Creating Access and Understanding for English Learners CEI PPT

Literacy Design Collaborative
Common Core is for All Students
• How do we prevent English learners from falling even
further behind?
• How do we remove the barriers to learning that impede
academic progress?
(Wong Fillmore, 2012)
• Decisions made by teachers who think about the needs
of the learner first when planning instruction
(Tomlinson, 2010)
• Take students through a process of dissecting text. Call
attention to words, phrases and guide them through how
each part contributes to the whole
• Learn about the structures of writing by guiding students
to reconstruct
(Wong Fillmore, 2012)
Sample Mini-Task Preparing for the Task
Ability to understand and explain the task’s prompt and
rubric and build connections to the task and content to
existing knowledge, skills, experiences, interests, and
In cooperative learning groups, deconstruct the teaching
task by color coding each section with a highlighter and
discuss the expectations orally
Sample Mini-Task Preparing for the Task
Teaching Strategies
• Provide guiding questions (i.e. What is the essential question?
What text will you read? What type of writing product is
expected? Is this informational, argumentative or narrative?
How does this task connect to prior learning in the content
area? )
• Assign roles in the learning groups focusing on oral language
facilitation with the expectation that each student will be able
to communicate the expected outcome of the teaching task
• Direct students to identify unfamiliar vocabulary and in pairs
determine the meaning and add to their personal vocabulary
Sample Mini-Task Preparing for the Task
Two 20 minute class sessions
Work meets expectation if students are able to explain
elements of the teaching task in their own words and
vocabulary terms are added to personal notebooks
Language Acquisition
• To meet the language demands of the common core
standards, language competencies must be developed!
• First, one must know where their students fall on the
continuum of language acquisition
Language Acquisition Stages
Steven Krashen (1982) outlined the stages of language for
second language learners but also recognized that
language acquisition is an ongoing process and that growth
may occur at varying rates. The initial phases may progress
quickly while students will spend years in the intermediate
and advanced stages.
Silent/Receptive Stage
• The student does not verbally engage but is taking in
• Students should be included in activities but not forced to
• Teachers should give students time and clues to encourage
• Non-verbal interaction with peers; being included in general
activities and games; and interacting with manipulatives,
pictures, audiovisuals, and "hands-on" materials are
• Encourage students to elicit one-word responses by
repeating and imitating words and phrases
Early Production Stage
• English Learners begin to respond verbally using one or
two words and develop the ability to extrapolate meaning
from conversation
• Listening skills become more acute and an expanded
recognition vocabulary develops
• It is common to hear two or three words grouped
together in short phrases to express an idea
Speech Emergence Stage
• ELs respond in simple sentences if they are comfortable
with the school climate and engaged in a setting that
includes ample opportunities to process comprehensible
• All efforts to communicate should be encouraged and
Intermediate Fluency Stage
• Students transition to more elaborate speech so that
familiar phrases with continued comprehensible input
generate sentences
• The best strategies for students in this stage are to give
more input, extend vocabulary development, and
provide opportunities to produce language in a safe
Advanced Fluency Stage
• Students begin to initiate conversation and produce
connected sentences. This is appropriate timing for some
direct instruction, focusing on idiomatic expressions and
comprehension skills
• Activities are designed to develop higher levels of
thinking, vocabulary skills, and cognitive skills, especially
in reading and writing
Full Academic Proficiency
• May take from four to ten years for ELs to meet the
cognitive and linguistic demands of academic work in the
second language
• Thomas and Collier (2004) have estimated that the time
needed could take as much as 14 years
What Do Language Stages
Mean for Classroom Instruction?
Knowledge of language acquisition levels promote the use
of higher level questioning so students are “nudged” to the
next level of language use and understanding. This
knowledge helps teachers identify appropriate scaffolds,
questions and prompts.
(Hill & Flynn, 2006)
Creating a Climate for Learning
• All students need: respect, belonging, challenge,
support, purpose and a balance between effort and
success. (Tomlinson, 2010)
• English Learners also need enormous amounts of
teacher modeling, and metacognition (teachers thinking
aloud about language use and reading strategies). (Frey,
Fisher, Nelson, 2013)
More Classroom Climate Tips
• English learners need authentic modeling of teachers
and students serving as mentor writers …”standing next
to them and showing them how real writers write.”
(Gregory & Burkman, 2012)
• English learners need to practice oral and written
language in a supportive environment. (Gregory &
Burkman, 2012)
• Learning will stick if it has meaning and can be
connected to an established schema (categories that are
already understood and stored together).
