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New Jersey Department of Education


Literacy Success for English Language Learners in Middle Schools New Jersey Department of Education Dr. Gilda Del Risco Kean University of New Jersey – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: New Jersey Department of Education

Literacy Success for English Language Learners in
Middle Schools
  • New Jersey Department of Education
  • Dr. Gilda Del Risco
  • Kean University of New Jersey
  • November 18, 2004

Many English Language Learners
  • Come from countries where they have received less
    than age appropriate education.
  • Some are illiterate in their native language.
  • Some have never attended school.
  • School has been interrupted by war or political

Sheltered Instruction
  • The term sheltered indicates that such
    instruction provides refuge from the linguistic
    demands of mainstream instruction, which is
    beyond the comprehension of English-language
    learners. (Echevarria Graves 1998).

Meaning is to be conveyed directly in the target
language through the use of demonstration and
  • Make your instructional talk more understandable
    by speaking clearly.
  • Repeat key points
  • Define essential vocabulary in context
  • Pair your talk with nonverbal communication cues
  • objects, pictures, graphs, and
  • gestures.

Verbal and nonverbal communication
  • When we pair these two communication channels,
    words and meanings become discernible to the

  • Try to make the information relevant to their
    lives - Learning occurs best when connections are
    made to existing knowledge.
  • Make the students a part of the situation.
  • Acknowledge their input Positive feedback is a
    powerful influence on the brains chemistry. It
    is essential for the development of a good
    self-concept (Sylwester 1997).

Comprehensible Input
  • Language that is used in ways that make it
    understandable to the learner even though second
    language proficiency is still limited.
  • use visuals, realia, manipulatives, and other
    concrete materials.
  • use gestures, facial expressions, and body
  • repeat, rephrase, and/or paraphrase key concepts,
    directions, etc.
  • build on what students already know.
  • be careful of idioms and slang.

  • Creating a literacy-rich classroom environment.
  • Books, books, books
  • Daily routines
  • -morning message
  • -wall dictionary
  • Reading aloud to students
  • Word Families

Classroom strategies for
beginning readers
  • Thematic Approach
  • Literature Circles
  • Language-experience approach
  • Patterned books
  • Illustrating stories and poems
  • Direct Listening-Thinking Activity (DL-TA)
  • Readers theater
  • Story map
  • (NJCCS 3.1)

Classroom strategies for intermediate readers
  • Cognitive mapping
  • Literature Circles
  • Direct Reading-Thinking Activity (DR-TA)
  • Literature response journals
  • Developing scripts for readers theater.
  • Adapting Stories into plays and scripts for film
    and videotape)
  • Literacy Centers
  • (NJCCCS 3.1)

Literature Circles
  • Students are assigned one role for each
    discussion period.
  • The groups stay together for one novel.
  • Major roles for each discussion team include
    Questioner, Passage Master, Word Wizard and
    Artful Artist.
  • Roles can change depending on the book and the
    level of the students
  • Students take different roles for different
    discussion days.
  • All the students take different roles for
    different discussion days (all learn to look for
    vocabulary, all learn to develop questions and
    serve as Discussion Director, etc.)
  • (Daniels, 1996 Daniels
    and Bizar, 1999) (NJCCCS 3.2)

StrategiesReflecting on Text
    help middle grades students make personal
    connections to the texts they are reading.
  • Goal of the activity To establish clearly the
    need for personal engagement and commitment when
  • - Students read in pairs
  • - When they have read a section of the text,
    they turn to each other and say something about
    what they read. They may summarize what they
    think is most important, they may connect with a
    character or raise a question for their partner.

  • Mimicking without words
  • Helps students deepen their involvement with the
  • A way for students to respond as they read
  • Students stand up at intervals and transform the
    story being read by the group into a physical
  • Class first reads a section of the story, then
    each small group meets and creates its own
    pantomime of that section.
  • Share one at a time with the whole class.
  • At the end, the teacher asks each group to create
    a prediction for what will happen in the next
    part of the story which can be pantomime by the
    groups again.
  • As a way of retaining vocabulary Ask the
    students to pantomime vocabulary words.
  • (Blachowicz Ogle, 2001)

