EDU 321

Introduction to Serving Language Learners

Welcome Scholars!

The United States is a country built on immigration with most stories unfolding from Ellis or Angel Islands. Our rich and diverse heritages can be seen in all facets of life from food, music, art, to dialects and mannerisms. Once considered a "melting pot," there has been a shift of to view America as the great salad bowl. The metaphor encourages each individual to retain their unique qualities while adding the collective ensemble. Across the nation, classrooms work to embrace this inclusive metaphor. Past practice was to prohibit English Language Learners, (ELLs), from speaking their language in school. Students quickly assimilated.


Today's teacher training emphasizes the awareness of cultural diversity and promotes the understanding of how to teach effectively to a subgroup of students and families that have very unique needs. As Colin Powell states, "America is a nation of nations, made up of people from every land, of every race and practicing every faith. Our diversity is not a source of weakness; it is a source of strength, it is a source of our success."


It is the goal of this course to prepare you with the knowledge and skill set to effectively work with students who come to school as second language learners. Our work this week will introduce you to the characteristics of language learners (ELLs); provide you with an understanding of the structures and functions of language; and introduce you to the instructional and language standards that are meant to frame all work with English Language learners.


Let the learning begin!


I am just a click away,


J. Shaylene


jennifer.watkins@faculty.ashford.edu


Let's Get Reading!

Required Text
  1. A Course for Teaching English Learners (2nd editiond):
    1. Introduction: Teaching English Learners
    2. Chapter 1: Language Structure and Use

Websites

  1. Achievethecore.org (http://www.achievethecore.org/)
  2. Colorin Colorado (http://www.colorincolorado.org/)
  3. Council of the Great City Schools (http://cgcs.schoolwires.net/site/default.aspx?PageID=1)
  4. EdCaliber (https://www.edcaliber.com/)
  5. EngageNY (http://www.engageny.org/)
  6. National Charter School Resource Center (http://www.charterschoolcenter.org/)
  7. ReadWorks (http://www.readworks.org/)
  8. San Diego Common Core Connection (http://www.sdcoe.net/commoncore/)
  9. Understanding Language (http://ell.stanford.edu/)
      • Websites that address English language learners and Common Core State Standards.


Recommended Resources

Articles

  1. eHow Contributor. (2013). How to write a website review. eHow money. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/how_5071665_write-website-review.html#ixzz2KdTQS7Nj
      • For more support on how to write a website review.
  2. Fillmore, L. W. & Snow, C. E. (2000). What teachers need to know about language. Center for Applied Linguistics. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED444379.pdf
      • Rationale for why current and prospective teachers need to know more about language, and what specific sorts of requisite knowledge they need.

Websites

  1. Jing (http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html)
      • Create images and videos of what you see on your computer screen.
  2. Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/)
      • Plan projects, start collections, and more.
  3. Screenr (http://www.screenr.com/)
      • Create and share your screencasts.

Let's Discuss, Reflect, and Respond!

Discussion #1

There are three parts to this discussion forum. You must address all three parts.

Part 1: Read the Introduction of your textbook entitled, “Teaching English Learners.”

Part 2: Create a profile of a typical ELL in your community. Give your student a name and a grade level. Describe his/her cultural and linguistic background. Where does he/she live and go to school? With whom does he/she live? Was he/she born in the U.S. or did he/she immigrate here? If so, why? Are the parents educated? What do the parents do? How much English do the parents know? Describe his/her personality. Does the student have any special needs? (You will be using this profile throughout the course.) Tip: Send an email to your local school's principal and introduce yourself as a college student from Ashford Univeristy. Ask to be connected to a teacher that would be willing to give you twently minutes for this assignment. You may actually interview a real EL student or a teacher of ELLs to obtain this profile.

Part 3: It’s important to know who your ELLs are as people. You must be deliberate in learning about their backgrounds and personal history. Conduct an internet search and find one “Get to Know You” activity that you can use with your ELLs or specifically with the profiled student you created in Part 2. Include the URL to the activity and briefly describe why you think the strategy would be effective for getting to know your ELLs.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your peers. In one response, draw connections with your profiled students and/or ask clarifying questions to help your peers develop their student profile. In your second response, evaluate their strategy; how would you adapt it to fit your instructional needs?


