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Academic Literacy Community of Practice Webinar 1: Effective Science and Social Studies Instruction for ELLs Hosted by the Center on Instruction February 9, 2010

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Academic Literacy Community of PracticeWebinar 1: Effective Science and Social Studies Instruction for ELLsHosted by the Center on InstructionFebruary 9, 2010

We will begin promptly at 3:00 pm Eastern Time.To access the audio portion of this event, please call (866) 469-3239Meeting number: 687-911-497Your caller/user ID can be found in the box that popped up when you logged in, or by clicking on the “Info” tab on the upper, left-hand area of your window.

The Center on Instruction is operated by RMC Research Corporation in partnership with the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University; RG Research Group; the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics at the University of Houston; and The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at the University of Texas at Austin.The contents of this PowerPoint were developed under cooperative agreement S283B050034 with the U.S. Department of Education. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.2010 The Center on Instruction requests that no changes be made to the content or appearance of this product.
  • For technical assistance, please dial 1-866-229-3239
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Academic Literacy Community of PracticeWebinar 1: Effective Science and Social Studies Instruction for ELLsHosted by the Center on InstructionFebruary 9, 2010

coi staff
COI Staff
  • Angela Penfold, Director
  • Ruth Dober, Deputy Director of Communications
  • Andrea Reade, Research Associate
  • David Francis, Director (ELL Strand)
  • Mabel Rivera, Deputy Director (ELL Strand)
  • Debby Miller, Deputy Director (Reading Strand)
  • Christy Murray, Deputy Director (Special Ed Strand)
  • Erika Soucy, Technical Assistance
academic literacy community of practice
Academic Literacy Community of Practice
    • Present latest research on academic literacy across a variety of content areas in grades 4-12
    • Assist with interpretation of research, including implications for practice
    • Help RCCs apply new knowledge to their work with SEAs
    • Provide a forum for discussion and sharing of ideas, challenges, successes, and lessons learned by RCC colleagues
academic literacy community of practice7
Academic Literacy Community of Practice
    • Participate in monthly CoP calls/webinars
    • Read, review, or become familiar with recommended readings prior to each webinar
    • Invite representatives from SEAs from both general education and special education to participate in webinars with you (if desired)
    • Participate in “next steps” in between CoP webinars, including follow-up with SEA colleagues
    • Take advantage of coaching calls
      • This will be explained at end of today’s webinar
today s agenda
Today’s Agenda
  • Formal presentation
  • Question and answer session with our featured speakers
  • Discussion among webinar participants, featured speakers and COI staff
  • Next steps
  • Evaluation
introduction to create

Introduction to CREATE

David Francis, Director


about create


A National Research and Development Center

Funded through the U.S. Dept. of Education

Institute of Education Sciences (IES)

National Center for Education Research (NCER)

Mission is to address specific challenges in the education of EL learners in the middle grades (Grades 4-8)


about create12

CREATE is a partnership of researchers from several institutions:

CREATE is a partnership of researchers from several institutions:

Texas Inst. for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics, Univ. of HoustonDavid J. Francis, Coleen D. Carlson

California State University at Long BeachJana Echevarria, Catherine Richards

Center for Applied LinguisticsDiane August, Deborah Short

Harvard UniversityCatherine Snow

University of California-BerkeleyElfrieda Hiebert

The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, UT - AustinSharon Vaughn, Sylvia Linan-Thompson


problem focus of create
Problem Focus of CREATE

Inadequate research base on Middle School EL learners

Short & Fitzsimmons (2006) Double the Work: Challenges and Solutions to Acquiring Language and Academic Literacy for Adolescent English Language Learners

Inadequate knowledge base on effective practices regarding comprehension and vocabulary instruction

Limited understanding of the features of instruction that facilitate EL learners content knowledge

Need for more effective models for delivering instruction to EL learners

Need for the dissemination of information on Effective Practices

focused program of research
Focused Program of Research

Program of research to address challenges in the education of EL learners in the middle grades (Grades 4–8) in science and social studies.

