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Exploring PACT Academic Language Instruction Across Disciplines


Exploring PACT Academic Language Instruction Across Disciplines A Look at Two Cases: Teaching English & Math. P. Holmes, A. Mendle & B. Merino University of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Exploring PACT Academic Language Instruction Across Disciplines

Exploring PACT Academic Language Instruction
Across Disciplines
  • A Look at Two Cases Teaching English Math.
  • P. Holmes, A. Mendle B. Merino University of
    California, Davis.

Research Questions
  • How do exemplary beginning teachers (EBTs)
    identify the language demands of tasks in the
    PACT lesson cycle?
  • How do EBTs scaffold the language demands they
  • How can these cases expand our understanding of
    teacher development Academic Language

Description of the Problem
  • Academic Language is a complex, dynamic and
    evolving construct that taps multiple traditions
    (Valdez, 2004).
  • Increasingly linguistically diverse CA
    population of school children need teachers who
    can provide instruction of AL. (Rumberger,
    Gandara Merino, 2006)

Theoretical Frameworks
  • On teacher development
  • An embodied understanding of practice rather
    than attributes, forms the basis for professional
    skill development. (DallAlba Sandberg,
    2006, p.30)

AL Key sample definitions
  • The language knowledge together with the
    associated knowledge of the world and
    metacognitive strategies necessary to function
    effectively in the discourse domain of the
    schools ( Cummins, 2000, p. 67)
  • The dense and abstract language characteristic
    of the texts of advanced literacy construes the
    specialized and abstract knowledge that students
    are expected to develop as they move into
    secondary school and higher education?
    (Schleppegrell, 2004, p. 163).

AL - A constructivist view.
  • The body of knowledge, strategies and skills
    necessary to accomplish the academic tasks or
    genres of a specific discipline in a particular
    context? (Merino Scarcella, 2004)

The Institutional Context
  • A 15 month - Credential/MA Program
  • An integrated model of delivery of AL
  • N 124 Elementary/Secondary
  • Secondary - N 67 English N16.
  • Elementary - N 57 Math N57.

UCD TE Program Teacher Roles
  • Advocate for Equity in Learning
  • Teacher Researcher
  • Reflective Practitioner
  • Collaborative Professional

Criteria for Case Selection
  • PACT Performance above median within the cohort.
  • Pedagogically sound lesson cycle.
  • Exemplary performance in AL within some element.

Teaching Context- English Case
  • 7th 8th Grade Intermediate English Language
    Development Class
  • 15 students with 4 primary languages (Hmong,
    Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese)
  • High Point C curriculum, CELDT levels 1 3, Far
    Below Basic to Basic CST levels, 7 students with
  • novel Number the Stars is focus of PACT lessons
    using two new reading strategies making
    connections and one question, one comment
  • most students have solid oral English and use it
    regularly however, use in academic tasks (oral
    or written) is much weaker
  • candidate was particularly interested in reading
    from the start of our program intended to
    pursue a reading specialist authorization.

Candidates Understanding of Students Language
  • Some specific skills my students are still
    learning include the following how to answer
    questions using complete sentences, how to write
    questions correctly, and how to find supporting
    evidence in a text. In addition, my students are
    learning how to write a coherent paragraph using
    a topic sentence, transitions and a concluding
    sentence. My students are also still learning how
    to locate the main idea in a text and then use
    that main idea to write a summary. (Task 1

Candidates Understanding of Students Language
  • My students have difficulty implementing
    academic language. When I ask students a specific
    question during class discussions, about half of
    my students have a hard time answering the
    question appropriately. Most of my students have
    trouble phrasing what they would like to say,
    even when they have the correct answer. Often my
    students will stumble when they speak in class,
    and sometimes when this happens my students will
    become frustrated and stop trying to communicate
    their ideas One of the areas in which my
    students need constant development is vocabulary.
    I often have to define terms during class
    readings, when I introduce a new topic, or when I
    am giving instructions on the overhead. I
    constantly must think about words that will be
    most difficult for my students, and I try to have
    visuals for the words I know my students will
    have trouble understanding.(Task 1 excerpt)

