Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics
Data-Based Instructional Decision Making for English Language Learners Mabel O. Rivera, Ph.D. Magdalena Fernandez, MBA The Center on Instruction is operated by RMC Research Corporation in partnership with the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University; Horizon Research, Inc.; RG Research Group; the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics at the University of Houston; and the Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. The contents of this PowerPoint were developed under cooperative agreement S283B050034 with the U.S. Department of Education. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not
assume endorsement by the Federal Government. 2009 The Center on Instruction requests that no changes be made to the content or appearance of this product. To download a copy of this document, visit www.centeroninstruction.org Initial Classification: At school entry Identification Home survey Language proficiency tests Other input (e.g., teachers) ELLs (or LEP) Language Prof.
Tests Language Minority Learners IFEP IFEP = Initially Fluent English Proficient Slide courtesy of N. Lesaux and M. Kieffer, Harvard Graduate School of Education Classification Over time Language Title III Achievement Title I Membership is not static. As students become
proficient in English, they lose their ELL/LEP designation. Language Minority Learners ELLs (or LEP) Language Prof. Tests Monitoring RFEP
IFEP RFEP = Reclassified Fluent English Proficient Slide courtesy of N. Lesaux and M. Kieffer, Harvard Graduate School of Education English Language Learners and the No Child Left Behind Act Under NCLB, state education agencies are held accountable for the progress of ELLs in two ways: Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) expectations for Reading, Mathematics, and Science under Title I, and
Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) under Title III, demonstrating satisfactory progress in learning English and attaining English proficiency. Audience Poll Do you work directly with ELLs? Yes No
ELL Performance Outcomes Some states have begun to look at the performance of ELLs on state tests after they have gained proficiency in English Although some reclassified ELLs do well, many students who have lost the formal LEP designation continue to struggle with: academic text content-area knowledge oral language skills
Issue: The current model of LEP designation does not provide support to ELLs who are dismissed Learning challenges ELLs face a unique set of learning challenges: to develop the content-related knowledge and skills defined by state standards while simultaneously acquiring a second (or third) language at a time when their first language is not fully developed (e.g., young children)
to demonstrate their learning on an assessment in English, their second language Admission Form, Parent/Tutor Survey, Teacher Referral Student speaks/hears a language other than English at home? Yes No Language Proficiency Assessment No Language Proficiency Assessment necessary
(listening, speaking, reading and writing) Norm-Referenced Standardized Achievement Test High Medium / Low No further evaluation needed Classroom Placement Bilingual Program English-only
Teachers Data Driven Decisions When planning for instruction Consider the following questions when the student starts school. How long has the student been receiving formal instruction in English? In the native language? What is his/her English proficiency level? How different is the students native language alphabet from English?
When planning for instruction Consider the level of transferability between L1 and English Depending on their proficiency level, ELLs draw on a host of linguistic, metacognitive, and experiential resources from their L1 Reading skills well developed reading skills transfer from L1 to L2 Ex: inference from text, monitoring comprehension Concept knowledge well developed schemas only need a transfer of label from L1 to
L2 Degree of Transferability Depends upon: The proficiency of native language skills The degree of overlap in the oral and written characteristics of the native and second language Type of language (alphabetic, logographic, etc.) Similar orthographies
Overlap in sound-symbol correspondence Audience Poll For those who are teachers, are your students proficient in their L1? Yes No When planning for instruction Consider the following questions during the school year and successive years:
What are the students specific areas of difficulty or weakness? Does the student have difficulties in most academic areas? Has the student ever received supplemental or targeted instruction in the area of difficulty? Does the student display specific strengths in the area(s) of difficulty? Principles for instruction of ELLs Curricular design and instruction of ELLs must
follow the principles of differentiated instruction Decisions about how instruction is delivered must be guided by the students needs (progress monitoring data) Individual differences have a significant relationship with literacy development Accommodations and interventions should be provided as necessary depending on the students response to instruction Effective Classroom Instruction
Begins with systematic assessment of students strengths and needs, as well as ongoing monitoring of students progress Use an effective assessment system that focuses on multiple skills and includes different sources of information: Diverse sources of data should identify difficulties as well as strengths, monitor progress, and measure outcomes Maintain a balance in order not to over-test Progress Monitoring Systematic classroom-based evaluation methods:
Direct observation Teacher-student conferences Student journals Writing samples Records of oral reading Teacher-made tests Published formative assessment tests
Formative Assessment (Texas) Academic achievement Terra Nova CAT/CTBS Iowa Test of Basic Skills/Educational Development Stanford Achievement Test Scores below 40th percentile on Reading and Language Arts indicate a limited English proficiency Note: The 2008 List of Approved Tests for Assessment of LEP Students can be accessed from: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/curriculum/biling/leptests.html During Progress Monitoring
What should I look for in my ELL students? Some ELLs struggle in Reading as they show. Difficulty with decoding and phonological awareness skills Which would affect word reading skills Lack of depth and breath of academic vocabulary Reading comprehension problems During Progress Monitoring Some ELLs struggle in Math and other content areas as they show
Lack of conceptual understanding Gaps in procedural fluency Difficulties related to adaptive reasoning Problems carrying out procedures Lack of productive disposition ELL-Responsive Accommodations
Appropriate accommodations for ELLs should provide linguistic support to minimize the cognitive demands of text and assessment instruments that are not related to the content being tested (Acosta, Rivera, & Shafer Willner, 2008) Testing accommodations should always match accommodations provided during regular instruction. Students should be familiar with the process or the accommodation may actually increase cognitive demands.