Readers Theater
  • This form of oral reading that deepens
    students understanding of characters emotions
    and personalities and helps them to communicate
    to an audience.
  • Text is turned into dialogue and divided into
    parts for different readers.
  • Some parts should be reserved for the narrator.
  • (Middle-grade students can create their own
    Readers Theater scripts).
  • Prompts can be used hats scarves, etc.
  • Students sit on chairs or stools as they read
    their parts
  • (Blachowicz Ogle, 2001)

Choral Reading
  • We have found that for students who speak
    dialects of English or who are second-language
    English speakers, participating in both choral
    reading and Readers Theater helps build their
    familiarity with standard English pronunciation
    and makes learning this school dialect more
    enjoyable. Even attention to aspect of grammar
    comes more naturally through these activities.
  • Works well across grade levels.
  • The group reads a text together.
  • Reserve some parts for individual voices and
    small groups.
  • All students practice rereading the text
    individually before they determine where special
    inflections should be places.
  • (Blachowicz Ogle, 2001)

Choral Reading
  • Recommended Poems
  • Harriet and the Promised Land by Lawrence, 1968.
  • Paul Gleischmans collections of poems about
    insects and birds Joyful Noises Poems for Two
    voices, 1988. I Am Phoenix, 1985.
  • I Saw an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly.
  • (Blachowicz Ogle, 2001)

Developing Word Awareness
  • Teachers need to structure classrooms that
    develop Word-aware learners. motivation is an
    essential prerequisite for all learning.
  • Word of the day
  • Posterboard Word Wizard Walls students enter
    new words. Heighten students receptivity for
    learning new words incidentally.
  • The more playful vocabulary activities can be,
    the more learning is likely to take place.
  • (Blachowicz Ogle, 2001)

Thematic approach
  • Choose a theme Incorporate multiple curriculum
  • Allows all learning experiences to be
    interrelated and more meaningful to the students.
  • It can incorporate higher-level thinking skill,
    open-ended activities, cooperative learning,
    writing , research, and individualized learning.

Thematic approach
  • Example - Rainforest
  • Language Arts/Social Studies/Technology/Art
  • Science/Art/Language Art
  • Art/Science
  • Social Studies/Technology/Language Arts-Webquest
  • Mathematics/Technology
  • Health

Writing in a Second Language
  • Strategies to assist beginning writers
  • Oral discussion
  • Partner stories using pictures and wordless books
  • Personal journals
  • Dialogue journals
  • Buddy journals
  • Free writing (NJCCCS 3.2)

Strategies to assist intermediate writers
  • Show and not tell - Provides descriptive details
    about what the writer wants to convey.
  • Sentence combining
  • Sentence shortening
  • Sentence models
  • Process Writing
  • -Prewriting
  • -Drafting
  • -Revising
  • -Editing
  • -Publishing (NJCCCS 3.2)

  • Recognizing what they have learned by making a
    graphic organizer.
  • Select categories and list facts under those
    categories (rethinking what they have learn ed)
  • Write an essay) additional opportunities to
    consolidate learning)

Phonics Instruction for English Language Learners
  • The purpose of phonic instruction is to help
    students recognize words independently, not to
    have them state rules.
  • Principles
  • - Provide ample time for students to read and
    write for meaningful purposes, allowing. students
    to develop their own understanding of
    sound/symbol correspondences.
  • - Teach phonics within a meaningful context.
    Enjoy the story or poem for meaning first, then
    teach the skill.
  • - Remember that phonics and other word
    recognition strategies are a means to an end
  • (NJCCCS 3.1)
    (Peregoy and Boyle, 2000)

Recognizing Words Independently
  • Poems and song lyrics written in large format on
    chart paper
  • (to teach sight words, to develop word
    recognition and phonics knowledge).
  • Predictable books with repetitive patterns and
    phrases to teach or reinforce sound/symbol
    correspondences, including consonants, vowels,
    and letter sequences found in rhyming words.
  • Ask the students to write their own stories
    following the pattern in predictable books that
    they have heard several times. This will provide
    a chance for the students to put their phonics
    and sight word knowledge into meaningful
  • Older students who are new to literacy Same
    strategies. Short texts with age-appropriate
    content. Fortunately by Remy Charlip.
  • Song lyrics and poems Good sources of
    predictable texts. (NJCCCS 3.1)

First Language
  • During the initial years of exposure to English,
    continuing cognitive and academic development in
    first language is considered to be a key variable
    for academic success in second language.
  • (Garcia 1994 Tinajero Ada, 1993. In
    Collier, 1995)
  • Later on, apply the techniques used to teach
    English as a second language.