Identified Lesson Language Demands
  • 1. Novel vocabulary both specific Holocaust
    terms and general words, requires constant
    awareness of challenging terms- restatements,
    synonyms, context all used to reinforce meaning
  • 2. Anticipation Guide procedures anticipate,
    purpose, directions
  • 3. Similes reinforcing literary term presented
    earlier in year
  • 4. Connections, Comments Text (presented
    through cell phone text messaging!) key terms
    of new reading strategies
  • 5. Writing complete sentences formal and
    informal opportunities in lessons
  • 6. Use of quotation marks when making connections
    on worksheet
  • 7. Using new reading and response strategies
    effectively multiple reinforcements and
    scaffolds, discussion protocol
  • 8. ELD standards part of each days plans
  • 9. Visuals for handouts and key concepts to
    support understanding

Strategies Planned and Used to Develop Academic
Language (evidence from both plans and video
  • Day One
  • 1. Holocaust background - PowerPoint notes and
    childrens book to discuss key vocabulary and
    historical period whiteboard responses to
  • 2. Key vocabulary introduction in context
    (worksheet for future reference) definitions,
    pictures, and book sentences
  • 3. Door pass with 3 facts students have learned
    about the Holocaust

Strategies Planned and Used to Develop Academic
Language (evidence from both plans and video
  • Day Two
  • 1. Review of key Holocaust elements with PPt.
    slides, identification cards about lives of young
    people lost in the Holocaust
  • 2. Anticipation Guide about key issues
    individual responses and class discussion, then a
    written paragraph taking a position
  • 3. Introduction of making connections strategy
    focus on text to self with sentence starters
    for those who need support
  • 4. Begin oral reading of novel, teacher modeling
    text to self connections, students required to
    make one connection after chapter one

Strategies Planned and Used to Develop Academic
Language (evidence from both plans and video
  • Day Three
  • 1. Reading of second childrens book as preview
    to new novel chapter introduces concept of
    text to text connections
  • 2. Chapter Two reading with text to self
    connections guide on overhead
  • 3. One question One comment activity
    overhead to guide students writing whole class
    participates in student-led discussion

Scoring on the Academic Language Rubric
  • 2007-2008 Academic Language Category Passed
  • E10 How does the candidate describe student
    language development in relation to the language
    demands of the learning tasks and assessments? 3
  • The candidate has a unique ability to assess the
    content she will teach, identify language
    challenges, and provide scaffolds to address
    these challenges. This may be seen at the
    word-level (text, personal experience,
    connection, etc.), the concept/schema level
    (need for pre-teaching Holocaust history), and
    practical level (multiple modalities for
    imparting instructions, etc.). She is familiar
    with her students various ability levels based
    on multiple measures (CELDT, STAR, IEPs, written
    work, observation, etc.) and both their
    independent and scaffolded levels of
    performance. (Candidate did not reach Score 4
    because of missing discussion of vision of how
    these lessons/skills fit into broader
    disciplinary content.)

Scoring on the Academic Language Rubric
  • E11 How do the candidates planning,
    instruction, and assessment support academic
    language development? 3
  • The candidate uses multiple scaffolds. She
    models activities using visuals (Powerpoint,
    overhead transparencies, etc.), gives students
    opportunities for oral and written practice (One
    Question/One Comment discussion, Anticipation
    Guide paragraph), and gives students both oral
    and written feedback (discussion
    evaluation/clarifying questions, comments on
    Making Connections handout). She is
    intentional and articulate about why she selected
    these strategies and planned them in the order
    that she did. She has plans for more advanced
    students, but does not make clear how she will
    enhance/remove scaffolds for currently-
    struggling learners. (Prevents score of 4)

Implications of The English Case
  • 1. Academic language development understanding
    can be attained at a high level by new teachers,
    with support of resident teachers and methods
    presented in education courses
  • 2. Working directly with English learners
    accelerates understanding of how to implement
    strategies to support Academic Language
  • 3. Use clips from this case to demonstrate strong
    Academic Language instruction
  • 4. Introduce childrens books as preview of
    issues in grade level texts

It is my job to make sure my students
continually have experiences where they practice
academic language that they have learned and
encounter new academic language. (Task 5
from the Candidate
Teaching Context- Multiple Subject Case
  • K-6 Elementary School
  • Grade 2 class, 20 students
  • Six students came from homes where English is not
    the primary language. All were classified as
    Initially Fluent English Proficient
  • 12 of the school are English learners 40 in
    the district are English learners
  • The community is a mix of newly developed houses
    and apartments, isolated from mainstream flow of
    the town

Teaching Context- Multiple Subject Case
Task 1 excerpt
Rationale for MS Case Selection
  • PACT was centered on the meaning of
    equals,greater than and less than
  • The definitions were discourse specific and very
    prone to student misunderstanding
  • There is a research base about childrens
    understanding of these issues
  • Academic language was embedded in the instruction
    and assessment of this event

A Brief Look At the Mathematics and the Research
  • What might children say about the following?
  • 2 3 5
  • 5 2 3
  • 7 6 ? 5
  • Are there grade level differences in the way
    students respond?

