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L.E.G.O.- Reflective Tools for TEYL Independent Learning. Nettie Boivin Qatar University TESOL Boston 2010 nlb511@york.ac.uk. ENGAGEMENT!!!!!!!. BEFORE WE START: Turn to your neighbour. Introduce yourself Tell them one moment of “engagement” in your life! After we will discuss. AGENDA.

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l e g o reflective tools for teyl independent learning
L.E.G.O.-Reflective Tools for TEYL Independent Learning

Nettie Boivin

Qatar University

TESOL Boston 2010




  • Turn to your neighbour.
  • Introduce yourself
  • Tell them one moment of “engagement” in your life!
  • After we will discuss
  • 10 Inherent TEYL truths.
  • Lower/upper primary differences including BICS and CALP (social and cognitive academic language).
  • Learning strategies differences.
  • L.E.G.O. – unspoken constraints of the language ecology.
  • Using reflective tools to overcome constraints.
ten teyl truths

1) Difference between lower and upper primary students.

2) Social language (BICS) versus cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP).

3) Teachers must engage the student.


4) Motivation and attitudes.

5) Noticing is effective.

6) Scaffolding and modelling.


7) Strategy Based Instruction.

  • 8) Practice does make perfect.
  • 9) Literacy Knowledge.
  • 10) Students have different learning styles.
assessment activity

Using the 10 truths assess the differences between

creating a lesson for an adult class versus a young

learner class and give examples.

young learners yl versus child learners cl
  • Young learner (YL) refers to the ages 9-11 (grades 4-6).
  • Child learners (CL) refers to children age 5-8 years old (grades K-3).

(Piaget,1967; Gibson, 1988; Case, 1985; Owens, 1996; Macaro, 2001; Chamot, 1996; Bruner,1990; Flavell & Miller, 1993; Brown,1976; Tomasello, 2003)

cognitive differences yl cl
  • Focused and selective attention.
  • Analyze, make inferences, predictions, hypothesize, and classify.
  • Relies on their relations not simply a self-referential process.
  • CL- literal word BUT do not always comprehend the pragmatic meaning.
emotional differences
  • YLs -socially and emotionally and are developing a greater social awareness.
  • Recursive thought, self-reflective role taking, and mutual role.
  • YL- accept other points of view –enables them to solve their own problems
social differences
  • CLs have immature relationships with peers and other groups.
  • YL friendships expanding and gaining in meaning.
  • YLs occurs in a social interactive context.
  • YL -pragmatics operating within the various types of social domains.
changes up down

You are given a lesson. In groups alter the lesson to fit the developmental differences.

GROUP A is child learner- 20 students, English class once a week in a TEFL setting.

GROUP B is young learner-18 students, English class once a week in a TEFL setting.

Classroom dynamics-

  • Middle class, immigrant families, mixed ethnicities, low crime rate.
  • Reading lesson with introduction of new conceptual vocabulary.

Can have BICS without CALP


  • Not CALP without BICS
parallel between cognitive development bics calp
Parallel Between Cognitive Development & BICS-CALP

BICS contextual social language used both outside and inside the classroom

BICS Skills

  • Knowledge
  • Comprehension
  • Application
  • Pronunciation
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar structure

(Baker, 2001; Cummins; 2001;MacKay 2006).

CALP is decontextualized and embedded

CALP Skills

  • Deciphering semantic meaning
  • Functional meaning
  • Analysis
  • Synthesis
  • Evaluation
organizational pragmatic knowledge


  • Grammatical- decode letters and words
  • Textual- variety of text for different purposes


  • Functional – comprehend purpose
  • Sociolinguistic – exposure to schema of TL culture

(Bachman and Palmer, 1996)

steps for strategy based instruction
  • Think-aloud, modeling
  • Discussing in a group and using visual aids helps in reinforcing the strategy.
  • Extensive practice.
  • Collaboration, problem-solving, inquiry, role-playing, and experiential learning (Cohen & Macaro, 2007).
strategies can kids learn
  • 3 Kinds of Strategies are?
learning strategies
Learning Strategies

What types of learning strategies (LS) are there?

Working to create materials to suit each type. Which best suit what age?

learning strategies1
Learning Strategies
  • What (LS) would be difficult to instruct to CLs?
  • Oral stories aid in instruction of grammar acquisition and socio-linguistic concept transfer.
  • Oral story affords children learning input possibilities
  • How would this be different for YLs?
strategy lesson
  • Using this premade worksheet find ways to alter it to include strategy instruction.
  • What is the best way to introduce and continue strategy use?
l e g o



Literacy skills affected by socio-cultural differences

Language learning cultural strategy differences


Extensive socio-cultural knowledge for learning

Environmental factors effecting language learning


Group interaction and attitudes

Group/classroom collaboration


Optimum integration of ownership between all the shareholders in the language ecology

independent language learning lego model
Independent Language Learning LEGO Model
  • Literacy skills
  • Language learning strategies
environmental concerns
Environmental Concerns
  • Extensive socio-cultural knowledge for learning
  • Environmental factors effecting language learning
group dynamics
  • Group interaction
  • Group/classroom collaboration
optimum processing of language learning
Optimum Processing of Language Learning

Optimum integration of ownership by all the shareholders of the language ecology.

reflective tools for all parties involved
Reflective Tools for All Parties Involved
  • Classroom Profile
  • Materials Reflective Checklist
  • Language Ecology Reflective Checklist
  • CIMS (Critical Interaction Moments)- Using analysis of CIM observation moments for appraisal
questions for the participants
  • How do these tasks address the above TEYL or language learning issues?
  • What kinds of games/worksheets could aid in the practice of these language targets?
  • What age group would best use these and why?
  • How could they aid in delivering all the skills needed?
  • How could these be altered for lower primary or upper primary?
  • As educators we must not hold the pedagogy higher than the students needs and constraints.
  • Not all students learn and process language the same way. `
  • There are external factors that the educator can’t control however it is important to not to ignore these factors.
  • Thank you for your time and energy.
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