Teaching Teachers WELL Faculty Institute 2009. Strategies for Teaching ELLs. A sampling of strategies for…. Teaching pronunciation Teaching vocabulary Teaching students who are still in the Silent Period. Pronunciation. Two types of issues involving pronunciation
Teaching Teachers WELL Faculty Institute 2009 Strategies for Teaching ELLs
A sampling of strategies for… • Teaching pronunciation • Teaching vocabulary • Teaching students who are still in the Silent Period
Pronunciation • Two types of issues involving pronunciation • Problems that interfere with understanding • Problems that don’t interfere with understanding
Pronunciation • Ability to pronounce content vocabulary affects confidence and therefore the student’s willingness to participate in class • Pronunciation work is valuable for all Ss, even NESs For info on speakers of specific languages, see: Swan, M., & Smith, B. (Eds.). (2008). Learner English: A teacher’s guide to interference and other problems (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Some pronunciation issues • Vowels and consonants (multiple sounds for a single letter and even for a unique combination of letters) • ex: cat vs city • ex: gender vs gap • ex: shook vs tooth • Long vowels and short vowels are actually totally different sounds • ex: The polish vs The Polish • ex: bow (for a boat) vs bow (after a performance) • ex: dove vs dove • Intonation and pitch • ex: I don’t care to… • ex: produce vs produce • ex: object vs object
Some pronunciation issues • Consonants in final position • These sounds are dropped in some languages • ex: -ing, -ed • Consonant combinations • Compare churchvsmachine vschemistry • Sounds in English that don’t even exist in other languages • th- in the or thumb
Can we fix it? Well, maybe…at least we can try. Brainstorm at least 3 things you think you could do…
Working on Pronunciation • Teacher repeats, modeling correct pronunciation • Pronunciation drill/choral practice
Working on Pronunciation • Break complex words into syllables to focus on sounds; blend together at different paces until more appropriate sound (including intonation and rhythm) is attained • Individual, private work, one-on-one • Use audiotape to let student hear their own sounds
Vocabulary • The need for preteaching… • Words provide anchors and context • Hearing words in isolation helps the ELL “locate” them within longer passages
Preteaching Vocabulary • Include phrases or even sentence patterns as appropriate for your content area. • Ex: geometric proof language (If,…then), therefore, as a result, so, and vs. or • Point out “false friends” (false cognates). • Ex (Sp.) : embarassada = pregnant; caravana = traffic jam (Ger.): Sympathie = liking (not condolences)
Preteaching Vocabulary (cont’d) • Idiomatic expressions • ex: Out of the blue, once in a blue moon, single file, hold your horses, etc. • Conger (2006). Between the lines. Idioms. Greenville, SC: Superduper. • Phrasal verbs • ex: Apply to/for • ex: take with/from/away/away from/over/along/up/ place/part
Preteaching Vocabulary • Multiple meanings (esp. content area specific vs. everyday use) • ex: table, square, right,
Preteaching Vocabulary How do we do it? Brainstorm at least 3 things you think you could do…
Vocabulary Strategies • Check text for: • False cognates • Words with multiple meanings • Phrasal verbs • Idiomatic expressions
Vocabulary Strategies • Words and phrases specific to content area • Use of words in noun form, for ex., rather than verb or another more common usage (run, strike) • Essential conjunctions (cause/effect, contrast, chronological/sequence, etc.)
Vocabulary Strategies • Provide visuals (still or moving) • If moving, any accompanying audio should reflect directly the image seen • Use gestures and/or demonstrations • Hands-on activities with extensive use of the new vocabulary
Vocabulary Strategies • Provide active repetition practice (for pronunciation purposes as well as use of the new/difficult/focus vocabulary in context) • Compare/contrast the various meanings of multiple meaning words • ex: table, cable, acute, obtuse, plot, meter, etc.
Vocabulary Strategies • Break words into prefix/root/suffix to teach meaning • Ehrlich, I. (2003). Instant vocabulary. NY: Penguin Books. • Compare and contrast similarly spelled words that have different meanings • Phythian, B. A. (1989). A concise dictionary of confusables. Kent, U.K.: Hodder & Soughton.
Silent Period • Students comprehend, but do not produce language (they do not speak or write) • Also true for parents and any newcomer • Length of time varies in part according to educational background
Silent Period Issues • How do we know if content is understood? • How do we ensure that learning is taking place? • How do we lower the affective filter to encourage eventual speech/writing and general participation?
Silent Period How do we know if learning is taking place? • Brainstorm at least 2 ways you could know whether the ELL is learning… • Brainstorm at least 2 ways you think you could help to lower the affective filter… • (Remember that you should not force language production during this period)
Silent Period Strategies Teacher: • Repetition is key (same phrase, simple structures—not variations) • Support oral language with gestures and/or visuals Students: • Illustrate or gesture a response • Point to a visual
Silent Period Strategies • Choose from a set of cards or words or other realia • TPR—raise hand, thumbs up, raise card or white board with symbol, move to location in room • Modify assessments to incorporate these strategies