1 Why ESL Phonological Teaching Improves ELLs’ Literacy Skills Presented by Dr. Eugenia Krimmel
2 Today we will discuss…The differences between teaching ELLs to read as opposed to teaching native English speakersThe levels involved in learning both the bottom-up and top-down aspects of languageConnect oral language skills to printPhonemic awareness linked to decoding and encoding (spelling)Teaching and practicing syllable rules, spelling patterns, and mental imagery for good ELL readersThe sequence of teaching bottom-up towards top-down strategies within our daily or weekly lessons.
3 Why is teaching an English Language Learner (ELL) different in some respects to how we teach native English speakers? What needs do the ELLs have?
4 Different Sounds System /th/ does not exist in most languagesELL substitute /th/ with /d/, /t/, /z//b/ and /v/ are not distinguished in SpanishNo vowel teams in other languagesMany languages have only a vowel-consonant-vowel pattern: no digraphs or clusters
5 Different Written Systems Beautiful : Roman scriptArabic script: جميلChinese: 完美的Hiragani Japanese:Tamil:
6 Different Word Patterns Plural –s suffix does not exist in many Asian languagesTwo dollars = two dollar (the 2 indicates plural) in ChinesePronouns are added to words not standalone wordsI go = gidiyorum (indicates “I”) in TurkishMonosyllabic languages (Chinese, Hawaiian, South Eastern languages)Multisyllabic languages (German, English, Spanish, Turkish)
7 Different Sentence Structures Sentence Order: Subject-Verb-Object (English)Object –Verb+Subject (Turkish)Subject + Object + Verb (Hindi) Many languages do not have verb “to be” (Turkish, Arabic, Tagalog…)I am a teacher = Ben bir öğretmenim (Turkish – “ I one teacher/1st person indicator”Preposition attached to the noun vs. preposition a separate word before the object.
8 Different Discourse Patterns English/Germanlinear: beginning, middle, endSemitic languages (Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew):Redundant, parallelism, repetition of thoughts with new wordsSlavic languages (Russian, Czech, Polish):Zigzag pattern with added facts (related to historical facts)Romance languages (Spanish, French, Romanian):Zigzag pattern with added tangents or side storiesAsian languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog):Indirect, and recursive
9 Between 37-41 depending on the dialect of English Do you know?How many phonemes we have in English?Between depending on the dialect of EnglishDr. Bruce Hayes, Dept. of Linguistics, UCLAHow many syllable types there are in English?6 types- Louis Moats and Carol Tolman, Reading Rockets: Six Syllable Types
10 How many ways we spell long /a/ sound? Do you know?How many ways we spell long /a/ sound?8 !- a – Consonant –e-ay-ai-ei (vein)-eigh (weight)-ea (break, steak, great)a- as an open syllable (apricot)-ey (they, hey)
11 Why are ELLs confused?Sounds do NOT match the graphemes or symbols 1 –to- 1English is a low correspondence language!Recognizing phonemes in words and sentences is a struggle if certain phonemes are totally unfamiliarWord construction and sentence construction patterns are unfamiliarEnglish has many exceptions(“red words”)
12 Connecting oral language with literacy skill development: What should we teach? :Phoneme awareness and discriminationSound to letter correspondenceWord formation patternsSyllable patterns and divisionsSpelling system rules (encoding)Short phrase decodingWhen foundation is formed, fluency and comprehension can begin.
13 Phoneme awareness and discrimination “The ability to perceive individual speech sounds in spoken words is crucial for students who are learning to read. If teachers do not possess this knowledge, how can they recognize and treat students whose basic difficulty in learning to read is the inability to perceive speech sounds in spoken words?”- Suzanne Carreker, Vice President of Research and Program Development at Neuhaus Education center, Houston, Texas.
14 Know your phonemes.A teacher can stat by reviewing lists of phonemes like:Or try an interactive website using the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) for EnglishNow that you know what all those pesky phonemes are, let’s look at ways to teach ELLs those sounds…
15 ESL Strategies for teaching listening phonemic awareness Minimal pairs activity: 2 words with one phoneme difference.Identify the same sound in words (bit, bat, ball)Odd sound out – (bit, bat, cat)
16 More ESL phonemic awareness strategies: Combo Phones – give separate phonemes and have students put them together (c-a-t)Tap out sounds – students tap one finger per sound as they hear the word (b-a-ck= 3 taps)Add or Subtract Sounds – can ELLs recognize what word is made by adding or subtracting a sound = (“thin” plus /k/ =“ think”; “black” minus /l/ = “back”)
17 More phonemic awareness for ELLs Position of the phoneme within a word can also cause difficulties for ELLs when discriminating sounds or while pronouncing words.Strategy: Teach students :Initial Middle FinalTell them to listen for the /th/ sound in bath.Final soundListen for /th/ in birthday. – Middle sound
18 Why are these strategies important for ELLs? Native English speakers have these sound referents in their heads alreadyELLs need to build a phonemic inventoryELLs do NOT have all these sounds and combinations in their head
19 With these sounds going into their heads, their phonemic inventory, ELLs can now develop oral to written correspondence.
