Working with Non-literate Learners Alysan Croydon
In this workshop you will… • Experience a literacy lesson • Discuss tools and strategies effective in teaching non-literate adults • Learn about approaches, tools and activities to teach beginning literacy • Identify strategies to differentiate tasks for non-literate learners
Workshop Agenda Today, we.. • Introduction • Literacy lesson • A taxonomy of strategies (#1,#2 ,#3 ) • Adapting tasks for non-literate students
Who are we ?Please use your ✔ or ✗ cards. I teach in a community college setting I teach in a community based setting I teach in a K-12 setting I teach large classes ( 25+ students) I teach classes ( 10-20 students) I teach small groups ( under 10) I teach classes with mixed literate and non-literate students I teach a class of students that are all non-literate I teach in an open-entry program I teach refugees and immigrants I teach monolingual classes
Warm up Activity Please participate in the grid activity. Steps: • Introduce pattern • Repetition practice • Model of grid organization • Student model • Group work: grid completion • Follow up activities on data generated in the survey
Please participate in the Hindi lesson Hindi Lesson
An approach to teaching non-literate learners Input/Oral work Only start to read what a student can already say Environmental print, document literacy Word attack skills Teacher made material Student generated material
#1 Needs Assessment • Find out your students’ levels, skill proficiencies, needs and interests.
Assessment of learning needs Level and skills diagnostic tools: • Writing/ reading sample • Alphabet cloze • Letter/number recognition test • Self- selection based on choice of materials • Observation (see questions in your handout)
Assessment of learning goals When students can’t complete surveys.. • Use pictures • Choose pictures in picture dictionary • “A day in the life of….” picture survey
What is your…..name? What is your ….address? What is your…..phone #? #2 Begin with Listening and Speaking
Accommodations for non-literate learners • Introduce vocab. via TPR or “Chalk Talk” ( instead of worksheets) • Use picture cards and labels • Use picture stories • Information gap games • Use visual prompts Avoid distracting print on the board, plan your board work.
#2 Start with Real Words • Use activities like the Language Experience Approach to start learning sight words. Word Attack Skills Teacher Generated Student generated
Learn sight words using student generated text • Use Language Experience Approach • Use CLL transcripts • Focus on list of 100 common words These activities: • eliminate comprehension difficulties • use only known vocabulary • ensure relevant content • are easy to make • are at the right level
Target letter chart #4 Create a System to Record and Recycle new Sight Words Sight word wall
Recording, reviewing and practicing sight words • Create a system to record words for individual learners (envelope,box,ring,list) • Create a print-rich environment in the classroom ( posters, labels, materials) • Develop systems and routines to practice and review sight words ( games, worksheets, regular review) • Use teacher-made and simplified texts to practice reading fluency
#5 Teach Word-attack Skills As each sound is identified, put it into a word and that word into a sentence that is meaningful. Other ideas: • Make lists of words that contain that sound • Introduce rhyming words ( hat, cat, sat) • Play games such as bingo with sounds • Use picture sorts • Use sound discrimination exercises map/mat cap/cat
Teach how to decode low(er) frequency words • Teach phonemic awareness (oral work) • Target new sounds in vocabulary that is known • Teach letter/sound correspondence • Start with consonants and checked vowels • Create word families (at, cat, sat, mat) • Teach free vowels ( Tim/time) • Teach digraphs, diphthongs, etc
Free and checked vowels • What does final ‘silent’ e do in the following words? Plate, scene, home, true. • Why occurrence not occurence?
#6 Use a Combination of Top-down and Bottom-up Processing Strategies in Every Lesson Pao is a student. He sits next to Van Top-down processing: Expose students to whole sentences and words in context. S-S- Student. What other words start with this sound? Bottom-up processing : Focus attention on letters/sounds and how sounds combine to make words.
Car Cup clock Balance top-down and bottom-up lesson focus In each lesson unit give focus to: • Oral work (include phonemic awareness) • Modeling reading • Target letter(s) and sounds • Sight words • Reading strategies (predicting, using text organization clues) • Reading fluency ( Students practice reading texts at the ‘right level’ = 96% of words are known)
Phonemic Awareness Phonemic awareness is the ability to: • Recognize (been, been, been, bin) • Distinguish (red/led, rice/lice) • Manipulate sounds am, man, mom Includes the ability to isolate, blend and count sounds.
