The home language project
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The Home-Language Project. The Home-Language Project Margie Owen-Smith www.hlp.org.za. What language disadvantage?. Understanding of new concepts Competitiveness. Who is a Second-Language Learner (SLL/EAL/ESL/ELL)?. A learner reliant on a single LoLT (official MOI), which

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The Home-Language Project

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The home language project

The Home-Language Project


The home language project margie owen smith www hlp org za

The Home-Language ProjectMargie Owen-Smithwww.hlp.org.za


What language disadvantage

What language disadvantage?

  • Understanding of new concepts

  • Competitiveness


Who is a second language learner sll eal esl ell

Who is a Second-Language Learner (SLL/EAL/ESL/ELL)?

A learner reliant on a single LoLT

(official MOI), which

* is not the MT/HL/FL

* nor is it a language in which

the learner is fully proficient

(i.e. at L1 level)

………….

>80% of SA learners


Where does it leave us

Where does it leave us?

With systemic language disadvantage

… a major social injustice


The teacher s challenge in a monolingual system

The teacher’s challenge in a monolingual system

How to make it possible

for learners to use the HL as a tool …

(i) to support the LoLT in subject learning

(ii) to develop language skills in the LoLT + HL

i.e. a bilingual approach (LoLT + HL) to teaching subjects and language


If lolt not english

If LoLT not English…

e.g Afrikaans or Sesotho …

Need to use the HL as a tool

(i) to support the LoLT in subject learning

(ii) to develop language skills in the LoLT + English

i.e. a tri-lingual approach (LoLT + English + HL) to teaching subjects and language


Outline of session 1

Outline of Session 1

Task 1: How do we think about SLLs … do we need to shift our mindsets?

Task 2: Where is our emphasis in teaching SLLs … do we need to shift our focus?

Task 3: How are we using verbalisation … can we use learner-talk to improve thinking?


The home language project

Task 1

How do we think about SLLs?

(ESLs/ EALs/ ELLs)

… do we need to shift our mindsets?


An action process

An Action Process

Step 1: READ

Step 2: THINK

Step 3: JOT

Step 4: …

Step 5: …


Who is a second language learner sll eal esl ell1

Who is a Second-Language Learner (SLL/EAL/ESL/ELL)?

A learner reliant on a single LoLT

(official MOI), which

* is not the MT/HL/FL

* nor is it a language in which

the learner is fully proficient

(i.e. at L1 level)

………….

>80% of SA learners


The talk process

The talk process

1) Buddy-up with person on your left

2) If left out, buddy-up with person left out

behind you

3) Follow TALK chart

4) Follow hand signals


Second language learner sll performance

Second-language learner (SLL) performance

  • ANAs?

  • TIMMS & PIRLS?

  • Matric (NSC)?


The second language label

The second-language label?

Second language = second class?...

But …

* All have another language

* Clarkson’s research?

* The advantages of bilingualism?


The teacher s challenge in a monolingual system1

The teacher’s challenge in a monolingual system

How to make it possible

… for learners to use the HL as a tool

(i) to support the LoLT in subject learning

(ii) to help develop language skills in the LoLT + HL

… i.e. a bilingual approach (LoLT + HL) to teaching subjects and language better


Would it change mindsets

Would it change mindsets?

To call learners BLLs?

Would that help us think of them as BLLs?

Would we then try to treat them as BLLs?


The home language project

TASK 2

Where is our emphasis in teaching SLLs?

… do we need to shift our focus?


Immediate aims of learning

Immediate aims of learning?

Understanding

+ Memory

+ Ability to apply

(UMA)

…. the kind of content at the level required

for social capital + further learning


What does the learner need to do in order to learn

What does the learner need to do in order to learn?

Access the content

+ Think about it

+ Apply & Practise it

… ATAP it to the level of UMA needed for learning


What does the learner need to do in order to learn1

What does the learner need to do in order to learn?

Access the content

+ Think about it in a context

+ Apply & Practise it

in various contexts

… ATAP it to the level of UMA needed for learning


How to get learners to think

How to get learners to think?

… not just to kick-start thinking,

but to hang in when it gets hard?

