ELL 351: Week 1

Listening and Speaking in a Second Language

Welcome Future Teachers-

Imagine you have just accepted an immediate teaching position at a local elementary school. It will be your first "real class," and you are eager with anticipation as you pick up the class roster from the secretary. You begin to read through the names and find yourself struggling with pronunciation and confused by a symbol that precedes most names. You look up as a veteran teacher approaches the secretary's desk. She smiles at you and asks to look over your class roster "to see if you have any of her former students." Handing the sheet back, she sighs,"Ell clusters can be tough for newbies. Good luck."


This course is designed to give you, the future teacher, an in-depth study of the unique needs of second language learners, also called English Language Learners (ELL). Over the next five week journey, you will build not only your knowledge base, but your repertoire of effective teaching strategies. Because the fate of your future students relies on your preparation, not luck!



Learning Goals for This Week

  1. Describe communication strategies to support English language learners.
  2. Compare and contrast the impact English immersion and bilingual education have on English language learners.
  3. Identify strategies for supporting English language learners at different development stages.


Let's Get Reading!

Required Text

Practical Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners:
Chapter 1: Journey of English Language Learners, Past and Present

Chapter 2: Foundations of English Language Learning-Theory to Practice

Engage and Reflect

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This Week's Activities

Post Your Introduction

Community is built in an online classroom by personalizing our interactions with one another. Help us get to know you by selecting one of these options for your introduction:


Option 1: Introduce yourself by creating a video and sharing it through YouTube. You can also create a PhotoPeach slideshow or use another web tool. Please make sure to include the URL in your post.

Option 2: Introduce yourself by writing a narrative. Include a photo of yourself


Your introduction should tell us about your past and present work experiences, your career goals, your family, your hobbies, and your interests. Share why you are interested in a career in education and why you want to work with English language learners.

Tips for the Trenches ~

In all grades that I've taught, I have found that students LOVE introducing themselves as a first day activity. I have used an activity called, "Artifact Bag" as a way for students to bring in a few favorite items to share. This is a great activity to encourgae oral langauge development and to build connections among classmates.


Older students love to use technology. I have incuded a sample below of Smilebox, which is an online presentation tool. The way have used it in the class is that students upload pictures of their favorite things and share aloud to the class or small groups. In my sample, you will see four of my favorite pictures from my last fifth grade class!

Discussion Board#1:

After you watch the short video clip, The Power of Simple Words, address the following prompt:


A writer’s or a speaker’s purpose and audience have some influence on word choice. For example, a ghost story is developed for different reasons than the instructions on a bottle of aspirin. Think about the differences between a commencement speech and a kindergarten teacher’s instructions to her 5-year-old students.

As an ELL teacher, you must also think about your audience and the words you use to convey your message. Because your ELL students have limited skills with regard to the English language, you are going to have to reconsider how you speak and deliver content so that you are comprehensible to them. How would you change the way you speak when teaching second language students? How can you model communicating in socially and culturally appropriate ways for your ELL students? How can you ensure your message is effectively?


Discussion Board #2:

After you have read Chapters 1 and 2 of Practical Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners answer the following questions( choose based on your birthdate):


January - April: What are the general steps and guidelines used by school districts to identify and place English language learners? (If you are at a school site, compare the process noted in the textbook to your school site’s process.)

May - August: What is the connection between language and literacy development in the first and second language? How will you help immigrant students get on a path to learning English in your classroom?

September - December: What are the key factors that need to be present for the successful process of second language acquisition?

Guided Response: Read your classmates’ posts and respond to at least three classmates, one post from each group. Ask questions for clarification and/or add your own perspective.



Journal -Sharing Your Experiences


For this journal, you have two options.

Option 1: In thinking about your current or future classroom, what challenges do you anticipate in teaching ELL students? What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses with regard to teaching ELL students? What things bring you anxiety when you think about teaching ELL students?

Option 2: If you are an English language learner, describe your experience learning English. Was it positive or negative? Why, and how so?


Written Assignment- BICS vs. CALP


This assignment is focused on basic interpersonal communications skills (BICS) vs. cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP).

Use the information from your readings and at least two additional scholarly sources. Create a Venn diagram in which you compare and contrast BICS and CALP. You must summarize at least five similarities and five differences. Then, write a two- to three-page paper, not including title and reference pages, in which you describe at least three learning activities that encourage listening and speaking in BICS and three learning activities that encourage listening and speaking in CALP. Indicate informal and formal oral language opportunities. Then, explain why it is important for teachers to move students from BICS to CALP. Your paper must be in APA format. Make sure to submit the Venn diagram and the paper in one Word document.


Tips from the Trenches ~

In my years of working with students, I have found most have anxiety when it comes to writing an essay. One simple tip that helps ELL and all students is teaching them how to use the rubric as a planning tool. This is a great prewriting activity to teach organization. Take a look at week one's rubric turned checklist, for this week's written paper.