Comprehensible Input
• Input must involve numerous repetitions and needs to be
attached to meaningful context
• Students need to understand at least 90% of what is
being said to them to make sense of the communication
(Kauffman, 2007)
• Students need to be able to comprehend 95-98% of the
words in a text for them to make meaning
Selecting High Leverage Strategies
Research shows that many of the strategies to increase
student learning are also very effective with English
(Gregory & Burkman, 2012; Hill & Flynn, 2006)
Classroom Instruction that Works!
• Jane Hill and Kathleen Flynn (2006) used the research
from Classroom Instruction That Works (Marzano,
Pickering & Pollack, 2001) and modified the suggested
high yield strategies for English Language Learners
• The following slides will highlight the recommended
strategies and modifications
Developing Content and Language
• Language learning and content learning can occur
simultaneously if both types of objectives are set for
• Language structures and forms should be learned in
authentic contexts rather than through worksheets and
• Build on prior knowledge (i.e. students may not have
studied the American Revolution in their native country
but they may have experienced a similar conflict where
meaning can be attached)
Determining Language Functions &
Language function = use of language to accomplish a specific
Common examples:
– Asking for assistance
– Giving directions
– Expressing likes/dislikes
– Comparing
– Evaluating
– Identifying
– Asking for permission
– Expressing position
Sample Classroom Examples
Social Studies
• Content Objective: To understand the 1920s period, the
women’s rights movement and what women
could/couldn’t do
• Language Function: Comparing
• Language Objective: Contractions (couldn’t, didn’t etc.)
Sample Classroom Example
Content Objective: Understand the sequence and
relationship of the steps of experiment
Language Function: Explaining steps in order
Language Objective: Use “if-then” statements to explain
the sequence
Sample Classroom Example
Language Arts
Content Objective: Express persuasive position
Language Function: Persuading
Language Objective: Use the structures (or sentence
starters) “ I think” or “In my opinion”
Sheltering Instruction
Another strategy to nourish both concepts and language proficiency is
to embed the use of the following procedures.
• Manipulatives, realia
• Visuals
• Repetition, clear articulation, eye contact
• Gestures, pantomime, body movement
• High frequency vocabulary
• Reduction of idioms
• Use of cognates
• Description through synonyms
• Preview content
• Feedback for English Learners should be comprehensible and
useful/specific to the task
• Information about what is correct and incorrect should be
• The best way to provide feedback about pronunciation or
grammar is by timely modeling
• Incorporate self-evaluation
• Use rubrics
• Focus feedback (no need to correct every error in one
Nonlinguistic Representation
• Students in the early stages of language production will
internalize concepts better if they are guided to construct
a physical representation
• Graphic organizers, maps, diagrams, pictures, videos,
and recorded books assist students in involving several
pathways to grasp new information
• Encourage verbal explanation of the physical models or
pictures (accept native language, English or a
combination of languages)
Cues and Questions
• Questions should focus on what’s important not
necessarily what is unusual
• Provide wait time…students often compose their
thoughts in the native language and then translate
• English Learners should also be required to answer
higher level questions
• Provide questions prior to input (reading, listening, multimedia)
Cues to Access Prior Knowledge
• K-W-L Chart (What I Know, What I Want to Learn, What I
• Tony Stead, in Good Choices, (2009) recommends
adding columns to the chart after the unit is complete.
One column lists new facts learned, the next column lists
the facts that are verified and the last column lists items
the student is still wondering about (or concepts that still
need to be learned).
Expanded K-W-L Chart
What I Think
I Know
What I Want
to Know
Facts I
New Facts
What I am
About (or
concepts I
still need to
Advance Organizers
• Acting out or telling a story, showing a video or beginning
with a lower lexile text related to the content can help
students’ understanding with the goal of accessing grade
level text
• The SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review
strategy (Robinson, 1961) remains popular with ESL
teachers. With English Learners the reading/skimming
process needs to be guided and modeled before they are
released to independently use this strategy.
Sample Mini-task Reading Process
Ability to identify the central point and main supporting elements of a text.
Action/Prompt: Use multi-media material to prepare students for the text required in the
teaching task.
Teaching strategies:
*Watch a video related to the content and have students identify the central points.
*Locate texts at a comprehensible level for English Learners and in pairs have students
read and mark spots where they are confused or have a question. Direct students to
reread the selection and write questions related to the text or the confusion they felt.
Oral discussion and sharing of questions follows group work .
*If possible, locate text in students’ native language and provide opportunities for them
to read and ask questions prior to presenting the text identified in the teaching task.
