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Working With English Language Learners

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1 Working With English Language Learners
PLC Workshop January 30, 2010

2 Contents Who Are ELLs? The Three Main Types of ELLs
Implications for the Classroom Profile of English Language Learners in SRSD#119 Types of English Acquiring Academic English Literacy Achievement and Attainment Case Study Additional Support: SWIS

3 What Identifies a Student as ELL?
an English Language Learner (ELL) is a person who needs support with the English Language. ELLs vary in terms of level or language proficiency and time spent in Canada. the following categories define the three main types of ELLs in our division. P.A. Herald, January, 2012

4 The Three Main Categories of ELLs
Newly Arrived with Adequate Schooling Newly Arrived with Limited Formal Schooling Long Term English Language Learners

5 1. Newly Arrived with Adequate Schooling
recently arrived in Canada, but have attended school in their country up to appropriate grade level examples include students from “western countries” such as France, Spain or Germany; as well as students from Asia, such as China or Japan

6 Implications for the Classroom
tend to be familiar with content, but need to learn key words in English may be ahead of grade level in content main challenges are cultural – they are often accustomed to traditional formal education may need time before they are comfortable participating, making eye contact and offering opinions in class respond well to structure, homework and learning facts tend to catch on quickly to English and culture and often require the least ongoing English support

7 2. Students with Limited Formal Schooling
also new arrivals, but may not have attended school before or have had interrupted schooling examples include refugee students

8 Implications for the Classroom
require considerable support in English and school culture learning every day English (social English), academic English as well as the initial content often lack prior knowledge in content areas and classroom procedures tend to suffer from trauma, extreme culture shock and other psychological or even physical issues require support in terms of culture and catching up to the language and content of their peers, but are capable of learning

9 3. Long-Term English Learners
in Canada for 7 years or more many were born here, but may speak another language at home or have parents who do not speak (much) English examples include students whose parents immigrated from another country, students who came to Canada when they were young and aboriginal students, particularly our Cree and Dene speakers from northern Canada

10 Implications for the Classroom
also need support with English – mainly academic English often go undetected as ELLs need help with literacy (all languages), academic or high level vocabulary, and writing and formal oral language skills often misdiagnosed as having learning disabilities or simply do not receive support tend to struggle in school, feel alienated and have very little confidence

11 English Language Learners Profile In SRSD#119

12 ELL Profile According to Origin

13 Types of English Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS)
Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)

14 BICS Essentially defined as ‘everyday’ English.
It is the words we usually hear and in the day to conversations that we have. ELLs tend to pick up on BICS in 1-3 years. ELLs absorb BICS fairly quickly because the language is constantly being repeated. Social interactions are usually context embedded. Not cognitively demanding.

15 CALP This refers to academic English, which includes general language and content specific language. Unlike BICS, CALPS is not usually heard in everyday English. It is generally found in text, academic lectures or presentations. It usually takes 7-10 years for ELLs to catch up to their same age peers in CALP, although some studies put the figure at 12 years. It is context reduced. It is cognitively demanding. It is more than just vocabulary. It incudes skills such as comparing, classifying, synthesizing etc.

16 Why Is Learning Academic English (CALP) Important?
English tends to become more academic by grades 4 or 5, although it can be found even kindergarten and preschool level fiction. By grade 4/5, the content classes and related assignments become more academic. Prior to these grades, ELLs who have been in school from Kindergarten might be performing the same as their peers, however, often gaps in learning and performance begin to appear in grades 4/5.

17 How Can We Help ELLs Learn Academic English?
Exposure to text and fostering literacy skills. Explicit instruction of reading strategies. Family involvement.

18 1. Exposure to Text and Fostering Literacy Skills
Researchers Himmele and Himmele define academic English as “the language of books.” (2009) Reading fiction or nonfiction has been proven to help ELLs acquire academic language. Peripheral vocabulary Active vocabulary Books are where we consistently find academic language. Text should be age appropriate. ELLs should be encouraged to read for pleasure in their free time. In 51/54 comparisons readers do as well or better in comprehension tests than students with traditional skill-based instruction (Krashen, 2004) ELLs can and should read in their first language as well as English.

19 2. Explicit Instruction of Reading Strategies
Prediction Guessing meaning in context Dictionary use Skimming, scanning Highlighting P.A. Herald, March, 2009

20 3. Family Involvement Families can;
Support and foster first language usage and development. Reading with their children in both languages. Family Read-Alouds Actively engage with schools. For example, families can; Attend parent teacher interviews. Speak informally with teachers Attend class trips, activities and participate meaningfully in school culture. Learn with their children via reading, homework and websites at home.

