Presentation on theme: "Building a district's professional development capacity in support of work on complex texts Rebecca Blum Martinez University of New Mexico/ Albuquerque."— Presentation transcript:
Building a district's professional development capacity in support of work on complex texts Rebecca Blum Martinez University of New Mexico/ Albuquerque Public Schools
APS Language and Cultural Equity Office Six resource teachers - work in schools with high ELL populations - work in schools with bilingual & dual language (Spanish/English programs) Three American Indian Education resource teachers from the Indian Education Office - work with American Indian students across the district.
Professional Development Schedule 3 intensive days with LWF & Charles Fillmore 2.5 review with RBM Bimonthly meetings for 2 hours each Began with analysis of texts from district adopted series (Treasures/Tesoros) Analysis homework from the CC suggested texts (this is where things got tough!)
What do teachers need to know? Basic grammatical terminology Once they have identified the grammatical category, they can begin to understand the function of the word, phrase or clause in the sentence. That the only way to become fluent in this process is through practice! The ways in which these words, phrases or clauses make particular meanings
What makes a text complex? Informational density, through recursion Devices for foregrounding and backgrounding Use of passive voice How time, place & manner can be inserted Uses of metaphoric phrasing How texts cohere/hang together That there is text complexity in other languages
But how do they come to understand text complexity? Only by examining it closely. By having to analyze the texts themselves By having someone guide them through this process (with the help of Longman, Internet, other texts). By working in pairs or groups so that different eyes catch different aspects. By disagreeing and having to defend their choices they come to understand better.
Bigger Ideas A change in their understanding of grammar –It is not about a set of prescriptive rules –It is about a flexible, creative system that allows speakers and writers to make choices according to their needs and the context (Conrad et al, 2002; Larsen-Freeman,2003). The role that grammatical structures play in reading comprehension especially in complex texts. - phonics is not the solution; building vocabulary only gets you so far
Bigger Ideas In order to be able to present a complex sentence/text to students you must analyze it first and understand how it has been constructed. Chicago in 1871 was a city ready to burn. The city boasted having 59,500 buildings, /many of them such as the Courthouse and the Tribune Buildinglarge and ornately decorated. The trouble was that about two- thirds of all these structures were made entirely of wood.
What about second language learning? Second language learning is much more complex than just giving or receiving comprehensible input. Students must interact with ever increasing levels of complexity; both oral and written. - They must comprehend complex oral and written texts, but also - They must produce them orally and in written form (Wong Fillmore, Swain, Gibbons,) It is the teachers job to consciously plan the lessons and the environment to allow for these things to happen.
What must university faculty know? Everything that has been mentioned previously +++++PLUS+++++ There is no one Academic Language but many academic languages that change according to subject, language and tradition ( Snow & Uccelli,2009; Scheleppegrell & Colombi,1997; Achugar, 2003). Vulnerability of teacher-students, and avoidance strategies.
What university faculty must know How to link second language learning theories and reading theories. What is the difference between first language reading, and reading in L2? How to assist teachers in using theories to inform their decision making about texts, unit plans, lesson plans, and strategies. How to help teachers-students when they get stuck: what strategies can they use when they cant figure out a particular text?
Most importantly That this is a multilayered process that needs to be scaffolded BUT Teachers can learn to do this! ELL/bilingual students deserve this!!!