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Solid ESOL Lessons: From Theory to Practice. Karie Mize, Ed.D. ( ) Carmen Cáceda, Ph.D. ( ) Maria Dantas-Whitney, Ph.D. ( ) ESOL/Bilingual Education Program, Western Oregon University. Oregon Association of Teacher Educators

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Solid ESOL Lessons: From Theory to Practice

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solid esol lessons from theory to practice

Solid ESOL Lessons: From Theory to Practice

Karie Mize, Ed.D. (

Carmen Cáceda, Ph.D. (

Maria Dantas-Whitney, Ph.D. (

ESOL/Bilingual Education Program, Western Oregon University

Oregon Association of Teacher Educators

Salem, Oregon -- January 27, 2012

outline of presentation
Outline of Presentation
  • Audience check-in
  • Our approach to ESOL/Bilingual teacher education
    • Philosophical underpinnings
    • Theory
    • Planning
    • Practice
  • Q & A
program philosophy
Program Philosophy
  • Teachers as life-long professionals
  • Solid theoretical foundation
  • Knowledgeable about current trends in the field. Able to always keep up-to-date
    • Research
    • Methodology
    • Curriculum/Materials/Technology
    • Policy
  • Advocates for students and families. Able to keep their needs in the foreground of their practice
  • Critical consumers of information. Able to comply with mandates and innovate/adapt at the same time
just like a carpenter5
Just like a carpenter…

Critical consumers who can comply and innovate

group task
Group task
  • Get together into four groups and follow the directions in your card.
  • You will be asked to share what you wrote with the whole group
  • The tasks or purposes of language. The use of language to accomplish things in informal and formal settings
  • Social purposes (e.g., expressing needs and wants, greeting, agreeing and disagreeing, complaining)
  • Academic purposes (e.g., asking questions, explaining cause and effect, drawing conclusions)
  • Increasing competence in any language function requires the use of increasingly complex sentence structures
  • Parts of speech, verb tenses and subject/verb agreement, use of pronouns and conjunctions, and sentence structure (complex and compound sentences and word order)
  • Vocabulary
    • Mortar words (general utility)
    • Brick words (content-specific)
  • Linking forms and functions: Using mortar templates (e.g., ______ are _________, but are ________.)
  • Language forms (e.g., verbs, nouns, adjectives) are tools to enact language functions, in other words, to make specific meanings for particular functions
components of linguistics
Components of Linguistics
  • Phonology: the study of the sounds of a language
  • Morphology: the study of words and parts of words
  • Syntax: the study of the structure of sentences and the rules that govern the formation of a sentence
  • Semantics: the study of meanings of individual words and of larger units such as phrases and sentences
  • Pragmatics: the study of language use in context
a three dimensional framework larsen freeman 2001
A Three-Dimensional Framework(Larsen-Freeman, 2001)
  • In dealing with the complexity of grammar, three dimensions must concern us:
    • Structure/form (morphology, syntax & phonology)
    • Meaning (semantics)
    • Context-appropriate use (pragmatics)
fluency accuracy
Fluency & Accuracy
  • Fluency: ease of both oral and written comprehension and of the production of speech and writing
  • Accuracy: precision and correctness with which students speak, write, comprehend language
  • It’s important to provide opportunities to develop both!
sociocultural perspective on language acquisition and language pedagogy
Sociocultural Perspective on Language Acquisition and Language Pedagogy
  • Language acquisition begins in our social practices before it is internalized by our individual minds
  • Language is not a collection of forms or an object of analysis that exists apart from its context and its speakers. Rather, language is a resource used to realize and enact social life
  • Language teaching:
    • situated activities
    • specific identities
    • collaboration to negotiate new language and concepts within specific contexts
solid esol lessons from theory to planning to practice
Solid ESOL Lessons: From Theory to Planning to Practice

Insightfulness about the PURPOSE(S) of each lesson

sheltered instruction strategies
Sheltered Instruction: Strategies
  • Working definition of sheltered strategies: “Anything that is helpful for an ELL”
  • Explicitly name strategies as we model them
  • Discuss why it would be helpful for an ELL
  • Brainstorm modifications for age/grade appropriateness and content areas
  • E.g., Name Erase vs. Popsicle Sticks
sheltered instruction models
Sheltered Instruction: Models
  • Working definition of sheltered strategies
  • Major models
  • “Informed eclecticism”
  • Tree analogy
sheltered instruction toolkit assignment
Sheltered Instruction: Toolkit Assignment
  • Things they want to remember from the course
  • Reminders of best practices for language learners

sheltered instruction explicit language objectives
Sheltered Instruction: Explicit Language Objectives
  • How is “language” defined?
  • SIOP: Clearly define (write and state) language objectives [equated with 4 language skills]
  • Dutro & Moran: bricks and mortar
    • “If I had known we needed ,

I would have gone to the .”

