ELL student not interest and not participating

Discussion in 'ESL/ELL' started by Riv, May 26, 2017.

  1. Riv

    Riv Rookie

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    May 26, 2017

    I am a pre-service teacher and am reading about Affective filter hypothesis and the factors that contribute to foreign language learning or learning prevention. My question is have you found/ or if you find that an ELL student in your class is withdrawn or unwilling to participate because he/she feels uncomfortable what do you do to get him/her to participate?

    Even before it gets to that point...what kinds of activities can you do to create a welcoming environment for ELL students?

    Thanks, Danke, merci, grazie, gracias...
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Maven

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    May 26, 2017

    It is really going to depend so much on how long they have been learning English. Most ELLs have a "quiet period" that is about a year, where they are soaking things up, but not producing much English to evaluate. Most ELLs will do best in an area where they feel safe to make mistakes, somewhere where their culture is accepted and celebrated, because everyone needs feelings of home and familiar. Know that ELLs will become adept at using basic interpersonal communication (BIC) that gives the appearance of more English understanding, but is usually quite deficient in CALP, the English that allows them to acquire the more complex vocabulary of of contents and literacy.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 26, 2017

    Do you use WIDA scores to guide your differentiatiion?
     
  5. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Groupie

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    May 27, 2017

    Krashen! I 4.0'd that class in my literacy specialist program last semester. And yes, I moved from NY to AZ where I went from 0 ELLS to like half my class. It helped that I spoke Spanish so I was able to connect in that way. But at first my students, one in particular, didn't talk. He wasn't shy because he had no problems talking with his peers but when I called on him he was a shrinking violet because he didn't have the language skills to effectively get his point across and was embarrassed that he'd be judged for making mistakes... which is part of Krashen's model. I saw it live. To remedy that, I allowed him to use Spanish -- when necessary -- and visuals to aid in his communication. I also provided sentence starters that he could use when speaking. It benefited a lot of my students because they didn't have to create from nothing. I provided them with the tools and they added on what they knew in speaking and writing. I provided a lot of reading, writing, speaking & listening activities one - on - one and in small group settings with other ELLS and struggling students to help build up all their confidence in the language. Believe me, he wasn't the only one. I used a lot of graphic organizers when presenting information so that they weren't overwhelmed with the info, but I didn't ''simplify'' it to the baby levels (which sadly, is often what happens,) I wanted to provide supports to get my kiddos there. It was hard, for sure, but that was my job! In AZ you have to write ILLPS and track their goals... but you're pretty much in charge so I just selected what he really needed and what complimented my lessons well. I also provided a lot of bilingual representations of things (being a Spanish major I was FINALLY thrilled to be able to use my language in an authentic setting!) :)
    It comes down to a) knowing your kids, b) knowing their needs, and c) representing THEM (their languages and cultures) in the classroom.
    You can also Google "ELL instructional best practices," and see what pops up. A classmate and I co- wrote a paper last semester on best literacy practices for ELLs and struggling readers because we had experience w/ both.

    I absolutely LOVE ELLs and can't wait to be working with them again! Their parents were fabulous too. Make sure you make the parents feel welcomed because it will help. I'll never forget the day they walked in with their kids to my classroom, shy and meek... you can tell that they were uncomfortable... and the moment I started to speak Spanish to them, their faces lit up! :D It made me happy!
     
  6. DAH

    DAH Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2017

    [QUOTE="A classmate and I co- wrote a paper last semester on best literacy practices for ELLs and struggling readers because we had experience w/ both.[/QUOTE]

    Leaborb, I have been a "professional" substitute teacher, sometimes taking long-term assignments that last for months, and the most enjoyable classes that I have had the privilege to teach were ELLs. I LOVE IT!

    In one California school district, Spanish-speakers were only slightly the majority. My Spanish skills helped a lot because I was usually able to scrape-up enough elementary Spanish to be understood, but for the others, I had to rely on Google language translation, which I also LOVE! In one class of about 15 students, we had Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Hindi, and Dari (spoken in Afghanistan).

    I am interested in your essay on "Best Literary Practices for ELLs" if you still have it, and don't mind sharing, I would love to read it. If you can't find it, or would rather not, it's okay, I understand.
    Good luck
     
  7. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Groupie

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    Jul 14, 2017

    Leaborb, I have been a "professional" substitute teacher, sometimes taking long-term assignments that last for months, and the most enjoyable classes that I have had the privilege to teach were ELLs. I LOVE IT!

