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Inna Gvozdenko, PhD Patricia Ciuffetelli

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1 Inna Gvozdenko, PhD Patricia Ciuffetelli
TEACHING WRITTEN GENRES TO NEW ARRIVALS Inna Gvozdenko, PhD Patricia Ciuffetelli ESL Conference 2009 Transforming ESL pedagogy: Educating for Success in Learning

2 Outline of the Presentation
Context Student profiles Focus on various genres (Why?) Teaching cycle (What ?& How?) Key activities Use of ICT (When?) Learning outcomes Reflection (So what?)

3 Noble Park English Language School
Teaching Context Noble Park English Language School NPELS is a P – 10 Victorian Government school. It has two campuses 314 students: 127 primary and 187 secondary Gender: males – 166, females – 146 Intensive English language program for newly arrived refugees and migrants Minimum of two terms tuition for students with age equivalent education Up to 4 terms tuition for students at risk or with disrupted schooling 3

4 Noble Park English Language School
57% of our students and their families have previously lived in refugee camps. Some have attended schools there. Many have experienced trauma, seen war and lost family members. Students come from 32 countries 4

5 Multiple Transition for new arrivals
Country/ Refugee camp Mainstream School TAFE/AMES Australian Community work Victoria Intensive ESL program NPELS

6 Why Focus on Written Genres?
NPELS aims “to improve student learning outcomes in the area of literacy and to further develop the curriculum focus on student oral and written text production across the school” (NPELS, Annual Implementation Plan, 2009 p. 2). Interview data with the exited ESL students and their current ESL teachers has revealed that NPELS students benefit from being exposed to and explicitly taught about a range of writing genres at their early stage of English language learning (Gvozdenko, I. 2008, Mainstream school visit report). Text types are culturally determined, therefore ESL learners are less likely to be familiar with the features of the text types favoured in our culture.

7 What is the Genre Approach
Explicit teaching about text types: 1) social purpose 2) overall organisational structure 3) linguistic features

8 The Curriculum Cycle Stage 1: Building Knowledge of the Topic
Stage 2: Modeling the Text Stage 3: Joint Construction of the Text Stage 4: Independent Writing Gibbons, P. (2002). Derewianka, B.(1991).

9 The genre-based Curriculum Cycle (Hammond, J., 2001)
Building the field Teacher assumes leadership in developing relevant curriculum knowledge, understanding and language. Activities focus on curriculum, knowledge, language relevant to that curriculum knowledge, reading and learning how to read. Opportunities for further reflection on the significance of the genre, and for critical analysis Independent construction Teacher withdraws support as far as possible as student exercises control over the focus genre Modelling Teacher introduces a specific genre, guides students through explicit talk, demonstration, text deconstruction Joint Construction Teacher shares responsibility with students for writing in the genre through rehearsals, co-constructions, reconstructions.

10 Learning activities/experiences
Key Activities Week Learning activities/experiences 1 Planning for learning , letters and invitations delivered 2 Meet buddies, play “The Cat in the Hat”, shared reading in small groups songs performed by students 3 Book report writing, information reports, excursions 4 View the movie “The Cat in the Hat” Writing a comparative essay and a persuasive letter to the editor, information reports 5 Formal oral presentations 6 Incursion “Snake busters”, games session 7 Make muffins, morning tea session 8 Make posters about students’ learning experiences (Part 1) 9 Make posters about students’ learning experiences (Part 2) 10 Prepare “Thank you” cards and presentations of the term activities

11 Text Types Targeted in 10 Week Teaching Cycle
Written texts Oral texts Primary Secondary Recount Information Report Procedure Transactional Texts (e.g. Letter writing, invitations) Transactional Texts Book report Comparative essay Information Report (Oral presentation on reptiles) Procedure (How to play …) Narrative Transactional texts Delivery of letters Recount (article for the school magazine) Information Report Procedure (How to Make Muffins, How to play a game) Recount (article for the school magazine) Procedure (How to Make Muffins, How to play a game) Transactional Texts (self introduction letters, invitations, acceptance cards/notes, thank you cards and ) Book report Comparative essayRecount (excursion to Werribee Zoo, City Landmarks, Snakebusters) Narrative (Role Play, ‘Cat in the Hat’ performance) I nformation Report (Oral presentation on reptiles and marine life) Procedure (How to play …)

12 Selection of Text Types- Justification
Primary Curriculum expectation Text type linked to topic Student interest Age appropriateness Secondary Negotiated curriculum approach Use of ICT

13 A Negotiated Approach in the ESL Classroom (Breen, M. & Littlejohn, A
Issues opened for negotiation: General enquiry: How do you feel in a new class? What are your values? Purposes: What are your short/long term goals? What are your expectations of the class? Teacher/student role expectations: What is your role in class? What do you think the teacher’s role is? Content: What topics would you like to study? What skills do you want to develop? Learning to learn: Do you know your learning style? How do you learn best? What strategies do you use in learning English? What activities do you like/dislike? Where would you like to go on excursions? Evaluation: How would you like to be assessed? What could be the outcome of the work? What have you learned? Have you achieved your personal goals?