20 Sound to letter teaching Encoding is for spelling. Decoding is for reading.
21 In order to become good decoders and spellers (encoders), learners need to first develop fundamental understandings about writing and how it relates to spoken English. -Anna Gillingham , The Gillingham Manual
22 Spelling or encoding is the system of rules governing how spoken words are represented in writing (in graphemes). These rules the basis of the alphabetic principle of a given language
23 All readers and writers of a language must know the common alphabetic principle. Try this: Copy this word on a piece of paper. جميلة
24 Did you write it left to right or right to left? Which letters are consonants?Which are vowels? Are there vowels?Do you recognize the root of this word?Which sounds are represented in this word?
25 Knowing the alphabetic principle of a written language is essential to the higher skills of reading and writing. Without this in English, ELLs struggle. Not all ELLs use the Roman alphabet, so sound to letter teaching is essential!
26 The major flaw of reading programs is the teaching of letter-to-sound rather than sound-to- letter, hence the alphabetic principle is not well learned by the [ELL] reader Marcia K. Henry, Unlocking Literacy: Effective Decoding and Spelling Instruction.
27 Decoding and Encoding together Connect sound to letter for both decoding and encoding skill development.If a phoneme has more than 1 spelling, focus on one spelling pattern at a time.Sequencing that order is best, but not always possible:ELLs may need to learn /ā/ is spelled “ei” before learning “ay” because in math or science they are learning Weights and Measures.
28 Strategies linking oral sounds to spelling: Either by order of frequency (found in Orton-Gillingham materials) OR by necessity in the text, teach 2-3 phonemes in isolation orally, through phonemic awareness activitiesTHENPut those sounds into writing!Example:The sound/ŭ/is in these words :“umbrella, bug and cut”on the board while underlining the /u/. Connect the sound to the symbol.
29 Total Physical Response (TPR) type activities: More Strategies…Total Physical Response (TPR) type activities:Point to pictures of words with a specific sound i.e. - ice, pig, egg (point to which word/picture do you hear /ī/ in?)Sort picture cards or word cards by sound categoriesMatch oral sound to letter, letter combination or word containing that soundWrite the letter(s) for the sound you hearList all the words beginning with the sound …
30 Word level teaching for decoding and encoding Spelling patternsSyllable rulesStress patterns
31 Spelling patternsThere are numerous spelling patterns in English. Teachers can present 1 or 2 patterns per week such as:The “FLOSS” pattern: words of 1 syllable ending in f, l, or s after 1 vowel usually end in ff, ll, or ss.Final /k/ sound is spelled –k after a long vowel or vowel team (take, week, book) OR after a consonant (milk, talk, think)/k/ is spelled –ck at the end of a short vowel syllable (duck, clock or jacket, tickle)/s/ can be spelled with soft “c” + e or I(cent, city)
32 Syllable PatternsClosed syllables – has 1 short vowel (at, bin, ad-, egg, speck, scratch…)Open syllables - has 1 long vowel (me, hi, co-, tri-, pre-, de-, no…)Vowel team or combination - 2 vowels together make 1 vowel sound(ee, ea, oi, ou, au, aw, ow, etc.)(bee, ouch, now, boy, soil, saw…)
33 Syllable patterns con’t Vowel-consonant-e – 1st vowel has the long sound, “e” is silent (-ate, -ene, -ine, -oke, ute) (late, scene, nine, poke, cute)Consonant –le: syllables ending in –ble, -cle, dle, ckle, fle, gle, ple, tle) (able, uncle, puddle, rifle, giggle)3. -r controlled: vowels + r in syllable(third, cart, purse, doctor, her, solar)
34 Syllable division or word patterns C-V-C (consonant-vowel-consonant) (c-a-t, p-e-n)V-C-C-V (rab-bit, but-ton, mer-chant, com- pare)V-C-V (pi-lot, mu-sic, po-lite OR cab-in, lev-el)V-C-CC-V (mon-ster, pil-grim)V-CC-C-V (pump-kin, dish-rag, a-part-ment)Prefix + root word + suffixmis-spell-ing, en-rich-mentSchwa syllable is sometimes added to this list – in polysyllabic words, the soft /ŭ/ sound of the unstressed syllable = schwa (a,e,i,o, or u)
35 Self-Reflection: Planning What daily lesson sequence do you have for teaching the bottom-up skills through to the top-down comprehension skills?Do you teach that range of reading/writing skills on a weekly basis rather than a daily one? Why?When planning the scope and sequence of your reading skills lessons, what do you use to guide your thought process? Student assessment, book materials, scripted program?
