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Rebecca S. Wheeler, PhD How to factor dialect into Reading Assessment & Intervention 1 © Wheeler 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Rebecca S. Wheeler, PhD How to factor dialect into Reading Assessment & Intervention 1 © Wheeler 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rebecca S. Wheeler, PhD How to factor dialect into Reading Assessment & Intervention 1 © Wheeler 2011

2 2 Anchor: a true story A teacher reads dialectally diverse literature ‘Twas the night before Christmas An’ all t’ru de house Dey don’t a t’ing pass Not even a mouse. 2 © Wheeler 2011 (The Cajun Night Before Christmas. Rice, 2001)

3 3 Anchor: a true story A teacher reads dialectally diverse literature ‘Twas the night before Christmas An’ all t’ru de house Dey don’t a t’ing pass Not even a mouse. 3 © Wheeler 2011 ‘Twas the night before Christmas And all through the house They don’t anything pass Not even a mouse. 19 words; 5 errors Accuracy score: 14/19 (73.68%)

4 4 Reading A Cajun Night before Christmas 4 © Wheeler 2011 Teacher’s Accuracy score: 14/19 (73.68%) Does this mean the teacher…  Is a struggling reader?  Is failing reader?  Needs phonics instruction? Of course not!

5 5 Reading A Cajun Night before Christmas 5 © Wheeler 2011 Interpreting the Teacher’s Accuracy score: 14/19 (73.68%) The reader is unfamiliar with  Cajun Pronunciation (an, t’ru, de, dey, a’ting)

6 6 Expect language transfer with unfamiliar grammar De chirren been nezzle Good snug on de flo’ An’ Mama pass de pepper T’ru de crack on de do’ 6 © Wheeler 2011 The children were nestled Good snug on the floor And Mama passed the pepper Through the crack on the door Unfamiliar vocabulary: chirren Unfamiliar grammar: been nezzle, pass Unfamiliar pronunciation: de, flo’, an, t’ru,

7 HOW can dialect influence a child’s reading performance? 77 © Wheeler 2011

8  Pronunciation  Vocabulary  Grammar Count as dialect influence 88 © Wheeler 2011

9 Features from a child’s first language or dialect transfer into his/her reading 99 © Wheeler 2011

10 10 Language transfer 10 © Wheeler 2011 Definition : Language transfer occurs … …when the patterns of one’s first language or dialect transfer into reading and writing.  Sound  Vocabulary  Grammar

11 By 2050, current majority minority 11 Shift our focus… …Reading assessment in schools With cultural diversity comes 11 © Wheeler 2011 Linguistic diversity

12 Note: What we consider reading performance inextricably reflects instruments of reading assessment. Wheeler, Cartwright, Swords & Savage (2010) “Factoring Dialect into Reading Assessment and Intervention,” Reading in Virginia © Wheeler How do we assess achievement of our linguistically diverse readers? 12

13 Assessing Vernacular speakers  With Standard English instrument  But without awareness of dialect © Wheeler Look at the effect 13

14  4 th grade student, Tidewater, VA 14 © Wheeler 2011  September reading level:  DRA2 38  Level 38: grade 3, month 8

15  The school year passes…  I n April, time for reading assessment 15 © Wheeler 2011  Accuracy Score: 21 miscues; 184/205 (89.76%) Teacher stopped test  Teacher administered Level 40 (on-grade)

16  April reading assessment:  Accuracy Score: 23 miscues; 204/227 (89.86%) 16 © Wheeler 2011 Teacher stopped test  Next, teacher administered Level 38 text

17  April reading assessment:  Accuracy Score: 14 miscues; 199/213 (93.42%) 17 © Wheeler 2011  Next, teacher administered Level 34 text

18 September level: DRA2 38 April level: DRA  Had made no progress in year of instruction  Had regressed 4 months in reading  DRA2 assessment indicated Brandon © Wheeler 2011

19 Something’s not right! 19 Dialect was NOT factored into reading assessment © Wheeler 2011  Level 38 in September,  A year of instruction,  Level 34 in Spring?