    In one California school district, Spanish-speakers were only slightly the majority. My Spanish skills helped a lot because I was usually able to scrape-up enough elementary Spanish to be understood, but for the others, I had to rely on Google language translation, which I also LOVE! In one class of about 15 students, we had Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Hindi, and Dari (spoken in Afghanistan).

    I am interested in your essay on "Best Literary Practices for ELLs" if you still have it, and don't mind sharing, I would love to read it. If you can't find it, or would rather not, it's okay, I understand.
    Good luck[/QUOTE]
    PM Your email address. I'll clean up the paper and send it to you.
    :)
     
  8. DAH

    DAH Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2017

    PM Your email address. I'll clean up the paper and send it to you.
    :)[/QUOTE]

    Lea, the system would not permit me to PM you. Here is my email address
    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  9. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Groupie

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    Jul 16, 2017

    I'll just post it here for others to read if they desire. This is the version I could find. I'm sure there are errors. Whatevz I got a 4.0 LOL
    @DAH
    :)

    Instructional Best Practices for English Language Learners and Struggling Readers' Literacy and Language Acquisition


    With our collective experience teaching English Language Learners and struggling readers, we wanted to become more familiar with the instructional best practices, the rationale and how they affect language acquisition and comprehension. Our research and the articles we found focus on instructional strategies and best practices for English Language Learner development in the 21st century but can also be used to assist those struggling readers that too often times, flounder in the mainstreamed classroom as well. Literacy instruction is so important, because it’s the basis for which all learning takes place. If students can’t easily read and comprehend text, then they will struggle with more complex texts and tasks that are demanded of them in the content areas.The Common Core standards attempt to address this dilemma by promoting literacy instruction across all disciplines. The task of teaching reading no longer just falls to the elementary or English teacher. This will be beneficial because it will promote success for all students. The research focuses on the strategies that can be used to ensure success for all students’ literacy and language acquisition in the classroom.

    Literacy Foundations:

    August et al (2014) outlines the necessary foundational literacy strategies that are used to effectively teach literacy to all students. They argue for the need of explicit instruction in phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, oral reading fluency, reading comprehension, and writing. Students need a strong knowledge of literacy, in order to excel at reading and writing. Kibler, Walqui and Bunch (2015) and August et al (2014) both emphasize the importance of repeated reading increases oral fluency when teaching literacy. August et al notes, "… guided repeated oral reading, the instructional approach found effective with native speakers of English; it was also effective with ELLs"" (August, 2014, p.492). Teaching repeated oral reading in small groups or one-on-one settings benefit struggling readers and ELLs. We know that students are more successful when they have a strong model and are provided opportunities to practice repetition, than if they are expected to just independently interact with a text. Students who are provided support during literacy reinforce their understanding of the text. Additionally, repeated readings in a small group or one-on –one settings presents all students with an opportunity to practice their oral fluency. Kibler, Walqui and Bunch (2015) also emphasizes the importance of repetition and guided reading, in the article students were grouped in fours and were to reread the text until students understood the meaning and intonation of the text. The text was retyped, in four different fonts, one for each student to read, and as the students reread the text, they were to focus on fluency and meaning of the text. The two articles note: combining repetition and guided reading increases oral fluency and comprehension. In the classroom we use online literacy programs during AIS/ independent reading time where ELLs and struggling readers could log on and focus primarily on phonics. For example: a student will find the missing letter(s) to complete the word. These programs provide students with an opportunity to practice short vowels, long vowels, sight words, and matching pictures to corresponding words. These online programs can be used, depending on availability, in all classrooms to support student's individual literacy needs. Additionally, reading programs that contain fluency passages are widely used to support literacy development in the classroom. We feel using online literacy programs strengthens and build upon each students literacy skills. The majority of these literacy programs are individualized, so each students can work at their own pace.

