skills in their learners. Why not tapinto this rich source of literacy know-how?
1. What knowledge and practices do LESLLA teachersidentify as transferable to their own teaching contextsafter participating in a professional development studycircle designed to expose them to early literacy practiceswith early elementary learners?2. Of those practices that they identify, how do LESLLAteachers transform and apply the practices for theircontexts?3. As they reflect on the PD and how they have appliedearly elementary practices, what do they articulate askey insights?
Qualitative Case Study: 4 adult ESL teachers in astudy circle around early literacy instruction inK-2 settingsTheoretical Framework: Communities ofPracticeData sources: interviews, observations,transcriptions of our study circle PD sessions,teacher journals and sharing in online privatewebsiteAnalysis: collaborative, cyclical coding, Dedoose
“There is a ceiling effect to how much we can learn if we keep to ourselves…Personal mastery and group mastery feed on each other in learning organizations.People need one another to learn and to accomplish things.” -Fullan, 1995, p.257 “Learning cannot be designed: it can only be designed for – that is, facilitated or frustrated.” (Wenger, 1998)
1. Setting the Scene 2. Observation of 6. Putting it all kindergarten and together first grade classrooms Overview Outside Task 2: of StudyIndividual school 3. Unpacking our visits Circle observations Meetings 5. Debrief and Outside Task 1: Planning Session Try out 1-2 new practices, report 4. Working with back young new readers
To the untrained eye, itlooked like a very colorfulgarage sale, but as we lookeda little closer we found thatthe space was divided intodistinct areas of math,reading, motor-activity,group space. For me, thegarage sale analogy isnt anegative one. It makes mewant to dig through things tofind treasure. (Mike, Wiggiopost, 9/23/2012)
Reading aloud to students Morning messages and Text connections (text-text, sign-ins text-self) Routines Student jobs (adult Classroom library and version of “Star of the independent reading time Day”) Offering choices Naming activities Math activities woven Reflecting on learning into literacy block
Organization of Literacy Response to Literature Instruction Reading aloud to students Morning messages and Text connections sign-ins Routines Fostering Independent Learning Student jobs Classroom library and independent reading timeIntegrating Math: Offering choices Expanded Definition of Naming activities Literacy Reflecting on learning
Organization of Literacy Response to Literature Instruction Reading aloud to students Morning messages Text connections and sign-ins Routines Fostering Independent Learning Student jobs Classroom library and independent reading timeIntegrating Math: Offering choices Expanded Definition of Naming activities Literacy Reflecting on learning
For the last couple ofdays I’ve done a morningmessage. Just like she did, like “Good morning!Happy Friday. Today weare going to read, write,ask questions. Mr. Jim will come and talk to us at 10:30.”I do that and then I do a little question. ….It’s a nice way to get into our topic and to talk about what we’re going to do today, and also focus everyone’s attention. (Audrey, Meeting 3, 9/28/2012)
The K-2 people aremasters of routine, and Ithink we can learn a lotfrom that. We just haveto persist, and learnerswill develop those targethabits. It’s easy to giveup, to say “oh that didn’twork,” but you just haveto persist and persist.(Mike, Interview,11/12/2012)
Another thing that really translates [across contexts] is that we’re not just teaching them literacy, we’re teaching them how to behave in a community, and in a specific setting. So some of these things, even if they’re not directly connected to literacy, they are directly connected to being in a learning environment. Like, how to “do school.” (Sophia, Meeting 3, 9/28/2012)
Audrey: I’ve never wanted to do numeracy until I saw this. Ohhh, that’s how you can teach it! They had a number of the day, did you see that? [She shows her drawing of it. The number of the day was 32, and they had to find different ways of reaching it, like addition, subtraction, with coins, multiplication, etc.] That was SO awesome!!Mike: They had six ways to get to the same number.Sophia: They must have known; that must be a regular routine. (Meeting 2, 9/27/2012)
I think what it all comes down to is that I am struck by the fact that the children are encouraged to learn for learning sake, in their own way, at their own pace. They learn through activities that are relevant and immediate and engaging. (Sophia, Wiggio post, 9/20/2012)
Mike: But it’s part of that labeling too. This is “us” time and then comes the “ya’ll” time. Or whatever.Patsy: Choice time. Maybe it’s whole ‘group’ time and ‘choice’ time. It keeps coming back to that structure.Claire: Like if we build a different structure.Patsy: If we have a structure, that’s more clear about when it’s “us” time and when it’s “groups” and when it’s “read to self”, if we have language for these activities, then that provides structure which allows us to foster the independence which allows us to give individual students what they need] [my italics] … Ooo!!! [laughter]
If our overall purpose is to assist our learners tobecome full participants in their communitiesoutside of the classroom, then our classes needto be a place where independence and problemsolving are nurtured. We can do this byestablishing strong classroom routines andcommon language for tasks, by providingchoices for learners in the classroom, by makingour teaching more transparent, and bydesigning instruction that values independentand peer-learning.
RQ 3: Our Routines &Key Learnings Common Language Reflecting Choices on LESLLA for Learning Learners Learners as Problem- Solvers Transparent Independent & Instruction Peer Learning
We can branch out beyond our professionalterritories. We can move in and out of differentcommunities, bringing our tools forinvestigation with us (Tarone, 2012).PD that is intellectually challenging, that movesus into new spaces, and that brings us togetherwith other dedicated professionals, can betransformational.We need more of this kind of teacherdevelopment.
1. Establish strong routines and common language for regular classroom activities.2. Offer a regular literacy-work period where learners choose from various literacy activities.3. Begin a classroom library and make time for independent and peer reading.
4. Increase students’ comprehension and engagement with texts by eliciting and pointing out text connections.5. Find ways to integrate numeracy instruction into literacy focused time.6. Get literacy off the page.
7. Explain WHY you are doing what you are doing in the classroom.8. One step at a time.9. Reach out to colleagues.