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Con Confianza: A Community of Learners in a Content-Based Class for English Language Learners CALPIU 2012 Rosita L. Rivera, Ph.D. Associate Professor,

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Presentation on theme: "Con Confianza: A Community of Learners in a Content-Based Class for English Language Learners CALPIU 2012 Rosita L. Rivera, Ph.D. Associate Professor,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Con Confianza: A Community of Learners in a Content-Based Class for English Language Learners CALPIU 2012 Rosita L. Rivera, Ph.D. Associate Professor, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Centro para la investigación del bilingüismo y aprendizaje

2 Overview Context Research Questions Literature Review: Defining Confianza Theoretical Framework: Translanguaging as a Learning Strategy (García, 2009; Lewis, forthcoming) Data and Data analysis: Gee (2011) social languages – Confianza: collaborative language learning – Task completion – Scaffolding and language learning

3 Context Content-based (Science readings and thematic units to learn English) Strategy based instruction Cohort 30 agriculture majors in a “Remedial” Summer Intensive English Class Collaborative Language Learning Classroom

4 Collaboration in Confianza We argue that … A collaborative classroom environment fosters learning an L2 (Confianza) The use of the L1 in the L2 classroom (translanguaging) as a tool to learn the L2. Organic environment as opposed to a controlled environment for both teachers and students.

5 Confianza Luis Moll Funds of Knowledge Kris Gutierrez Third Space Cook-Gumperz & Szymansky cited in Reyes Familia Lave & Wenger Community of Practice

6 Research Questions What social languages emerge in a bilingual and collaborative language learning classroom? What language learning strategies students use in a collaborative language learning classroom? What language choices do students make in a bilingual collaborative language classroom?

7 Literature Review Taylor (2003) Literacy events and staging the classroom to foster collaboration in a formal literacy classroom Saxena (2010) directive and supportive scaffolding in bilingual classrooms Reyes (2008) strategies used in bilingual classrooms Palmer (2009) use of English and Spanish in science classroom Canagarajah (2011) College writing course and code-meshing

8 Theoretical Framework Vygostky (sociocultural theory and ZPD) Lantolf and Thorne (SCT Self-regulation in L2 Learning) García (Translanguaging and use of both languages in academic setting as one language)

9 SCT, Bilingualism, and Confianza “ Every function in the child’s cultural development appears twice: first on the social level, and later on the individual level, first between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapersonal). This applies to voluntary attention, to logical memory, and to formation of concepts. All the higher functions originate as actual relations between human individuals.” (1978, p. 84)

10 Methodology The Discourse of Bilingual Classrooms – Gee (2011) Social Languages (the role of language in Discourses) social issues implicit in social languages in pragmatics – Big “C” conversations – “Who is doing What” (Gee) in Language

11 Data Collection Ethnographic field notes/Observations (micro and macro analysis of social languages) Semi-structured Interviews of students (macro level social aspects of the classroom)

12 Coding of the Fieldnotes CodeExplanationExample Helper Who provided the help Name of the helper Helping roleThe role of the helper Student, professor, teaching assistant Means of communication Language or non- verbal communication used Formal Spanish, informal Spanish, English, nonverbal

13 Data Analysis Gee (2011) Macro-Level (Social Languages). Use of language in the Discourse of the classroom. Micro-Level (lexical cohesion) The insertion of lexical items in code switching when using strategies for language learning.

14 Defining Confianza “Confianza is defined as the space among people and that each person respects that space among themselves yet they are sharing the same space to the point that both individuals involved agree with what they are doing and that is how I define confianza in the group… in this course confianza has been the key to all the activities that we have worked on and the way we treat each other…we always respect that space. “

15 Defining Confianza Cont’d “It’s like you feel you are at home as if they were family… like you are going to take a class, but those who are sitting next to you are like your brothers and sisters… Things like that you can share because you’ve known them for a while and a great relationship has been already established and it could continue to develop even more.”