Quiero leer y escribir en mi idioma
Initial Strategies to Teach English
Comprehension to English language Learners
  • Pre-reading Strategies
  • Background Knowledge

  • Necessary to

  • construct

  • meaning from text.
  • Development of key vocabulary
  • Background Knowledge Teacher builds upon the
    language, culture and experiential background
    that students bring to the classroom and relate
    knowledge to new information provided in the
  • (NJCCCS 3.1)

  • Students may experience difficulties due to lack
    of prior knowledge on the particular topic to be
  • Background knowledge can often be accomplished
    through a sharing of the groups knowledge.
  • It may be recorded in a graphic format.

Guided Reading Strategies
  • Use questions before and during the reading to
    help the students to get meaning from the
  • Hypothesizing or predicting questions. What do
    you think this story is about? What do you think
    will happen next?
  • Data acquisition questions
  • Summary questions
  • Reading aloud Teacher model predicting,
    inferring, and connecting mew text to prior
  • (NJCCC 3.1)

Post-Reading Strategies
  • Retelling a story after reading
  • - Offers a means for reinforcing and
  • supporting comprehension.
  • - Provides a means for integrating writing
  • the program. It can be done in
  • learning groups, paired writing, or
  • Building on the knowledge gained through the
    prereading activities.
  • More reading
    (NJCCCS 3.1)

Language Experience Approach
  • - discussion bases on the content of
    the text
  • - review vocabulary found in the
  • - students summarize the reading or
  • for the teacher, who acts as a
    scribe and
  • writes sentences on the board or
  • paper.
  • (NJCCCS 3.1, 3.2)

  • Teacher should take into consideration
  • The students English language developmental
  • The prevalence of the error type
  • The importance of the error type for
  • Teachers specific goals for the students in
    terms of English language development
  • Should be corrected in a non-threatening way.
  • Repeat correctly what the student has said

  • Portfolio Assessment
  • Multiple Measures for Assessment
  • - Do not assess only through written tests.
  • If you do not assess the English language
  • learners in many different ways, you will
  • not find out what they really know.
  • Observations
  • - Anecdotal records
  • - Check lists
  • - Concrete materials. Opportunities to
  • demonstrate that they understood the
  • information.

  • Blachowicz C. and Ogle, D. (2001). Reading
    Comprehension. New York The Guilford Press
  • Daniels, H. (1996). Literature Circles Voice and
    choice in the student-centered classroom. York,
  • Stenhouse.
  • Daniels, H. Bizar, M. (1999). Methods that
    matter Six structures for best practice
    classrooms. York, ME Stenhouse.
  • Echevarria, J. and Graves, Anne. (1998).
    Sheltered Content Instruction Teaching
    English-Language Learners with Diverse Abilities.
    Boston Allyn and Bacon.
  • Friedlander, M. (1991). The Newcomer Program
    Helping Immigrant Students Succeed in U. S.
  • http//
  • Carrasquillo A. and Rodriguez V. (2002). Language
    Minority Students in the Toronto Multilingual
    Matters Ltd.
  • Coolier, V. (1995). Promoting academic success
    for ESL students. NJTESOL/NJBE
  • Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of Mind The Theory of
    Multiple Intelligences. New York Basic Books.
  • Krashen, S., and Terrell, T. (1983). The Natural
    Approach. Hayward The Alemany Press.
  • Peregoy, S. F. and Boyle, O. F. (2000). Reading,
    Writing, and Learning in ESL. New York Longman.
  • Rothman, B. Practical phonics strategies to build
    beginning reading and writing skills. BER.
  • Sternberg, R. J. (1994). Allowing for Thinking
    Styles. Educational Leadership 52, 3.
  • Sylwester, R. (1997). The Neurobiology of
    Self-Esteem and Aggression. Educational
    Leadership 54 (5), 75-79.
  • Tomlinson, C. A. The Differentiated Classroom
    Responding to the Needs of All Learners. ASCD.
  • Willis, S. and Mann, L. (2000). Differentiating
    Instruction. In Curriculum by the Association for
    Supervision and Curriculum Development.
  • Weinberger, S. (1992). Teaching Gifted Kids in
    the Regular Classroom. Minneapolis, MN Free
    Spirit Publishing.