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Writing Across the Curriculum: Scaffolding for ELLs

Writing Across the Curriculum: Scaffolding for ELLs

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Writing Across the Curriculum: Scaffolding for ELLs

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  1. Writing Across the Curriculum: Scaffolding for ELLs Presented by Kim Littrell, NBCT, M.Ed. OEA Teaching & Learning Specialist

  2. Teaching Writing is NOT… • Just for language arts • Separate from literacy • A mysterious process • Just paper and pencil • Boring • A waste of time • …Rocket Science!

  3. However, teaching writing IS… • An AFFECTIVE experience…meaningit cannot be separated from emotions (Krashen’s “affective filter”). Your experiences with writing influence your ability to teach writing, and your students’ writing experiences influence their ability to write. SO….on a notecard, write for 5 minutes describing your experiences with writing during your primary and early secondary education. Use many descriptive, sensory adjectives and transition /signal words. Also describe how these experiences impact how you feel about writing as an adult. SHARE with a neighbor!

  4. Krashen’s Affective Filter A learner’s feelings/emotions, such as stress, anxiety, or boredom, may block language input into the brain. Think about a situation you have encountered when you were unable to communicate, to understand what was going on around you, or to ask for the things you needed. How did you feel? What did you do? Lowering the Affective Filter for ELLs in the classroom is key to providing an environment that promotes language acquisition!

  5. Language Learning Theory—Three dimensions of language required: BICS: Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills, the basic language ability required for face-to-face communication where communication occurs in a situational context CALP: Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency, which is required for academic achievement in a context-reduced environment, such as lecture, textbook reading CUP: Common Underlying Proficiency: Cummins theory that 2 languages work in an integrated manner in 1 underlying, central thinking system (skills that aren’t directly connected to 1 language, such as reading, can be transferred to another since they exist as part of a common proficiency)

  6. BICS: Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills • Think about the different purposes for language in your everyday life…what do you use language for? • Do you use the same vocabulary in all of these situations? For example, do you speak to your boss in the same way you speak to your spouse? • BICS is everyday, basic communication but is very undemanding & dependent upon context (situation); context can be embedded (objects, gestures, inflection) or reduced (relies on background knowledge & knowledge-specific vocabulary, grammar, expression)

  7. CALP: Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency • More demanding…includes listening, speaking, reading, & writing; can be subject-area specific • Can be cognitively undemanding & use high-frequency words & familiar forms or demanding & use academic language & vocabulary • Includes skills such as comparing, classifying, synthesizing, evaluating, inferring • New ideas & concepts are presented in CALP at school • CALP takes 7 to 10 years for ELLs to completely develop!! What is the implication of this in our practice?

  8. CUP: Common Underlying Proficiency • While acquiring L1, child acquires a set of skills & implicit metalinquistic knowledge that can be used when working with L2…TRANSFER OF KNOWLEDGE • Some elements of language transfer from L1 to L2: phonological awareness (intonation, syllabication, rhyme, blending) & cognate vocabulary (words that are similar in both languages, family-familia; study-estudio) • If a student can read in one language, they don’t have to learn to “read” all over again! • For example, Spanish instruction that develops Spanish reading & writing skills also develops a deeper conceptual & linguistic proficiency that contributes significantly to the development of English literacy.

  9. Cummin’s Quadrant ActivityHandout 1-R Cognitively Undemanding CALPS, easy Context A C Context Embedded, Reduced, BICS, clues B D BICS, few clues Cognitively Demanding CALPS, difficult

  10. Stages of Language Acquisition • The process is predictable • May be be compared to L1 acquisition • Individual progress through stages varies as students develop at their own pace • Knowledge of instructional strategies & techniques to use at each stage will encourage the continuous growth of language

  11. Stages of Language Acquisition Krashen & Terrell: • Pre-production • Early production or early speech • Speech emergence • Intermediate fluency Language Theorists: • Silent/receptive or pre-production • Early production • Speech emergence • Intermediate Proficiency • Advanced Proficiency

  12. The silent/receptive or pre-production stage • Can last up to 6 months • Characterized by a silent period during which the learner is unable to produce language but may respond with non-verbal gestures such as nodding, pointing, responding with yes/no • The learner is very receptive to language input & may understand up to 500 words at this level Handout #3-Language Acquisition Descriptors

  13. Early production/early speech • Can last 6 months to 1 year • Characterized by production of one to two words or short phrase responses with increased comprehension • Demonstrates an increased vocabulary development of about 1,000 words, both in the ability to comprehend input & produce speech