(D. Kahneman: Thinking Fast and Slow)


An action process1

An Action Process

Step 1: READ

Step 2: THINK

Step 3: JOT

Step 4: …

Step 5: …


The learning process

Talk

Question

APPLY & PRACTISE

ACCESS

THINK

  • Listen

  • Look

  • Touch

  • Taste

  • Smell

Trial & Error

(Read)

Non-verbal expression

Write

THE LEARNING PROCESS:


The learner s thinking activators

The learner’s thinking activators

1) Accessing more information (reading…

2) Talking to express interim understanding

3) Writing to express interim understanding

4) Own questioning

5) Non-verbal expression of understanding (drawing…calculating…)

6) Applying understanding to task (trial & error)


Teacher s thinking support

  • Set context & task

  • Indicate info sources

APPLY & PRACTISE

ACCESS

THINK

  • Interact & wrap up

Teacher’s Thinking-Support


Teacher s thinking support tasks 7xtsts

Teacher’s thinking-support tasks (7xTSTs)

1) Set context & cognitively-demanding tasks (differentiate x 3)

2) Lead into information source/s

3) Set up a mix of thinking activators (and guide with Action Chart)

4) Support a buddy system for talk in pairs

5) Encourage BLLs to use HLs for thinking

6) Interact with learners to build on their input

7) Build confidence to make mistakes.


The home language project

Task 3

How are we using verbalisation ?

… Can we use learner-talk

to improve thinking?


Learner talk lt what it is

“Learner-Talk (LT)”: What it is

1. Learners talking in pairs (or < 3)

2. Talk is task-based

3. It follows a guided process (action chart)

4. It is anchored in text and writing

5. BLLs encouraged to use their HLs (any)

*Teachers do not need to understand any of the languages being used

*Teacher interaction & wrap-up after LT are in English


Learner talk lt what it is not

“Learner-talk (LT)”: What it is NOT?

  • Not about learners talking

    * to the teacher

    * to the class

    * to each other in groups

  • Not the only kind of learner verbalisation we need

  • Not the only way to get learners to talk


Learner talk why

Learner-Talk: why?

To get all learners to talk (nobody left out)

  • to help them think better

  • to help develop oral language skills

    To give BLLs the chance to use both their languages

    … to improve understanding  learning  performance in Subjects + English language


Elicit from selected learners

Elicit from selected learners

1) To get them to switch into English

to practise

* oral English and

* trans-languaging

2) To affirm their thinking & build confidence to make mistakes

3) To check where they are … to adjust your input if necessary.


Classroom management concerns

Classroom management concerns?

  • Noise level

  • Lack of task focus – can’t be sure what they are talking about

  • Takes too much time


Learner talk controls

Learner-Talk controls:

  • A talk-process to follow

  • On-switch

  • Off-switch

  • Volume control


Learning quality concerns

Learning quality Concerns?

1. Copying

2. Lazy ones opt out

3. Buddies teaching the wrong thing

4. Can’t talk …vocab too weak to have ideas/ express their thinking

5. Talk is soon forgotten


The right vocab term

The right vocab/term?

 Ideas come before words

…. the essential thinking step is

to express the idea in simple everyday words

… more efficient words (terms etc)

to be introduced later


How to manage learner talk the 7 tsts 2 more

How to manage Learner Talk:the 7 TSTs + 2 more

1. Set context and cognitively-demanding tasks

2. Lead into information sources

3. Set up & guide a mix of activators

4. Support a buddy system for LT

5. Encourage BLLs to use HLs for thinking

6. Interact to build on learner input

7. Build confidence to make mistakes

8. Use hand controls & timing

9. Develop your interaction & wrap-up techniques


A bilingual methodology for sa

T: Set context & task

Indicate info source/s

L: Read

Start- thinking

Jot

Talk

Task

T: Interact & wrap-up

English

HL/English

HL

Any

HL

Any

English

A bilingual methodology for SA


Some conclusions session i

T1. Shift mindsets

T2: Shift teaching focus

T3: Shift pedagogy

To thinking of learners as BLLs & treating learners as BLLs

with 2 working languages

To providing a thinking context and supporting thinking

To supporting task-based, learner thinking activities that include bilingual LT

Some conclusions Session I


If able to make shifts despite

If able to make shifts despite…

* our monolingual system

* antagonistic attitudes to HLs

* rigid teacher-centred methodologies …

… you are half-way to removing the 3 biggest language obstacles


3 obstacles for slls

3 obstacles for SLLs

… we are half-way to removing

1) Systemic language disadvantage

2) Learner over-dependence on teachers

3) Language skills below level needed for subject performance


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