.

Discussion #2

Read Chapter 1 of your textbook entitled, “Language Use and Structure.” You will learn about the basic components of language which will help you become a better teacher of ELLs. As Diaz-Rico (2012) states, “Familiarity with the structures and functions of language helps teachers to promote English language development (ELD) while supporting students’ self-expression in their primary languages” (p. 46). For more support, read Fillmore and Snow’s (2000) article entitled “What Teachers Need to Know About Language.”

Based on the first letter of your last name, you will discuss that function of language:
Letters A - E Group 1: Phonology
Letters F- J __ Group 2: Morphology
Letters K - O Group 3: Syntax
Letters P-T Group 4: Semantics
LettersU -Z Group 5: Pragmatics

For this discussion, complete the following:

  1. Define the component in your own words.

  2. Give an example of it in a real-world context.

  3. Identify a challenge an ELL may face specific to that component and offer at least one strategy or activity to help the ELL overcome this challenge.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your peers. The first response will be to a peer within your assigned group; add to your classmate’s understanding of the component based on your own understanding. The second response will be to a peer who is not in your group; ask clarifying questions and/or push for more understanding.

Letters A - E Group 1: Phonology
Letters F- J __ Group 2: Morphology
Letters K - O Group 3: Syntax
Letters P-T Group 4: Semantics
LettersU -Z Group 5: Pragmatics

For this discussion, complete the following:

  1. Define the component in your own words.

  2. Give an example of it in a real-world context.

  3. Identify a challenge an ELL may face specific to that component and offer at least one strategy or activity to help the ELL overcome this challenge.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your peers. The first response will be to a peer within your assigned group; add to your classmate’s understanding of the component based on your own understanding. The second response will be to a peer who is not in your group; ask clarifying questions and/or push for more understanding.





Weekly Assignment: Website Review-Common Core State Standards and ELLs



You will review one website focused on the relationship between English language learners and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).This assignment is an example of how the CCSS ask students to dig deeper; there is a big focus on information literacy.

For more support on how to write a website review, you can refer to “How to Write a Website Review.”



You may choose one from the list below or another website with approval:


1. Achievethecore.org (http://www.achievethecore.org/)


2. Colorin Colorado (http://www.colorincolorado.org/)


3. Council of the Great City Schools (http://cgcs.schoolwires.net/site/default.aspx?PageID=1)


4. EdCaliber (https://www.edcaliber.com/)


5. EngageNY (http://www.engageny.org/)


6. National Charter School Resource Center (http://www.charterschoolcenter.org/)


7. ReadWorks (http://www.readworks.org/)


8. San Diego Common Core Connection (http://www.sdcoe.net/commoncore/)


9. Understanding Language (http://ell.stanford.edu/)


Your 3-4 page review needs to discuss the following components:


1. Introduction to the website, its purpose, and your overall opinion of its effectiveness in delivering its purpose.


2. Evaluation of the design. Is it appealing? Consider how easy it is to navigate the site; was the information you want to search easy to find? Did you find anything that didn’t work? Is it well-written and free from errors?


3. Evaluation of the relevancy of the content. Is the content/information relevant to the purpose of the site? Read through several pages of the website’s content. Do you find the content useful? How does the website balance research, theory, and practice? How well will teachers be able to use the website to learn about CCSS and how to implement it in the classroom? (Does it share instructional and assessment strategies?)


4. Evaluation of the currency of the content. Is the content/information current? How do you know?


5. Evaluation of the credibility of the content. Most websites have an “About Us” page or other pages that introduce the organization and writers. Is the website written by one or multiple authors? Is the website maintained by an organization? Is the group or author qualified to provide the information/content? Can you trust the source? Why or why not?


Please read the rubric first so you understand the evaluation of this assignment.