  14. Speech emergence • Can last from 1 to 2 years • Characterized by a considerable increase in verbal output with longer sentences, sprinkled with grammatical & syntactical errors that may interfere with communication • Both receptive & productive vocabulary increase to about 3,000 words

  15. Intermediate language proficiency • Can last from 1 to 2 years • Characterized by considerable increase in verbal and written output with more complex sentence structures • Manipulates receptive and productive vocabulary of about 6,000 words with some syntactical & structural errors

  16. Advanced language proficiency • To get to this stage, it takes from 5 to 10 years of English language learning (not age) • Characterized by near native proficiency in both verbal & written applications • ? What are the implications here for CCSS assessment?? • Successfully manipulates content area vocabulary and participates like a native speaker, but may need occasional support or clarification

  17. Writing across the curriculum in the CCSS era Let’s take a look…

  18. Key Advances/Shifts to Common Core "About PARCC." Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <>.

  19. P.A.S.S. Sample Writing Prompt(last year) • Think about a day you’ve enjoyed with your family. It could be when you were on vacation, on a Saturday trip, or just a day at home. Then write an essay telling about your day. Explain it in detail so others will know why it was the best day ever (Grade 8).

  20. CCSS Sample Performance Tasks "Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects: Appendix B: Test Exemplars and Sample Performance Tasks." p.101-139, n.d. Web.13 Oct. 2012. ELA: Students analyze how the character of Odysseus from Homer’s Odyssey—a “man of twists and turns”—reflects conflicting motivations through his interactions with other characters in the epic poem. They articulate how his conflicting loyalties during his long and complicated journey home from the Trojan War both advance the plot of Homer’s epic and develop themes. [RL.9–10.3] ELA- Informational Text: Students compare George Washington’s Farewell Address to other foreign policy statements, such as the Monroe Doctrine, and analyze how both texts address similar themes and concepts regarding “entangling alliances.” [RI.9–10.9] History/SS/Science, Technical Subjects: Students determine the meaning of words such as quadrant, astrolabe, equator, and horizon line in Joan Dash’s The Longitude Prize as well as phrases such as dead reckoning and sailing the parallel that reflect social aspects of history. [RH.9–10.4]

  21. OVERALL… • Students need to write on a DAILY basis in all subject areas • Students must also be CLOSE READERS of texts: • 4th Grade: 50% nonfiction/informational & 50% fiction/literary • 8th Grade: 55% nonfiction/informational & 45% fiction/literary • 12th Grade: 30% nonfiction/informational & 70% fiction/literary • Multiple sources • *Question: • What does TEXT-BASED writing mean?! Common Core State Standards Initiative, comp. Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. p.5, n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.

  22. CCSS requires students to… Analytic Writing is a combination of 2 or all 3 of the types of writing in 1 document or project. 4th- 35% 8th- 30% 12th- 20% 4th- 35% 8th- 35% 12th- 40% Reflective Writing is first mentioned in the 8th grade standards and it is integrated into the other 3 types of writing as a metacognitive strategy. 4th- 30% 8th- 35% 12th- 40% Common Core State Standards Initiative, comp. Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. p.5, n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.

  23. Writing Standards

  24. Narrative Writing:conveys experiences “Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.” (CCSS C&CR Anchor Standards for Writing 6-12, pg. 41) • Engage & orient the reader by establishing a context/ setting & introducing a narrator &/or characters • Organize an event sequencelogically • Use narrative techniques: • Dialogue • Pacing • Descriptive, sensory language • Reflection (grade 8)

  25. Narrative Writing:conveys experiences • Uses transition words, phrases, and clauses to help convey sequence, to signal shifts in time or setting, show relationships • Word Choice: Uses precise words and phrases, relevant and descriptive details, and sensory language Best practices…use a transition word wall with transitions and their purposes

  26. Let’s talk about…

  27. Expository, Informational Writing: conveys ideas “Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.” (CCSS C&CR Anchor Standards for Writing 6-12, pg. 42) • Introduce & organize a topic using strategies such as: • Definition • Classification • Comparison/contrast • Cause/effect • Formatting, including graphics & multimedia applications

  28. Expository, Informational Writing: conveys ideas • Develop topic with: • Relevant facts • Definitions • Concrete details • Quotations • Examples • Use transitions to clarify relationships • Word choice: Use precise language and domain-specific (subject-specific academic terms) to inform & explain

  29. Let’s talk about…

  30. Argumentative, Persuasive Writing: conveys reasoning “Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.” (CCSS C&CR Writing Standards 6-12 pg. 42) • Introduce claims & acknowledge alternate or opposing claims • Distinguish claims from one another (compare and contrast) • Support claims with logical reasoning & relevant evidence from credible sources

