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Planned Language Approach What Is It? Why Should We Do It?

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Presentation on theme: "Planned Language Approach What Is It? Why Should We Do It?"— 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 IS NOT 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 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 20th century and will continue well into the 21st 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



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 Long-term/cross- generational impacts Refer to handout(s): There is a large research base that examines the influences of poverty on families and child development. This research has expanded since Head Start was founded. Research has continued to expand our scope of understanding. The research give us both a long-term and short-term perspective on the importance of EHS/HS. What we see in the data is that the impact of poverty begins EARLY and then CONTINUES throughout the life span.

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 Reading failure, in turn, is at the core of why children drop out of high school, thus perpetuating the achievement gap. The long-term persistence of the achievement gap in the United States is key to understanding why we need to provide a Planned Language Approach for children living in poverty. It is also the foundation of the necessity for a strong and sustained sense of urgency among Head Start program leaders and staff.


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 A child’s Home Language goes deep. When it comes to understanding the importance of a child’s HL: We need both a general appreciation and specific knowledge that links understanding, decision making, and daily practices.

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 NOTE: Remind participants of the connections between developmental domains.

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 , 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. Activity (20-minute activity total) 3 minutes - Instructions Determine Each group will read a different section (4 total; Cognitive, Social-Emotional, Learning, & Global) in the Benefits Handout. Determine important points that will be shared with members of your table. 5 minutes – Reading Read assigned section and determine important points to share with table. 3 minutes per group = 12 minutes total - Reporting Each group report to table. 1 minute – Transition Are there 1-2 people who would like to share a thought or idea that was stimulated by this activity, information or handout? Let’s now discuss the overall value of being bilingual.”



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… Important: “Proficient” readers share common characteristics (i.e., skills, knowledge and abilities).

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 Phonological Awareness
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 Get the child involved in an activity that they enjoy; offer the child choices of activities as needed… As the activity continues, observe the child’s actions… 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 Week 1 Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Spanish English Week 2 Wes

63 Dual Language Model #2 Alternate languages
For designated, equal times, each day throughout the school year Week 1 Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri AM PM Hebrew English Week 2 Wes

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 At the management level, the PLA informs EHS/HS Directors how to manage program operations in ways that maximize language and early literacy outcomes for ALL children. This includes informed and intentional management of hiring practices, professional development, classroom monitoring and work with families and community partners. Informs education managers and teachers how to plan and implement language and early literacy strategies to maximize leaning by ALL children. This includes having and developing detailed, specific knowledge3 of research-based strategies and practices, implementing and documenting these strategies and practices, and sharing information with families in collaborative ways. At the classroom level, the PLA guides programs to base daily classroom practices upon the research base. In addition, the approach guides programs to consider specific classroom configurations – i.e., the language(s) of the children enrolled as well the language(s) of their teachers – in order to make informed decisions about the selection and implementation of strategies and practices.

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

69 They are worth it!

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