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English Language Learners: How Do They Acquire Literacy Skills?. Andrea Honigsfeld, Ed.D. ahonigsfeld@molloy.edu Molloy College. Agenda. I. Pressing Issues II. SLA III. Research on Literacy and ELLs IV. Reading & Writing Strategies. There’s a nightmare in my literacy closet….

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english language learners how do they acquire literacy skills

English Language Learners: How Do They Acquire Literacy Skills?

Andrea Honigsfeld, Ed.D.

ahonigsfeld@molloy.edu

Molloy College

slide2

Agenda

I. Pressing Issues

II. SLA

III. Research on Literacy and ELLs

IV. Reading & Writing Strategies

slide4

LANGUAGE COMPREHENSION

Skilled Reading- fluent coordination of word reading and comprehension processes

BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE

VOCABULARY KNOWLEDGE

LANGUAGE STRUCTURES

VERBAL REASONING

LITERACY KNOWLEDGE

SKILLED READING:

fluent execution and

coordination of word

recognition and text

comprehension.

increasingly

strategic

WORD RECOGNITION

PHON. AWARENESS

DECODING (and SPELLING)

SIGHT RECOGNITION

increasingly

automatic

The Many Strands that are Woven into Skilled Reading

(Scarborough, 2001)

Source: Neuman, Susan B. and Dickinson, David K., “Handbook of Early Literacy Research”

Reading is a multifaceted skill, gradually acquired over years of instruction and practice.

slide5

Children with reading difficulties

Children from diverse backgrounds

Children from low-income backgrounds

Lesaux (2006)

krashen s theories of second language acquisition
Krashen's Theories of Second Language Acquisition
  • Natural order hypothesis
  • Input hypothesis
  • Affective filter hypothesis
cummins theories of second language acquisition
Cummins’ Theories of Second Language Acquisition
  • BICS and CALP
  • Linguistic interdependence hypothesis
pledge of allegiance
Pledge of Allegiance
  • I pledge a lesson to the frog of the United States of America. And to the wee puppet for witch's hands. One Asian, in the vestibule,  with little tea and just rice for all.

Betty Bao Lord 

types of language skills
BICS

Basic

Interpersonal Communication Skills

CALP

Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency

TYPES OF LANGUAGE SKILLS
which is which
Takes up to 2 years

Face-to-face communication

Survival English

Playground language

Takes 5-7 years

Specific vocabulary

Complex sentence structure

Higher level thinking skills

School language

Which is Which?
cummins theories of second language acquisition bics vs calp
Takes up to 2 years

Face-to-face communication

Survival English

Playground language

Takes 5-7 years

Specific vocabulary

Complex sentence structure

Higher level thinking skills

School language

Cummins’ Theories of Second Language AcquisitionBICS vs CALP
factors resulting in individual variances
Factors resulting in individual variances
  • Motivation (Extrinsic and Intrinsic)
  • First Language Development
  • Prior Schooling
  • Language Distance and Attitude
  • Access to the Target Language
  • Age
  • Personality and Learning Style
  • Peers and Role Models
  • Quality of Instruction
  • Cultural Background
  • Others

Adapted from Using the SIOP Model (2002). Center for Applied Linguistics.

normal processes of second language acquisition
Normal processes of second-language acquisition
  • Language Interference or Transfer
  • Silent Period
  • Code-switching
  • Language Loss
  • Dysfluency (associated with lack of vocabulary, word finding difficulties and/or anxiety)
  • Fossilization
four corners activity
Four Corners Activity
  • Good teaching is good teaching.
    • Agree, Strongly Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree
  • Literacy instruction for ELLs should mirror literacy instruction for native English speakers:
    • Agree, Strongly Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree
essential components of reading
Essential Components of Reading
  • National Reading Panel:
    • Phonemic Awareness
    • Phonics
    • Fluency
    • Vocabulary development
    • Text comprehension

http://www.nifl.gov/partnershipforreading/publications/reading_first1.html

a cautionary tale
A Cautionary Tale

What Does Research Tell Us About Teaching Reading to English Language Learners?

By Suzanne Irujo (2007)

caution phonological awareness for ells
CAUTION: Phonological Awareness for ELLs

1. ELLs cannot develop phonological awareness in English until they are familiar with the sounds of English.

2. Once explicit instruction has begun, modifications must be made to allow for more practice with sounds that can potentially cause confusion.

caution phonics for ells
CAUTION: Phonics for ELLs
  • ELLs often have difficulty discriminating between similar sounds because the English language does not have a regular system of correspondence between letters and sounds.
  • Advanced decodingskills may develop, while reading comprehension will not if students' oral language proficiency is not developed to the level of the texts they are expected to read. For this reason, reading instruction should be combined with intensive development of the oral language.
  • Practicing skills must be embedded in meaningful texts helps ensure that decoding skills don't progress beyond students' ability to comprehend the text.
caution fluency for ells
CAUTION: Fluency for ELLs
  • ELLs cannot achieve fluency in oral reading before they have achieved fluency in speaking.Students' own language experience stories are a very good choice, as are read-alouds that students have heard several times and discussed.
  • ELLs' normal self-consciousness about accents and errors can affect their reading fluency, especially if they are asked to read aloud in front of the entire class.
  • Decoding skills, fluency in oral reading, and reading comprehension interact in various ways.Effective instruction for ELLs integrates these three elements of reading (plus vocabulary learning) into the same lessons using the same text, as each element helps build and reinforce the others, producing a multiplier effect.
photo big books
Photo Big Books
  • Tour the school building
  • School yard, park, neighborhood walks
  • Trips
  • Retelling published stories
caution vocabulary for ells
CAUTION: Vocabulary for ELLs