  31. Let’s talk about…

  32. The (Revised) Writing Process • Collecting, gathering data • Drafting, organizing data for audience & purpose, outlining • Revising content • Editing, polishing, & peer review • Publishing, Presentation

  33. But writing is a non-linear, continual process!

  34. SCAFFOLDING WRITING (and other tasks) FOR ELLS(and other students!)

  35. Strategies for Scaffolded Instruction This sequence is an example of activities that have been scaffolded for ELLs: • Graphic organizers/mind maps • Modeled writing • Cloze passages/Writing frames • Interactive writing • Peer review and assistance • Independent writing

  36. Scaffolded Instruction • Academic tasks are clearly and carefully explained • Multi-step directions are scaffolded to promote student success • Graphic organizers provide visual representations of abstract concepts • Shared, interactive reading/writing allows students to participate in non-threatening literacy experiences • TPR (total physical response) activities engage students with language even before they are able to speak • Think alouds in non-threatening conditions; provide the ELL with self-monitoring & self-assessment strategies

  37. Scaffolded Instruction • Language functions: What we do with language…describing, comparing, analyzing; language structures are the syntax we use to carry out those functions • Both must be taught explicitly to support optimal learning & language development • Speaking & listening are as important as reading & writing; ELLs need support in all 4 areas • Research by Diane August (2003) found that a very small percentage of an ELL student’s day is spent on academic talk… 2 %!!

  38. Language functions & structures Language functions: • Seeking information • Informing • Analyzing • Comparing • Classifying • Predicting • Hypothesizing • Justifying • Persuading • Solving problems • Synthesizing • Evaluating Language structures: Ex.: Seeking information: What time is it? It’s ______ o’clock. Ex. Predicting: What do you think will happen? _______ will happen because ______.

  39. Teachers plan for language development when they: • Write both content & language objectives • Identify and model problematic structures • Plan an instructional sequence in which language functions, structures, and vocabulary are modeled and practiced • Document and assess student progress Herrel & Jordan (2004)

  40. Vocabulary Instruction that supports language development • Content vocabulary —the words students need to learn in order to understand concepts…the key vocabulary words that all students must learn in each content area • Academic vocabulary —the words students need to know to complete academic tasks & succeed academically • Functional vocabulary —the English words that students need to understand to make sense of a text (more general & more closely related to students’ level of language development)

  41. Vocabulary Instruction Thematic instruction & content integration: • Vocabulary must be taught in the context of students’ own speaking, reading, and writing • There is no benefit to selecting 25-30 isolated words & asking ELLs to copy them from the board & look up their definitions (Echavarria, et. Al., 2004) Word analysis: • Language learners need specific strategies for word analysis in order to move toward independence in their vocabulary development • 80% of English words are developed from Greek & Latin morphemes (word parts); learning word parts is essential to ELLs

  42. Vocabulary to either avoid or teach using visual clues & cues… • Colloquialisms • Idioms • Slang • Figurative language (metaphors, similes) • Hyperbole

  43. Metacognitive Strategies The hidden skills necessary for literacy and understanding must be explicitly taught & modeled out loud: • Accessing prior knowledge • Monitoring • Remembering • Evaluating • Imagining • Predicting • Planning

  44. Modeled writing ALWAYS BEGIN BY CREATING A CLASS MODEL!! • Use overhead, dry-erase board, butcher/roll-out paper, smart board but distribute copies/have students copy down • Instillsconfidence…lowers the affective filter! • Academic risk-taking is how kids really learn • Participation grade • Can have cooperative learning applications • Improves quality of input because it is visual and has tactile, kinesthetic opportunities • Especially helpful for IEP, ELL

  45. Cloze sentences & Framing… provides structure Sentence frames act as example topic sentences! Narrative: In/During the ____________ (time period, title) ______________ (name, issue) was an ___________ (adj. here) _______________________ (role) because/since ___________. Expository: The _______________ (specific subject, topic) has/had/makes/made _____________________ (adj. here) impacts/contributions/etc. _________________ in/to _______________ (broad subject area, field, topic). Scaffolded Writing Handout #3-ea Can be extended for paragraphs, even entire projects…

  46. Outlines… provide explicit direction Introduction Paragraph #1 Paragraph #2 Paragraph #3 Conclusion

  47. Graphic Organizers… provide structure & visual supports

  48. 4 Square Writing is a Graphic Organizer/Visual Learning Tool that Assists Students in Developing Ideas and Writing about Them

  49. Topic Sentence: My favorite meal is spaghetti and meatballs.

  50. TOPIC SENTENCE: There are many ways I can incorporate writing into my classroom…