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1 One Linguist’s Perspectives on Language & Literacy Acquisition David J. Silva, Ph.D. Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Professor of Linguistics The University.

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Presentation on theme: "1 One Linguist’s Perspectives on Language & Literacy Acquisition David J. Silva, Ph.D. Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Professor of Linguistics The University."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 One Linguist’s Perspectives on Language & Literacy Acquisition David J. Silva, Ph.D. Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Professor of Linguistics The University of Texas at Arlington GO MAVS! Crow Elementary School – AISD – 31 July 2008

2 2 What’s Behind Today’s Session Desire to be Helpful Desire to be Helpful –Review –Edify –Respond My Professional Perspectives My Professional Perspectives –Linguistics –Research Orientation –“Active Learning”

3 3 “Appeal likely in bilingual ruling” The Dallas Morning News ◊ Tuesday, July 29, 2008 More help for limited English students still on the way, leaders say By Terrence Stutz and Katherine Leal Unmuth, Staff Writers … U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice ruled Friday that the state has failed to properly educate [LEP] students.… U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice ruled Friday that the state has failed to properly educate [LEP] students. … surprise decision…… surprise decision… … gives the state until January 31 [2009] to come up with a different plan.… gives the state until January 31 [2009] to come up with a different plan.

4 4 “Appeal likely in bilingual ruling” The Dallas Morning News, Tuesday, July 29, 2008 “Appeal likely in bilingual ruling” 2 The Dallas Morning News, Tuesday, July 29, 2008 “While our elementary school students are doing very well, we recognize there are problems in our high schools that we want to address.” -Florence Shapiro (R-Plano), Senate Education Committee Chair“While our elementary school students are doing very well, we recognize there are problems in our high schools that we want to address.” -Florence Shapiro (R-Plano), Senate Education Committee Chair Many LEP students can speak conversational English without having mastered the vocabulary necessary to understand textbooks or to pass the graduation TAKS exams.Many LEP students can speak conversational English without having mastered the vocabulary necessary to understand textbooks or to pass the graduation TAKS exams.

5 5 Dual-Language? Bilingual? ESL? Defining “Bilingual” Defining “Bilingual” –Functional: Can operate in both languages (equally well) –Attitudinal: Is equally comfortable in both languages If bilingualism is the goal, then Dual Language Program If bilingualism is the goal, then Dual Language Program –Maintenance –Two-Way Immersion –One-Way Immersion –Heritage Language Program If English Proficiency is the goal, then ESL If English Proficiency is the goal, then ESL –Transitional bilingual –Multi-language ESL classroom Q: Which two languages?

6 6 Hawai’ian Example Ke Kula Kaiāpuni ‘O Ānuenue

7 7 Technology and Tradition

8 8 Key Distinction Learning Learning –conscious –explicit –assumes teaching Acquisition Acquisition –unconscious –implicit –often based on modeled behavior : Teaching : ? ? ? Stephen Krashen Learning ≠ Teaching

9 9 Task and Context Context / Locus L2 (English / USA) L1 (Home Country) TaskLearningSLL 2 nd Language Learning FLL Foreign Lang Learning AcquisitionSLA 2 nd Language Acquisition FLA Foreign Lang Acquisition ?

10 10 Four Prerequisites for Successful Language Acquisition Cognitive Capacity Interaction Data Motivation

11 11 Games are Great Opportunities for Interaction Image Excluded from On-Line Slide Show

12 12 Highlights of L1 Acquisition Research Meaning and Function trump Form Meaning and Function trump Form Errors are Normal (and Important) Errors are Normal (and Important) –Morphological Overgeneralizations –Semantic Overgeneralizations –Evidence of a Developing Grammar Scaffolding is Critical Scaffolding is Critical Poverty of Stimulus Argument Poverty of Stimulus Argument

13 13 Poverty of Stimulus Argument Language input is: Language input is: –imperfect –incomplete –inadequate for constructing a perfect grammar Where the input fails, innate principles take over Where the input fails, innate principles take over Originally developed for first language acquisition Originally developed for first language acquisition –Later applied to SLA

14 14 Can We Enhance the Process? Interaction Data Motivation Structured Environments to Optimize… Keep these ideas in mind as we walk through the following strategies.

15 15 PALS (grades 2-6) Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (Fuchs et al. 2001) Adaptation of ClassWide Peer Tutoring Adaptation of ClassWide Peer Tutoring –Structured –Opportunities for feedback –Reciprocity of roles Activities Activities –Partner Reading –Paragraph Shrinking –Prediction Relay Upward / Downward Extensions Upward / Downward Extensions 1

16 16 Optimizing Read-Aloud Time (Santoro et al. 2008) Key Attributes Key Attributes –Making students aware of text structure –Generating text-focused discussions –Explicitly teaching key vocabulary; reinforce –Exploiting text-to-text connections –Using student retelling as primary output 2

17 17 Optimizing Read-Aloud Time (Santoro et al. 2008) Table 4: Comprehension Strategy Focus … Before Reading During Reading After Reading Identifying the purpose for reading (e.g., information or story) Identifying the purpose for reading (e.g., information or story) Previewing Previewing Predicting / priming Predicting / priming Defining critical vocabulary Defining critical vocabulary Using a consistent framework to discuss the text (e.g., story elements, K-W-L w/ focus-questions) Using a consistent framework to discuss the text (e.g., story elements, K-W-L w/ focus-questions) Using question-asking strategies Using question-asking strategies Making connections (text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world) Making connections (text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world) Making inferences Making inferences Self-monitoring Self-monitoring Vocabulary Vocabulary Retelling Retelling Introducing, reviewing, and extending vocabulary Introducing, reviewing, and extending vocabulary 2