*Provide a recorded version of the text to use as a resource for English Learners.
Duration: Four, 30 minute sessions if all strategies are used.
Scoring Guide: Work meets expectations if : Students are able to identify central points
and supporting elements of the text/media.
Cooperative Learning
• Use small groups for English Learners to manage
interaction and increase time for students to talk and use
• Organize heterogeneous groups and provide cues for
English dominant students to share the “talk”
• Prepare all students by initiating team-building activities
• Variety is important. Cooperative strategies should be
balanced with whole group and independent activities
• Provide English Learners with summary frames that align
with different types of writing (i.e. narrative,
argumentation, informational)
• The frames provide an organizational structure and may
also include guiding questions to provoke thinking about
the content
Sample Mini-task Transition to Writing
Ability to begin linking reading results to writing task.
Action/Prompt: Using highlighted text and a writing frame, students complete the
topic sentences for each paragraph of their argumentative essay.
Teaching Strategies:
Direct instruction and practice in “highlighting” important elements for stating a
claim, locating evidence and counterclaims.
Provide students with a frame for organizing argumentative writing. (see next slide)
Duration: Two, 30 minute sessions.
Scoring Guide: Work Meets Expectations If: Students complete highlighting of
text and topic sentences of organizer.
Advance Organizer Reading Reflection
- Reading
• CCSS Reading - 1, 2, 8
Name__________ Date_______
The author’s main argument is ____________________.
One example of evidence used to defend the argument is____.
Another example of evidence used to defend the argument is
The author best defends the argument when they say “________”.
I (agree/disagree) with the argument because___________________.
One way the author could make the argument stronger is to_________.
© Copyright R-Coaching
Reciprocal Teaching
• Reciprocal teaching is a strategy that incorporates
summarizing and has shown to increase reading
• The four components of reciprocal teaching are:
summarizing, questioning, clarifying and predicting
• This strategy can be effective in either a large group or small
group setting
• In the Classroom: A Toolkit for Effective Instruction of English
Learners (Fashola, Slavin, Calderón & Durán, 1997) provides
sample lessons
• Strategies for taking notes will be dependent on the
student’s stage of language acquisition
• In the early production stages of language, students may
need oral or written examples in their native language or
notes prepared by the teacher
• Students in the more advanced stages of language
production may need to experiment with note-taking
options offered by the teacher to discover which format
makes sense and helps to create meaning and
Homework and Practice
• English Learners may need additional opportunities to orally
clarify homework assignments and see a model of
• Native language support through tutors, parents or
instructions may be needed
• Students should practice tasks already learned in class such
as application of vocabulary, reading, writing, and math
• Feedback from peers/teachers should occur regularly related
to practice, effort and accuracy
Vocabulary Development
• Direct instruction in vocabulary development can assist
in closing the achievement gap
• Guide students to develop definitions in their own words
and create drawings or pictures that will aid memory
• Discover cognates
• Find familiar root words and patterns
• “Play” with the words to deepen comprehension
Sample Mini-task Reading Process
Ability to identify and master terms essential to understanding a text.
Prompt/Action: Using a short excerpt from the text, and after listening to an audio tape of
the text, students identify the vocabulary words that are unknown or challenging for
Teaching strategies: Direct instruction in a select number of academic vocabulary terms
that are specific to the content occurs prior to students’ reading/listening activity.
Students identify personal words in addition to the academic language identified by the
All words are added to the students “Vocabulary Notebooks” using the following
guidelines: 1. write the word in English 2. write the word in your native language 3.
identify cognates 4. write a definition of the word in your own words 5. draw a picture of
the word or use an icon that will aid memory 5. write or draw what the word “is not”
Duration: Ongoing
Scoring: Work meets expectations if all identified terms appear in the students’
vocabulary notebooks using the prescribed criteria.
Reinforcing Effort
• Attitudes about learning and self-confidence can impact
the desire to acquire a new language and the motivation
to put forth effort to achieve ( Krashen, 2002)
• Using charts and graphs to track progress and confer
with students about their progress may illuminate the
correlation between effort and achievement
Providing Recognition
• Recognize English Learners progress in learning a
second language ( i.e. using complete sentences,
participating in class discussions)
• Connect rewards and praise to specific standards of
performance not merely completing a task
• Use praise and symbolic rewards as a motivator in place
of tangible rewards
Generating and Testing Hypotheses
• For English Learners this complex reasoning skill can be
simplified by focusing on developing the language
structure “if-then”
• Require students to retrieve prior knowledge, access
new information and draw conclusions
• Students practice stating their evidence and conclusions
to reinforce oral language skills prior to completing the
writing task
Identifying Similarities and Differences
• English Learners should start with familiar topics ( i.e.
