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Planned Language Approach What Is It? Why Should We Do It ? WIDA Conference October 23-24, 2014 Joanne Knapp-Philo, Ph.D. Robert Stechuk, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Planned Language Approach What Is It? Why Should We Do It ? WIDA Conference October 23-24, 2014 Joanne Knapp-Philo, Ph.D. Robert Stechuk, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Planned Language Approach What Is It? Why Should We Do It ? WIDA Conference October 23-24, 2014 Joanne Knapp-Philo, Ph.D. Robert Stechuk, Ph.D.

2 PLA IS A way to organize and support quality teaching Comprehensive and research-based For children learning English and for those also learning other languages A holistic approach for teachers IS NOT A curriculum Quick and easy to implement Just for Dual Language Learners

3 Outcomes Participants will: Gather introductory information about the Planned Language Approach, it’s research base, rationale, and key components

4 Diversity: What do we know? The U.S. has been undergoing a profound demographic transition –Last quarter of the 20 th century and will continue well into the 21 st century

5 “Diversity” includes cultures, languages, and backgrounds –EHS/HS programs reflect the range of diversity in the U.S.!

6 Dual Language Learners OHS Definition of Dual Language Learners: Children – – Acquire two or more languages simultaneously (i.e., from birth) OR – Learn a second language while continuing to develop their first language See the ECLKC – DLL Home Page for more information linguistic/Dual%20Language%20Learners linguistic/Dual%20Language%20Learners



9 What’s poverty got to do with it? Impacts begin during pre-natal period Visible impacts for infants, e.g., cognition language Extended impacts for preschool-age, especially language Long-term/cross- generational impacts

10 The problem A synthesis of the evidence, directed by the National Research Council, emphasized the alarmingly high incidence of reading failure in the United States ….Approximately seven in ten low-income children do not become successful readers by the end of fourth grade (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998) In brief, poverty and school success are strongly connected; therefore, PLA directly addresses this connection


12 Home Language: A Key Part of Instructional Design Children’s Home Language is the foundation of their school readiness, including their acquisition of English

13 Importance of Home Language Children develop their identity Children learn and develop social skills and emotional intelligence Children acquire cultural knowledge and identity

14 Children use their Home Language To understand themselves, their families and others To internalize the language they hear when parents and family members talk To think and reflect on information about themselves, their families, and their communities

15 Importance of Home Language In addition, a wide range of cognitive (thinking) skills are developing within the Home Language, such as: – Classification – Categorization – Logical/cause-and-effect reasoning – Narrative abilities (length and complexity) – Concepts related to spatial relations/math

16 Importance of Home Language Many studies show that young DLLs transfer their knowledge and skills across languages over time i.e., skills developed in a child’s Home Language support reading in English and school success

17 Importance of Home Language Uninterrupted development of the Home Language during the birth to age five period enables children to continue to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they already have In addition, we want to maximize the knowledge and skills that children have as they enter school

18 Importance of Home Language to school success Phonological awareness in Spanish predicted English reading scores (Gottardo et al., 2002) Oral language proficiency in Spanish predicted English reading scores (Miller et al., 2006) See the OHS Multicultural Principles, pages 47- 52, for a more complete discussion of the research

19 The Benefits of Being Bilingual Shares some reasons bilingualism is an asset to individuals, families and our entire society Head Start staff can share the benefits of being bilingual with families, find ways to support children’s home languages, and encourage families to keep their language strong

20 The Gift of Language Written for families of dual language learners in an attempt to answer many of their frequently asked questions.

21 Language at Home and in the Community for Families Offers eight things families can do every day to help their children learn their family’s language and become successful in school!

22 Language at Home and in the Community for Teachers Ideas to share with families – similar to what is written for families – helps you to see your role in encouraging families to share their language, culture and traditions.



25 Reading Reading is at the core of school success and long-term achievement Oral language is the foundation for learning to read Specific “predictors” of reading success are clear SOOOO, ECE should give children the experiences we know they need!

26 Reading Learning to read is a profound developmental challenge for children (National research Council, 1998) Less than 4 in 10 school children are proficient readers…

27 Reading Children living in poverty are OVER represented in statistics of reading failure, as are children who speak a language other than English….but Most reading failure is preventable (National Research Council, 1998, 1999)

28 The “Big 5” of language and literacy development Background knowledge Oral language and vocabulary Phonological awareness Book knowledge and print concepts Alphabet knowledge and early writing

29 Background Knowledge

30 Background Knowledge includes All the information that children learn and store in memory about themselves, other people, objects, and the world around them Beliefs, values, rules, and expectations for behavior developed in different cultural settings and environments

31 Background Knowledge Developed through children’s daily interactions and experiences within their family and in their community Developed in one or more languages and can transfer to another language Organized in the child’s mind into concepts (schemas) that enable children to connect new information to their existing knowledge beginning at birth

32 Background Knowledge matters for DLLs because They may have different experiences depending on their family’s culture, language/s, social class, religion, emigration experiences, etc. Children are increasingly able to recognize and reflect upon aspects of different environments….this is a great source of conversation, word learning, and reflective thinking