18 18 Optimizing Read-Aloud Time (Santoro et al. 2008) Figure 1: … Story Retelling Prompt Sheet …(modified) Story Retell WhoProblem SolutionEnd 2

19 19 Questioning the Author (Jonson’s strategy #39) “… forces students to figure out what the author means, not just what the author writes.” “… forces students to figure out what the author means, not just what the author writes.” “… [helps] to construct meaning from what they read by bringing prior experience to the author’s words.” “… [helps] to construct meaning from what they read by bringing prior experience to the author’s words.” Teacher Prep Teacher Prep –Locate important ideas –Anticipate difficulties that will be encountered by the students –Choose appropriate stopping points for questions Possible Questions Possible Questions –What is the author trying to say here? –What is the author’s message? –Does the author explain this clearly? –Why do you think the author tells us this now? 3

20 20 Questioning the Author – Revised (Jonson’s strategy #39, revised by Silva) (A) Students engage with the text by engaging with the author (A) Students engage with the text by engaging with the author –Imagine that the author will be visiting our class tomorrow. –What questions would you want to ask him/her? –Come up with 3 questions. (B) Students engage with the text by assuming the role of the author (B) Students engage with the text by assuming the role of the author –Pair the students. –One plays the role of the author. –The other asks the questions that s/he developed in (A). 3’

21 21 Pick-A-Pal (Jonson’s strategy #34) “… choose a character… as a best friend and explore qualities of that character.” “… choose a character… as a best friend and explore qualities of that character.” Procedure Procedure –Ask student to brainstorm about names of characters in stories recently read by the class; list on board. –Students choose a character as best friend and draw a picture. –One by one, students hold up pictures as other members guess who it is. –Student describes why the character would be a good best friend. –Finally, students write about the character on back of the page Assessment Potential Assessment Potential –Save the result in the student’s portfolio –Repeat later in the school year and compare to gauge development 4

22 22 Summary Hand (Jonson’s strategy #54) “… help students process key events from stories or summarize finger facts from a nonfiction unit.” “… help students process key events from stories or summarize finger facts from a nonfiction unit.” Procedure: Model then Implement in Groups Procedure: Model then Implement in Groups –On the board, draw a large outline of a hand. –On each figure, write an element of the story (fiction) or an element of the story (fiction) or the most important facts from the text (exposition). the most important facts from the text (exposition). –In the palm, draw a relevant illustration. 5

23 23 Summary Hand (Jonson’s strategy #54) Carnivore Inhabited floodplains, meadows, and forests Small teeth but big bite Part of the allosaurid family Runs fast – 40 mph allosaurus Adapted from Jonson 2008, p. 190, after a contribution by S. Chin, M. Sullivan, and P. Caoile, San Francisco, CA, Summer

24 24 Summary Hand (Jonson’s strategy #54) “… help students process key events from stories or summarize finger facts from a nonfiction unit.” “… help students process key events from stories or summarize finger facts from a nonfiction unit.” Procedure: Model then Implement in Groups Procedure: Model then Implement in Groups –On the board, draw a large outline of a hand. –On each figure, write an element of the story (fiction) or an element of the story (fiction) or the most important facts from the text (exposition). the most important facts from the text (exposition). –In the palm, draw a relevant illustration. Extensions Extensions –Use as a pre-writing exercise before students craft a paragraph –Use as a mechanism for older students to develop consensus on the five most important points 5

25 25 Reprise: The Four Prerequisites for Successful Language Acquisition Cognitive Capacity Interaction Data Motivation How do the strategies presented today connect with each of these four prerequisites?

26 26 Reflection and Discussion 1. How might L2 acquisition be similar to L1 Acquisition? 2. How do L1 and L2 acquisition differ? 3. In the language acquisition process, what role(s) can be played by: a)teachers? b)parents / families? c)peers? d)administrators? e)researchers / professors? 4. Why do some universities require one set of courses to train K-12 ESL teachers and a different set of courses to prepare others to teach adult ESL?

27 27 References Fuchs, Fuchs, Thompson, Svenson, Yen, Al Otaiba, Yang, Mcmaster, Prentice, Kazdan and Saenz “Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies in Reading: Extensions for Kindergarten, First grade, and High School.” Remedial and Special Education 22: Fuchs, Fuchs, Thompson, Svenson, Yen, Al Otaiba, Yang, Mcmaster, Prentice, Kazdan and Saenz “Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies in Reading: Extensions for Kindergarten, First grade, and High School.” Remedial and Special Education 22: Jonson, Kathleen Feeney Strategies for Improving Reading Comprehension in Grades K – 8. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Jonson, Kathleen Feeney Strategies for Improving Reading Comprehension in Grades K – 8. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Santoro, Chard, Howard, and Baker “Make the Very Most of Classroom Read-Alouds to Promote Comprehension and Vocabulary.” The Reading Teacher 61 (5): Santoro, Chard, Howard, and Baker “Make the Very Most of Classroom Read-Alouds to Promote Comprehension and Vocabulary.” The Reading Teacher 61 (5):


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