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Working With English Language Learners. PLC Workshop January 30, 2010. Contents. Who Are ELLs? The Three Main Types of ELLs Implications for the Classroom Profile of English Language Learners in SRSD#119 Types of English Acquiring Academic English Literacy Achievement and Attainment

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working with english language learners

Working With English Language Learners

PLC Workshop

January 30, 2010

contents
Contents
  • Who Are ELLs?
  • The Three Main Types of ELLs
  • Implications for the Classroom
  • Profile of English Language Learners in SRSD#119
  • Types of English
  • Acquiring Academic English
  • Literacy Achievement and Attainment
  • Case Study
  • Additional Support: SWIS
what identifies a student as ell
What Identifies a Student as ELL?
  • an English Language Learner (ELL) is a person who needs support with the English Language.
  • ELLs vary in terms of level or language proficiency and time spent in Canada.
  • the following categories define the three main types of ELLs in our division.

P.A. Herald, January, 2012

the three main categories of ells
The Three Main Categories of ELLs
  • Newly Arrived with Adequate Schooling
  • Newly Arrived with Limited Formal Schooling
  • Long Term English Language Learners
1 newly arrived with adequate schooling
1. Newly Arrived with Adequate Schooling
  • recently arrived in Canada, but have attended school in their country up to appropriate grade level
  • examples include students from “western countries” such as France, Spain or Germany; as well as students from Asia, such as China or Japan
implications for the classroom
Implications for the Classroom
  • tend to be familiar with content, but need to learn key words in English
  • may be ahead of grade level in content
  • main challenges are cultural – they are often accustomed to traditional formal education
  • may need time before they are comfortable participating, making eye contact and offering opinions in class
  • respond well to structure, homework and learning facts
  • tend to catch on quickly to English and culture and often require the least ongoing English support
2 students with limited formal schooling
2. Students with Limited Formal Schooling
  • also new arrivals, but may not have attended school before or have had interrupted schooling
  • examples include refugee students
implications for the classroom1
Implications for the Classroom
  • require considerable support in English and school culture
  • learning every day English (social English), academic English as well as the initial content
  • often lack prior knowledge in content areas and classroom procedures
  • tend to suffer from trauma, extreme culture shock and other psychological or even physical issues
  • require support in terms of culture and catching up to the language and content of their peers, but are capable of learning
3 long term english learners
3. Long-Term English Learners
  • in Canada for 7years or more
  • many were born here, but may speak another language at home or have parents who do not speak (much) English
  • examples include students whose parents immigrated from another country, students who came to Canada when they were young and aboriginal students, particularly our Cree and Dene speakers from northern Canada
implications for the classroom2
Implications for the Classroom
  • also need support with English – mainly academic English
  • often go undetected as ELLs
  • need help with literacy (all languages), academic or high level vocabulary, and writing and formal oral language skills
  • often misdiagnosed as having learning disabilities or simply do not receive support
  • tend to struggle in school, feel alienated and have very little confidence
types of english
Types of English
  • Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS)
  • Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)
slide14
BICS
  • Essentially defined as ‘everyday’ English.
  • It is the words we usually hear and in the day to conversations that we have.
  • ELLs tend to pick up on BICS in 1-3 years.
  • ELLs absorb BICS fairly quickly because the language is constantly being repeated.
  • Social interactions are usually context embedded.
  • Not cognitively demanding.
slide15
CALP
  • This refers to academic English, which includes general language and content specific language.
  • Unlike BICS, CALPS is not usually heard in everyday English.
  • It is generally found in text, academic lectures or presentations.
  • It usually takes 7-10 years for ELLs to catch up to their same age peers in CALP, although some studies put the figure at 12 years.
  • It is context reduced.
  • It is cognitively demanding.
  • It is more than just vocabulary. It incudes skills such as comparing, classifying, synthesizing etc.
why is learning academic english calp important
Why Is Learning Academic English (CALP) Important?
  • English tends to become more academic by grades 4 or 5, although it can be found even kindergarten and preschool level fiction.
  • By grade 4/5, the content classes and related assignments become more academic.
  • Prior to these grades, ELLs who have been in school from Kindergarten might be performing the same as their peers, however, often gaps in learning and performance begin to appear in grades 4/5.
how can we help ells learn academic english
How Can We Help ELLs Learn Academic English?
  • Exposure to text and fostering literacy skills.
  • Explicit instruction of reading strategies.
  • Family involvement.
1 exposure to text and fostering literacy skills
1. Exposure to Text and Fostering Literacy Skills
  • Researchers Himmele and Himmele define academic English as “the language of books.” (2009)
  • Reading fiction or nonfiction has been proven to help ELLs acquire academic language.
    • Peripheral vocabulary
    • Active vocabulary
  • Books are where we consistently find academic language.
  • Text should be age appropriate.
  • ELLs should be encouraged to read for pleasure in their free time.
    • In 51/54 comparisons readers do as well or better in comprehension tests than students with traditional skill-based instruction (Krashen, 2004)
  • ELLs can and should read in their first language as well as English.
2 explicit instruction of reading strategies
2. Explicit Instruction of Reading Strategies
  • Prediction
  • Guessing meaning in context
  • Dictionary use
  • Skimming, scanning
  • Highlighting

