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La alfabetización es el eje: Competencia social y aprovechamiento en lengua académica Louise C. Wilkinson Distinguished Professor Syracuse University Presentation.

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Presentation on theme: "La alfabetización es el eje: Competencia social y aprovechamiento en lengua académica Louise C. Wilkinson Distinguished Professor Syracuse University Presentation."— Presentation transcript:

1 La alfabetización es el eje: Competencia social y aprovechamiento en lengua académica Louise C. Wilkinson Distinguished Professor Syracuse University Presentation to the National Academy of Education of Argentina, August 27, 2007

2 The Academic Language Register: Vocabulary is a Critical Pathway

3 3 The Specialized Register for Talking & Thinking in Classrooms (Cummins, 2000; Francis, 2006; Gee, 2004) Everyday Language Use (Vernacular Varieties – More Oral) Face-Face Conversational Abilities Academic Language Use (Specialized Varieties – More Literate) Secondary Discourse Abilities Advanced Literacy-related Language Abilities Does Not Predict Academic Achievement Primary Discourse Abilities Metacognitive & Metalinguistic Awareness Strategies Associated with Academic Achievement Are independent, but interdependent (Cummins, 2000)

4 4 Vocabulary: Central to Literacy Learning (From: Anglin (1993) +9, ,000 words +20,000 words Does NOT reflect increase in absolute numbers of familiar words, BUT development of derivational morphology knowledge that allows children to figure out what new words mean (Hoff, 2001)

5 5 Rate of Growth of New Derivational Meanings, Grades 1-5: Word Formation Processes (Nagy, Berninger, Abbott, Vaughan, & Vermeulen, 2003; Nagy, Berninger, & Abbott, 2006) Morphological awareness strongly associated with vocabulary & spelling in grades 4-5 & 8-9 (Nagy et al., 2006) Morphological awareness strongly associated with vocabulary & spelling in grades 4-5 & 8-9 (Nagy et al., 2006)

6 6 The Early Vocabulary Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap By Age 3 (Hart & Risley, 2003) 42 Families in one location followed for 2.5 years, 1 hour each month. 13 Upper SES; 10 Mid SES; 13 Lower SES; 6 Welfare. 86% to 98% of the words recorded in each child’s vocabulary consisted of words also recorded in their parents’ vocabularies. Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (2003). The early catastrophe. American Educator, 27(1), 4-9.

7 7 Vocabulary Accumulation In First 4 Years Welfare Family- 13 million words Professiona l Family million words Working-Class Family million words Changes in how meaning is stored and, therefore, the ability to “break” the alphabetic code may be seriously compromised for certain children even before they enter kindergarten

8 8 Vocabulary Learning: Findings Age 3Age 12.6 From: Farkas, G., & Beron, K. (2004). The detailed age trajectory of oral vocabulary knowledge: Differences by race and class. Social Science Research, 33, (14-year longitudinal study of large national data sets)

9 Vocabulary Learning: Fast & Slow Mapping

10 10 How Many Words Do We Know? (Moats & Smith, 1992; Stahl, 1999) Elementary & secondary students are exposed to roughly 87,500 word families in books they read Elementary & secondary students are exposed to roughly 87,500 word families in books they read Word family – Groups of words in which someone knowing one of the words (in the family) could infer (guess) the meaning of other (morphologically complex) words when encountering it in context (p. 8), e.g., Word family – Groups of words in which someone knowing one of the words (in the family) could infer (guess) the meaning of other (morphologically complex) words when encountering it in context (p. 8), e.g., add, adding,addition, additive add, adding,addition, additive 95% of the texts children read consist of about 5,100 different words 95% of the texts children read consist of about 5,100 different words Why not teach these 5,100 words & not worry about the relatively ‘rare’ words? Why not teach these 5,100 words & not worry about the relatively ‘rare’ words?