Candidates Understanding of Students Language
  • In mathematics, students have become accustomed
    to using mathematical vocabulary such as,
    addition in place of 'plussing,' and subtraction
    in place of minusing,and the frequent use of
    value, rectangular prism, sum, difference etc.
    While the focus is always to master the concept,
    the use of academic language is encouraged and
    promoted. (Task 1 excerpt)
  • elementary school students harbor serious
    misconceptions about the meaning of the equal
    sign and their confusion does not dissolve with
    time. (Task 2 excerpt)
  • as a student progresses through the grades, one
    often struggles with algebraic functions due to
    their confusion of the equal sign. (Task 2

Strategies Planned and Used to Develop Academic
  • engaging them in discussions in which different
    conceptions of the equal sign emerge and must be
    resolved. (Task 2 excerpt)
  • Students will also visually represent equivalent
    number sentences on a balance to help them
    conceptualize how these expressions could be
    represented in another (visual) manner. (Task 2
  • I specifically incorporated kinesthetic
    approaches because there are numerous students in
    this particular classroom who benefit from this
    type of instruction. There are a number of
    students which fall in the below proficient
    category for math and from previous experiences
    with these students I have learned that these
    students have an easier time grasping a concept
    which they can refer back to via hands-on
    experience (Task 2 excerpt)

Strategies Planned and Used to Develop Academic
  • I posed multiple number sentences and students
    were asked to respond with true or false. (Task
    5 excerpt)
  • It seemed once they were introduced to their
    misconceptions they quickly moved past them in
    pursuit of developing a deep understanding of the
    concept. (Task 5 excerpt)

Strategies Planned and Used to Develop Academic
  • Throughout these class discussions and
    activities instructor will help students define
    and fine tune mathematical vocabulary that may be
    unclear (Task 2 excerpt)
  • Instructor will help students better communicate
    themselves by modeling the use of academic
    language (Task 2 excerpt)
  • The planning started with less complex concepts
    such as, 3 _ 9. This was done in order to
    build a firm foundation of the function of the
    equal sign, so as not to divert attention to
    complex expressions with multiple symbols. (Task
    2 excerpt)
  • Give (ELLs in particular) the opportunity
    for the content, term or language to be heard
    within the context numerous time. Students can
    effectively learn mathematics in heterogeneous
    groups if structures are developed to provide
    appropriate, differentiated support for a range
    of students. (Task 2 excerpt)

Scoring on the Academic Language Rubric
  • EM 10 - Candidate identifies a wide range of
    language demands associated with learning the
    instructional content, this includes (equal,
    greater than, less than, true/false, balances.
    Candidate noted some inconsistincies in her own
    presentation of academic language and outlined in
    her next steps how she would address this.
    (Score report)
  • Score 2

Scoring on the Academic Language Rubric
  • EM 11 - Candidate appeared to have thoughtfully
    considered practices and examples that would
    actively engage students and support language
    demands. These include students holding number
    cards and demonstrating different formats (945
    or 459) community solving of problems and
    articulating reasoning strategies. Candidate does
    articulate why strategies would benefit students,
    and supports her reasoning with research
    (Carpenter, Franke Levi), stating that students
    need to be in positions that offer them
    opportunity to articulate and perhaps challenge
    existing conceptions or misconceptions. The video
    segment presented examples of the candidate
    presenting explicit models, opportunities for
    practice and feedback/questions that nudge
    students to articulate their problem solving
    strategies and/or justify a response. These
    strategies supported students language
  • Score 3

Implications of The Multiple Subject Case
  • Academic language can be a part of the central
    focus of a mathematics lesson
  • Complex mathematical thinking can be facilitated
    by focusing on the language demands of the
  • There is value in discussing and extolling
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