P.A. Herald, March, 2009

3 family involvement
3. Family Involvement
  • Families can;
    • Support and foster first language usage and development.
    • Reading with their children in both languages.
      • Family Read-Alouds
    • Actively engage with schools. For example, families can;
      • Attend parent teacher interviews.
      • Speak informally with teachers
      • Attend class trips, activities and participate meaningfully in school culture.
      • Learn with their children via reading, homework and websites at home.
examples of scaffolding
Examples of Scaffolding
  • Show pictures before reading.
  • Brainstorm vocabulary (colours, objects etc.) from pictures.
  • Have ELLs put the story’s pictures in order.
  • Have ELLs retell the story in words or pictures.
  • Read simply for enjoyment and discuss the story informally.
  • Point to the pictures as you read a word, then have the student point out key words.
  • Reread the same book regularly and ask questions about the story or the student’s opinion.
  • Have students fill in the blanks, do Cloze passages.
activating prior knowledge
Activating Prior Knowledge
  • ELLs come to our classes equipped with rich life experiences and prior knowledge.
  • Accessing and activating that prior knowledge creates an inclusive classroom and makes learning meaningful.
  • For example, have students in math do surveys of languages spoken in school (Thornwood School, grade 5), have them present on social issues from their country.
affirming identity
Affirming Identity
  • ELLs have one of the highest drop out rates (Himmele and Himmele, 2009)
  • Culture is part of a student's identity and can help activate prior knowledge.
  • Schools and classes should reflect the multicultural diversity student make up.
  • Schools/Classes can;
    • Display multilingual work
    • Have multilingual signs, posters
    • Include multilingual books in libraries for parents and students.
  • Affirming identity, fuels further engagement so students are motivated to read, learn and communicate.
extending language
Extending Language
  • Build on what students already know by suggesting new words.
  • Teach the language of content (academic words tend to have Greek/Latin roots).
  • For example, teach the language of math or social studies.
case studies for literacy achievement and attainment
Case Studies For Literacy Achievement and Attainment
  • Lisa Leoni: Year 1 – Grade 7/8 mainstream class; Year 2 – Grades 4-6 ESL;
  • Large Muslim student population from Pakistan;
  • Lisa explored implementation of bilingual instructional strategies as a way of enabling literacy engagement from a very early stage of students’ learning of English. In a “normal” classroom, it would be several years before newcomer students could engage in extended creative writing (in English).

Jim Cummins, , 2009

lisa leoni s rationale
Lisa Leoni’s Rationale
  • The way I see it everything has to relate to the identity of the students; children have to see themselves in every aspect of their work at school.
  • For example, when Tomer entered my class last year, a lot of the work he produced was in Hebrew. Why? Because that is where his knowledge was encoded and I wanted to make sure that Tomer was an active member and participant in my class. It was also a way for me to gain insight into his level of literacy and oral language development.

www.multiliteracies.ca

kanta s reflection
Kanta’s Reflection

And how it helped me was when I came here in grade 4 the teachers didn’t know what I was capable of.

I was given a pack of crayons and a coloring book and told to get on coloring with it. And after I felt so bad about that--I’m capable of doing much more than just that. I have my own inner skills to show the world than just coloring and I felt that those skills of mine are important also. So when we started writing the book [The New Country], I could actually show the world that I am something instead of just coloring.

And that's how it helped me and it made me so proud of myself that I am actually capable of doing something, and here today [at the Ontario TESL conference] I am actually doing something. I’m not just a coloring person—I can show you that I am something.

www.multiliteracies.ca

what we can learn from kanta
What We Can Learn From Kanta
  • Multiliteracy strategies form an image of ELLs as intelligent, imaginative, and linguistically talented.
  • Multiliteraciesacknowledges and builds on the cultural and linguistic prior knowledge of students and communities.
  • Multiliteraciespromotes cognitive engagement and acknowledgement of identity on the part of students.
important considerations
Important Considerations
  • all ELLs are capable of learning content and higher order thinking, but need support in order to succeed.
  • ELLs are capable of being biliterate.
  • ELLs are often chasing a moving target – they are trying to catch up to their peers, while their peers continue to learn and advance
  • there are strategies that teachers can incorporate into their lessons, assignments and assessment to help make content meaningful and comprehensible.
  • ELLs are everybody’s business (Cummins, 2011)
  • ELLs are capable of creative and imaginative thinking and expression.
jim cummins fundamental principal
Jim Cummins’ Fundamental Principal

“If you want immigrant and minority group students to emerge from schooling after 12 years as intelligent, imaginative, and linguistically talented, then treat them as intelligent, imaginative, and linguistically talented from the first day they arrive in school.”

Rationale:

. . . policy and practice should focus onthe ways in which student identities are constructed (or constricted) in the curriculum and in the interactions and relationships going on in school. Extensive research highlights the central role of these factors in students’ success or failure.

Jim Cummins, “Making Multilingualism Meaningful”, 2009

additional support swis
Additional Support: SWIS
  • Support Workers In Schools (SWIS) is a school-based outreach program.
  • Aim is to help newcomers and their families settle in the school and community.
what does swis do
What Does SWIS Do?
  • Provide essential services such as;
    • Registration, orientation, referrals)
  • Support newcomer family involvement in schools by;
    • Providing culturally sensitive links between school staff and newcomer families.
    • Providing interpreters and translated material.
  • Help families connect with community and school services and resources.
  • Increase school and community awareness and involvement in the integration process.
who is swis available to
Who Is SWIS Available To?
  • All schools and newcomer families in SRSD#119.
  • A referral/release form must be completed, which can be obtained by;
    • A SWIS worker
    • YWCA office
    • Most general offices in schools.

P.A. Herald, January, 2012

contact information
Contact Information

EAL Language Program

SRSD#119

Julie Raymond

Jraymond@srsd119.ca

AlannaBanman

Abanman@srsd119.ca

SWIS

Daniela Deckmann

(306) 961-3841

ddeckmann@srsd119.ca

Jamie Guardado

(306) 961-3861

jguardado@srsd119.ca

YWCA Settlement Services

1895 Central Avenue

Prince Albert, SK.

S6V 4W8

Phone: (306) 763-0736

Fax: (306) 763-8165

www.ywca.sasktelwebsite.net