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Cummins Chapters and Assessment EDRL 485. Authors: Brandi Pineda Cassandra Silva Calise Cardin. Section 2: Chapter 2 Summary. Conceptualizing Language Use & Second Language Learning Contextual Support Cognitive Demand & Content in Context Language as Context & Language as Content.

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cummins chapters and assessment edrl 485

Cummins Chapters and AssessmentEDRL 485


Brandi Pineda

Cassandra Silva

Calise Cardin

section 2 chapter 2 summary
Section 2: Chapter 2 Summary
  • Conceptualizing Language Use & Second Language Learning
  • Contextual Support
  • Cognitive Demand & Content in Context
  • Language as Context & Language as Content

Summarized by

Brandi Pineda

Conceptualizing Language Use and Second Language Learning

1. BICS and CALP can be seen in terms of context and cognitive demand in various combinations.2. Both comprehension of the text and production of an essay depend heavily on knowledge of language itself.3. Teaching and learning activities which are well supported by contextual cues are more comprehensible.

contextual support
Teaching and learning activities can be seen as a meaning, sharing, and making process.

For contextual support to be effective, it has to be conceived from the point of view of the learner.

5 aspects:

Learners' background knowledge about the learning tasks—a learner's initial understanding of a learning situation and learning task depend on what prior knowledge he/she already knows.

Use of drama, visual/audio material and realia—learners understanding of new information and skills can be enhanced by means of graphic and audio materials of various kinds.

Use of language in the classroom—moments of teacher-pupil interaction provide the opportunity for negotiated language use adjusted to the needs of the learner.

Learning styles and personal references—learners have different views and references influenced by previous learning experiences, personality traits, and capacity to deal with learning tasks.

Classroom environment and school culture—a learner's perception of how others in school regard them is an important factor in determining the level of participation in learning and achievement.

Contextual Support
cognitive demand content in context
Cognitive demand is realized through learning tasks

Cognitive demand has to be seen in terms of curriculum content

Cognitive demand of any learning task is seen through the content knowledge and skills to be learned

Cognitive Demand & Content in Context

Providing contextual support for second language learners in the classroom means a highly language conscious approach to the learning environment and the content to be learned.

section 2 chapter 3 summary
Section 2Chapter 3 Summary
  • Curriculum Related Assessment Questions
  • CRA’S Pros &Cons
  • Current Formative Assessment Dangers

Summarized by Calise Cardin

using curriculum related assessment sheets in the classroom
Using Curriculum Related Assessment Sheets in the Classroom

Questions a teacher should ask before using this method of


1. Analyze the task by looking at the linguistic and cognitive demands.

2. Look at the linguistic demands in relation to linguistic ability of the child.

3. Can the task be more context embedded by making it more culturally relevant?

4. How else can the task be more context embedded if this is necessary?

5. Is the child grouped with supportive monolingual role models?

(Cummins, pg. 41)

what standardized testing does
WhatStandardized testing does

What CRA Sheets Do:

  • Provide “fair assessment of what bilingual learners can do.” (Cummins pg. 48)
  • Give the teacher knowledge of students current abilities
  • Can be used as a guide for what strategies to implement and used to help guide instruction.
  • Provide accurate results that can be used in formal and informal assessments.

The danger of such standardized tests is that it may be assumed from their results that bilingual learners are cognitively inferior to their monolingual peers. This in turn may mean that negative assumptions are made about the intellectual ability of bilingual learners so that they are given work that is less cognitively demanding.( Cine and Frederickson,pg.48)

  • The process where curriculum aims, teaching & assessment methods, resources & tasks are planned by teachers to take account of individual student need.
  • There are 3 different dimensions of differentiation:
    • The particular learning styles & needs of individual pupil need.
    • The requirements of the learning task
    • The context of the situation where the learning will take place.
  • Differentiation could be seen as teachers using information about pupils’ needs & knowledge about task demands and contexts to plan an appropriate curriculum.
2 main ways of differentiating instruction
2 Main Waysof Differentiating Instruction

By Task

By Outcome

Involves setting a common task for the class.

Students learning will be varied according to their individual capacity and interests.

  • Requires the teacher to develop activities which help students achieve the lesson objective.
  • We as teacher should set different tasks within a common area of study.

Principles of Good Practice for Bilingual Children

Working in Partnership: standard practice to support students learning English as a 2nd language w/in a mainstream classroom.

The role of talk in the classroom: an essential part of learning for bilingual students is working in groups. Talking with others is the key to language acquisition.

Use of mother tongue in the classroom: bilingual students must be encouraged to use their first language in the classroom because it confirms meaning and the conceptualization of complex issues will be improved.

Active & collaborative learning in small groups: students that work together get to share skills and ideas. Working together develops a supportive classroom atmosphere where students learn to give and receive help from each other independently of the teacher.

the cummins model
The cummins model
  • Cummins has devised a model where the different tasks we expect our students to engage are categorized.
  • These tasks range in difficulty along one continuum from cognitively straightforward to cognitively challenging; and along the other continuum from context-embedded to context-reduced.
    • A context-embedded task is one in which the student has access to visual and oral cues; for example looking at illustrations of what is being talked about or ask questions to confirm understanding.
    • A context-reduced task is listening to a lecture or reading dense text, where there are no other sources of help than the language itself.
    • A D quadrant task, which is both cognitively demanding and context- reduced, is usually the most difficult for students, mostly for non-native speakers in their first years of learning English. However, it is essential that ESL students develop the ability to accomplish such tasks, since academic success is impossible without it. (Shoebottom)
cummins model cont
Cummins Model Cont.
  • Challenges of Bilingualism for Teachers:
    • Raising teacher expectations
    • Raising educational achievement
    • Accessing bilingual students to National Curriculum
    • Early identification of bilingual students who may have learning problems.
  • Cummins Framework address all these issues
  • Cummins’ research also explains that many bilingual students need 5-7 years experience of classroom learning in order to obtain the kind of language proficiency to achieve good grades within demands of our exams system.

Shoebottom , Paul . "Second language acquisition - essential information." A Guide to Learning English. Frankfurt International School, n.d. Web. 5 Feb 2012.<>.

Cline, Tony, and Nora Frederickson. Curriculum Related Assessment, Cummins and Bilingual Children. Multilingual Matters, 1996. Print.


Using AMI’S Web as a Summative Assessment

Background Information: Students have just finished a unit on rocks.

Assessment Format: Using the AMI’S Web format, an reading and vocabulary assessment is formed. Using the book The Magic School Bus : Rock Collection, pieces of this story are used to form (see next slide for assessment)

What this tool will show: It will allow the teacher to see if all students are familiar with and able to use the key vocabulary that was learned in this unit of study.

Most Amis Web Assessments are given one minute to finish. This assessment is untimed because we want to see what words students know instead of their fluency.


Most of the solid part of the earth is made up of great masses of 15

rock. The small rocks that we collect are just pieces that broke off from 29

huge masses. There are three types of rocks. The first type is sedimentary. 42

This rock is made up of sediments, looks like pieces of sand glued 55

together. A second type of rock is metamorphic rock. This rock is 67

made by heat and pressure . A third type of rock is igneous. 79

This rock is made by heat, it is also known as a volcanic rock. 93

All rocks are composed of minerals. Minerals are made up of 104