ESL Instructional News

April 2017

Deeper Learning for English Learners (ELs)

Did you know that observations by Nystrand (2006) in middle and high school classrooms found that the average whole class discussion lasted between 14 to 52 seconds per class?(Fisher, Frey & Hattie, 2016) At the same time, one of the four What Works Clearinghouse's recommendations for ELs is that teachers integrate oral and written English language instruction into content area teaching. Finally, Hattie's visible learning study showed that the effect size on student learning for classroom discussion was .82 (large effect). Deepening learning for ELs needs to include opportunities for students to discuss and question the content being taught.

So where do we begin? The key word is scaffolding. In the video below, you will see a teacher that uses accountable talk stems to scaffold student learning in order to have respectful, productive academic discussion:

And here's a link to some accountable talk cards for elementary and secondary:

Try it. You may be surprised how much you and your students enjoy classroom conversations and how much they learn!

Fisher, D., Frey, N., Hattie, J. (2016) Visible learning for literacy: Implementing the practices that work best to accelerate student learning. Thousand Oaks, CA Corwin

Nystrand, M. (2006). Research on the role of classroom discourse as it affects reading

comprehension. Research in the Teaching of English, 40, 293-412

WIDA 2017 ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Score Changes

There are some significant changes to the scoring of ACCESS for ELLs 2017. WIDA has provided information and resources including a teacher handout as well as an administrator handout which describe some key information on the changes. Click here to go to the WIDA web page 2017 ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Score Changes. There you will find lots of useful Resources for Educators.

WIDA ACCESS 2.0 Focus on Instruction

Once you receive your students' 2017 ACCESS 2.0 scores, how do you use those scores to support instruction? The WIDA Can Do Descriptors charts are a grade level tool that any teacher can use to help focus on what each student Can Do at their current level of English Proficiency. WIDA offers Can Do Name Charts which are a great way to track students' proficiency levels in each language domain of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.

EL Resources for Schools

Summer Professional Learning for Bilingual Associate Instructors (BAIs)

The ESL Department will be providing several sessions at the Classified Summer Institute which is being held at Thomas Jefferson Middle School on June 11 and 12. More information and details will follow soon, but for now, be sure and save the date!