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Six Key Strategies for Secondary Teachers of English Language Learners: Achieving Parallel Goals in Academic Literacy Instruction. Rain S. Bongolan Development Coordinator ELL & Adolescent Literacy Instruction New Teacher Center @ UC Santa Cruz. Alliance for Excellent Education

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Six Key Strategies for Secondary Teachers of English Language Learners: Achieving Parallel Goals in Academic Literacy


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    1. Six Key Strategies for Secondary Teachers of English Language Learners: Achieving Parallel Goals in Academic Literacy Instruction Rain S. Bongolan Development Coordinator ELL & Adolescent Literacy Instruction New Teacher Center @ UC Santa Cruz Alliance for Excellent Education Adolescent Literacy Breakfast Forum December 6th, 2005 Washington, D.C.

    2. Whatarethe parallels between effective instruction for English Learners and strategies that ensure ALL secondary students acquire academic literacy? What andhowshould secondary teachers learn to advance the academic literacy of secondary English Learners and former English Learners? Essential Questions

    3. The New Teacher Center @ UCSC MISSION MISSION To improve student learning by supporting the development of an inspired, dedicated, and highly-qualified teaching force.

    4. New Teacher Center Induction Model Quality Teaching and Site Leadership Observing and Giving Feedback Student Achievement Analyzing Student Work Building School-wide Collaborative Practices Ongoing Assessment of Teacher Practice Collaboratively Reviewing Comprehensive Student Data Planning Standards-based and Academic Literacy Instruction

    5. Within the next five years, districts across the country will need to hire enough beginning teachers to replace up to 50% of all current secondary teachers! Beginning principals are often hired to lead schools that are struggling to close the achievement gap. Few states currently require secondary credential candidates to take courses in literacy instruction methods needed to advance English Learners or struggling readers. Who will teach our secondary students to reach the highest levels of academic literacy?

    6. “When I'm in school, I don't speak English only if teachers ask me something.  I'm scare of them to laugh at me when I don't pronouns a word right.  With my friends I speak Spanish because I'm more cofidence to talk in Spanish as I said before I'm not confidence talking in English because I could not have a conbersation with somebody because sometimes I got stock with words that I don't know how to said them in English.  I'm not confidence speaking English. But I do my best to learning English."  ~10th grade Limited English Proficient (LEP) Student Early Advanced level What our ELL students tell us…

    7. “Am I teaching content or language?” Students, please paraphrase the following… If cultures and civilizations are the tectonic plates of world history, frontiers are the places where they scrape against each other and cause convulsive change. ~ Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (Quote on the cover of a 10th grade World History text)

    8. Example: Academic language skills for understanding this quote… Social science and physical science concepts, high-utility academic words and phrases, subject-specific vocabulary Impact on the meaning of a phrase based on recognizing markers for hypothesis statements: If… (then)… Recognizing and interpreting phrasal verbs: scrape against, cause…change Interpreting analogous relationships across subject matter Interpreting figurative language: metaphors Thinking processes specific to interpreting and paraphrasing What do secondary students need to know and do so they can read and respond to academic language?

    9. NTC’s synthesis …What secondary teachers need to know and do to advance students’ academic language development… GUIDED INTERACTION METACOGNITION and AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT VOCABULARY and LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT Accelerating Academic Language Development… New Teacher Center’s Six Key Strategies for Teachers of English Language Learners MODELING, GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS, and VISUALS EXPLICIT INSTRUCTION MEANING-BASED CONTEXT and UNIVERSAL THEMES

    10. Explains essential vocabulary prior to engaging students in text or task; Clarifies unfamiliar phrases, idioms, cultural references, multiple meanings Provides appropriate support based on knowledge of students’ stage of English language development #1 Vocabulary and Language Development (V/LD)

    11. Structures a variety of motivational tasks to promote speaking, listening, reading and writing academic language Flexibly groups students and provides resources that clarifies and guides students’ interaction and response to text #2 Guided Interaction (GI)