  • Turn and talk: How do you define or think of language objectives?
sheltered instruction functions and forms
Sheltered Instruction: Functions and Forms
  • Functions = ESOL Goal
    • Long-term, desired outcome
  • Forms = ESOL Objectives
    • Lesson-specific
    • Gradual release of responsibility
      • Taught/modeled
      • Opportunities for students to practice with peers (GLAD: guided oral practice)
      • Individual practice (writing?)
sheltered instruction differentiated language demands
Sheltered Instruction: Differentiated Language Demands

Begin with a sentence the FEP/native English speaker might

say in the lesson:


Break this sentence down into the ELP levels:

  • A:
  • EA:
  • I:
  • EI:
  • B:
  • Expressing needs and likes
    • B: animals, birds, food, shelter (wants vs. needs)
    • EI: Birds need _____.
    • (noun)
    • I: Birds need _____ and _____.
    • EA: Birds need ____ for . . . and ____ for . . .
    • A: In order to survive, birds need . . .
sheltered instruction lesson planning
Sheltered Instruction: Lesson Planning


Content CCG

Language Arts Goal (if applicable)

ESOL Function


Content (Students/I will be able to . . .)

ESOL Forms (list levels of ELLs in the class or choose 2 if hypothetical)

  • (P:)
  • A:
  • EA:
  • I:
  • EI:
  • B:
  • B:
  • EI:
  • I:
  • EA:
  • A:
  • (P:)


sheltered instruction lesson planning27
Sheltered Instruction: Lesson Planning
  • Dirt>>> Clay>>> Rock >>> Granite
  • Found lesson plan >>> WOU template; Content Goals and Objectives >>> Evaluate, modify, and add sheltered strategies; get feedback >>> Address feedback and add ESOL objectives
  • Comparison of different lesson formats


  • Main duties as a university supervisor
  • Observe classes (to check whether teacher candidates (TCs) are putting into practice what they have been exposed to).
  • Provide feedback on their lesson plans (e.g., to see how TCs have incorporated the forms and functions)
  • Grade their work sample, which contains different features (e.g., school demographics)
  • Encourage reflection so that TCs can learn to adapt, adopt, or change strategies, materials, or lessons as needed.
  • Make TCs “see” theory and practice in place (e.g., the use of pair work so that students can produce output)


Western Oregon University

Summative Assessment of Candidate

Seeking English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Endorsement

(To be completed by the candidate, the mentor and the university supervisor)

Name of Candidate ____________________________________________________________________

PracticumSupervisor________________________________ Date of completion __________________

School at which practicum was completed ­__________________________________________________

Work sample title _______________________________ Requirements: Met ____ Not met ____

Endorsement sought: ESOL ___ Bilingual/ESOL ____ Level: Undergraduate ____ Graduate ____

Passing scores on required ESOL test(s): ______ Total Score ______ Subtest 1 ______ Subtest 2 ______


The candidate has demonstrated the ability to plan for instructionof ELLs

__ a. Determining the educational and language acquisition level of students.

__ b. Writing clearly defined content and language objectives that are consistent with school,

district, state and/or TESOL standards.

__c. Integrating language, content, and skills that English language learners need to succeed in

academic tasks.

__d. Scaffolding and pacing the lesson so that appropriately sequenced tasks reinforce and build on each other.

__e. Designing group activities and guided practice that lead to mastery via a variety of purposeful

grouping strategies.

__f. Providing student-centered activities with sufficient opportunities for development of 4

language skills/modalities (listening, speaking, reading, writing).

__g. Gauging and differentiating language demands so that critical thinking and problem solving

are used by all students, regardless of second language acquisition levels.

__h. Selecting and organizing supplemental material to assist in making lessons clear and authentic.

__i. Incorporating technologies to benefit ELLs, when applicable.

__j. Planning meaningful lessons, infusing concepts of multicultural and social justice when possible.


The candidate has demonstrated the ability to shelter and implement instructionfor ELLs.

___a. Using adjusted “teacher talk,” or appropriate speech for students’ academic and

developmental proficiency level.

___b. Meeting the needs of various learning styles.

___c. Building background to link new concepts.

___d. Introducing and emphasizing necessary vocabulary and academic English.

___e. Using a variety of question types.

___f. Employing a variety of instructional and organizational strategies.

___g. Concluding the lesson with a comprehensive review.


Final Considerations

  • Theory, practice, and field experiences need to be interwoven to obtain a solid outcome: the learning of English and academic language for ELLs.
  • TCs will benefit from being provided with explicit ways to connect theory and practice to begin to “own” some of those tools. Educators have a role to play in this process.
  • An informed eclectic practitioner is a practitioner who knows
  • what the tools are, when to use them, and why use them.
  • Reflection (when planning and executing a lesson) is a key component in becoming a better teacher.
  • The mentor is one of the crucial role models who helps TCs
  • plan and instruct culturally and linguistically responsive lessons that meet ELLs’ needs,

Final Considerations

  • Once the teacher candidates teaching period has concluded, they have the tools and the toolbox, and since they have reflected on their uses, we believe that they are prepared to make informed decisions about which ones to use, when to use them, and for what purposes.
  • As teacher educators, it is our hope that we have laid the foundations so that our TCs are skilled and adaptable carpenters of any future site.

Suggested Reading

Echevarria, J., Vogt, M., & Short, D. (2010). Making content comprehensible for elementary English learners: The SIOP Model. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Garcia, O. (2009). Education, multilingualism and translanguaging in the 21st century. In A. ohanti, M. Panda, R. Phillipson & T. Skutnabb-Kangas (Eds.), Multilingual Education for Social Justice: Globalising the local (pp. 140-158). New Delhi: Orient Blackswan(former Orient Longman.

Lantolf, J. (1994). Sociocultural theory and second language learning. The Modern Language Journal, 44, 418-420.

Wright, W. E. (2010). Foundations for teaching English language learners: Research, theory, policy, and practice. Philadelphia: Caslon Publishing.