11 11 Why Wide Reading Alone Will Not Add to Individual Children’s Vocabulary Knowledge ( Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002) Struggling readers do not read well enough to make wide reading a feasible option Struggling readers do not read well enough to make wide reading a feasible option Acquiring word meaning from reading requires Acquiring word meaning from reading requires Adequate decoding skill Adequate decoding skill Awareness when a word is unfamiliar Awareness when a word is unfamiliar Ability to infer meaningful information from the context, e.g., Ability to infer meaningful information from the context, e.g., Sandra had won the dance contest, and the audience cheers brought her to the stage for an encore. “Every step she takes is so perfect and graceful,” Ginny said grudgingly as she watched Sandra dance (a misdirective context) (Beck et al., 2002, p. 4)

12 12 Oral Word Learning Is a Continuum “Vicissitudes” 1.I never saw (heard) it before 2. I’ve heard of it, but I don’t know what it means 3.I recognize it in context – It has something to do with having problems 4. I know it

13 13 Word Consciousness (Scott & Nagy, 2004) Word consciousness Word consciousness An appreciation and awareness of words An appreciation and awareness of words Requires metalinguistic awareness Requires metalinguistic awareness A major difference between the oral language & academic language registers is vocabulary precision A major difference between the oral language & academic language registers is vocabulary precision Written text has less contextual support Written text has less contextual support Therefore, communication more dependent on words, especially the precision of word choices Therefore, communication more dependent on words, especially the precision of word choices Children have to be taught to appreciate the “communicative power” of word choice (p. 206) Children have to be taught to appreciate the “communicative power” of word choice (p. 206)

14 14 Word Tiers (Beck & McKeown, 2007; Beck et al., 2002; McKeon & Beck, 2003, 2004) TIER 1 -- High frequency (common) words (clock, baby, mother, happy, walk, ride) Require little instructional attention TIER 3 – Content specific (rare) words ( meteorology, peninsula, echolocation) Frequency of use low; best learned when need occurs TIER 2 – More literate (general use) academic words (coincidence, treacherous, absurd, ponder, fortunate) Extend across a variety of domains; play a major role in having a rich knowledge of meanings

15 15 Tier 1: Fast Mapping (Incidental Learning or Minimal Exposure) - Breadth & Diversity catalogue protracted polygraph airplane vegetables pants

16 16 Fast Mapping: School Years Fast mapping Fast mapping Expands the lexical breadth (size) of vocabulary knowledge Expands the lexical breadth (size) of vocabulary knowledge During the school-age years, the rate of fast mapping unfamiliar words remains high, e.g., During the school-age years, the rate of fast mapping unfamiliar words remains high, e.g., Ages years, children/adolescents fast map approximately 8-10 new meanings per day or 3,000 words per year Ages years, children/adolescents fast map approximately 8-10 new meanings per day or 3,000 words per year These new meanings are more complex morphologically, e.g., These new meanings are more complex morphologically, e.g., After, afternoon, afterlife, afterthought, afterworld After, afternoon, afterlife, afterthought, afterworld billion, billionaire; concede, concession, concessionaire; question, questionnaire, questionable billion, billionaire; concede, concession, concessionaire; question, questionnaire, questionable BUT, the probability of really acquiring a new word meaning via fast mapping is only about 15 % (Carlo et al., 2004) BUT, the probability of really acquiring a new word meaning via fast mapping is only about 15 % (Carlo et al., 2004)

17 17 Fast Mapping: The School Years Why? Why? Books “with many long & conceptually difficult words decrease the likelihood of fast mapping” (McGregor, 2004, p. 303) Books “with many long & conceptually difficult words decrease the likelihood of fast mapping” (McGregor, 2004, p. 303) Man, these books have too many words!!!

18 18 Slow Mapping: The School Years Increases depth (semantic richness) of vocabulary knowledge---extended over weeks, months, & years via semantic elaboration Semantic Networks Ability to define Semantic networks -- Integration of thematic relations, e.g., lion-roars, with superordinate relations (class membership), e.g., lion - gorilla

19 19 Lexical Depth of “Think” a.“He thought (decided) he would bring the frog with him.” In this situation, the boy was preparing to go to dinner with his parents. He saw his pet frog in the dresser drawer and decided (was certain he wanted) to take the frog with him. The outcome of this decision was that the boy placed the frog in his pocket. b. “and the boy looks worried that the guy might think (realize) that he has a frog with him.” Here, as the boy was getting out of the car at the restaurant, the parking valet’s quizzical facial expression suggested that he might have heard a strange sound emanating from the boy’s pocket. The boy’s facial expression registered uncertainty that the valet might realize he had a frog somewhere. c. “She thought (had an opinion) she was just exaggerating.” In this event, a woman and man are dining at a table in the restaurant and the frog, which had jumped into the salad, was served to the woman. The woman’s face indicates uncertainty that she has just seen a frog in her salad (because the frog quickly disappeared into the salad), leading her to have an opinion that she was just exaggerating (imagining) the situation.

