Content and Language Objectives
By: Audrey Anderson
Advantages to Sharing Objectives Orally
Echevaria, Vogt & Short (2013) suggest sharing objectives with students orally as well as in writing. If objectives are not presented orally, students may not know what they are supposed to learn for the day. Content objectives should be stated simply in student-friendly language that is appropriate for the age and proficiency levels within the classroom. Since many EL students are more proficient speaking in English, discussing objectives will ensure that students understand what is expected of them. It also allows the opportunity for students to ask questions and gain clarification. When explaining objectives, it may be more helpful for teachers to elaborate on the lesson plan. In the lesson preparation video, Vogt (n.d.) explains that the content standards are used along with the SIOP model in writing lesson plans. As Echevaria, Vogt & Short (2013) state, SIOP teachers tell students the objectives for each lesson.
Advantages to Sharing Written Objectives
For effective instruction, concrete content objectives should identify what the students should know and be able to do (Echevaria, Vogt & Short, 2013). Since content objectives and state standards are usually stated in a complex manner that is not accessible for EL students, they should be written clearly and simply. Students should be presented with objectives orally and in writing so they know what they are supposed to learn. Seeing objectives in written form may also help students make connections between the spoken and written words.
Teacher and Student Performance
As Echevaria, Vogt & Short (2013) explain, lesson planning is critical to both a student's and teacher's success. Specific learning goals should be targeted in order for maximum learning to occur. Objectives should guide teaching and learning. As teachers incorporate content and language objectives in their lessons, they will begin to consider the needs and demands of the EL students in their classrooms. This should lead to more effective instruction. There will also be a greater focus on planning and procedures which will benefit both teachers and students. Written objectives may also help teachers assess whether students have mastered specific concepts and tasks.