To develop readingfluency: • Students need access to materials • Make class books • Write your own texts • Collect useful reading materials( e.g. empty medicine and food containers) • Organize/file your materials for easy access
Provide a variety of ways to practice reading • Vary how you practice: • Teacher led • Peer led • Pair reading • Shadow reading • Independent reading
#7 Help students See Patterns in Language and Literacy • Students need to see words in context. Read this: T e g rl w nt t t wn When students learn chunks it helps them predict the next word. • Teach language patterns (grammar) • Highlight important sound/spelling patterns
Teach patterns For reading • Practice on level appropriate materials • Teach commonly occurring words in word groups. Instead of having students read single words, have them ‘see’ the words in context: “Abdi goes to work in the morning.”
Sound/spelling patterns • Teach free/checked vowel system • Teach common letter combinations and patterns ( -ing, ed, -gh, ) Letter C sound= /k/ or /s/ ? When is it hard? When is it soft?
Teach patterns For syntax: • Use visual drills • Use grids and grid follow up activities • Use rods to show sentence patterns For sounds • Rhyming words, word families
Grid Activity • Introduce question form or sentence frame • Model the grid • Students complete grids in small groups or on individual handouts • Give additional oral practice of language as necessary • Students complete written work using grid data as necessary
Grid follow up activities • Match sight words to grid information • Dictate sentences about the data. T writes • Read a sentence about the grid • Give sentence frames for completion I like ______, Hawa likes______
Grid Follow Up Activities • Students write their own sentences or Q and A using grid data • One group can write T/F statements about the grid for another group to answer • Groups answer questions, write additional questions or summarize data
Signs and notices Documents #8 Help students apply and notice literacy in the world around them
Real world Application • Take walking tours • Give extension assignments • Copy down/take a picture of signs • Find sight words in junk mail • Practice filling out forms from mail
#9 Teach study skills and spend time organizing paper work • Color code important handouts you want the students to retrieve quickly • Students record name and date on each handout • Group handouts together, make small “books” –all the handouts for “Going to the doctor” • Require students to have tools such as a binder or folder
#10 Be intentional about planning literacy instruction and capitalize on ‘found’ literacy moments Reading is a complex skill to master. Native speakers have to practice and study to become fluent readers and writers. English language learners are not doing it in the language they know best.
Create literacy routines Reduce planning time by creating routines that students repeat in every lesson • Write date and name • Review of sight word cards ( individual) • Review ‘box of stuff” • Read “morning message” • Practice reading a whole text (LEA stories, transcripts, dialogues) Teacher: Model reading Focus on a sound, letter or new sight words for each teaching cycle .
“Found” moments When students are focusing on oral work, there may be small ‘teachable moments” when you can help students notice something about literacy. Use the print surrounding class discussions and oral work in a mindful way.
Highlight ‘found’ moments • Highlight target sounds in words • Find sight words in written records of oral work • Apply “chunking” technique to reading long words and sentences • In a multi-level class, avoid having the non-literate students copying from the board in large amounts.
Multi-level classes When literate students work semi-independently on a writing task ( such as a dialogue journal or syntax task in a pocket chart). Use this time to pull together a group to work on literacy. Non-literate students can: • create an LEA story • work on sight words • notice a sound/spelling pattern • practice forming or recognizing letters • practice alphabetizing
Written Tasks Written tasks ordered from easier to more difficult: • Match pictures and single words or sentences • Give sentence frames or blank-fills • Give complete text out of order • Give text with some mistakes for correction • Complete a cloze text • Controlled writing activities (Transfer tense, pluralize- only one answer) • Reconstruct a text (Dictogloss) • Guided writing activities (first/last line given, answer Q’s to form paragraph, etc) • Free write
A Few TipsMaterials • Use a larger font. • Use a font that reflects how we write, for example, Century Gothic and Comic Sans. • Have plenty of white space on the sheet. • Use visuals, graphics, and icons to accompany written material. • How can you explain, model or respond without writing?
A Few Tips Classroom • Provide a print rich environment. Label parts of the classroom and furniture; write common sight words on charts. • Build literacy routines into classroom management. Have students sign-in; get students to write the date on the board. Build a community of learners.
A Few Tips Classroom • Communicate with students in writing. Write a daily message and read it at the beginning of class. Good Morning. Today we are going to write letter M. Today we are going to learn about food.
A Few Tips Classroom • Write a page reference on the board as well as telling students orally. Page 47 • Review continually. Recycle known sight words in new contexts. Create games and activities to review.
A Few TipsStrategies • Give hints and clues rather than the answer every time. When a student is trying to read, give the beginning sound as a clue to a word you think they know
A Few TipsStrategies • When reading longer words, like ‘today’, cover half the word. Have students sound out the part they know and encourage them to guess from context. • Cover up words to make them shorter, so they can read a piece at a time, Car-pen-ter