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The Common Core for English Language Learners: Challenges and Opportunities

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Presentation on theme: "The Common Core for English Language Learners: Challenges and Opportunities"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Common Core for English Language Learners: Challenges and Opportunities

2 Lau v. Nichols (1974)... There is no equality of treatment merely by providing students with the same facilities, textbooks, teachers and curriculum; for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education...

3 A Nation at Risk (1983)… call for standards.

4 No Child Left Behind

5 No Child Left Behind: Three important pieces for ELLs Sec. 1111(a)(3)(ix)(III) the inclusion of limited English proficient students, who shall be assessed in a valid and reliable manner and provided reasonable accommodations on assessments administered … including, to the extent practicable, assessments in the language and form most likely to yield accurate data… Sec. 1111(a)(3)(xiii) enable results to be disaggregated within each State, local educational agency, and school by…English proficiency status. Sec 3113(b)(2) standards and objectives for raising the level of English proficiency that are derived from the four recognized domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing, and that are aligned with achievement of the challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards described in section 1111(b)(1).

6 Common Core State Standards

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9 Kenji Hakuta (Stanford University)

10 National Geographic: George Steinmetz

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13 The new standards afford us a fresh opportunity to reinforce the key findings of our knowledge and experience as the ELL field:

14 with support, ELLs can participate in classroom discourse focused on rich and exciting academic content.

15 The new standards afford us a fresh opportunity to reinforce the key findings of our knowledge and experience as the ELL field: with support, ELLs can participate in classroom discourse focused on rich and exciting academic content. ESL is necessary but not sufficient; ELLs learn language best when they engage with content.

16 The new standards afford us a fresh opportunity to reinforce the key findings of our knowledge and experience as the ELL field: with support, ELLs can participate in classroom discourse focused on rich and exciting academic content. ESL is necessary but not sufficient; ELLs learn language best when they engage with content. focusing on both text and discourse gives ELLs opportunities for extended engagement with complex ideas.

17 The New Standards… raise the bar for learning; raise the demand for language; call for a high level of classroom discourse across all subject areas.

18 What do the New Standards Imply? Focus on Language “Students can, without significant scaffolding, comprehend and evaluate complex texts across a range of types and disciplines and they can construct effective arguments and convey intricate and multifaceted information” (ELA student portraits, p. 7) Mathematically proficient students understand and use stated assumptions, definitions, and previously established results in constructing arguments. They make conjectures, and build a logical progression of statements to explore the truth of their conjectures” (Math practices, pp. 6- 7)

19 Science Practices’ focus on Language

20 Old Paradigm ContentLanguage Mostly vocabulary, Grammar

21 New Paradigm Discourse Text (complex text) Explanation Argumentation Purpose Typical structure of text Sentence structures Δ Vocabulary practices LanguageContent

22 New Paradigm Content Discourse Text (complex text) Explanation Argumentation Purpose Typical structure of text Sentence structures Δ Vocabulary practices Discourse Text (complex text) Explanation Argumentation Purpose Typical structure of text Sentence structures Δ Vocabulary practices Discourse Text (complex text) Explanation Argumentation Purpose Typical structure of text Sentence structures Δ Vocabulary practices Math Language Arts Science

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24 Major Shifts in New Standards ELAMathScience Regular practice with complex text and its vocabulary Building knowledge through content-rich informational texts Emphasis on reading, writing, and speaking that is grounded in evidence from the text Provide opportunities for student access to the different mathematical (discourse) practices described in the CCSS Support mathematical discussions and use a variety of participation structures Focus on students’ mathematical reasoning, NOT on students’ flawed or developing language Developing and using models Constructing explanations (for science) and developing solutions (for engineering) Engaging in argument from evidence Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

25 Systemic Challenges that Require Collaboration Student Teacher Site and district leaders State leaders Preservice and inservice providers Testmakers Publishers Federal leaders

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27 Students are challenged to… engage in productive oral and written group work with peers, engage in effective oral and written interactions with teachers, explain and demonstrate their knowledge using emerging complex language and other communicative strategies in different settings, and extract meaning from complex written texts.

28 Understanding Language Project: Three Goals 1.Engage in a healthy public dialogue around what the CCSS and NGSS imply for ELLs. 2.Develop exemplars of what CCSS and NGSS- aligned instruction looks like, to be used as strategic tools by districts (and others). 3.Develop a vibrant, inquisitive, engaging online community

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30 Implications of Common Core Standards for Teaching ELLs ELLs face new language demands in Common Core ELA and math Standards due to increased emphasis on: – “Staircase of Increasing Text Complexity” – Use of informational texts from a variety of content areas – Expectations for students to justify arguments based on evidence through research and writing – Conceptual vs procedural approach to teaching math – Application of math concepts to real-world Meeting ELLs’ needs will require educators to have an understanding of: – Language progressions - how students learn both general language and content-specific academic language – Language demands – the types of language expectations required by specific texts and tasks – Language scaffolds - instructional strategies for helping students access both the concepts and the language needed to meet content standards – Language supports – strategies for organizing classrooms and schools to support students in developing a deep understanding of language and content

31 What is the development of literacy the development of? -Sociocultural researches on literacy generally used qualitative method or ethnographic data but mixed method has also been used. -Historically, sociocultural studies have highlighted deficits and differences in cultural practices and social inequalities but in general sociocultural studies try to draw attention on how cognition is shaped by culture, context, and social interaction. -Particularly noteworthy points are that literacy is not just print- based skills, but it is situated in social and cultural interactions, outside of school across various age and social/cultural groups, and requires the learners to be able to compose, interpret, and transform information and knowledge across various forms of representation.

32 English Learners and Text Complexity Key Questions What impact does text complexity/text simplicity have on English Language learners and Language Minority students? What are the critical stages in reading comprehension? At what point should we expect students to understand reading as a tool for other academic subjects Moving Forward Simple text in the early stages of schooling is designed to help EL students transition into English comprehension/text Over extending the use of simple text hinders student abilities to understand more complex text (4 th grade barometer) Teachers have had success ‘breaking down’ particular sentences in complex texts for extended periods of time The need to develop PD in schools that caters to reading for understanding and beyond simple text for EL students is imperative with new Common Core Standards

33 Understanding Language: “Teacher Development to Support English Language Learners in the Context of Common Core State Standards” (by Santos, Darling-Hammond, & Cheuk) CCSS for ELA/Literacy are shifting towards – Emphasis on text complexity & language (academic vocabulary & function) – Informational texts – Students using evidence in text to support their responses Teacher Development/Systemic Capacity-Building: – Professional development (PD) on content and language objectives must be designed for pre-service & in-service teachers. – Schools & Districts must identify and support expert teachers who can be models of strong teaching practice for ELLs. Teachers observe classroom practices of expert teacher. PD leaders then lead teacher discussion in deconstructing classroom practices utilizing observation protocols. – A learning community of cross-role teams & job-alike teams

34 Large-scale Academic Content Assessments Not producing “reliable and valid outcomes” for ELL students due to: – ELL student’s current level of ELP. – The unnecessary linguistic complexity of assessment items relative to the construct(s) being measured. – The validity of accommodations for EL Such assessments (SAT & ACT) suffer from the same construct-irrelevant language complexity that clearly threatens their validity in predicting ELLs’ college and career readiness. Unless such issues are systematically addressed through careful attention to the language used in new academic consortia assessments, biases against ELLs in the interpretation of their college and career readiness will likely be perpetuated.


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