20 20 Word Learning: The School Years LEXICAL BREADTH (Scope) LEXICAL DEPTH “One has to deal with life’s vicissitudes” Precision Specificity Unexpected changing circumstances Conceptual understanding !

21 21 Consequences of Not Knowing Enough Meanings in the Preschool Years (Joshi, 2005) Long-term, negative effect on acquiring more literate word meanings Long-term, negative effect on acquiring more literate word meanings Child 1: An eclipse is when the sun and moon don’t shine (functional description based on experience) Child 1: An eclipse is when the sun and moon don’t shine (functional description based on experience) Child 2: An eclipse means to hide from view (‘superordinate’ definition indicating that meaning organized based on category membership) Child 2: An eclipse means to hide from view (‘superordinate’ definition indicating that meaning organized based on category membership) Long-term, negative effect on reading comprehension (both narrative & expository texts) Long-term, negative effect on reading comprehension (both narrative & expository texts)

22 22 Implications for Reading Comprehension (modified from Berninger, in press) Oral Vocabulary Knowledge (Conceptual Understanding) + Metalinguistic Awareness Word Reading & Spelling Reading Comprehension Accurate & Fluent Decoding/Encoding of Real Words Two development paths to reading comprehension Both converge at the word level

23 Supporting the Academic Language Register: Instructional Recommendations for Educators

24 24 Five Recommendations 1. Always foster word consciousness (Scott & Nagy, 2000) Consistently accentuate awareness of distinctions between social conversation and the academic (literate) register. Consistently accentuate awareness of distinctions between social conversation and the academic (literate) register. 2. Systematically cultivate a ‘literate lexicon’ starting in Grade 1 by integrating vocabulary & spelling instruction (Beck, McKeon, & Kucan, 2000; Carlisle et al., 2001; Moats, 2006; Templeton, 2004b) Focus on spelling-meaning relationships via exploration and direct instruction to: Focus on spelling-meaning relationships via exploration and direct instruction to: Promote inquisitiveness & excitement about how spelling represents meaning Promote inquisitiveness & excitement about how spelling represents meaning Support strategy development for problem solving of word meanings Support strategy development for problem solving of word meanings

25 25 An Example of Modeling Word Consciousness Ms. K: Good afternoon. Darleen: Salutations, Ms. K.! Melissa: Greetings! Daniel: Hello! Ms. K.: So, how was recess? Beth: Invigorating. Thomas: Exhausting. We played football! Laura: Delightful. There was a lovely breeze. Jorge: Abbreviated. It was too short for me!

26 26 Five Recommendations 3. As educators, develop the necessary knowledge base about interactions among phonology, orthography, & morphology 4. Apply the research to identify (Templeton, 2004b): Where individual students are on the developmental continuum of word knowledge Where individual students are on the developmental continuum of word knowledge A coherent instructional sequence A coherent instructional sequence 5. Maintain an overall conceptual framework that values a multifaceted & long-term approach to literate vocabulary/spelling instruction and the academic language register for all students (Nagy, 2005)

27 27 Testing a Word for Conceptual Understanding One way to “test” whether a word meets Tier 2 criteria is to think about whether the students already have ways to express the concepts presented by the word, e.g., fortunate - lucky disappointed - sad

28 28 A Question What about words being on grade level? Are only two factors that make a word inappropriate for a certain level 1.Not being able to explain the meaning of the word in known (student friendly) terms 2.Words that: Are not useful -- Not important to the story Are not interesting -- Do not meet criteria for Tier 2 words

29 29 Word Knowledge Is a Continuum No knowledge Narrow, context- bound, e.g., Know ‘radiant’ in one situation, but not able to use in another situation Rich, elaborated meaning (multiple meanings available), e.g., ‘devouring’ “No single encounter (experience) with a word needs to produce all of these types of knowledge” (Graves, 2006, p.61)

30 The Vocabulary Pathway to Word Learning “Choices about what specific words to teach [in school materials] are quite arbitrary” (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002, p. 20)


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