SUMMER INSTITUTES 2017

Required Preparation for

EAL Strategies for the Mainstream Classroom

Miami: 28 June - 2 July 2017

Download the pdf version of the assignment


ASSIGNMENT OVERVIEW

REVIEW

From this list of January 2013 Stanford University's six principles for effective instruction for English learners below, select an area you perceive as a growth opportunity for yourself as a teacher of English learners or for the EAL program at your school.

 

PRINCIPLE #1

Instruction focuses on providing ELLs with opportunities to engage in discipline-specific practices which are designed to build conceptual understanding and language competence in tandem.

EVIDENCE

High-levels of academic English language proficiency are expected and instructed by all teachers through their subject areas (i.e. intentional academic language instruction to complete rigorous oral and written tasks)

AREAS OF CONCERN

  • Thinking that teaching academic language is separate from content instruction
  • Thinking that the teaching of academic language is the responsibility of English or EAL teachers
  • Exclusive focus on the 'right answer' and not the 'right answer using the right language'

 

PRINCIPLE #2

Instruction leverages English learners' home language(s), cultural assets, and prior knowledge.

EVIDENCE

Teachers know the research on second language acquisition and bilingualism in K-12 school settings and implement instructional policies and practices based on the research.

AREAS OF CONCERN

  • Assumptions that a second language is a barrier to learning content rather than a vehicle (i.e. immersion vs. submersion language acquisition environment)
  • Implementation of English-only policies due to lack of knowledge on the research regarding the relationship between the first language and English-language acquisition

 

PRINCIPLE #3

Standards-aligned instruction for ELLs is rigorous, grade-level appropriate, and provides deliberate and appropriate scaffolds.

EVIDENCE

Classroom and EAL teachers collaborate to ensure English learners' access to grade-level standards, regardless of English language proficiency

AREAS OF CONCERN

  • Thinking that grade-level standards are too difficult for ELs (e.g. deficit, remedial or reductionist approaches)
  • Thinking that the acceptance of too many English learners lowers the standards of an international school.

 

PRINCIPLE #4

Instruction moves ELLs forward by taking into account their English proficiency level(s) and prior schooling experiences.

EVIDENCE

Differentiation in all classrooms is an instructional mindset for all lessons (e.g. different materials, tasks, ways of learning and student groupings are intentional)

AREAS OF CONCERN

  • Overreliance on 'one size fits all' lessons
  • Confusion regarding the distinction between differentiation, scaffolding, accommodation, & modification as instructional concepts (i.e. what they mean)
  • Differentiation is not an event, but a way of thinking about daily classroom life

 

PRINCIPLE #5

Instruction fosters English learners' autonomy by equipping them with the strategies necessary to comprehend and use language in a variety of academic settings.

EVIDENCE

Scaffolding language and learning progressively is an instructional mindset (e.g. modeling, verbal interaction, strategies to access texts and formative and summative assessment tasks)

AREAS OF CONCERN

  • Confusion regarding distinctions between sheltered instructional techniques, scaffolding, differentiation, accommodation, and modification strategies
  • Thinking that equates sheltered instruction techniques as 'remediation' or watered down expectations of curricula'

 

PRINCIPLE #6

Diagnostic tools and formative assessment practices are employed to measure students’ content knowledge, academic language competence, and participation in disciplinary practices.

EVIDENCE

Assessment for learning is an instructional mindset (as opposed to overreliance on assessment of learning)

AREAS OF CONCERN

  • Overreliance on selected-response tests as assessments (e.g. multiple choice, true false, fill in the blank, etc.)
  • Overreliance on quantitative rubrics to evaluate language usage (e.g. Likert scale rating and/ or 'more is better' thinking)

REFLECT

Now read through the options below and select one which helps you to reflect and prepare for improving the implementation of the six principles:

OPTION I:

Select a paper to read and/ or an author video to watch from any of these sites: 

OPTION II:

Select an article from any of these common web sites regarding English language learners:

OPTION III:

Another option is to select a book or book chapter from the suggested references in the downloadable PDF here (the reading of a book can also be used towards completion of the optional assignment should you wish to get a head start on receiving course credit). 

NOTE: The reading of a book can also be used towards completion of the optional assignment should you wish to get a head start on receiving course credit.


BRING

1.    PREPARATION FOR AFTERNOON REFLECTION SESSIONS:

Be prepared to summarize your choice for your preparation assignment using a ‘problem-solution’ framework whereby the information you share is to be directly related to at least one of the above six principles associated with the teaching of English learners in international-school settings.  These will be shared in the afternoon reflection sessions with your colleagues.  The solutions must be practical, doable, and specific.

2.    PLEASE BRING (ELECTRONIC IS FINE):

In class, each participant will design lessons for a curriculum unit of instruction which will facilitate English learners’ language acquisition and development as well as their academic achievement. You should bring whatever materials might help you complete this task as follows: 

  • If you are a classroom teacher, bring one unit of instruction that you would be working on in the next academic year.  If you are an EAL teacher, be sure to bring either a content-based unit you might be working with next year or a unit from a grade level or subject area that you are assigned to work with; and
  • Learning outcomes/ standards and benchmarks (grade level expectations) for this unit. 

BRING A LAPTOP (REQUIRED)

  • Your course materials are digital. Hard copies of the materials will not be available on site.  Bring a laptop computer with appropriate adapters and wireless internet capability. Click here for more information about iPads and tablets. Chromebook users can use the free Kami extension to annotate.
  • Access all course materials using appropriate adapters and wireless intener capability (see our "sample coursebook" to become familiar with its features).
  • Download Adobe Acrobat Reader DC now in order to be able to access your materials properly.

PREPARE

Watch a short video to prepare for your course.


JOIN Schoology

...your required online portal for everything related to your TTC course, including all necessary course materials which will be available approximately 10 days before the start of your course. 

Use this access code to join your course group in Schoology.

Access code: included in PDF above

 

We look forward to seeing you this summer!

Virginia Rojas and Elizabeth Puma