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Stages of Second Language Acquisition. Descriptions, Instructional Adaptations, & Strategies (adapted from DCIU) Dr. Laura Taddei Neumann University. Activity: Contextual Factors Affecting Second Language Acquisition. Divide the class into groups

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stages of second language acquisition

Stages of Second Language Acquisition

Descriptions, Instructional Adaptations, & Strategies

(adapted from DCIU)

Dr. Laura Taddei

Neumann University

activity contextual factors affecting second language acquisition
Activity: Contextual Factors Affecting Second Language Acquisition
  • Divide the class into groups
  • Each group reads a section from the article titled “Contextual Factors in Second Language Acquisition”
  • Record on chart paper the main idea of each section
  • Brainstorm implications for this information as it pertains to the ELL in the school setting
  • Be prepared to share out
  • Discuss the meaning of: “The classroom should be both a mirror and a window in regards to culture.”
stages of second language acquisition1
STAGES of Second Language Acquisition
  • Stage 1: Pre-Production – Students do not verbalize; may use gestures (nod, point); minimal comprehension
  • Stage 2: Early Production – Students produce one- or two- word responses, use key words; limited comprehension
  • Stage 3: Speech Emergence – Students produce simple sentences; good comprehension
  • Stage 4: Intermediate Fluency – Students may appear to be English proficient, yet development is incomplete
  • Stage 5: Advanced Fluency – Students can converse fluently with native speakers
pre production beginning stage stage 1
Pre-Production/Beginning Stage(Stage 1)
  • Student may experience a silent period
  • Speak in one- or two-word utterances
  • May respond non-verbally to simple commands, statements, & questions
  • May have up to 500 words in their receptive vocabulary
  • May repeat every thing you say (parroting)
  • Cannot carry on a conversation
  • May speak spontaneously using native language
  • Student will observe others (take it in)
  • Student will understand more than he/she can communicate
  • Time Frame: 0 – 6 months
instructional adaptations for stage 1
Instructional Adaptations for Stage 1
  • Emphasize hands-on activities, manipulatives, props, drama, ample use of visuals
  • Provide texts with illustrations
  • Focus on teaching language & phrases they can use immediately
  • Construct oral questions so that students can choose from a variety of answers, including yes/no
  • Integrate TPR (Total Physical Response) & constantly model
  • Benefit from a “buddy” who speaks their language
  • Teacher Prompts: Show me…, Circle the…, Point to the…,Where is …?, Who has…, Listen, Point, Move, Mime, Match, Draw, Select, Choose, Act/Act out
early production stage 2
Early Production (Stage 2)
  • Uses single words & phrases (one- & two-words)
  • Student tends to rehearse before speaking
  • Can recite poems, chants, & songs (memorized chunks)
  • Use routine expressions independently
  • Receptive language still surpasses expressive language (limited comprehension)
  • Vocabulary of about 1,000 words
  • Time Frame: 6 months – 1 year
instructional adaptations for stage 2
Instructional Adaptations for Stage 2
  • Break explanations & procedures into smaller chunks
  • Provide explicit instruction of comprehension strategies
  • Use concrete experiences, realia, & visuals (pictures, graphic organizers, charts, & graphs)
  • Use language frames or sentence starters to aid sentence structure
  • Model strategies
  • Demonstrate activities step by step
  • Focus on key vocabulary & concepts; simplify content
  • Use think-alouds & simple books with predictable text
  • Accept one- or two-word responses
  • Teacher Prompts: Yes/No, Either/or, Who…?, What…?, How many…?, Name, Label, Group, List, Categorize, Tell/Say, Answer
speech emergence stage 3
Speech Emergence(Stage 3)
  • Produces simple sentences & questions
  • Begins to acquire more standard word order
  • May mispronounce and/or omit important sentence components
  • Grammar & Pronunciation errors
  • New errors may reflect overgeneralization of grammar rules
  • Vocabulary of about 3,000 words
  • Good comprehension
  • Shows difficulty adjusting language for different situations & individuals (no situational awareness)
  • Misunderstands jokes, idioms, sarcasm
  • Native language interference may occur
  • Time Frame: 1 – 3 years
instructional adaptations for stage 3
Instructional Adaptations for Stage 3
  • Use graphic organizers, visuals, charts, maps, diagrams, etc…
  • Allow students to interact with their native speaking peers to clarify new information & explain what they learned
  • Allow for many opportunities to read & write
  • Use of dialogue journals
  • Aim for same content objectives while matching instruction to meet ELL’s needs
  • Frontload language & vocabulary related to content lesson
  • Teacher Prompts: Why…?, How…?, Explain… (Questions requiring phrase or short-sentence answers), Recall, Retell, Define, Explain, Compare/Contrast, Summarize, Describe, Restate, Role-play
intermediate fluency stage 4
Intermediate Fluency(Stage 4)
  • Student may appear to be proficient in English, but development is incomplete
  • English is fluent, but not perfect
  • Able to sustain a conversation with details
  • Production increases in complexity, but errors still may appear
  • Vocabulary of approximately 6,000 active words
  • Excellent comprehension; will ask for clarification
  • Will use strategies from their native language to learn content in English
  • Continues to need assistance in organizing thoughts & monitoring own communication, especially in writing
  • Time Frame: 3 – 5 years
instructional adaptations for stage 4
Instructional Adaptations for Stage 4
  • Provide frequent opportunities to use English with native speakers on a variety of topics
  • Scaffold instruction to help students access meaning
  • Include explicit vocabulary instruction in every lesson
  • Aim for the same challenging content objectives as native speakers while matching instruction to your ELL’s needs
  • Accommodations to writing assignments may be necessary
  • Teacher Prompts: What would happen if…?, Why do you think…? (Questions that require more than a sentence response), Analyze, Create, Defend, Debate, Complete, Evaluate, Justify, Support, Describe…
advanced fluency stage 5
Advanced Fluency(Stage 5)
  • Can converse fluently with native speakers
  • Produce few grammatical errors
  • Although may appear fluent, may continue to struggle with more abstract academic language of school
  • Excellent Comprehension: Understands general, specific, & implied language
  • Use a variety of sentence structures & verb tenses
  • Time Frame: 5 – 7 years (up to 10 years to achieve cognitive academic language)
  • May be exited from ESL & other support programs
instructional adaptations for level 5
Instructional Adaptations for Level 5
  • Aim for same content objectives as native speakers, but continue to modify instruction as needed
  • Continue to use a variety of teaching strategies to reach all learners
  • Continue to monitor student’s progress in both language & academic development
  • Teacher Prompts: Decide if…, Retell…
levels of english language proficiency oral written