Rubric Check List for Assignment #1

BICS vs. CALPS (Total Possible Score: 8.00)

1. Creates a Venn Diagram That Compares and Contrasts Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) Total: 1.00


o Distinguished - Creates a clear and well-organized Venn diagram that compares and contrasts basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP), fully addressing the causes and effects they have on one another.


o Proficient - Creates a mostly clear Venn diagram that compares and contrasts basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP), addressing the causes and effects they have on one another. Minor details are missing.


o Basic - Creates a Venn diagram that compares and contrasts basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP), somewhat addressing the causes and effects they have on one another. Relevant details are missing.


2. Summarizes at Least Five Similarities and Five Differences Between BICS and CALP (Total: 1.20)


o Distinguished - Offers a comprehensive summary of at least five similarities and five differences between BICS and CALP.


o Proficient - Offers a summary of five similarities and five differences between BICS and CALP. The summary is missing minor details.


o Basic - Offers a limited summary of at least four similarities and four differences between BICS and CALP. The summary is missing relevant details.


3. Describes at Least Three Learning Activities That Encourage Listening and Speaking in BICS (Total: 1.20)


o Distinguished - Clearly and comprehensively describes at least three learning activities that encourage listening and speaking in BICS. Provides reasoning that is supported by evidence from the required readings.


o Proficient - Sufficiently describes at least three learning activities that encourage listening and speaking in BICS. Provides reasoning that is supported by evidence from the required readings.


o Basic - Partially describes at least two learning activities that encourage listening and speaking in BICS. Provides some reasoning that is supported by evidence from the required readings.


4. Describes at Least Three Learning Activities That Encourage Listening and Speaking in CALP (Total: 1.20)


o Distinguished - Clearly and comprehensively describes at least three learning activities that encourage listening and speaking in CALP. Provides reasoning that is supported by evidence from the required readings.


o Proficient - Sufficiently describes three learning activities that encourage listening and speaking in CALP. Provides reasoning that is supported by evidence from the required readings.


o Basic - Partially describes at least two learning activities that encourage listening and speaking in CALP. Provides some reasoning that is supported by evidence from the required readings.


5. Indicates Informal and Formal Oral Language Opportunities (Total: 1.20)


o Distinguished - Thoroughly indicates informal and formal oral language opportunities.


o Proficient - Indicates informal and formal oral language opportunities. Minor details are missing.


o Basic - Briefly indicates informal and formal oral language opportunities. Relevant details are missing.


6. Explains Why It Is Important For Teachers to Move Students From BICS to CALP (Total: 1.20)


o Distinguished - Offers a comprehensive explanation of why it is important for teachers to move students from BICS to CALP.


o Proficient - Offers a sufficient explanation of why it is important for teachers to move students from BICS to CALP. The explanation is missing minor details.


o Basic - Offers a brief explanation of why it is important for teachers to move students from BICS to CALP. The explanation is missing relevant details.

7. Integrative Learning: Integrated Communication (Total: 0.10)


o Distinguished - Utilizes a format, language, or graph (or other visual representation) in ways that enhance comprehension, while making clear the interdependence of language and meaning, thought, and expression.


o Proficient - Utilizes a format, language, or graph (or other visual representation) to correlate content and form, demonstrating awareness of purpose and audience.


o Basic - Utilizing a format, language, or graph (or other visual representation) that correlates in a basic way what is being communicated.


8. Written Communication: Content Development


Total: 0.10


o Distinguished - Uses appropriate, pertinent, and persuasive content to discover and develop sophisticated ideas within the context of the discipline, shaping the work as a whole.


o Proficient - Uses appropriate and pertinent content to discover ideas within the context of the discipline, shaping the work as a whole.


o Basic - Uses appropriate and pertinent content, but does not apply it toward discovering or developing ideas. Overall, content assists in shaping the written work.


9. Written Communication: Control of Syntax and Mechanics


Total: 0.20


o Distinguished - Displays meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling and grammar. Written work contains no errors, and is very easy to understand.


o Proficient - Displays comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling and grammar. Written work contains only a few minor errors, and is mostly easy to understand.


o Basic - Displays basic comprehension of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling and grammar. Written work contains a few errors, which may slightly distract the reader.


10. Written Communication: APA Formatting


Total: 0.20


o Distinguished - Accurately uses APA formatting consistently throughout the paper, title page, and reference page.


o Proficient - Exhibits APA formatting throughout the paper. However, layout contains a few minor errors.


o Basic - Exhibits basic knowledge of APA formatting throughout the paper. However, layout does not meet all APA requirements.


11. Written Communication: Page Requirement


Total: 0.20


o Distinguished - The paper meets the specific page requirement stipulated in the assignment description.


o Proficient - The paper closely meets the page requirement stipulated in the assignment description.


o Basic - The paper meets over half of the page requirement stipulated in the assignment description.


12. Written Communication: Resource Requirement


Total: 0.20


o Distinguished - Uses more than the required number of scholarly sources, providing compelling evidence to support ideas. All sources on the reference page are used and cited correctly within the body of the assignment.


o Proficient - Uses required number of scholarly sources to support ideas. All sources on the reference page are used and cited correctly within the body of the assignment.


o Basic - Uses less than the required number of sources to support ideas. Some sources may not be scholarly. Most sources on the reference page are used within the body of the assignment. Citations may not be formatted correctly.