    12. Teaches a variety of thinking processes for reading including identifying reading purpose, pre-reading and monitoring comprehension Facilitates multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate and assess their understanding of key concepts #3 Meta-cognition andAuthentic Assessment (M/AA)

    13. Clarifies key ideas, builds students’ background knowledge, and provides additional resources that facilitate comprehension and task completion Explains the processes for specific thinking skills e.g. summarizing, interpreting, writing applications #4 Explicit Instruction (EI)

    14. Makes new concepts or language forms understandable by introducing them with culturally-responsive resources or activities Elicits students prior knowledge and builds motivation by connecting new concepts to high interest themes and authentic purposes for learning #5 Meaning-based Contexts and Universal Themes (MBC/UT)

    15. Demonstrates how to apply academic language skills e.g. word analysis, identifying text purpose, pre-writing Provides visuals and resources that graphically highlight essential concepts and clarify student tasks #6 Modeling, Visuals, andGraphic Organizers (M/V/GO)

    16. Multiple entry points: Supporting teachers, mentors, and administrators to improve the quality of academic language instruction… New Teacher ProjectELL Workshops NTC professional development models featuring several language development resources including…Six Key Strategies for Teachers of English Learners NTC Online Course… ELL Success Mentoring for English Language Learner Success!MELLS Secondary Content and Academic Literacy EducationSCALE NTC’s Year Two Mentor TrainingFormative Assessment System Site Leadership Development training:Improving Student Achievement for English Learners

    17. Moving language instruction theory to teacher practice… • Teachers receive comprehensive support from subject-alike mentorstrained in language development methods! • Beyond “strategies”…Teacher and mentor engage in structured inquiry: Students, content, instruction, context

    18. Increased… Modeling and direct instruction of reading and writing processes Reference to students’ socio-cultural and linguistic backgrounds in planning tasks and selecting appropriate materials Opportunities and modalities by which students are able to demonstrate and self-assess learning Use of the breadth of language development strategies Mentoring with theSix Key StrategiesObservedImpact on Instructional Quality

    19. Developmental Reading Increased motivation to persist with reading tasks fostered by links to compelling themes and texts Increased amount of time reading and persisting in written responses to text Algebra I, II Increased participation and homework completion with new skills for understanding directions and other text features Increased number of word problems attempted Teaching with the Six Key StrategiesObserved Impact on English Learners

    20. Sciences Increased persistence in reading tasks with instruction for reading procedures, graphics Increased background knowledge w/ access to visuals plus developing vocabulary logs of key concepts & procedural terms History/Social Sciences Increased engagement using new skills for word analysis and reading comprehension Increased motivation and time reading fostered by development of background knowledge, link to culturally-responsive themes and resources Teaching with the Six Key StrategiesObserved Impact on English Learners

    21. New secondary teachers teaching classes with higher numbers of English Learners or struggling readers Secondary mentors lack recent training or experience with language development instruction Many secondary contexts resistant to providing language-supportive instruction beyond ESL programs Identifying the specific impact of Six Key Strategies among NTC’s array of mentoring and site leadership resources Current Challenges

    22. Research grants examining secondary teacher development and the impact of mentoring with a language development focus Piloting series for Small Learning Communities with D.O.E. regional labs: Differentiated Instruction for Academic Literacy Development Possibilities

    23. All secondary students need similar instruction to learn content-specific, grade level academic English: A second language for most native speakers! ELL students need language-based instruction to learn academic English in specific content areas: In actuality, a third language for non-native speakers! Recommendation:Advance adolescent literacy via a language development approach in all classes…

    24. Recommendation:Ensure high quality mentoring Every beginning secondary teacher should be supported by a well-trained mentor versed in… • Academic language and English language development methods (Reading instruction – Plus!) • Best practices recommended for theircontent area • Standards-linked learning using methods for differentiated instruction • Comprehensive mentoring skills provided one-on-one to advance literacy instruction and teacher development overall

    25. New Teacher Center University of California Santa Cruz