Literacy Instruction

By: Amanda Brown & Brittany Wagner
Development of Oral Language
 Oral Communication Skills
 Silent Period
 Speech
 What effective teachers can do
 Things to Consider
 Strategies
Development of Literacy Skills
 Decoding skills
 Phonemic Awareness
 Phonics
 Strategies
Provide the foundation for literacy
 ELLs need daily opportunities to learn and
practice oral English
 ELLs learn English primarily by listening to
language in use around them, while using
context to figure out what the spoken words
(Considerations for ELLs.)
An interval of time during which they are
unable or unwilling to communicate orally in
the new language
May last for a few days or a year
They listen and observe more than they speak
(Haynes, J.)
Fluently when using greetings and other basic
phrases in routine interpersonal situations,
but speak haltingly when constructing English
sentences to express more complex ideas
 May be ungrammatical
 May be "accented," reflecting lack of
experience with English sounds, rhythms, and
stress patterns.
(Considerations for ELLs.)
are aware that ELLs who are quiet in class
may be hard at work listening and
know that ELLs may take longer to answer a
question or volunteer a comment, because
they need more time to process meaning and
formulate an appropriate response
(Considerations for ELLs.)
With time and lots of opportunities to listen,
observe, participate, and interact, ELLs
progress in understanding and are able to
produce language that is increasingly
complete, complex, and grammatical
With different students, there may be a need
to focus on particular aspects of oral language
such as pronunciation
(ESL Strategies.)
ESL learners may experience difficulty in
hearing and producing some English sounds
because they do not appear in the learner’s
 Similarly, stress, rhythm and intonation will
also differ from the first language
 Provide many opportunities to hear and
practise language through rhymes, songs,
chants, games, drama etc.
(ESL Strategies.)
Greatly multiply the language input and
output that can be handled by beginning
English language learners
Elicit whole-body responses when new words
or phrases are introduced
Teachers can develop quick scripts that
provide ELLs and other students with the
vocabulary and/or classroom behaviours
related to everyday situations
Activities help students adjust to school and
understand the behaviours required and the
instructions they will hear
This will help them in mainstream classrooms,
in the halls, during lunchtime, during fire
drills, on field trips, and in everyday life
(Colorin, C., 2007)
1. Introduction
 The teacher introduces a situation in which
students follow a set of commands using
2. Demonstration
 The teacher demonstrates or asks a student to
demonstrate this series of actions
3. Group Action
 The class acts out the series while the teacher
gives the commands
4. Written Copy
 Write the series on the chalkboard or chart paper
so that students can make connections between
oral and written words while they read and copy
5. Oral Repetitions and Questions
 After students have made a written copy, they
repeat each line after the teacher, taking care
with difficult words. They ask questions for
clarification, and the teacher points out
grammatical features
6. Student Demonstration
 Students can also take turns playing the roles
of the reader of the series and the performer
of the actions
7. Partner Activities
 Students work in pairs or teams of four to tell
or read the series
(Colorin, C.,2007)
Teachers include listening as an integral part
of reading and writing instruction
Teachers' talk is a primary source of
information and language input for ELLs
Teachers employ a variety of effective
strategies that involve students as active
and engaged listeners
Teachers guide students to identify literary
elements as they read aloud, listen to, and
discuss books together
Beginning English language learners (ELLs)
and first-time readers need to have literary
elements explained, reviewed, and restated.
Teacher’s help students understand and make
connections to their reading through social
interactions in which students listen to and
build upon each other's responses to the text
Participating in literature-based discussions
provides English language learners (ELLs) with rich
opportunities for learning
Effective teachers vary reading response
activities to include art as another way for ELLs to
demonstrate their comprehension and reactions
Teachers provide opportunities for students to
discuss insights from their reading with each
Like all students, English language learners
(ELLs) benefit from opportunities to participate in
book discussions, interacting with teachers and
peers Having a student recall or retell a story
can help a teacher assess the student's reading
Teachers who speak the home languages of ELLs
and who wish to assess students' English reading
comprehension can use cross-linguistic
Teachers include daily sharing as an
important activity in their classrooms
Cultural factors influence the style of oral
language. People from diverse cultures differ
in what they tell and how they tell it
It is important to understand that limited
English proficiency and culturally diverse
styles of narration influence how students
share stories and experiences in class
Teachers model how to verbalize
understandings and questions about readings
and then provide opportunities for students to
practice these comprehension strategies
ELLs spend a great part of their time and
energy trying to understand the oral and written
English that surrounds them. ELLs benefit from
learning how to ask themselves and other people
questions that focus on finding and clarifying the
information they need
(Considerations for ELLs.)
Skills necessary to analyze and interpret
correctly the spoken or graphic symbols of a
familiar language i.e. ability to make sense of
printed words.
 Focus on sounding out words
 To be able to read, children must be able to
comprehend language, and they must be able
to decode text
(Wren, S., 2009)
Understand that words have meaning
Become familiar with the letters of the
Understand that spoken words are made up of
(Wren, S., 2009)
Semantics is the word’s meaning.
Directly teaching vocabulary, through the use
of pictures, will increase semantic skills.
Direct correlation between vocabulary and
reading comprehension.
(Bringing Scientific Research to Learning, 2005 –
Function, or part of speech, a word
Need to understand the relationships between
After determining the semantic meaning of
each word they can comprehend the meaning
of the sentence as a whole
(Bringing Scientific Research to Learning, 2005 –
Conceptual relationships – understanding how
words relate to each other
 Strengthens understanding and ability to
remember new words, as well as previously
learned words
 Ex) understand the word “car” can help ELLs’ to
understand and remember the word “van.”
