English teaching strategies

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Tailoring Best Practices to Teach English Learners Idaho State Board of Education © 2006 Facilitator: Rachel Lagunoff Sr. Research Associate, WestEd [email protected]



Transcript of English teaching strategies

Page 1: English teaching strategies

Tailoring Best Practices to Teach English Learners

Idaho State Board of Education

© 2006

Facilitator:Rachel LagunoffSr. Research Associate, [email protected]

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Workshop Targets

1. Foundational concepts of English language development

2. Universal Access – right of every student to learn; requires differentiated instruction

• ELD levels

3. Research findings on educating ELs4. Effective strategies to teach vocabulary5. Effective scaffolding strategies to teach

subject area content

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KWL Chart

What We KNOW What we WANT to know

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Key Terms• EL = English learner whose native language is not


• LEP = Limited English Proficient– English learners receiving services

• L2 = second (another) language learned

• L1 = “home language,” first language learned

• ELD = English Language Development

• SIOP = Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol

• SDAIE = Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English– Strategies that help ELs comprehend subject content

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BICS & CALP• BICS = Basic Interpersonal Communication

Skills– Informal, social conversation– Up to 3 years for full competency

• CALP = Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency– Discourse to learn/communicate in a discipline– 5-7 years for competency

• Misconception – ELs have a language deficit

• Misconception – BICS must be developed before CALP


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L1-L2, BICS-CALP, Situations








Oral Literacy

Frame of Reference




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Academic Language

The discourse used in academic, professional and technical contexts that is characterized by its high level and often discipline-specific vocabulary and rhetorical styles.

- Mary Schleppegrell

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Students’ Academic Language

(Guadalupe Valdés)

1. Language valued at school2. Understand explanations (E) &

presentations (P) of– classroom/school rules, routines,

procedures– subject matter information

3. Ask and answer questions about E & P

4. Understand & participate in class discussions

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Academic Language

5. Understand texts and materials6. Complete projects & written

assignments based on E and text materials

7. Demonstrate learning through– Oral presentations– Written examinations

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ISBOE & LEP Program

• 18,000 LEP May 2006 from > 90 countries; refugees & immigrants– 80% Hispanic, 31% migrant

• Projected increase of 2,000 each year• ELD standards adopted August 2006• IELA under construction• Information, resources

– http://www.boardofed.idaho.gov/lep

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Training & Keeping High Quality Teachers

• Half of all teachers leave the profession within 5 years

• Two reasons teachers give for leaving:

– Isolation from colleagues – Discouragement - initial excitement

followed by frustration

• It takes 5-7 years for a novice teacher to reach expert level as a professional teacher

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Immigrant Acculturation• Read The Acculturation Process that

applies to immigrants and refugees– Acculturation = integrating new and old

cultures• New teachers and English learners

both must adjust to the school culture – attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, language, relationships…

• Compare and contrast your acculturation as a teacher and that of your English learners.

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Teacher & Immigrant Student Acculturation

Think-Pair-Share• Think: about your personal experiences

- 1 minute• Pair: share with 1 person next to you –

2-3 minutes• Share: table group create a double

bubble poster– feelings, issues, factors

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Double Bubble: Compare & Contrast Acculturation of

Teachers & ELs





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THEME: Universal Access to All Core Content Areas & Standards

Diverse Learners

Diverse ways to learn and show what they learned

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There is nothing as unequal as the equal

treatment of unequals

Oliver Wendell HolmesU.S. Supreme Court Justice

Unequal = diverse learners

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Universal Access is about

Comprehensible Input

People acquire language

when they receive oral & written

messages they understand


i + 1input plus



Meaningful &


Visuals &


Low affective


Interactive communicati

onAdapted from San Joaquin COE, CA

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5 ELD Levels• 5 levels K-12 that reflect major steps

in learning English as a second language

• Idaho’s labels for 5 levels:– Fluent– Early Fluent– Intermediate– Advanced Beginning– Beginning

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LA &Content













Early Fluent





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8 Tips to Teaching ELs

1. Maintain routines for directions2. Modify speech

– Add gestures & visual images – Avoid or teach idioms– Highlight key


3. Connect to students’ knowledge, lives & interests

– Activate prior knowledge

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8 Tips to Teaching ELs4. Identify & teach key words new to

ELs5. Repeat, rephrase key ideas6. Use Corrective Feedback to clarify

meaning, model English grammar

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8 Tips to Teaching ELs

7. Modify the use of the textbook• Select most important parts of text• Read text aloud, think aloud; small groups read• Read text as culminating activity• Alternative: texts at different readability levels

• Brief text with illustrations/pictures

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8 Tips to Teaching ELs

8. Check for understanding frequently– NOT “Do you understand?”– Have students demonstrate


Adapted from NWREL: Strategies & Resources for Mainstream Teachers of English Language Learners, 2003

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Variation among English Learners

• Background: prior formal education, 1st language similarity to English, parental support/motivation, trauma before and now

• Culture: gender roles, beliefs, ways of thinking

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Variation among English Learners