two consecutive days of school lunch) to identify
similarities and differences and then move to content
related topics
• Pair written responses with visual representation to
cement learning and verify understanding
• Comparing and classifying will be more successful with
students in emergent stages of language while creating
analogies and metaphors will require advanced language
Valuing Native Language
Numerous researchers, including Gregory and
Burkman,(2012) reinforce the value of utilizing students’
native language abilities. Their recommendations include:
• Make connections to cognates (i.e. accept/aceptor,
accessory/accesorio) to increase vocabulary
• Allow students who speak the same language to use
their native language to rehearse and “check for
• If feasible, provide practice/homework in both languages
to encourage family involvement (Linse, 2013)
Build on Experiences!
Beth Skelton, language consultant, who teaches a course
titled What’s Different About Teaching Reading to Student
Learning English? (CAL, 2007) recommends that to access
understanding of content based text we do the following
activities FIRST.
English Learners and Reading
• DO the experiment, field experience, video, application
activities first to build background knowledge
• DISCUSS the activities and experiences using multiple
opportunities to practice vocabulary and oral language
• RESPOND to questions about the experience orally and
through written responses
• READ the text to determine if English Learners require
modified text or a variety of texts at appropriate levels to
eventually access excerpts of the grade level text
The following resources provide guidelines, activities and
suggestions for engaging English Learners.
The Sheltered Instruction Observation
Protocol (SIOP)
A research-based resource that provides numerous
examples of content & language objectives as well as
detailed samples of sheltering instruction.
WIDA Consortium
Developing a Culturally and Linguistically Responsive
Approach to Response to Instruction & Intervention (RtI2)
for English Language Learners Connecting to WIDA
Standards, Assessments, and Other Resources
Sample Resources in the WIDA Document
• Protocol Template for Gathering Screening Data Along
the Seven Integral Factors
• Characteristics of Oral Language and Literacy Instruction
and Intervention for ELLs within an RtI2 Framework
• WIDA Performance Definitions
• WIDA Writing Rubrics
• WIDA Speaking Rubric
• Statutory Basis for the Education of ELLs
• Federal Regulations for RtI2 and Special Education
Colorin Colorado
• Colorin Colorado is a bilingual site for families and
educators of English Learners
• One supporting document that is attached to this file is a
sample lesson on the Gettysburg Address designed for
English Learners
• Access other information related to CCSS and English
Learners at
Spanish Cognates
Many Spanish and English words have Latin and Greek
roots and also have the same meaning. These words are
called cognates.
Visit for a complete list of
Spanish/English cognates.
Understanding Language
The Understanding Language team is a group of experts
from Stanford University focused on helping educators
comprehend the role of CCSS and to provide resources to
present high levels of instruction and content to English
More about Understanding Language
Additional resources to check out on this site:
1. Persuasion Across Time and Space – a five lesson unit that
shows approaches that will help English Learners meet
2. “Realizing Opportunities for English Learners in the Common
Core English Language Arts and Disciplinary Literacy
Standards (Bunch, Kibler, Pimentel, 2012)
3. “Guidelines for ELA Instructional Materials Development”
4. “Key Principles for ELL Instruction”
Framework for EL Proficiency
Development Standards
Framework for English Language Proficiency Development
Standards Corresponding to the Common Core State
Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards
Teaching Proficiency Through
Reading and Storytelling (TPRS)
• A teaching method used by World Language teachers
but has merit for all language learners
• A systematic, personalized approach to vocabulary
• A valuable teaching tool to deliver compelling
comprehensible input
• Check out www.tprstorytelling for more detailed lessons
and resources
CDE Resources
Using Best Practices to Motivate and Engage ELLs at the
Secondary Level Instructional Tools Guide
CDE Resources
Guidebook on Designing, Delivering, and Evaluating
Services for English Learners (ELs)
Colorado English Language
Proficiency Standards
• ELLs communicate for Social and Instructional purposes within the school
• ELLs communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for
academic success in the content area of Language Arts.
• ELLs communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for
academic success in the content area of Mathematics.
• ELLs communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for
academic success in the content area of Science.
• ELLs communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for
academic success in the content area of Social Studies.
Supporting Materials
“College and Career Ready English Language Learners:
Challenges, Strengths and Strategies”
View this presentation by Diane August of the American
Institute of Research that was shared at the NABE
conference (Feb., 2013)

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