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Crafting Content Language Objectives

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Presentation on theme: "Crafting Content Language Objectives"— Presentation transcript:

1 Crafting Content Language Objectives
Presenter: Margot Downs WIDA Certified Consultant ACCESS for ELLs®, W-APT™, and ELP Standards Trainer February 28, 2011 Maine Department of Education ESL/Bilingual Programs Professional development online webinar

2 Amplifying Language Instruction in the Classroom K-12
How do I identify language structures embedded in a content task? 2) How do I make academic language accessible to students without simplifying the task?


4 Content Standards Standards are used to form the framework for a state’s or local school district’s curriculum. Content Standard: C3 Science, Technology and Society (grade 3-5) Performance Indicator: Students will identify and describe the influences of science and technology on people and the environment

5 Writing a Content Objective
What is the essential and enduring knowledge? What is the content standard students need at this point in their understanding? What content builds upon students’ current level of learning? How will I make the content objective clear?

6 Content Objective Content Objectives are more specific and measurable. The primary purpose of a content objective is to provide measurability to the standard and the performance indicator. Several content objectives are often required to meet the essence of a performance indicator(s). Content Objective: Students will be able to: analyze a chart describe how recycling impacts waste disposal

7 Outcomes What work, task, or product do I want my students to complete by the end of this lesson to demonstrate understanding? What vocabulary and language structures do my students need to use in order to talk, read, and write about the content (language analysis)? What are the different language proficiency levels of my students (CAN DO Descriptors)? How will I make the content and language objectives clear in student friendly language?

8 Linguistic Expectations
Linguistic Complexity Percent is a part of a whole, a rate or percentage per hundred Paper makes up the largest percent of trash/garbage/waste in the United States. Glass makes up the smallest percent of trash trash/garbage/waste in the United States There is more plastic thrown away (discarded) than wood. ____________ is more than _____________ of our trash. ____________ is less than ______________ of our trash. Than vs. Then Count/Non-count (bottles/paper) How could you reduce the amount of trash created at school? There are many ways to reduce the amount of trash at school. If students and teachers reduced how often they printed, then we wouldn’t use so much paper. When people use water bottles, they don’t buy bottled water in plastic bottles.

9 Linguistic Expectations
Vocabulary Usage Waste/trash/garbage reduce/reduction recycle/recyclable percent/percentage Predict/prediction Category(ies)/categorize biodegradable

10 Class Profiles and Can Do Descriptors
Mi Rae -Grade 5 Mi Rae is from Burma. She lives with her parents and younger brother. She attended school in Burma where she learned Burmese and Karin. Both languages are still spoken at home. She arrived one year ago. She is still quiet and struggles to communicate in English. Her teacher says she tries hard and wants to please. She is very artistic and likes to draw pictures. ACCESS Scores Listening: 2.3 Speaking: 2.6 Reading: 1.9 Writing: 3.1 Composite: 2.5 Running Records Oral Language Portfolio Writing Portfolio Can Do Descriptors

11 “Just because I’m teaching in English, doesn’t mean I’m teaching English”
Just because students can speak English like a “native” doesn’t necessarily mean they are prepared for the academic language challenges encountered in the content area. Language learning can occur without awareness, but much of academic language learning needs to be highlighted and explicity taught.

12 WIDA ELP Standards English Language Proficiency Standard (WIDA): Standard 4 English learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of Science (The language of Science)

13 Language Function Example Topic Support
MPIs are from the ELP standards and show what language looks like in a specific domain (reading, writing, listening, speaking) and content area. Standards are used to form the framework for a state’s or local school district’s curriculum. Language Model Performance Indicators: Compare information on recycling from a graph with a partner Apply information on recycling to a new context in groups Language Function Example Topic Support

14 “use” productive language, “identify” receptive language
Language Objectives are more specific and measurable. The focus is on a particular aspect of language (linguistic feature) based on the demands of the task and on student need. They define the communications skills (language domains) needed to make the content of the discipline comprehensible. Language Objectives: Students will use/identify comparison words (both/all) and superlatives (the most, least) to compare recycling categories. Students will use/identify cause and effect structures (if/then, as a result) to find solutions to reducing waste. “use” productive language, “identify” receptive language

15 Make Connections “Turn and Talk”
How do language objectives differ from content objectives? How are language and content objectives similar?

16 Instruction to Amplify Language
1) Build Background Activate prior knowledge and cultivate an atmosphere of appreciation for the knowledge background represented in the classroom Make connections with new learning Provide common experiences on which to build new knowledge Student-friendly objectives: We will investigate how recycling impacts the amount of trash we produce. We will compare and contrast amounts on a pie chart.

17 1. Build Background

18 Instruction to Amplify Language
2) Increase Interaction and Engagement by Moving Towards Text Helps build a community of learning Flexible grouping to provide different levels of support Academic oral language rehearsal to build connections to text Multiple opportunities to rehearse


20 2. Increase Interaction Model and Set Linguistic Expectations for Interactions Brainstorming/Categorizing (Model Expectations) “_____ and ____ are could be in a category called ____ because ____” “______ belongs in the category of ______ because ______” “I predict that __% of our trash is___ because ___” “I agree with this because ____” I disagree with this because ____” Compare student work to original

21 Instruction to Amplify Language
3) Scaffold Language Learning so that … Language is presented at a level learners can understand, but maintains a high level of cognitive demand Language concepts can be into put into hierarchies (rain, precipitation cycle, weather systems, climate) or continuums Build student autonomy Build fluency with language (speed/accuracy)

22 3. Scaffolds for Language Learning
Individual, Pairs, Small groups “Record five observations about the pie chart.” Model examples using sentence frames

23 Instruction to Amplify Language
4) Apply and Integrate Content language Integration of language skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) Writing impacts the cognitive connections. Short written assignments can help solidify language. Connect academic language to multiple contexts

24 4. Apply and Integrate Content Language
Reading Assignment that mirrors oral language discussions For homework complete the worksheet questions Write to build cognitive connections Write a letter to the principal explaining your ideas for reducing the amount of garbage created at school. (If, then) Research three ways that recycled (material) is used to make new products.

25 Assessment Always keep the Can Do Descriptors in mind when assessing students. Are students being assessed on content knowledge or language proficiency? Are students given a variety of opportunities to demonstrate knowledge? How will you determine what instruction students need next?

26 Resources WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards (2007)
WIDA CAN DO Descriptors Content Area Conversations (2008) Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and Carol Rothenberg 50 Instructional Activities to Develop Content Literacy (2011) Douglas Fisher, et al. 50 Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners, 3rd edition (2008) Adrienne L. Herrell and Michael Jordan English Learners, Academic Literacy, and Thinking (2009) Pauline Gibbons Building Academic Language, Essential Practices for Content Classrooms Grades 5-12 (2008) Jeff Zwiers

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