 When ELLs’ learns the word “automobile,” they
can group all of these words together to gain a
clearer understanding of all three words.
(Bringing Scientific Research to Learning, 2005 –
Characteristics of the various sounds in a word.
 Using these decoding skills is often referred to as
“phonemic awareness.”
 Phonemic awareness = Ability to identify
phonemes (smallest identifiable units of sound)
and how they can be separated, blended and
 ELLs’ learn to read more easily when they are
aware of these phonemes
 Have activities that are fun to teach children to
understand that words are made up of many
(Vaugh & Thompson, n.d.)
Children who begin school with no phonological
awareness have trouble acquiring alphabetic
coding skill and thus have difficulty recognizing
 Instruction in phonemic awareness is beneficial
when combine with instruction in letter names
 Phonemic awareness influences outcomes in word
recognition and comprehension, as well as
spelling, for all students
 Phonemic awareness can be taught in a relatively
brief amount of time each day (15 min) and
throughout the school day
(Vaugh & Thompson, n.d.)
Segmenting words into phonemes and blending
Words can be divided into sound units such as
syllables, onset-rime or phonemes
Onset – consonants before the vowel and rime
refers to the vowel and every sound that follows it
ex) can - /c/ = onset /an/ = rime
Focus on teaching 1 or 2 skills at a time,
perhaps for a week, especially at the
phoneme level
(Vaugh & Thompson, n.d.)
Discriminating – students listen to determine if
two words begin or end with the same sound
Counting – students clap the number of words
in a sentence, syllables in a word (cowboy,
carrot), sounds in a word (me, jump)
Rhyming – students create word families with
rhyming words (all, call, fall, ball)
Alliteration – students create tongue twisters
(sally’s silly shoe sank slowly in the slime
Segmenting – students say the word and they say
each syllable or sound (inside is /in/ /side/ or /i/
/n/ /s/ /i/ /d/ /e/
Manipulating – deleting, adding, and substituting
sounds and syllables
Deleting – students listen to words and then say them
without the first syllable (baseball becomes ball) or
sound (bat becomes at)
 Adding – students listen to words and add syllables (to
come add /ing/) or sounds (add the /s/ sound to the
beginning of /un/)
 Substituting – students listen and change sounds (change
/r/ in run to /b/ to make bun
(Vaugh & Thompson, n.d.)
Instruction provided is systematic and explicit
– obvious, visible and with goals
Lessons should be highly focused and well
Allow time to model, for students to respond
individually and in groups
Many activities will be oral, training is most
beneficial when it is combined with
connecting sounds to letters
Provide many opportunities for students to
write the letters that represent the sound that
they hear
 Teach students these skills in small groups (4 –
6). Students who are taught in small groups
transfer their phonemic awareness skills to
reading and spelling better than those who
receive whole class instruction or one-to-one
(Vaugh & Thompson, n.d.)
Word elements that create new words and
change the meaning of words.
 Example: prefixes, suffixes, and root words.
 Helps ELLs break words down into more
familiar words
 Ex) if they know what “school” means and
what “pre” means, they can figure out what
the word “preschool” means.
(Bringing Scientific Research to Learning, 2005 –
Connecting the sounds of spoken English with
letters or groups of letters
e.g., that the sound /k/ can be represented
by c, k, ck or ch spellings
Teaching them to blend the sounds of letters
together to produce approximate
pronunciations of unknown words.
(“Phonics,” 2009)
Combine phonics cues with other reading cues
to gain greater understanding from written
A hands-on activity
A language experience story
Individual student writing
Familiar and meaningful poems, songs
(Gordon & Hamayan, n.d.)
Limit the number of concepts and examples.
Provide phonics instruction individually or to
very small groups.
Instruction should be interactive, in context,
appropriately paced, and provide students
with immediate feedback.
Move from whole to part and back to whole.
Example, start with a whole story, focus on a
sentence, then individual words, finally
syllables, phonemes, and letters.
Invest your phonics instructional time on
sound/symbol relationships that are highly
Have students infer rules of phonics through
discovery methods
(Gordon & Hamayan, n.d.)
zooming in on the text
Jump back and reread.
Try and try again
Using the Visual Aid Method to Teach Reading
(Sasson, D., 2007)
Bringing Scientific Research to Learning. (2005 – 2007). Retrieved July 20, 2009, from
Colorin,C (2007).Oral Language Development for Beginners. Retrieved July 19, 2009 from
Considerations for ELLs. Retrieved July 18, 2009 from
ESL Strategies. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from
Gordon, M. J., & Hamayan, E. (n.d.). Phonics Instruction for ESL Students Who Have Literacy
Skills In Their Native Language. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from
Haynes,J. Pre-production and the Silent Period. Retrieved July 20, 2009 from
Phonics. (2009, July 18.) Retrieved July 18, 2009, from Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia:
Sasson, D. (2007, March 27). How to Teach Reading Strategies. Retrieved July 19, 2009, from
Vaugh, S. & Thompson, L. S. (n.d.). Research-Based Methods of Reading Instruction Grades K3. Retrieved July 19,2009, from
Wong, M.(2008). The International Journal of Learning: Can Consciousness-Raising and
Imitation Improve Pronunciation?.15(6), 43-46. Retrieved from
Wren, S. (2009, Feb. 2) Balanced Reading. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from

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