    Background Knowledge:

    Activating a student’s background, or prior, knowledge is a crucial strategy that is used when developing literacy and language acquisition skills. It’s one of the first areas that must be accounted for during the instructional block. Simply: it’s when a teacher introduces a topic or text to be studied that may be unfamiliar (or too complex to independently understand) to a student, and scaffolds it by asking the students, “What do you already know?” or “What can you tell me?” The teacher will then, in some way or form, engage in a discussion with the students in which they all share what they already know. For example, if the class were to read an informational text about wild animals in nature, the teacher may ask the students if they have ever been to a zoo and then relate the experience to what the students already know or what they can already do. This can be used in math lesson as well when you bring a mathematical topic that the students may already know or be familiar with. In terms of literacy and language acquisition, this is needed for all ELLs and struggling readers, because it helps them “make sense” before they start reading and will be more motivated and likely to comprehend as they read rather than if they encountered it in isolation without the discussion. Students may complete graphic organizers, such as a KWL chart, or a thinking map, during this time to record information. Different strategies and techniques have been researched and implemented into classrooms to ensure that all students are engaged and connected with the lesson’s content and material as they attempt to make meaning from and connect with the studied text. All of the researchers argue for the importance of activating a student’s background knowledge to help with comprehension. With the integration and availability of technology (and other resources) in the classroom, it has become much easier to make information more accessible to students. August et al. (2014) write about the importance by saying, “Building background knowledge by previewing key vocabulary through definitions and context- rich sentences, providing brief story introductions that include details from the story, questioning sentences (…) and showing students video clips that helped contextualize the story to be read,” (p. 493). This is particularly true if you’re reading a culturally exclusive story; students from a Spanish speaking country, for example, may not necessarily know the culture and customs of the USA and thus need as much opportunity to activate their knowledge as possible and technology enhances this. DaSilva Iddings and Rose (2012) also write about the importance of activating a student’s prior knowledge to make connections with a topic. In a vignette about a teacher who is teaching her students about the Hoover Dam, she writes, “In teaching a lesson on hydroelectricity, for example, Shelly used her computer and projector to take her students on a virtual tour of Hoover Dam (…) These multimodal instructional deliveries were helpful in providing students with access to the topic of instruction and thus in creating opportunities for students to make connections with their previous knowledge about dams and about electricity. Had these alternatives not been available to the ELLs, these students may not have had any chance to understand the lesson,” (p.42) In my own classroom experiences, I would always use technology to enhance a discussion about a topic to activate a student’s prior knowledge. When I taught in Arizona, I did a unit on New York State. Many of my students didn’t know much about the state beyond NYC, but I wanted them to understand that there’s more to the state. But I brought up video clips and images to take them on a tour of the city because that is where the start of our conversation took place. I also related it to Arizona in that there are cities and urban locations like Phoenix (New York City,) and rural/ smaller communities such as Show Low, AZ, which is up in the mountains much like NY, and I wanted them to relate the two to really understand just how diverse New York State really was. I started the week by asking all my students, “What do you already know?” And not surprising, a lot had made connections to films that they had seen. I had maybe a handful of students who had actually visited the state. But having technology allowed me to show them what were going to study rather than just explaining – in words – where it’s not as “real” to them. This benefits ELLs and struggling readers, because it contextualizes and provides a visual reference for the students to understand. We also talked about New York’s history and immigration. Many of the students, living in Arizona, were in some way connected with immigration so I related the experiences. We studied immigrants coming over to Ellis Island from Europe and read snippets of diary entries in which they recounted their experiences on the boats. I needed to activate a student’s background knowledge—and show them – so they really could understand. Many didn’t even understand just how big the boats were or the conditions that many poor immigrants had to travel in. They knew about “boats,” as they had seen them, but didn’t really appreciate the immigrant’s experience or even expansive size of the ships on which they traveled until we talked and I had shown them. Technology helped. Exclusive to ELLs, but understanding that many students also come from linguistically diverse backgrounds (e.g. North and South,) and connecting to a student’s prior knowledge, is appreciating and tapping into their first language knowledge to help with literacy development and language acquisition. All authors speak to the importance of this. Speaking about students’ success, August et al (2014) write, “building on first language proficiency and literacy; considering levels of English proficiency; accommodating the needs of older, recently arrived learners (…) teachers should have a way to find out a student’s level of English proficiency and current first and second language reading skills (…) research confirms the value of approaches that use students’ first language to help them become literate in the second language and evidence suggests that there is a relationship between many literacy skills in the second language and knowledge acquired in children’s first language,” (p.495). DaSilva Iddings and Rose (2012) not only agree, but argue that there needs to be a shift in teacher’s thinking to appreciate and honor the relationship between the student’s home language and target language. The researchers write, “In response to this recognition attained during our discussions, both teachers began to allow students to speak, read and write in their native language. In so doing, they were able to keep the purposes of instruction (i.e. predicting, foretelling and foreshadowing) intact for all students (including ELLs)” (p.40). This is important, because we must tap into a student’s prior knowledge and experiences – including their prior linguistic knowledge—to not only make the instruction more engaging, but accessible to students. Not to the same extent, but if struggling readers are also limited in their language knowledge or speak in a different dialect, depending on where they know, activating their prior language knowledge will benefit them as well. A simple, but poignant example is when I taught in Arizona, I utilized the term “book-bag,” and not one student understood what I was saying. I had to capitalize on their language knowledge to help me. When I pointed out what I was talking about, they said, “A back – pack.” But in so doing, we both learned. Kibler, Walqui and Bunch (2015) provide a model for how an effective lesson should look and delves into strategies to be used in the classroom to activate a student’s prior knowledge. They speak about a model spiraled unit design plan in which the lessons provide multiple opportunities to activate and build on students’ background knowledge, while introducing new information, which builds on previously learned knowledge. When students are working together, they can utilize a clarifying bookmark in which there is a section of prompts, beneficial for both ELLs and struggling readers, which says: “I am going to use my prior knowledge to help me understand,” and provides thinking stems for students: “I know something about this from… I have read or heard about this when… I don’t understand this section, but I do recognize…” (p.21) It seems simple, but is so important as students attempt to connect with new learning and in the case of students, when reading text. Students absolutely have to activate prior knowledge, because it makes text comprehension more likely and meaningful. They close by talking about 3 moments in a lesson, which are the crucial components, and the section entitled “preparing learners” must include: activate prior relevant knowledge, focus attention to concepts to be developed and introduce vocabulary in context (p.24). Activating a student’s prior knowledge is essential for ELL and struggling readers as they develop reading and literacy comprehension. The strategies may vary, but are necessary to ensuring success for all students.