20 September level: DRA  Result? Of 205 words, Brandon scored  92.2% accuracy (16 errors) Factor dialect into reading assessment Revisit April: DRA2 Level 40 Recognizing 5 dialect transfers, Brandon was an ON-GRADE reader!  not 89.5% (21 errors) © Wheeler 2011

21 September level: DRA  Result? Of 227 words, Brandon scored  91.6% accuracy (19 errors) Factor dialect into reading assessment Revisit April: DRA2 Level 38 Recognizing 4 dialect transfers Brandon succeeded at level 38!  not 89.8% (23 errors) © Wheeler 2011

22 September level: DRA  Result? Of 213 words, Brandon scored  93.89% accuracy (13 errors) Factor dialect into reading assessment Revisit April: DRA2 Level 34 Brandon succeeded at level 34  not 93.42% (14 errors) © Wheeler 2011

23  Sound contrasts 23  Grammar contrasts Verb “be”: “That why” for “that’s why” Plurals: “nose” for “noses”; “sound” for “sounds” (“They have very good noses”) [f] for [v]: “Woof” for “wolves” [ar] for [ere]: “Thar” for ‘there”, “shard” for “shared” “Dogs and humans shared a common home” Past time”: “Look” for “looked”; “walk” for “walked”; “start for “started” © Wheeler 2011

24 Something’s not right! 24 Dialect was NOT factored into reading assessment © Wheeler 2011  Level 38 in September,  A year of instruction,  Level 34 in Spring?

25 Allows us to correctly assess 25  Discuss with your neighbor?  Notice?  Wonder? Students’ reading performance © Wheeler 2011

26 Not factoring dialect into reading assessment Depicts low, low frustration level reader 26

27 What is the effect of factoring dialect into reading assessment? We see an on-grade reader 27 © Wheeler 2011

28 Now what? How to teach the Standard English Expected in school? 28 © Wheeler 2011

29 Identify dialect influence: pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar Use linguistically informed insights and strategies to teach Standard English 29 © Wheeler 2011

30 30 Wheeler/Swords 2006 NCTEWheeler/Swords 2010, A FirstHand Curriculum Imprint, Heinemann Linguistically informed response …

31 © Wheeler 2011 When students write or say… “Mama walk to the store” or “I want to play on Derrick team,” etc. When students write or say… “Mama walk to the store” or “I want to play on Derrick team,” etc. Instead, t hey are CORRECTLY following grammar patterns of the community language variety Instead, t hey are CORRECTLY following grammar patterns of the community language variety They are not Making mistakes inside Standard English They are not Making mistakes inside Standard English One linguistic insight… 31

32 Build on student’s existing knowledge of their own community grammar patterns To add new knowledge of Standard English “My goldfish name is Scaley” “My goldfish’s name is Scaley” That one linguistic insight… transforms classroom practice So students are empowered to make grammatical choices 32 © Wheeler 2011

33 Transforms teaching & learning Code-switching 33 © Wheeler 2011

34 Code-switching: Choosing the (language) style to fit the setting (time, place, audience, communicative purpose ) 34 © Wheeler 2011

35 A new approach to teaching 35 © Wheeler 2011

36 36 © Wheeler 2011

37 37 © Wheeler 2011

38 38 Discovering AAVE is patterned… © Wheeler 2011

39 39 Seeing student writing as data © Wheeler 2011

40 40

41 41

42 42 Seeing students’ strengths. Modeling additive approach. © Wheeler 2011

43 43 Modeling linguistic ways of talking … © Wheeler 2011

44 44 Modeling linguistic ways of working … Unseating the correction impulse © Wheeler 2011

45 45 “I never knew there were rules to my language.” “Before, I was ashamed. I felt shame for the language we spoke at home. And I felt that by switching I was betraying my family.” “Now with code-switching, I can lay down my shame, feel good about myself, my home, and switch up my language to suit the setting.” From an African American college student:

46 46 Transforming teacher practice, … through pattern discovery © Wheeler 2011

47 47 Unseating grammar blindness, … seeing the student as writer © Wheeler 2011

48 Chat with your neighbor?  What do you notice?  What do you wonder? 48

49 Code-switching Choosing the language to fit the setting  Vernacular? In Narrative?  Standard? In analytic essay? Building on existing knowledge to add new knowledge 49 © Wheeler 2011

50 We must factor dialect Into Reading Assessment & Intervention 50 For an accurate picture of our children’s abilities 50

51 Rebecca S. Wheeler, PhD © Wheeler 2011 Thank you! 51


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