Teachers* instructional language with elementary students with

Report
Wenjing Zheng & Erna Alant
 School
teachers and students
 Paulo Tan, Lindsey Ogle, and Michael Verde
 Marwa Tagheb
 Erin Peabody
 Xuyang Cao
 Importance
of special education teachers’
instructional language
 Current studies of special education
teachers’ interaction with children with
special needs





Kim & Hupp (2005): cognitive disabilities
Nind, Kellett,& Hopkins (2001): learning
disabililies
Dukmak (2010): comparison between special and
general
Wang, Bernas, & Eberhard (2001): severe
language impairment
Popich & Alant (1997): miscellaneous group
 What
are the characteristics of special
education teachers’ instructional language
during one-on-one instruction?
 Are there any differences between the
instructional language with students with
mild language impairment and students with
severe language impairment?
 Setting:
two self-contained elementary
special education classrooms
 Participants: Two special education teachers
 Facilitating participants:


Two students with mild language impairment
Two students with severe language impairment
Classroom
Participants
Facilitating participants
#1
Teacher: Bachelor
7 years of teaching,
ABA licensed
Child (severe): Grade K; ASD;
non-verbal; one-step instruction
Teacher: Bachelor
28 years of teaching
Child (severe):Cognitive; Grade
K; non-verbal; one-step
instruction
#2
Child (mild):Grade 1; Cognitive;
utterances +3; answer wh-; read
30 sight words
Child (mild): Grade 1; ASD;
utterances +2; answer wh-;
follow two-step instructions
 Recorded
session: “Teacher work”
 Audio recording: 10 sessions (15-25 minutes)
for each student
 Nvivo: coding of the characteristics of
teachers’ instructional language
-Sentence type
-Sentence function
-Level of cognitive demands
 Inter-rater



reliability
Sentence type: 100%
Sentence function: 80.0%
Level of cognitive demands: 73.3%
Sentence type
Example
Declarative
It is a rubber bear!
Exclamatory
That is awesome!
Imperative
Put the horse in the box.
Interrogative
Are you ready for your first sentence?
Language function
Repeated instruction
Want ball! Ball!
Affirming
Yes, it is a red horse.
Attention directing
My turn.
Greeting
Hi, how are you today?
Imitating
Twenty two
Informative
The bear is jumping!
Negating
Not so much!
Praising
Excellent job!
Questioning
What do we need first?
Requesting
Show me jumping!
Cognitive level
Matching perception
Show me the dog.
Selective perception
Can you show me the dog pushing?
Reordering perception
Baby sitting! Where are you sitting?
Reasoning about perception
Do they get stuck? Can it get down
from the tree?
T:Show me blue gloves.
 S: Blue.
 T:Those are red gloves. Can you show me some
blue gloves?
 S: Blue gloves.
 T: Yes, there is sky. Sky is blue. Blue gloves.
 S: Blue gloves. Turn the page.
 T: Turn the page. You want to see the TV? OK, sit
down. What do you see now? Can you see a
baby?
 S: baby.
 T: What is that baby doing? Waving! Good job!

 T:
Match cup! Matching cup! Good job!
 T: Put it in the basket. OK, my turn.
 T: Look! Match bowl. A little closer! Let’s try
again.
 T: Match bowl. Matching bowl! Good job! Are
you OK?
 T: Use your hands and eyes. Match cup. Let’s
try again. You are very fast.
 T: Let’s practice cups three times, and we
will move on.










T: I am going to write some words and see if you know
them. Are you ready for a test?
S: Yeah!
T:Good! I am going to start with a really hard one. Are you
ready for a hard one?
S: MOM
T: “Mom”! Great! She is gonna be very happy. It is too easy
for you. OK. How about this?
S: YOU
T: “You”! Yes, you know it. You are so smart! How about
this one?
S: BOY
T: “Boy”! That’s right! (name) Am I a boy? No? Who is a boy
in our class? Who? Is Karla a boy?
S: No.
T: Want ball. Want ball.
 T: Good job signing! Want ball. Want ball.
Orange ball. Do you put it under your shirt?
 T: Under shirt. Under shirt. There it is. Ball. Ball.
 T: Do you want ball? No? OK. Oh, want toys? OK.
Let’s put some back. What would you like?
 T: Oh, what is this? Want dinosaur. Want
dinosaur. That is a big hit today.
 T: Green dinosaur! Dinosaur!
 T: Ok, my turn. (name) My turn. Let’s take off
the tokens. Thank you! Tokens off. Put it on the
table.

45
40
35
30
Severe1
Mild1
Severe2
Mild2
25
20
15
10
5
0
Declarative Exclamatory Imperative Interrogative
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Severe1
Mild1
Severe2
Mild2
45
40
35
30
Severe1
Mild1
Severe2
Mild2
25
20
15
10
5
0
Matching
Selective
Reordering
Reasoning
 Variation
in the language use, patterns
between two classroom are similar
 Difference between mind and severe
 Structured instruction with variation
 Common Core Essential Element for k-1 for
communication: With guidance and support,
to identify and retell, match similar
information, and to state thoughts, feelings,
and ideas.
 Method:
audio recording; two classroom in
one school strict
 No description of the Students language level
and responses (matching between T and S)
 No focus on specifically how teachers modify
their language in interaction between severe
and mild
 1.
pre-instructional sections in “teacherwork”


Social interaction
Review and recap
 2.
post-instructional sections in “teacherwork”


Raising questions
Communicate with students and share thoughts
Level of thinking
subcategories
Question starters
Matching perception
Identification, naming,
counting
What is this? What do
you see? How many..?
Who is..?
Selective analysis of
perception
Details (color, shape,
pattern), compare and
contrast
What shape is it? It is
the same/different..? Is
this one
faster/better…?
Reordering of
perception
Related
information(relative
position, function),
referencing
Can we use it to..?
What…for?
When…?
Where…?
Reasoning about
perception
Predict, reflect on, and
integrate ideas
What will happen to..?
What…going to do next?
Why … like it? Why
…happen? If…., then…?
 How
the coding and analysis of this study
raise awareness of instructional language
 Whether teachers will spontaneously adjust
their instruction (two directions)
 How teachers’ perceptions of the curriculum
and students’ language level interact with
their practice.

Blank, M., Rose, S.A., & Berlin, L.J. (1978). The Language of Learning: The
Preschool Years. London: Grune & Stratton, Ltd.

Dukmak, S. (2010). Classroom interaction in regular and special education middle
primary classrooms in the United Arab Emirates. British Journal of Special
Education, 37(1), 39-48.

Gregory, G. H., & Chapman, C. (2007). Differentiated Instructional Strategies: One
Size Doesn’t Fit All. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Kim, O., & Hupp, S. (2005). Teacher interaction styles and task engagement of
elementary students with cognitive disabilities. Education and Training in
Developmental Disabilities, 40, 293-308.

Nind, M., Kellett, M., & Hopkins, V. (2001). Teachers’ talk styles: communicating
with learners with severe and complex learning difficulties. Children Language
Teaching and Therapy, 17(2), 145-159.

Popich, E., & Alant, E. (1997). Interaction between a teacher and the non-speaking
as well as speaking children in the classroom. The South African Journal of
Communication Disorders, 44, 31-40.

Wang, X., Bernas, R., & Eberhard, P. (2001). Effects of teachers’ verbal and nonverbal scaffolding on everyday classroom performances of students with Down
Syndrome. International Journal of Early Years Education, 9(1), 71-80.

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