16 Confianza and Social Languages CONFIANZA Cooperative Work Task Completion Scaffolding Social languages

17 Strategies Used in Social Languages Cooperative Work Request Information Clarifying Doubts Task Completion Informal Register Negotiating to Solve Problems Scaffolding Bottom up strategies Top down strategies

18 Collaboration and Confianza Requesting Information S1: (calls instructor) Que significa after? (What is the meaning of the word after?) T1: After es despues, before es antes T1 walks way S2: Tu sabes como yo me acuerdo? (Do you know how I remember? With the Day after Tomorrow

19 Collaboration and Confianza Cont’d Requesting Information S1: Que significa was? (What is the meaning of was?) T1: Era es el pasado de el verbo ser. (Era is the past tense of the verb to be) S2: era (was)

20 Collaboration in Confianza Clarifying Doubts “The group work… Because we were able to share our doubts.. For example the vocabulary that was difficult for us… for instance sometimes someone said I don’t understand this word when we were reading, but then someone will come up with the definition and it wasn’t what I thought it was. Sometimes someone would explain something and would clarify the doubts some of us had. ” Working with a group helped him because he felt that he was getting more support not only from the staff but also from his classmates.

21 Task Completion and Collaboration Use of Informal and Colloquial Language S1: Mira a ver chequea esto!(Hey come check this out!) S2: Ven aca, mira a ver (Get over here, check it out.) S3: Mera! (Hey you)

22 Task Completion and Collaboration Cont’d ”Well… I usually work with Antonio, Rosa, Lisa and Sandra because they are the ones I was able to work with as a team in the classroom… they were the ones… they were the ones I was a ble to communicate with although sometimes we had our disagreements and different points of view. But in the end we were all able to agree on one point of view and we tried to make the best decision... In other words, each on of use presented their point of view, but that point of view (when we heard all the points of view) we tried to get the best of each perpective to do the best work possible.”

23 Scaffolding and Language Learning Getting meaning from context TASK: “Evaluating Online Sources: The Domestication of Animals” S1 focused on the meaning of a specific word in a sentence. S 1 asked the tutor “Zaira que es cattle?” What does cattle mean? In order to get the meaning of this word, the student was instructed as to how to get meaning from other words in the same sentence. This is another strategy that came organically from the process of thinking out loud about the task at hand. S2 focused on the meaning of a specific word within the context. S2 asked the tutor how to say: ‘hace’ in the sentence ‘hace 13,000 años’. The tutor explains to the student how to come up with the English version of the same expression in English which is ‘13,000 years ago’

24 Scaffolding and Language Learning Cont’d Bottom up strategies S: asked the tutor how to write: El primer animal fue domesticado en el este de Asia, he tells the tutor “falta el verbo que conjuga” (I need to conjugate the verb) This student focused on word order and a part of speech and how to use the correct tense

25 Traditional vs. Confianza L2 Classroom Traditional Collaborative ClassroomConfianza Classroom Teacher Guided assignment of classroom roles Student centered (organic) Feedback is given mostly by the teacher or by peers assigned by the teacher Peers are able to provide feedback in a less threatening environment Mostly monolingual (structured and L2 use) Bilingual (students are able to use both their L1 and L2 when asking questions or thinking out loud to process information (metacognitive strategies)

26 Pedagogical Implications – Social languages and roles emerge organically in a collaborative environment. – The L1 facilitates the foundation of a collaborative learning environment. – The L1 facilitates scaffolding and internalization of concepts and skills as well as self-regulation processes that facilitates L2 learning.

27 Lines of Inquiry Discourse analysis of specific language learning strategies and the role of the L1 and L2 in this context. Quantitative data analysis from surveys about students’ and teachers’ perceptions of language use in the ESL classroom. Implications for assessment. Language use in Science and content based classrooms or STEM classrooms (science technology engineering and math)

28 Contact Information Centro para la investigación del bilingüismo y aprendizaje Rosita L. Rivera

29 Thank You


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