Supporting Preservice Teachers in Meeting the Needs of Linguistically Diverse Students Cathy J Kinzer Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators Ninth Annual Meeting - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Supporting Preservice Teachers in Meeting the Needs of Linguistically Diverse Students Cathy J Kinzer Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators Ninth Annual Meeting


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Title: Supporting Preservice Teachers in Meeting the Needs of Linguistically Diverse Students Cathy J Kinzer Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators Ninth Annual Meeting

Supporting Preservice Teachers in Meeting the
Needs of Linguistically Diverse StudentsCathy
J Kinzercakinzer_at_nmsu.eduAssociation of
Mathematics Teacher EducatorsNinth Annual Meeting
New Mexico State University
  • Hispanic Serving Institution established in 1888
  • (63 ) Hispanic in Dona Ana County
  • Language other than English spoken at home 54
  • 42 of the student population at NMSU is Hispanic
  • Over 50 of students in our TEP are Hispanic

Hispanics in US Education
  • Hispanic enrollment has tripled in the last 25
  • English Language Learners (ELLs) have higher
    dropout rates and demonstrate significant
    achievement gaps in state tests (Snow
    Biancarosa, 2003)
  • Hispanic dropout rates increased from 22 to 34
    from 1990 to 2000
  • Between 1990 and 2000 the number of ELL students
    rose from 2.1 million to 3.7 million

Teachers/ELL Students
  • Nationwide, approximately less than 3 of
    teachers who instruct ELL possess a degree in ESL
    or bilingual education (NCES,1997)
  • Of the 41 of teachers teaching ELLs only 12.5
    have eight or more hours of PD related to ELLs
    over 3 years

  • There is one teacher certified in ESL for every
    44 ELL students (NCES survey, 2001)
  • - 27 of teachers of ELLs felt very well
    prepared to teach ELLs
  • 60 felt somewhat or moderately prepared
  • 12 feeling not prepared at all

  • NMs Achievement Gap
  • An achievement gap in mathematics exists in New
    Mexico (NAEP, 2003)
  • White students had a average score that was
    higher than that of Hispanics by 28 NAEP scale
    score points for grade 8 and 20 points for grade
    4 (NCES, 2004)
  • In NM 20.6 of our students receive ELL services

Preservice Teachers in NM
  • Preservice teachers have expressed concerns about
    meeting the needs of diverse learners
  • Hispanic preservice teachers often report that
    their struggles in mathematics were compounded by
    their lack of fluency in English
  • Many of my Preservice teachers are Hisp

Whats Needed
  • Teachers need specific preparation in working
    with English Language Learners in mathematics
  • As educators we have been working to support
    preservice teachers in meeting the needs of
    linguistically diverse students

What do you do in your mathematics methods
courses to support preservice teachers in meeting
the needs of linguistically diverse learners?
Considerations for Math Methods Courses
  • Developing academic and social languages within
    the context of mathematics
  • Incorporating instructional techniques that help
    students in understanding content
  • Including models (like Sheltered Instruction
    Observation Protocol) to support
    language/academic development
  • Becoming more aware of
  • thinking about academic language and vocabulary
  • including ways for students to communicate and
    interact with peers,
  • building from prior knowledge, contexts, and
    experiences in a language rich supportive
    learning environment
  • providing feedback and ongoing support for

  • Building content and pedagogy through engaging
    mathematical tasks
  • Developing norms and building a culture of
    inquiry for examining beliefs and knowledge of
    math teaching and learning
  • Connecting to prior learning experiences and
    resources that preservice teachers bring to the
    methods courses and yet examining new

Our building blocks
  • Teachers sharing their personal math stories
  • Focused Classroom Observations in PD schools
  • Writing about supporting diverse learners
  • Modeling, discussing, and engaging in math
    activities to think about specifying content and
    language objectives, building from prior learning
    and experiences, ways to make the concepts and
    vocabulary more clear and comprehensible, and
    opportunities for interaction

Other practices
  • Developing units/plans that include instructional
    considerations for supporting diverse learners
  • Teaching methods courses in Spanish
  • - Math curriculum materials written in English
    and Spanish (
  • Reading articles and using resources to build
    content knowledge about supporting ELLs
  • Some preservice teachers have participated in
    lesson study at a dual language school

Primary Focus on 3 strategies to support ELLs
  • Building Background
  • Comprehensible Input
  • Opportunities for Interaction

Building Background
  • Connecting existing ideas to new ideas
  • Concepts explicit and linked to students
    background experiences
  • Academic vocabulary emphasized

Teacher/Student Interactions
  • Frequent opportunities for interaction and
    discussion between teacher/student and among
    students that encourage elaborated responses
    about the lesson concepts
  • Mixed ability groupings (language and math)
  • Purposeful cooperative learning activities

Comprehensible Input
  • Speech that is appropriate for students
    proficiency level
  • Clear explanation of academic tasks
  • A variety of techniques/tools used to make
    content /concepts explicit

Students writing pre/post
  • Students were ask to reflect on these 4
  • What does it mean to you as an educator to meet
    the needs of diverse learners in mathematics?
  • What strategies/tools could you use to support
    diverse learners in mathematics?
  • What does equity in mathematics mean to you?
  • Why do you believe there is a significant
    achievement gap between Whites and other ethnic
    groups like Hispanics, Native Americans, and
    African Americans in NM?