    Vocabulary:

    Knowing vocabulary is key to understanding a text. Students need to go beyond, just 'looking up' the word when studying vocabulary. Authentic activities used within a classroom capitalizes on students' real life knowledge and provides students with a self- to –text connection. Teaching vocabulary using authentic activities is one way a teacher can ensure a student has a firm grasp on the vocabulary words being taught. DaSilva Iddings and Rose (2011), examined the "contextualization of vocabulary" in content areas. The article emphasized the importance of teachers utilizing Spanish/ English vocabulary cards. When students, either ELLs or struggling readers, read a word they were unfamiliar with they were to write the word and definition on a notecard. On the reverse side of the notecard, students are to draw a corresponding picture of the word being defined. English Language Learners, were to write and illustrate the word, just as their monolingual peers, but also translate the word and definition into Spanish. Once, the students have completed a notecard, they should collaborate with a peer or teacher about their findings. Allowing ELLs to translate their vocabulary words into Spanish, provides students with an opportunity to note the similarities and differences of the word in two languages. Words, that have a Latin or Greek root DaSilva Iddings and Rose (2011) wrote, "Mexican- American students learning English could discuss their English Readings in Spanish. Doing so enables these students to achieve a much more sophisticated and higher level understanding of English text, than if they had used only English" (p.34). Allowing students to translate their readings into Spanish. Research confirms that capitalizing on a students first language strengths benefits the students literacy skills in their second language. Evidence suggests that there is a strong relationship between literacy skills in a students second language and their background knowledge of their first language (August, 2014, p. 495). As teachers we believe it is important to use a students first language to strengthens their knowledge in their second language. I would use the notecard strategy in my classroom. I believe this activity would benefit both English language learners and struggling readers because it allows students to define the unknown word, as well as draw a picture to help them make meaning of the word. English language learners are able to look at the definition and the unknown word in their own language as well as in English, which strengthens their understanding of the vocabulary word. Using these strategies in the classroom will benefit both ELL's and struggling readers by providing them with multiple strategies in decoding and defining unknown words in the classroom. I would take this notecard strategy one step further and create an interactive word wall, in which students write the unknown word in English, as well as their first language and allow the paper to flap open to the definition and drawing. This would engage and benefit all students in learning academic vocabulary.