21 Literacy Achievement and Attainment
Scaffold Meaning (Comprehensible Input and Output) Activate Prior Knowledge/Build on Background knowledge Affirm Identity Extend Language

22 Examples of Scaffolding
Show pictures before reading. Brainstorm vocabulary (colours, objects etc.) from pictures. Have ELLs put the story’s pictures in order. Have ELLs retell the story in words or pictures. Read simply for enjoyment and discuss the story informally. Point to the pictures as you read a word, then have the student point out key words. Reread the same book regularly and ask questions about the story or the student’s opinion. Have students fill in the blanks, do Cloze passages.

23 Activating Prior Knowledge
ELLs come to our classes equipped with rich life experiences and prior knowledge. Accessing and activating that prior knowledge creates an inclusive classroom and makes learning meaningful. For example, have students in math do surveys of languages spoken in school (Thornwood School, grade 5), have them present on social issues from their country.

24 Affirming Identity ELLs have one of the highest drop out rates (Himmele and Himmele, 2009) Culture is part of a student's identity and can help activate prior knowledge. Schools and classes should reflect the multicultural diversity student make up. Schools/Classes can; Display multilingual work Have multilingual signs, posters Include multilingual books in libraries for parents and students. Affirming identity, fuels further engagement so students are motivated to read, learn and communicate.

25 Extending Language Build on what students already know by suggesting new words. Teach the language of content (academic words tend to have Greek/Latin roots). For example, teach the language of math or social studies.

26 Case Studies For Literacy Achievement and Attainment
Lisa Leoni: Year 1 – Grade 7/8 mainstream class; Year 2 – Grades 4-6 ESL; Large Muslim student population from Pakistan; Lisa explored implementation of bilingual instructional strategies as a way of enabling literacy engagement from a very early stage of students’ learning of English. In a “normal” classroom, it would be several years before newcomer students could engage in extended creative writing (in English). Jim Cummins, , 2009

27 Lisa Leoni’s Rationale
The way I see it everything has to relate to the identity of the students; children have to see themselves in every aspect of their work at school. For example, when Tomer entered my class last year, a lot of the work he produced was in Hebrew. Why? Because that is where his knowledge was encoded and I wanted to make sure that Tomer was an active member and participant in my class. It was also a way for me to gain insight into his level of literacy and oral language development.

28 Case Study: Kanta

29 Kanta’s Reflection And how it helped me was when I came here in grade 4 the teachers didn’t know what I was capable of. I was given a pack of crayons and a coloring book and told to get on coloring with it. And after I felt so bad about that--I’m capable of doing much more than just that. I have my own inner skills to show the world than just coloring and I felt that those skills of mine are important also. So when we started writing the book [The New Country], I could actually show the world that I am something instead of just coloring. And that's how it helped me and it made me so proud of myself that I am actually capable of doing something, and here today [at the Ontario TESL conference] I am actually doing something. I’m not just a coloring person—I can show you that I am something.

30 What We Can Learn From Kanta
Multiliteracy strategies form an image of ELLs as intelligent, imaginative, and linguistically talented. Multiliteracies acknowledges and builds on the cultural and linguistic prior knowledge of students and communities. Multiliteracies promotes cognitive engagement and acknowledgement of identity on the part of students.

31 Important Considerations
all ELLs are capable of learning content and higher order thinking, but need support in order to succeed. ELLs are capable of being biliterate. ELLs are often chasing a moving target – they are trying to catch up to their peers, while their peers continue to learn and advance there are strategies that teachers can incorporate into their lessons, assignments and assessment to help make content meaningful and comprehensible. ELLs are everybody’s business (Cummins, 2011) ELLs are capable of creative and imaginative thinking and expression.

32 Jim Cummins’ Fundamental Principal
“If you want immigrant and minority group students to emerge from schooling after 12 years as intelligent, imaginative, and linguistically talented, then treat them as intelligent, imaginative, and linguistically talented from the first day they arrive in school.” Rationale: . . . policy and practice should focus on the ways in which student identities are constructed (or constricted) in the curriculum and in the interactions and relationships going on in school. Extensive research highlights the central role of these factors in students’ success or failure. Jim Cummins, “Making Multilingualism Meaningful”, 2009

33 Additional Support: SWIS
Support Workers In Schools (SWIS) is a school-based outreach program. Aim is to help newcomers and their families settle in the school and community.

34 What Does SWIS Do? Provide essential services such as;
Registration, orientation, referrals) Support newcomer family involvement in schools by; Providing culturally sensitive links between school staff and newcomer families. Providing interpreters and translated material. Help families connect with community and school services and resources. Increase school and community awareness and involvement in the integration process.

35 Who Is SWIS Available To?
All schools and newcomer families in SRSD#119. A referral/release form must be completed, which can be obtained by; A SWIS worker YWCA office Most general offices in schools. P.A. Herald, January, 2012

36 Contact Information EAL Language Program SRSD#119 Julie Raymond Alanna Banman SWIS Daniela Deckmann (306) Jamie Guardado (306) YWCA Settlement Services 1895 Central Avenue Prince Albert, SK. S6V 4W8 Phone: (306) Fax: (306)

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