Includes Speaking, Listening, Reading, & Writing skills

  • Level 1: Entering
  • Level 2: Beginning
  • Level 3: Developing
  • Level 4: Expanding
  • Level 5: Bridging
  • Level 6: Reaching

*All ELLs are assessed & given a level when they enter school; you should be told what level your ELL is at

*ACCESS test is given each year to determine level

*See WIDA documents, including CAN DO descriptors, for descriptions of levels & expectations for each

info to remember about speaking proficiency
Info. to Remember about Speaking Proficiency
  • 75:25 – Can understand 75%, but only express 25%
  • BICS (social language) vs. CALP (academic language)
  • Silent Period
  • BICS: 1 – 3 years
  • CALP: 5 – 9 years
  • Language differences
strategies for building speaking proficiency
Strategies for Building Speaking Proficiency
  • Think, Pair, Share
  • Pre-teach vocabulary
  • Sentences frames (cloze procedure), Word banks
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Process partner
  • Extra wait time
  • Choral fluency
  • Authentic situations
  • Readers’ Theatre
  • Audiotapes
  • Repeated readings
info to remember about listening proficiency
Info. to Remember about Listening Proficiency
  • Students’ receptive language will most likely be more proficient than their expressive language
  • Remember the “blah, blah, blah” activity
  • Create conversation settings that will reduce anxiety
  • Consider cultural differences
strategies for building listening proficiency
Strategies for Building Listening Proficiency
  • Use visuals & realia to support lessons
  • Avoid idioms & expressions when possible
  • Write objectives on board
  • Speak clearly & slowly
  • Don’t speak louder & no baby talk
  • Avoid caveman speech
  • Provide copies of notes & outlines (before lectures)
  • Allow audio books to reinforce text
  • Pair with fellow native speakers for directions & clarifications
info to remember about reading proficiency
Info. to Remember about Reading Proficiency
  • Speaking proficiency does not determine reading proficiency
  • Consider cultural differences in reading; try to provide books about a variety of cultures
  • Reading proficiency in their first language affects reading proficiency in their second language

--Remember, not all students know how to read/write in their first language

strategies for building reading proficiency
Strategies for Building Reading Proficiency
  • Think about the text – adapt/scaffold the activity (amount, assignment)
  • Pre-teach vocabulary
  • Build background knowledge
  • Assess & Teach Phonological Awareness skills
  • Label objects
  • BDA – Before, During, After reading
  • Chunking
  • Summarizing
  • Songs & Chants
  • Use of visuals & realia
  • Reading in first language (if available/able)
info to remember about writing proficiency
Info. to Remember about Writing Proficiency
  • Students will write at all levels of proficiency
  • Vary supports according to proficiency level/need
  • Writing proficiency is usually the last to develop
  • Advanced students may still need accommodations in writing
  • Be aware of Cultural Differences in writing styles
  • Be aware of Language Differences
strategies for building writing proficiency
Strategies for Building Writing Proficiency
  • Sentence starters
  • Journals
  • Drawing pictures
  • Word banks
  • Cloze activities (frames)
  • Typing activities
  • Choice of paper size & writing utensil
  • Sentence strips
  • Word walls & dictionaries
  • TPTs (Total Participation Techniques)
when scoring writing
When Scoring Writing…
  • Allow errors (see language differences)
  • Model differences
  • Use graphic organizers
  • Provide word banks for accountability
  • Provide Rubrics &/or Models (completed product)
  • First show examples….MODEL OFTEN!

--- Use of teacher think-alouds

wida s can do descriptors
  • Use with classroom teachers & administrators to describe the second language acquisition process
  • Use to plan with tutors & mentors who work with ELLs
  • Use to set language goals with their ELLs
  • Use to develop lessons & units of study with differentiated language objectives
  • Use to explain to parents their students’ progress in speaking, listening, reading, & writing
activity using the can do descriptors
ACTIVITY: Using the Can-Do Descriptors
  • Pick a grade level
  • Think of a topic
  • What activity would you have native-English speakers complete?
  • How would you adapt this activity for the various proficiency levels?
  • Complete: Differentiating Instruction for ELLs sheet