    Collaboration:

    Collaboration, or students working together, is also important for literacy and language acquisition. This also requires a bit of a mind /cultural shift, because we as teachers must first recognize that students are experts too. When we appreciate that, and cultivate an environment where students can learn from each other, then those students (both ELLs and struggling readers,) will flourish academically and socially. All authors agree and offer strategies to ensure that collaboration is constructive and effective. August et al. (2014) says, “Peer- assisted tutoring, in which high performing readers are paired with lower performing readers (is) effective. (This) aspect of instruction (is) also particularly important because ELLs are a heterogeneous group with different degrees of English proficiency and with language backgrounds that vary in their degree of correspondence in English,” (p.492). We know that stronger students can provide as role models of fluency – and for comprehension – to struggling students. However, personalities must be accounted for when pairing the students. But in my own classroom, I did the students buddy read, which engaged my students and they were more motivated and eager to engage in discussions with each other rather than me. I also paired my ELLs together at times too so that they could help each other and I could keep an eye out on them and made sure that I was close by to offer assistance while reading. They also talk about the importance of collaborating when writing (which too often is forgotten) by saying, “There are several studies in which students wrote collaboratively; these had mixed results, suggesting that such collaboration may be more effective when combined with explicit teacher- directed instruction, including providing models of effective writing and targeted feedback to support writing revision,” (p.494). My students wrote together as well. In my first year, I paired third and fifth grade students together and they were writing buddies in which they worked together on various writing projects (e.g. poems, plays, short stories, etc.) but followed the direct instruction and modeling from my colleague and me. It worked out well and the students were supported by their peers and teachers during each step of the process. Kibler, Walqui and Bunch (2015) speaks about the emphasis of collaboration in Common Core, and the need for students to learn and express themselves in social contexts. They talk about apprenticeship in which students are invited to engage in learning (…) in social contexts were “relationships among participants are just as important as the activities in which they are engaged,” (p.16). They offer explicit strategies including the clarifying bookmark which serves as a resource for students while collaborating, and the jigsaw in which, “each member of a three- person base group joins a different expert group to develop knowledge on a different aspect of a (topic)” and then will return to their groups to teach each other (p.19) Think – pair – shares and talking with table mates are also strategies for ELLs and struggling readers. The more models the students have, the more successful they will be. DaSilva Iddings and Rose(2012) speaks about the importance of ownership, “(…) students (shared) their ideas with their tablemates. Also, during the school year, each student was placed in the role of a table leader. This role required each student to organize table activities and act as a student – teacher liaison. As teachers provided more time for interactions between students, (this allowed) for the use of both English and Spanish, (pairing) up the ELLs in order to collectively optimize their lexical resources, (the) students experienced a sense of affirmation – and even of leadership,” (p.43) Students have so much knowledge and experience and when we, as teachers, respect and tap into that, the lessons are more meaningful and engaging and will help assist the students’ literacy and language development in ways we may not necessarily if we didn’t use them. In my classroom my students were always talking through the text and sharing their ideas, because I understood this. It also helps with behavior because if students know that they’ll have the opportunities to share, then they’re more likely to stay focused during direct instruction or “teacher” talk time.


    Conclusion:

    The articles focused on instructional strategies and best practices for English Language Learner development in the 21st century but can also be used to assist those struggling readers. Common Core Standards attempts to address the differences in learners’ ability and creates standards to ensure no student is left behind. The research focused on the strategies that can be used to ensure success for all students’ literacy and language acquisition in the classroom.


    References

    August, D., McCardle, P., Shanahan, T., & Burns, M. (2014). Developing Literacy in English Language Learners: Findings From a Review of the Experimental Research. School Psychology Review, 43(4), 490-498.

    DaSilva Iddings, A. a., & Rose, B. C. (2012). Developing pedagogical practices for English-language learners: a design-based approach. Pedagogies, 7(1), 32-51. doi:10.1080/1554480X.2012.630510

    Kibler, A. K., Walqui, A., & Bunch, G. C. (2015). Transformational Opportunities: Language and Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners in the Common Core Era in the United States. TESOL Journal, 6(1), 9-35. doi:10.1002/tesj.133
     
  10. DAH

    DAH Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2017

    Thank you, Lea, I will print it out to peruse later; it looks like good reading. I'm seriously thinking about entering the field of ESOL. I became interested while subbing for ELLs; also a few years ago; this area received a fresh batch of Afghanistani Dari speaking students--no English! AND, a fairly large group of unaccompanied minors from South America. The districts want single-subject English teachers for these positions. From my understanding,the unaccompanied minors were placed in an International school. But all of this really peaked my interest, it's something I really enjoy and may as well spend a few years engaged in it, IF I can get through the linguistic courses.

    Thanks again
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2017

    I can't even follow this any more.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2017

    If one has WIDA scores, there are 'I can' statements to guide instruction.
     

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