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Breakthroughs & Heresies: Emerging Scholarship in ESL/Bilingual Education MDE ESL, Bilingual & Migrant Conference Breakout Session, May 4, 2012. Archimedes. Joan of Arc. John Wolfe MPS Multilingual Department

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Breakthroughs & Heresies: Emerging Scholarship in ESL/Bilingual EducationMDE ESL, Bilingual & Migrant ConferenceBreakout Session, May 4, 2012


Joan of Arc

John Wolfe

MPS Multilingual Department

epigraphs for the session
Epigraphs for the Session

This life is not good but in danger and in joy.

(John Crowe Ransome, “Old Man Playing With Children”)

I am no man;I am dynamite.

(Friedrich Nietzsche)

john hattie
John Hattie

Visible Learning for Teachers (2011) – What’s better than a Grail?

Visible Learning (2008) “Teaching’s Holy Grail”

examples from visible learning
Examples from Visible Learning

On TV (d = -0.18)

On Parental Involvement (d = 0.51)

On Mobility (d=-0.34)

visible learning for teachers know thy impact
Visible Learning for Teachers: “Know thy Impact.”

Key Sentence:

My role, as teacher, is to evaluate the effect I have on my students. It is to 'know thy impact', it is to understand this impact, and it is to act on this knowing and understanding.

Fundamentally, the most powerful way of thinking about a teacher's role is for teachers to see themselves as evaluators of their effects on students.

2 developmental progressions a
2. Developmental Progressions A

All progress monitoring is based on a “developmental progression” – a theory or model of how the learning should develop over time. (Think of Terell & Krashen’s “Natural Order Hypothesis.” We now have three of these Developmental Progressions.

4 emerging consensus on the need for eld
4. Emerging Consensus on the Need for ELD

Saunders & Goldberg, 2010from Improving Education for English Learners: Research Based Approaches


EdSource, Stanford College of Ed, Kenji Hakuta (2007), “Similar English Learners, Different Results”

feldman kinsella on what doesn t work in vocabulary instruction 2005
Feldman & Kinsella on What Doesn’t Work in Vocabulary Instruction (2005)

Deriving Meaning from Context Clues

[W]hile essential for long-term vocabulary growth, incidental learning from context is at best an inefficient and unpredictable process. Research indicates the odds of deriving the intended meaning of an unknown word from written context is, unfortunately,

extremely low, varying from 5% to 15% for both native speakers and English languagelearners (Beck et al. 2002; Nagy et al. 1985).

The Problem with Dictionaries

When developing a classroom dictionary, lexicographers strive to conserve space in order to include as many entries as possible. Therefore, definitions are customarily crafted to be precise and concise, ironically omitting the very components that often are most critical to grasping the meaning of a new word: an accessible explanation using familiar language and an age-appropriate example that is relevant to children’s own experiences.

7 oral interaction
7. Oral Interaction

Fred Genessee et al., 2005, “English Language Learners in U.S. Schools: An Overview of Research Findings”

[The effects of classroom speaking activities] can vary as a function of ELLs’ level of language proficiency and with whom they interact in English. Less proficient students might benefit more than more proficient ELLs from increased interactions in English, specifically with their teacher s rather than from increased inter actions with their peers (Chester field et al., 1983). A similarly qualified assessment of language use effects comes from studies of paired and small group activities that integrate ELLs and English-proficient students.

Most programs for ELLs incorporate some provision for the integration or mixing of ELLs and native or fluent English speakers (Genesee, 1999). The assumption is that such integration, aside from its potential social benefits, provides ELLs with worthwhile language learning opportunities. The evidence, however, suggests that creating such opportunities and producing positive oral language outcomes involves more than simply pairing ELLs with native or fluent English speaker s. Careful consideration must be given to the design of the tasks that students engage in, the training of non-ELLs who interact with ELLs, and the language proficiency of the ELLs themselves (August, 1987; Johnson, 1983; Peck, 1987). If careful attention is not paid to these factor s, “mixing” activities tend not to yield language learning opportunities at all (Cathcart-Strong, 1986; Jacob, Rottenberg, Patrick, & Wheeler, 1996).

essentialness output in effective speaking tasks
Essentialness & Output in Effective Speaking Tasks

FromChapter 2, Research to Guide English Language Development Instruction. (William Saunders, UCLA and Pearson Achievement Solutions, and Claude Goldenberg, Stanford University), 11/19/08

  • Essentialness has to do with the extent to which the targeted language form is essential to the task the group is trying to complete:
  • Does successful completion of the task require or is it at least facilitated by correct oral comprehension or production of the meaning of certain target words (e.g., modes of transportation: cars, trucks, trains, etc.) or language constructions (e.g., if-then, before-after)?
  • Keck et al. found that tasks whose successful completion either required or was facilitated by accurate use of the targeted language form produced stronger learning outcomes than tasks that didn't require or weren't facilitated by correct use of the language form. Interestingly, tasks that required and tasks that were facilitated by accurate use produced fairly similar effects on immediate posttest; however, tasks that required accurate use produced much stronger effects on delayed posttests than tasks that were facilitated by accurate use.

9. Two Great Tech Tools

  • Variable speed function on all Media Players
  • 10. A Bilingual Reading Assessment
  • Brisk, 2005,
  • Star Reading Computer Test in Spanish
  • 11. Something everyone should read
  • Langner BTO (2001)

12. An Interesting Moment in Socio-cultural Factors

  • Also Hakuta (2007)
  • Also Hattie (2009)

13. Co-Teaching Has No Empirical Support

  • including Kenji Hakuta's study of collaborative ESL teaching the California schools, (Hakuta / Zehr)
  • 14. The Big Break in Bilingual Scholarship
  • Slavin and Calderon's massive longitudinal study of transitional bilingual education,
  • 15.A Powerful Description of What We’re Doing Wrong (and how to do it right)
  • WestEd, 2010, “What Are We Doing to Middle School”