14 Outcomes of the negotiation process
AREAS OF INTEREST Australia Customs of different countries Love and funny books Celebration Social skills Technology Grammar: Present, Past and Future tenses Punctuation Passive voice Paragraph writing EXPECTATIONS Improve speaking and listening Extracurricular activities Learn new words Learn about the world Get a good position in class Be brave and don’t be afraid of people ACTIVITIES Quiz , excursions Word search Watching news & movies Using ICT Typing stories Grammar exercises Group work, drama Drawing, cooking Listening to music Playing games Project work Singing songs Reading books ASSESSMENT Grammar worksheets & tests Rubrics Story writing Letter writing Debating Dictation Spelling test Listening test Oral presentations

15 Text type: Information Report
Building background knowledge Read books about topics Explicit vocab building Watched DVDs Independent research Incursion/excursion Independent/small group construction Students independently construct text with minimum teacher support (Planning, drafting, editing, revising and publishing) Modelling Deconstruction of exemplar information report (e.g. cloze activities) Joint Construction Collaborative writing of information report (model the writing process)

16 Text Deconstruction Activities at the Modelling Stage
Crocodiles Crocodiles are reptiles. Crocodiles have hard scales and sharp teeth. Crocodiles eat small animals. Some crocodiles live in fresh water. Crocodiles are dangerous.

17 Text Deconstruction Activities at the Modelling Stage
Title: What are crocodiles? What do crocodiles look like? How do you feel about crocodiles?

18 Text Deconstruction Activities at the Modelling Stage
Crocodiles Crocodiles are reptiles. Crocodiles have _______ scales and _______ teeth. Crocodiles eat _______ animals.  Crocodiles are dangerous. small hard sharp

19 Use of ICT Software Interactive White Board
Word Publisher Power Point Presentation Movie Maker Interactive White Board A set of laptops and class computers s

20 Students’ Learning Outcomes
Magazine “16 A+” Two articles for the “Voices” magazine “” Poster: “Learning about writing genres: Fun with 16 A and PT7”, displayed in the library Using a Movie Maker “Our learning journey” Dioramas about reptiles and oral presentations Power Point Presentations “Marine Life”, “Snake busters”, “Werribee Zoo” and “City Landmarks” Class displays in Room 28 and PT7

21 Students’ Feedback PRIMARY STUDENTS Fatah: “I liked learning about snakes and writing about snakes”. Adila: “I tried my best to do a beautiful writing in my letter”. SECONDARY STUDENTS Fahmida: “I learned how to write with good manners and respect, have good points and then present the information in Power Point”. Mohammad: “The writing of essays is good because I improve my English.” Genres I am confident I am very confident Information report 8 7 Letter and invitation Comparative essay

22 Teachers’ Reflections on Teaching Genres
High level student interest in and motivation towards learning about different written genres The importance of not making assumptions about students’ background knowledge of particular genres The importance of building knowledge of targeted written genres (i.e. social purpose of different texts, audience, organisational structure, language features) Building understanding of the writing process (i.e. planning, drafting, editing, publication / presentation) Curriculum Cycle – the need to provide scaffolding through modelling, text deconstruction before expecting students to create targeted texts independently While many genres were covered during the 10 week teaching cycle, the following issues emerged for us: - How much knowledge of each text type exposed and explicitly taught did the students retain? - How many text types should be covered in an 10 week program for secondary and 6 month program for primary?

23 Making a giant poster “I learned how to plan and design a poster. All students were interested in making posters. Primary students gave us some advice. I liked to make posters because they made me happy and showed what we had done.”

24 References Breen, M.P. & Littlejohn, A .(2000). (Eds.) Classroom-decision making: negotiation and process syllabuses in practice. Cambridge University Press. Derewianka, Beverly.(1990). Exploring How Texts Work. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Gibbons, Pauline. (2002). Scaffolding Language Scaffolding Learning. Teaching Second Language Learners in the Mainstream Classroom. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Gvozdenko, I. (2008). Exit students’ and their ESL teachers ‘reflection on learning English at NPELS. Mainstream school visits. Hammond, J. (2001). Scaffolding and language in Hammond, J. (ed.) Scaffolding teaching and learning and literacy education. NSW: primary English teaching Association. Smith,A., Elley, N, Croft,D & Ciuffetelli, P. First Edition (2007). PM Writing Teachers' Guide Books (1, 2 &3 ), Cengage Learning ,South Melbourne.

25 Thank you! Comments and questions
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