1. Failure to understand even a few words of a text can have negative effects on comprehension.

2. ELLs need more vocabulary instruction than their native-speaking peers.

3. ELLs need instruction in different vocabulary words than their native-speaking peers.

4. ELLs need different vocabulary teaching techniques and strategies than their native-speaking peers.

caution vocabulary for ells1
CAUTION: Vocabulary for ELLs

What ELLs need:

  • words that are crucial for understanding a text;
  • words that are encountered in a wide variety of contexts;
  • frequently used words that contain word parts (roots, prefixes, suffixes) that can help students analyze other unknown words;
  • words with multiple meanings, whether spelled differently (homophones such as to, two, and too) or spelled the same (such as a dining room table and a multiplication table);
  • figurative language and idiomatic expressions;
  • academic words that indicate relationships among other words (such as because, therefore, and since to indicate cause and effect).
vocabulary what ells need
Vocabulary: What ELLs Need
  • Avoid simply handing out lists of definitions or asking ELLs to put the words into sentences
  • ELLs who are literate in a language should be taught to recognize cognates and use them to create meaning.
  • The meanings of words are acquired through multiple opportunities to hear, say, read, and write the words in slightly different meaningful contexts.
  • Explicit explanations of unknown words should include contextual support through real objects, pictures or drawings, gestures, examples, demonstrations, or experiments that accompany the verbal explanations.
  • The use of context clues to infer meaning is not always successful with ELLs because they may not understand the context well enough to infer an accurate meaning.
two essential criteria for choosing words
Two Essential Criteria for Choosing Words
  • Importance and Utility

MILEAGE

  • Conceptual Understanding

POWER

i see strategy
“I SEE” Strategy

I= Illustrate: What does ____ look like? What image(s) come to mind?

S= State in one simple sentence what ____ is. Use your own words.

E= Elaborate on what you have just stated.

E= Examples. Add examples.

what might beginner ells understand
What might beginner ELLs understand?

___________ cars are _____ __ ___ top __ ___ first ____ __ _ _____. ____ ______ _____ ___ car ___ ___ ____ __ ___ ____. ___ ______ down ___ first ____ ______ __ ______ _____ ___ ___ cars __ ___ __ ___ ____ ____ ___ __ __ _____ ___ end ___ ___ ____.

what might intermediate ells understand in english
What Might Intermediate ELLs Understand in English?

Roller-coaster cars ___ ______ __ ___ top of the first hill ___ _ _____. Then _______ moves the car for therest of the ____. The _____ down the first hill ______ __ enough speedfor the cars __ ___ __ the next hill ___ ___ __ _____ the end of the ____.

what might advanced ells understand in english
What Might Advanced ELLs Understand in English?

Roller-coaster cars ___ pulled ___ the top of the first hill ___ a chain. Then gravity moves the car for the rest of the ride. The _____ down the first hill _____ __ enough speed ___ the cars to ___ __ the next hill and __ __ until the end of the ride.

caution reading comprehension for ells
CAUTION: Reading Comprehension for ELLs
  • Asking ELLs to read the same texts and do the same activities as everybody else will only result in frustration for teachers and failure for students.
  • Implement the curriculum at a language level that makes it accessible to ELLs, while at the same time working to develop their oral language so they will be able to comprehend texts at higher levels.
  • Provide as much nonverbal support for reading comprehension as possible, including pictures, diagrams, real objects, gestures, acting, and graphic organizers.
  • Explicitly teach comprehension strategies, such as reader-generated questions, summarizing, and monitoring comprehension. Teaching strategies is not enough; students must practice them with texts that are accessible at their level of language proficiency. If students don't experience successful application of the strategies, they won't even try to use them with other texts.
  • Plan interactive activities around reading and interpreting texts.
caution reading comprehension for ells1
CAUTION: Reading Comprehension for ELLs
  • ELLs are more likely than native speakers to lack the background knowledge necessary for understanding texts.
  • The language level of the text to be read, compared with ELLs' language proficiency, is a major factor in how much they will understand of the text.Even advanced ELLs will experience difficulty with unusual vocabulary, figurative language, very complex sentence structures, or unfamiliar styles and genres. For this reason, the integration of intensive language development with reading instruction is highly recommended for ELLs at all levels of language proficiency.
summary of key issues
Summary of Key Issues
  • Research on ELLs and literacy
  • Second language acquisition and multiliteracy development
  • Cultural, socio-economic, affective, and academic challenges ELLs face
  • Meaning at the CENTER of all literacy instruction
  • Differentiated instruction for all ELLs
slide41
Let’s Help ELLs Follow the

Yellow Brick Road:From Grappling to Grasping to Comprehending

slide42

Touch their heart

Then take the yellow brick road so they can feel at home

Give them courage

Build their language