Develop research-based interventions

Test these interventions in controlled experiments/randomized field trials with classroom teachers

Combine them into a comprehensive package

Test the effectiveness of the combined package in randomized experiments

focused program of research16
Focused Program of Research

Area 1: Enhancement to Instructional Practice and Literacy Materials

General objective is to take interventions that have proven effective with non-EL students and provide enhancements that should make them more effective for EL learners

Studies / Interventions have been conducted in:

Teacher-guided methods to enhance vocabulary and comprehension in Science (August)

Peer Collaborative Group Work in Social Studies (Thompson and Vaughn)

Enhanced vocabulary instruction (Snow)

focused program of research17
Focused Program of Research

Area 2: Studies of SIOP

General Objective is to rigorously test the SIOP model and develop an integrated instruction model

Studies 1 & 2 (Short and Echevarria)

Test SIOP model when implemented with real teachers provided model lesson plans in Middle School Science

Studies to be carried out in multiple locations

Outcome focus is on concept formation in science and language and literacy development

leadership and dissemination
Leadership and Dissemination

Today, you will learn about our current study that integrates the research across these two strands.

Recent special issue of Journal of Research on Education Effectiveness featured the research of CREATE

Webcasts offered in collaboration with WestEd

Electronic Publications

CREATE Website (

CREATE Newsletter

Professional Connections

Participation in professional meetings (IRA, AERA, TESOL, NABE)

Annual CREATE Conference

enhancing vocabulary and concept learning in grade 7 social studies and science content classes

Enhancing Vocabulary and Concept Learning in Grade 7 Social Studies and Science Content Classes

Colleen Reutebuch

Leticia Martinez

Project Coordinators

Sharon Vaughn & Sylvia Linan-Thompson, Co-PIs

  • Social Studies Intervention
  • Science Intervention
  • Q &A
english as a second language techniques
English as a Second Language Techniques
  • Builds on best practices from SIOP
    • Lesson preparation
    • Building background
    • Comprehensible input
    • Strategies
    • Interaction
    • Practice/application
    • Lesson delivery
    • Review and assessment
the social studies intervention
The Social Studies Intervention
  • Overarching activities:
    • focus on big idea and concept learning
    • use of peer mediated learning
    • provide opportunities for student discourse
  • Four intervention components:
    • explicit vocabulary/concept instruction
    • strategic use of video and purposeful discussion to build concepts
    • use of graphic organizers and writing to build big ideas
    • use of peer pairing
vocabulary instruction for ells
Vocabulary Instruction for ELLS
  • Vocabulary development is especially important for ELLs because they are less able to comprehend text at grade level than their English-only counterparts (August et al. 2005)
  • Strategies used with English-only students are also effective with ELLs, although we do have to adapt to their language needs
vocabulary strategies
Vocabulary Strategies

There are several strategies that are

especially valuable for building ELLs’


  • Take advantage of students’ first language
  • Have students become engaged with the word
  • Provide multiple exposures to words

August et al., 2005

prioritizing vocabulary
Prioritizing Vocabulary
  • Not all vocabulary are of equal significance
  • Before teaching a lesson, identify about 4 words that have utility and importance
choosing words to teach
Choosing Words to Teach

Beck, McKeown, and Kucan, 2005

Tier 1 words are the most basic words that the

majority of students know

Examples: state, past, war

Tier 2 words are high-frequency

words that are critical for content


Examples: annexation, colonist, emancipation

Tier 3 words are not frequently

used across a variety of domains

Examples: nullification, status quo

parsing of text by teacher
Parsing of Text by Teacher
  • Parsing of text and selecting the most important content should be done during planning. Try to select and condense text by eliminating unnecessary information.
  • While segmenting and parsing the text you can decide where to stop the reading in order to initiate a discussion to construct meaning
when you prepare for a lesson
When you prepare for a lesson:
  • Select text to be used (and make sure to eliminate unnecessary information)
  • Write a very brief summary of the content (connected to the big idea) for sharing with students before lesson
  • Select key vocabulary for pre-teaching and plan on using them in reading and follow-up activities
  • Decide if you can use a video clip to support your lesson
  • Formulate questions for drawing on background knowledge. Write questions that students will use before, during, and after reading.
lesson preparation cont
Lesson Preparation (cont.)
  • Decide how you will model reading comprehension strategy for students during read-aloud
  • Plan on how to assess students learning through review activities such as completion of graphic organizers, summary statements, and class discussion as a way to wrap-up the lesson
social studies lesson framework
Social Studies Lesson Framework


  • Start the lesson with an overview that incorporates the big idea
  • Prioritize and explicitly teach concepts/vocabulary
  • Use brief video clips to build concepts
  • Read-aloud by teacher or with student partners
  • Generate and answer questions.
  • Wrap-up with discussion, graphic organizer or activity


  • Review and progress monitor
  • Whole class review of quiz items and clarification/re-teaching/re-enforcement of concepts, if necessary
2 teach pre selected concepts vocabulary
Show students concept/vocabulary transparency.