Preservice teacher growth in responses
  • Pre Strategies one could use would be relating
    math to real life situations like going to the
    store and buying candy etc.
  • Post I will include cooperative learning,
  • (such as charts ,diagrams, graphic organizers),
    repetition, providing feedback, and time for
    practice. I will provide time for students to
    explore and be active learners in investigating
    math concepts. I will incorporate writing and
    questioning, including math journals

  • Pre Some strategies to support second language
    learners could be like scaffolding and
    repetition. There are ways one can adapt lessons
    and activities to accommodate all learners
  • Post I plan to work hard to create a safe haven
    where students feel secure valued and respected.
    I know my students will come from diverse
    backgrounds but to me that will make my classroom
    much more interesting and enjoyable. Students
    will gain understanding and knowledge from
    various cultures and perspectives. My lessons
    will be modified for English Language Learners. I
    plan to shelter my instruction using the SIOP
    model, in order to reach each and every ELL and
    individual student in the classroom. In my daily
    lessons and instruction I will use scaffolding,
    repetition, modeling and activities that engage
    ELL students in communication skills with
    monolingual English speakers. In order to do this
    I know I must activate prior knowledge which
    students already come to the classroom with and
    use it to further their learning. I will allow
    students opportunities to communicate in small
    groups and whole class. I have learned how the
    process of inquiry in mathematics allows students
    to devise different ways to solve problems and
    engage in higher order thinking skills. I was
    once an ELL and I know when someone values me as
    a learner. If they do I will listen and learn.

  • Pre Bring parts of their own language into the
    classroom activities so they feel more
    comfortable and the rest of the class is learning
    something new
  • Post Some strategies that can be used to support
    diverse learners are to use both linguistic and
    non-linguistic representations incorporate
    cooperative learning into the classroom, set
    objectives and use questioning and cues. When
    incorporating nonlinguistic representations we
    will use visual tools and manipulatives,
    diagrams, concept maps and drawings to provide
    opportunities for students who cant express
    themselves in English to use these tools to
    express their understanding of the concept.
    Setting objectives allows the students to
    understand what the learning goals are and helps
    them take responsibility for their own learning
    and determine whether or not they met the goals
    for the math lesson. Questions and cues are
    important tools too because they allow students
    opportunities to think critically about the
    lesson and allows me insight into the next steps
    for learning.

  • Pre Strive to incorporate different methods of
    teaching for different learning styles like
    audiotapes in Spanish, Spanish handouts, Spanish
  • Post Instructional strategies could include
    identifying similarities and differences, using
    graphic organizers, and analogies. I will hold
    high expectations for students, display their
    work, praise students efforts to use English and
    encourage risk taking. I will value and build
    from students native language and cultural
    backgrounds. I will help student learn to reflect
    and summarize and break down math assignment to
    manageable parts.

Post/ Student Reponses
  • Supporting diverse learners in mathematics was a
    phrase I was unaware of at the beginning of the
    semester. I had thought about and planned for
    supporting diverse learners in language arts and
    social studies. I had never considered
    mathematics as a place where diversity was a
  • Soon into the semester I realized that
    throughout my math education I was an unsupported
    diverse learner. For one I was a girl, and so
    many times girls are told math is not their
    subject. Second, I am from a low income household
    in a Hispanic neighborhood and did not have the
    same opportunities or resources to learn as
    counterparts in other areas of town.
  • Without the proper resources and expectations
    children will fail to flourish in their
    mathematical endeavors. In order to connect to
    our students as teachers we must take the
    problems off the chalkboards and put them in our
    own hands..

  • Teachers must understand the goals and objectives
    they should have for their students and how these
    link with content standards, as content standards
    alone do not address the specific needs of ELLs.
    When sheltering content instruction, teachers
    need to think about ways to support ELLs so they
    can be as successful as their English-speaking
  • Sheltering instruction can include the
    following defining both content and language
    objectives making sure content is age
    appropriate, incorporating supplementary
    materials like charts, graphs and visual aids,
    planning meaningful activities that integrate
    concepts with opportunities for students to
    practice and develop English, build background
    knowledge, emphasize vocabulary, provide
    comprehensible input, clearly explain tasks,
    scaffold instruction, consider appropriate
    groupings and conduct ongoing assessment in math.

students math units
  • Most of the suggestions for supporting diverse
    learners centered on the areas we focused on in
    class (promote productive student interactions,
    language, and vocabulary)
  • Ex. Build background Students have opportunities
    to bring their background experiences and
    knowledge to bear on new content area topics.
    This can be done through whole class and small
    group brainstorming activities, including graphic
    organizers, semantic webs or lists. New
    vocabulary is introduced through the mathematics
    problems and tasks.
  • Comprehensible Input Teachers will use a graphic
    organizer to represent students conceptions of
    division. Students will be also represent their
    ideas about division through speech, writing and
  • Interactions Students will have opportunities to
    discuss division with peers and the teacher. A
    variety of questions will be used. This lesson
    will include whole group and small group

Being part of the lesson study teams at dual
language schools
  • Preservice Teachers at the dual language school
    reported on their experiences where they saw many
    of the strategies and supports for diverse
    learners through the lesson study process

Next Steps
  • Preservice teachers have introductory experiences
    in the methods courses in which they explore,
    discuss, and develop strategies for inclusive
    instructional practices in mathematics
  • But
  • We are continuing to think about how to provide
    opportunities for preservice teachers to support
    diverse learners in mathematics.
  • Suggestions? Other ideas?
  • To obtain this presentation please go to
  • Reference Echevarria, Vogt, Short, 2000. 
    Making Content Comprehensible for English
    Language Learners The SIOP Model.  Needham
    Heights, MA  Pearson Education Company.