• Personal: aspirations, personality, resiliency, interests, learning modalities, special education disabilities

• School Experiences: respect for child & parents & culture, caring environment, high expectations, quality of classroom instruction, quality of school program

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Research Findings

• Educating English Language Learners: A Synthesis of Research Evidence

• Fred Genesee, K. Lindhom-Leary, W. Saunders, & D. Christian

• Cambridge University Press, 2006

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Research: Academic Achievement

1. Bilingually educated students (late exit, 2-way) as successful or more so than their comparison peers; time learning L1 does not deter L2

2. Immigrant ELs with strong formal schooling in home country more likely to close gap with non-EL students

3. ELs in hodgepodge of programs or no intervention perform at lowest levels & have highest drop-out rates

pp. 200-204

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Research: Oral Language

1. Academic use of language from the start• ELs at beginning level in 1st grade can articulate

word meanings (simple associations & definitions)

2. Exposure to English speakers is not as important as use of exposure & interactions

– Design of interactive activities, training of non-ELs, language proficiency of ELs

3. Use of English in school more important than outside, not impeded by L1 development/use

pp. 39-41

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Research: Literacy

1. ELs use L1 to draw on prior knowledge & experience, regardless of L2 proficiency, during L2 literacy task

2. L1 literacy contributes to L2 literacy development

• ELs with well-developed L1 literacy progress more quickly & successfully

pp. 82-83

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Research: Instruction on Reading & Writing

1. Most effective when direct and interactive instruction are combined

2. ELs more likely to succeed at English literacy if they have had enriched L1 or L2 literacy skills prior to school entry

pp. 139-143

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Interactive Instruction

• Authentic, meaningful activities

• Orally sharing thoughts & reflections with others

• Carefully planned, modeled, guided, monitored

• With teacher, among students

pp. 139-143

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3 Modes of Instruction• Teacher-directed

– directs instruction to whole class; teacher-student interactions

• Teacher-assisted– guides whole class discussion; student-

student and teacher-student interactions

• Peer-assisted– monitors small group conversations;

student-student interactions

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Reflection: Research Findings

• Reflect on 1 topic: – Academic achievement– Oral language– Literacy– Instruction on reading/writing

• Why did the findings surprise you or not?

• How have or will you apply these findings in your classroom/school/district?

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Heads Together

For your assigned topic:1. Identify a recorder/reporter and a

facilitator/timekeeper2. Lean toward table center3. Discuss 2 questions

1. Findings surprise you or not?2. How have you/will you apply at your


4. Sit back to signify end of discussion5. Table reporters share whole group

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6 Steps for Teaching Vocabulary

1. Identify key words for all students2. Identify key words for ELs3. Select highest priority words4. Choose up to 10 words for day’s

lesson5. Build from informal to formal

understanding6. Plan many opportunities to apply

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Vocabulary Tools

• Word wall, glossary - enhanced

• Sentence frames• Concept organizer• Word form chart• Vocabulary self-rating form

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Constructive Learning: Building Vocabulary

• Select a text, identify key words• Select tools for teaching words• Adjust to fit ELD levels• Create mini-lesson to show:

– Integration of tools– When vocabulary words & reading

text introduced• Front-loading vs. during activity

– Varied, frequent opportunities to practice

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4 Instructional Strategies to Scaffold Learning

1. Visuals – graphic organizers2. KWL+3. Think-Pair-Share4. Summarizing

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Circle MapFor Defining in Context        

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Tree MapFor Classifying and Grouping            

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Bubble MapFor Describing with Adjectives

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Double Bubble MapFor Comparing and Contrasting   

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Flow MapFor Sequencing and Ordering    

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Multi-Flow MapFor Analyzing Causes and Effects

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Brace MapFor Identifying Part/Whole Relationships

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Bridge MapFor Seeing Analogies



nephew grandm



Tony is

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Constructive Learning: Building Understanding

• Blend 4 instructional strategies into a mini-lesson to give ELs universal access to the important concepts in the lesson– Prior vocabulary lesson is part of

this whole lesson– Blend tools for vocabulary building

with strategies to scaffold learning difficult, complex concepts

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Reflection & Action

How might you present PD in your school/district on the two pieces:– Strategies to build academic vocabulary – Strategies to scaffold rigorous concepts

so all teachers understand and use strategies to give English learners universal access across subject areas?

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Some Resources• http://www.boardofed.idaho.gov/lep• Making Science Accessible to English Learners: A

Guidebook for Teachers (Carr, Sexton, Lagunoff – WestEd)

• Classroom Instruction that Works (Marzano et al - ASCD)

Differentiated Instruction• The Differentiated Classroom (Carol Ann Tomlinson, www.ascd.org)• So Each May Learn (Silver, Strong, Perini - ASCD)• Differentiated Instructional Strategies (Gregory & Chapman - Corwin)• Educating Everybody’s Children (Cole (Ed.) - ASCD)

Graphic Organizers• www.thinkingmaps.com

• The Big Book of Reproducible Graphic Organizers (Scholastic)

• www.inspiration.com & www.kidspiration.com