Pronounce the word, give Spanish cognate or translation, and define it.

Ask or tell students how the illustration is representative of the word.

Use word in two sentences.

Use Turn & Talk prompts to help students make connections between the unit of study and what they know.

Give students opportunities to encounter the word repeatedly throughout instruction.

2. Teach pre-selected concepts/vocabulary
3 watch video clip to provide access to text
Introduce the video clip either before students have read the textbook passage.

Preview what students will watch in the video and set the purpose.

Students watch the video clip.

Conduct a brief discussion about the video.

3. Watch video clip to provide access to text
5 generate and answer questions
5. Generate and answer questions

questions from assigned reading

  • Who are the people living in Texas in 1835, right before the Texas Revolution begins? How did they get here?
  • Why did Mexican government officials issue stricter laws on Texas settlers?
  • Do you think the Texas settlers were right to go to war against the Mexican government? Why or why not?
6 review assessment
Introduce the activity.

Explain how students will use the activity.

Direct students to work on this activity in their notebook (if the activity involves a graphic organizer, display it and clarify how to complete it).

Remind students that graphic organizers and other activities are used to organize the most important information (main ideas) from their lessons.

5. Make time to review students’ responses and provide feedback.

6. Review/Assessment


Quality English and Science Teaching

Center for Applied Linguistics

Diane August, PI

quest quality english and science teaching
QuEST: Quality English and Science Teaching
  • NSF model of science instruction that includes engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation
  • Language and literacy development, including writing
  • Student learning strategies
  • Word learning (cognates, word roots, base words)
  • Comprehension (generating questions, summarizing)
  • Motivation (based on work of Guthrie--provide lots of hands-on experiences, give students choices)
  • Teacher collaboration
  • Professional development and mentoring
quest framework
QuEST Framework

Engagement (warm-up)

Exploration, Explanation, Elaboration

Hands-on science activities

•Guided reading

  • Language arts


methods to develop academic language in the content of science
Methods to Develop Academic Language in the Content of Science
  • Guided Reading
  • Writing
  • Word-learning strategies


–Base words

–Root words

  • Academic and technical vocabulary

–glossaries and assessments

  • Cooperative group and partner work
example of a word learning strategy cognates letter differences
Example of a Word Learning Strategy–Cognates: Letter Differences

Read the Spanish words in the list below. Next to each Spanish word, write its English cognate and circle the letters in the English word that are different than the Spanish cognate.

Spanish CognatesEnglish Cognates

selection of vocabulary
Selection of Vocabulary
  • Use the Academic Word List to select the highest frequency general academic words
differentiating instruction scaffolding
Differentiating Instruction/Scaffolding
  • Partnering with high and low proficient students working together, while teacher pulls group of struggling learners
  • Guided reading where teacher reads the text
  • Use of on-level supplementary materials for students who are more advanced
  • Lots of teacher modeling
    • Written examples of what students have to produce
    • Use of visuals prior to reading the text
about create56
  • Find out more about CREATE’s projects and activities at
  • Subscribe to the email announcement list to receive regular updates from CREATE:
additional resources
Additional Resources
  • National Literacy Panel
    • August, D. & Shanahan, T. (2007). Developing literacy in second-language learners. Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    • August, D. & Shanahan, T. (2008). Developing reading and writing in second-language learners. Routledge, IRA, and CAL
  • Optimizing Outcomes for English Language Learners: Project SAILL
  • SIOP

How do we:

  • equip content area teachers with the skills necessary to utilize academic literacy practices in content area classrooms?
  • encourage content area teachers to embrace the use of academic literacy strategies in their classrooms?
next steps
Next Steps
  • Your Challenge: RCC/SEA Dialogue Guide
  • Optional Coaching Calls
    • Provided as an extra support to CoP members
thank you
Thank You!
  • Next webinar is March 11 @ 3:00 - 4:30 ET
    • Topic is Social Studies instruction (non-ELL) with Cynthia Shanahan: What Social Studies Teachers Can Do to Help All Students Understand (and Like) History.
  • Evaluation available at: