Academic Language with ELL students. Welcome Who is in the room?. Topical Understanding… You will build an understanding of the 3 tiers of academic vocabulary and walk away with strategies and tools to implement in your classroom. Self Reflection.
Who is in the room?
You will build an understanding of the 3 tiers of academic vocabulary and walk away with strategies and tools to implement in your classroom.
Take five minutes to reflection on the following questions.
WIDA Focus on Group Work for Content Learning |WCER | University of Wisconsin-Madison | www.wida.us
1. On your table you will find five envelopes with different strategies/practices. With those sitting at your table, sort the cards into two categories –
helpful and unhelpful.
2. Turn and talk – With a partner take 2 minutes (1 minute each person) to share strategies that you have used in the classroom that were successful or ones you found in the matching you would like to try.
“I think ____________________________
“I heard you say _____________________.
I have found________________________ to be a helpful strategy with my ELLs.”
Giving these conversation starters allows ELLs a structure for expressing their thinking. These starters will make them feel more comfortable speaking around their peers and allow them to participate without looking like they needed the structures and others did not.
“One of the most crucial services that teachers can provide, particularly for students who do not come from academically advantaged backgrounds, is systematic instruction in important academic terms.”
Building Academic Vocabulary, Teacher’s Manual | Marzanoand Pickering | 2005
All students are AELL
(Academic English Language Learners)
Academic English is not a natural language that we acquire through extensive listening and social interaction.
Academic English, including vocabulary, syntax and grammar must be explicitly and systematically taught, not merely caught.
Kate Kinsella, Ed.D. | MELL Conference | November 17, 2010
There are two types of students-those from academically advantaged environments and those from academically disadvantaged environments- they enter school with significant discrepancies in terms of their chances for academic success.
Unfortunately, as time progresses, the gap in academic background knowledge grows even larger, as does the gap in academic achievement between the two groups.
Academic Vocabulary Video
At the start of first grade, most students have about 6,000 words in their spoken vocabulary, and will learn approximately 3,000 more words each year through the third grade. Words are categorized by tiers, and their placement into each tier is made by a word’s frequency of use, complexity, and meaning. It is important to understand however, that not all words have equal importance when it comes to recommended instructional time.
So which words need to be taught? Consider this…..
Tier One includes the most basic words. Words in this tier rarely require instructional attention and typically do not have multiple meanings.
Sight words, nouns, verbs, and adjectives are found in this category.
Examples: pen, boy, sad, run, cat, and orange
FYI: There are 8,000 word families in English included in Tier One.
Tier Two includes high frequency words that are found across a variety of content domains. They are words common to mature language users and are found in literature and adult conversations. They often have multiple means and can be generalized across a variety of environments. Tier Two words strongly influence speaking and reading, and therefore are important words to explicitly teacher.
Examples: masterpiece, contrast, industrious, measure, and loyalty.
FYI: There are about 7,000 word families in English.
Tier Three includes low frequency words that are found in specific domains such as content subjects in school, hobbies, occupations. These Three Tiered words are important to learn when a specific needs arises, such as when a a student needs to understand the meaning of mitosis during a biology lesson. Therefore, Tier Three words are best taught in context, when the need arises.
Examples: isotope, peninsula, and pedagogy
FYI: The remaining 400,000 words in English fall in this tier.
* Note that the classification of Tier Two and Tier Three words is not always clear-cut: there are multiple ways to select words. Personal experience influences word knowledge.