36 How do I teach my ELLs all these? SystematicallyDailySequentiallySmaller to larger chunksSingle to combinationsandWITH MULTISENSORY STRATEGIES
37 Start with Sounds and letters Flash cards with letters and letter combinations – show to students, they tell you the sound those letter(s) make!Blending Drill (yes I said DRILL! We want automaticity at this stage for fluency and better comprehension)Put phoneme flash cards in 3 piles by Initial-Middle-Final positions possible in English.Initial Middle Finalb,ch, p, y, j, sl a,i,o, oi, ou, u, oo s, p, -ch, -ngPossible combinations: boop, choich, slous….*note this syllable game is practice decoding only
38 Teach ELLs how to mark the words by syllable and vowel type
39 Reading Horizons example *1. metXThe letters that come right after the first vowel in the word will indicate what the vowel will sound like. A new term is given to consonants as we look at phonetic skills #1 and #2. These letters are called consonant/guardians. The 1st phonetic skill is: “The vowel is short because it has a guardian (or consonant) after it.”Press space bar three times until all the marks are put on the word
40 Reading Horizons example *1. met2. jump3. me4. smile5. boat
41 Reading Horizons example #1 How do you decode this word?wabe
42 Reading Horizons example #1 How do you decode this word?wabeXXLet’s go back to the Jabberwocky” poem. How do you decode this word using one of the 5 phonetic skils?Now to decode the next word, we need to look at the 2 decoding skills…
44 example #2How do you decode this word?brilligXX
45 How do you read or decode these nonsense words? Reading Horizons v5How do you read or decode these nonsense words?wabebrillig
46 Suggested Lesson Routine 25 minsTotal time of routine2 mins.Listening phonemic awareness activity5 mins.Blending drill with flash cards in 3 piles (add silent e as 4th pile) individual or small groupPresent spelling or syllable pattern- teach markingsSound-to-letter activity – tapping or blendingStudent air-write or write on board spelling wordsChoral read list of focused words, red wordsWord dictation – review, new, and red words 10-12Practice activities of phonemes, spellings, syllablesMove to vocabulary, fluency and comprehension strategies
47 Isn’t that a long time?In that 25 minutes you have taught essential skills necessary for ELLs to move forward in language proficiencyThe bottom-up strategies are the foundations to vocabulary and larger text reading.The total time – 25 minutes- will lessen as skills are mastered.
48 A word about nonsense words for ELLs Always indicate they are NONSENSE wordsShould never appear on tests (other than testing decoding skills)Practice blending and reading nonsense words is important for future unfamiliar word decoding
49 Quick reviewTeaching ELLs to read and spell in English requires purposeful, effective strategies that may not be necessary or practical for native English speakersPlanning a routine of sequential daily strategies to teach the phonemic awareness skills will improve their literacy skills at all levelsKnowing, as teachers, the nature of English phonemes, rules of syllables and segmentation, and spelling patterns is key to effectively teaching ELLs to read and write.A program like Reading Horizons can help you plan, deliver, and assess focused skill development for ELLs at all levels and ages.
50 Self-Reflection: Strategies What strategies/activities do you use to teach oral introduction and/or discrimination of sounds?What strategies do you use to teach vowel teams, clusters, diagraphs, and diphthongs?What activities do you find best for teaching the types of syllables?What activities do you find effective for teaching spelling patterns?
51 Sharing IdeasPlease share a brief list and short description of strategies you have found to be effective in the aspects of teaching reading to ELLs mentioned above.What resources do you use to make these activities a reality in your class to save you as a teacher time and/or money?
52 Questions and AnswersDo you have any questions regarding the oral to written teaching sequence or strategies geared towards ELLs’ skill development?Do you have any questions regarding the timing or sequencing of strategies?Do you have any questions about the information presented to today?
53 ReferencesBirch, B. M, (2002). English L2 Reading: Getting to the Bottom. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Carreker, S. (2010). Professional Development presentation. Retrieved from:English phonemes, spellings, example words, and meaningful names . (n.d.). Retrieved fromHeidi Hyte, (2006). An Interactive Approach to Teaching L2 Reading: From the Bottom-Up Webinar. Reading Horizons.com.Henry, M. (2010). Unlocking literacy: Effective decoding and spelling instruction. Paul H Brookes Pub Co; 2 edition.Moats, L. & Tolman, C. (2008). Six syllable types. Reading Rockets, Retrieved from:.
54 ReferencesReading Horizons, (2007). Scientifically Based Research Underpinning the Rationales of the Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself Reading System. Retrieved from:Sholes, D. (2011). Activities for teaching phonemes: Lesson plan for teaching sounds. Retrieved fromTe Arapiki Ako. (n.d.). Decoding for reading; spelling (encoding) for writing. Retrieved from
55 ReferencesUsingEnglish.com (2006). Here are the ipa (international phonetic alphabet) symbols for the common sounds of english. Retrieved from