33 Oral Language and Vocabulary


35 Oral language experiences

36 Phonological Awareness

37 A key predictor of early reading For DLL children, must develop competence with 2 sound systems Children may be able to transfer skills across language, e.g., segmenting words into syllables

38 Book Knowledge and Print Concepts

39 Alphabet Knowledge and Early Writing


41 When teachers speak the Home Language Activities that promote Children’s enriched vocabulary Levels of executive function Specific approaches to –learning –letter knowledge –print concepts and –phonological awareness In the home language

42 When teachers speak the Home Language High-quality adult child interactions ‒Extended conversations that build vocabulary and elaborate upon ideas and information Daily book-reading combined with multiple oral language strategies, e.g. ‒Talking about the book before and after the story ‒Explaining new words during reading, etc.

43 When teachers speak English only When teachers do not share the same language as the children they sometimes are “thrown off” Teachers have the ability—not only to communicate—but to have a significant impact upon children’s development and to effectively model English We want everyone to understand and implement effective models of English for ALL children

44 When teachers speak English only Language acquisition… does not occur in isolation, it involves multiple, simultaneous levels of activity Children get (and stay) involved in activities (physical level) and… … They process information mentally as the activity continues (cognitive level)… … Over time, children acquire language as part of their involvement in the activity (language level)


46 When teachers speak English only Modeling English 1. Get the child involved in an activity that they enjoy; offer the child choices of activities as needed… 2. As the activity continues, observe the child’s actions… 3. Provide language models related to the child’s ongoing activity (for example, the “self-talk” and “parallel talk” strategies within the CLASS instrument)

47 Other strategies that work Tapes with family members telling/reading favorite stories Cultural artifacts suggested by families to make the environment feel more comfortable A quiet space for timeout Regular, planned, intentional repetition and practice

48 More strategies that work in Dual Language and English only classrooms Self-Talk Parallel Talk Open-ended questions and props Using the L1

49 Proven ways to promote language and literacy development for DLLs When teachers speak English only Scaffolding Pair-Think/Buddies Dialogic Reading Project Approaches Books in Home Language and English Personalized Oral Language Learning Writing Strategies And Many More


51 Translation/Interpretation Human Resources/ Hiring Practices Classroom Language Models Intentional Ongoing Professional Development Program Goals Focused Monitoring/ Record Keeping/Data- Driven Decisions and Actions Language Policies & Practices: Linking individual classrooms to a program-wide approach

52 Program Translation/ Interpretation Policies and Practices Definition: Translation – written Interpretation – spoken

53 Program Translation/ Interpretation Policies and Practices HR practices clearly state qualifications for both translators and interpreters Specific interview questions for ALL staff that assesses an applicant’s ‒Knowledge of L1/L2 and ‒Attitudes about cultural and linguistic diversity

54 Human Resources/ Hiring Practices Clear job descriptions for translators and interpreters Systems to assure and build staff abilities, including: ‒Professionalism ‒Strong language models for children ‒Connecting with and supporting families

55 Human Resources/ Hiring Practices Job Descriptions that clearly state the expectation that teaching staff are high quality language models in all their languages. Ongoing Professional Development and Coaching that ensures all teaching staff are good language models

56 Human Resources/ Staff Development Practices Evaluation practices that ensure all classroom staff use research-based language and literacy practices that promote children’s learning

57 Classroom Language Models A central, research-based teaching design that takes into account: ‒languages spoken by the children ‒languages spoken by the teaching staff ‒the priorities and resources of the district/agency

58 Recommended Classroom Language Models Home Language English Language Dual Language English with Home Language Support

59 Language Model Home Language ALL the children speak one home language, (e.g. Spanish) AND ALL the teaching staff speak Spanish well

60 Language Model English Only ALL the children speak only English AND ALL the teaching staff speak English well

61 Language Model Dual Language The children speak English and/or another common language (e.g. Mandarin) Teaching staff speak English and that language (e.g. Mandarin)

62 Dual Language Model #1 Alternate days In each language, e.g., over a 2-week cycle throughout the school year

63 Dual Language Model #2 Alternate languages For designated, equal times, each day throughout the school year

64 Language Model English with home language support Children speak multiple languages All teachers are strong language models in English ( may or may not speak a second language) Instruction takes place in English ALL the home languages of the children are supported in the classroom and through engaging families in the effort as well

65 Family Engagement Engage families to promote their child’s ability in their home language throughout the child’s life Provide families with the skills to promote language and literacy development in home language Gather feedback from families about the best ways to support them and then follow their suggestions

66 Intentional, ongoing professional development Culture of continuous improvement On-going mentoring/coaching with the goal of refining teaching practices Processes that track and acknowledge teacher progress and change in practice

67 Planned Language Approach A cohesive, program-wide approach that connects content knowledge, decision making, and practices across – Program level – Classroom Level

68 Sometimes the questions are COMPLICATED and the answers are SIMPLE! --Dr. Seuss

69 They are worth it!

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