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Many Languages, Many Learners, One World

Many Languages, Many Learners, One World

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Many Languages, Many Learners, One World

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  1. Many Languages, Many Learners, One World Effective Education: Engaging At-Risk English Language Learners Carol Johnson Education Research and Evaluation Specialist Title III Consortium Monitoring Innovative Academic Programs Georgia Department of Education

  2. Common Themes • Students face four major barriers to academic success: • Cultural Load • Cognitive Load • Language Load • Learning Load (Barriers to Meaningful Instruction for ELLs, Meyer, 2000)

  3. Cognitive Load • The number of new concepts embedded in a lesson • Identify the concepts and skills the student does not possess • Fill in the conceptual gaps, relating to background knowledge and prior experiences

  4. Cultural Load • Language and culture are inter-related • A certain amount of cultural knowledge is required to comprehend meaning or to participate meaningfully in an activity • Students need to learn the English words as well as the cultural background that gives the word its meaning (i.e. learn the words in context)

  5. Cultural Load • Influences the teacher’s expectations of interaction in the classroom • Respect for the student’s culture and building a personal relationship with the student allow the teacher to develop lessons that will enable the student to learn American culture while continuing to respect the student’s native culture

  6. Language Load • The number of unfamiliar words encountered as the student reads a text or listens to the teacher talk • Teacher should preview and highlight academic vocabulary before beginning the lesson • Break complex sentences into smaller segments for increased comprehension • Use texts at different reading ability levels

  7. Learning Load • What teachers expect students to do with English during learning activities • Considerations for ELLs should include adaptations and support (differentiation) to allow participation in academic activities • Prepare the student (provide background information, vocabulary and ample time for comprehension)

  8. What do schools need to do in order to help English language learners? • Have high expectations for academic achievement of all students • Value the diversity of linguistic abilities • Provide outreach opportunities in the target language when appropriate • Use alternative assessments

  9. Turn Frustration into Success for Language Learners • Plan from a base knowledge of second language acquisition • Develop a portfolio of best practices and proven strategies • Greater progress is made when strategies are consistently employed in the classroom on a daily basis

  10. Strategies • While many of the following strategies are especially applicable for English language learners, the majority represent best practices that may be used for instruction of all students • The teacher must have a clear and concise understanding of a strategy before any attempt to employ it with students

  11. Strategies for Language Acquisition • Create a classroom that promotes a safe learning environment, encouraging students to be risk takers without penalties • Model correct language without correcting a student’s speech • Praise and reinforce student efforts to use the language

  12. Strategies for Language Acquisition • Listening is the last proficiency skill to fully develop so tasks always should be written to enhance student understanding • Check for comprehension of expectations, instructions and relevant vocabulary before students begin a task

  13. Strategies for Language Acquisition • Utilize illustrations and graphic organizers to increase students’ understanding and repeat as necessary • Speak clearly and avoid using unfamiliar idiomatic expressions when giving directions for any task • Scaffold instructions (build vocabulary around the concepts of each lesson)

  14. Strategies for Language Acquisition • Use multi-sensory instruction and hands-on activities • Differentiate instruction and activities to meet the needs of all students • Teacher modeling of the task will increase comprehension of the expectations • Provide collaborative experiences with new language concepts

  15. Strategies for Language Acquisition • Employ good questioning techniques by asking the question, allowing ample wait time and then calling on a particular student to answer • Check for understanding of content with questions that require higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy

  16. Strategies for Language Acquisition • Students should be encouraged or required to use robust, strong vocabulary in oral class responses as often as possible • When possible relate new information and associated activities to the interests of the students and build on prior knowledge

  17. Strategies for Language Acquisition • Teach and assess to reach the different levels of language proficiency in the class • Consider multiple intelligences when designing activities and assessments • Offer students choices among particular activities or tasks • Use a variety of alternative assessments to address the range of proficiency levels within a class

  18. Strategies for Language Acquisition • Assess informally on an on-going basis • Offer choices of assessment tasks when viable • Both formal and informal assessments should include a variety of formats • Allow opportunities for reflection and self-assessment by the student

  19. Additional Considerations • Encourage role play scenarios • Involve students in the development of activities and tasks, rubrics, and informal assessments • Encourage students to read non-fiction in their native languages to familiarize themselves with literary language

  20. Curriculum & Instruction Wayne Craven Program Specialist ESOL Title III Georgia Department of Education 404 463 1858

  21. Title III Consortium Carol Johnson Education Research and Evaluation Specialist Title III Consortium Monitoring Innovative Academic Programs Division Georgia Department of Education 678 794 3695