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Strategies for Teaching Mathematics to English Language Learners. Presented by Dr. Leslie Huling TSUS MELL Initiative October 29, 2008 Austin, Texas. MELL Partnership.

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Strategies for Teaching Mathematics to English Language Learners

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Strategies for teaching mathematics to english language learners l.jpg

Strategies for Teaching Mathematics to English Language Learners

Presented by Dr. Leslie Huling

TSUS MELL Initiative

October 29, 2008

Austin, Texas


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MELL Partnership

  • MELL is a partnership between Texas State University System, its five member universities, and the Texas Education Agency.

  • Texas State University System Universities

    • Angelo State University

    • Lamar University

    • Sam Houston State University

    • Sul Ross State University

    • Texas State University–San Marcos

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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A Place to Begin

  • Underlying Assumptions

    • Teachers have very “full plates” and many demands

    • TAKS standards are substantive and challenging

    • ELL students face additional challenges that are currently reflected in TAKS results

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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A Place to Begin, Continued

  • Underlying Assumptions

    • Texas educators are working hard to improve the performance of all students, including those who are English Language Learners

    • Educators are interested in acquiring additional knowledge and skills to better address the needs of ELL students

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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  • MELL’s goal is to help educators better meet the instructional needs of English Language Learners

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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Achievement in math and science lag behind other academic areas.

  • To address this need, TEA has launched a comprehensive math professional development initiative.

  • MELL is one component of this initiative.

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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Language Acquisition

  • A complex process influenced by many variables

  • Just as first language acquisition varies substantially among children, so will second language acquisition

  • Consider your own experiences in a foreign language class (some students have a natural ability while others struggle)

  • Mathematics involves a specialized language and vocabulary

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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Mathematics and ELLS:Different Populations

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

MODERATE English

Proficiency &

MODERATE Math

Proficiency

LIMITED English

Proficiency BUT

MODERATE Math

Proficiency

MATH PROFICIENCY

MODERATE English

Proficiency but

LIMITED Math

Proficiency

LIMITED English

Proficiency &

LIMITED Math

Proficiency

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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Classrooms as Greenhouses

MELL has posed this question:

“What conditions provide optimal growth for ELL students in mathematics?”

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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MELL doesn’t have THE answer

  • But we do have a current consensus based upon:

    • review of the research

    • analysis of professional development programs

    • teacher input, and

    • prolonged professional dialogue.

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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MELL Classroom Practices Framework

  • Consists of six components which include enabling practices and indicators.

    • Learning Atmosphere and Physical Environment

    • Instructional Practices

    • Mathematics Content and Curriculum

    • Language Practices

    • Family and Community Involvement

    • Assessment of Student Learning

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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Some Culminating Thoughts

  • The good news is that the instructional practices that promote ELL success also work well for other students

  • However, what is optimal for other students may, in fact, be necessary for ELLs as it appears that the success of ELL students (even more so than other students) is highly dependent upon a conducive learning environment

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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MELL Products

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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Newly Released MELL Products

  • MELL Lesson Bank

    • A collection of mathematics lessons that are adapted specifically for English language learners with ELPS integrated into lessons

  • Hands-on Mathematics Instruction

    • A professional development video designed to support teachers in the use of manipulative instructional materials in the teaching of mathematics to English language learners.

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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Newly Released MELL Products

  • 2008 MELL Conference Highlights

    • Powerpoint presentations from each presenter at the 2008 MELL Summer Conference

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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2008-09 MELL Scope of Work

  • Expand MELL products to encompass middle school and elementary instruction

  • MELL Summer Institutes

  • Annual MELL Summer Conference

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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Web Addresses

  • TSUS MELL Initiativewww.tsusmell.org

  • TSUS Education Policy Implementation Centerwww.education.txstate.edu/epic

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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Plan To Attend2009 MELL Summer ConferenceSan Marcos, TXCheck MELL website forConference information

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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For Additional Information

  • MELL Contact Information:

    • Dr. Leslie Huling, Director

    • Education Policy Information Center

    • [email protected]

    • (512) 716-4531

MELL: a joint initiative between TEA and the Texas State University System


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