Research-Based Recommendations for Instruction and Intervention Recommendation #1: ELLs need early, explicit, and intensive instruction in phonological awareness and phonics in order to build decoding skills Recommendation #1 (contd) Early, explicit, and intensive instruction in phonological awareness and phonics:
Do not wait until oral language proficiency is at the same level as native peers; start early Need a close match between the childs source of difficulty and the code-based intervention PA and Ph are highly correlated across alphabetic languages (i.e., correlations above .9) Supporting word reading acquisition Formats for explicit, intensive, and systematic instruction and intervention in phonological awareness and phonics for ELLs
Class-wide instruction to prevent the majority of difficulties Supplemental, small group intervention for at-risk learners experiencing difficulties Intensive, 1:1 remedial support for children with sustained difficulties Recommendation #2: K-12 classrooms across the nation must increase opportunities for ELLs to develop sophisticated vocabulary
knowledge What we know Frequent and explicit vocabulary instruction is necessary for ELLs. Vocabulary instruction, while varied in nature and quantity, on average does not receive adequate instructional attention. Study example: 5-10% of reading instructional time was devoted to vocabulary development.
Instruction focused more frequently on labels and definitions. Repeated exposure to new and familiar words is important for students to learn and remember word meanings. Students need 12-14 meaningful exposures to a word and its meaning, in multiple contexts (text, discussion, writing, etc.). Effective Vocabulary Instruction Explicit direct instruction of meaning along with word-learning strategies; Systematic teaching words in a logical order of difficulty and relevance;
Extensive incorporating vocabulary across the curriculum; and Intensive teaching multiple meanings of words, relations to other words, and different forms of words Effective Vocabulary Instruction Must occur in all classrooms and be consistent with grade level instruction Read-aloud books and extended, structured, scaffolded talk
Increase academic vocabulary through texts and word-learning strategies Effective Vocabulary Instruction Instruction should address learning: definition multiple meanings of words word parts how words relate to one another about words in multiple contexts strategies that allow for independent word learning
Francis, 2006 Native Language as a Resource Research has shown that instruction on the cross-linguistic relationships between words is beneficial for ELLs. This involves: making students aware of the similarities between
words in the two languages. making students aware of words that are cognates words that are spelled alike and have similar meanings in two languages Cognates Words in two languages that are spelled similarly and share a similar meaning.
60% of the English language is derived from Latin 30% of words in English are cognates with Spanish Many commonly encountered prefixes are cognates. Some, but fewer, suffixes are also cognates.
Many of the root words in the two languages are cognates. Students can be taught to use cognates as early as preschool. Cognates and False Cognates: Word Sorts Give students cards with cognates - one set with English and one with Spanish. Task 1: Sort words into cognate pairs
Task 2: Circle the differences in the words Task 3: Discuss differences in spelling, word parts, pronunciation, etc. Variation: Introduce students to the concept of false cognates and provide examples (e.g., pie). Include false cognates as well as cognates.
actual actual alphabet alfabeto calendar calendario large
largo general general minute minuto pie pie actual (real)
actual (present) alphabet alfabeto calendar calendario large (big) largo (length)
general general minute minuto pie (dessert with filling in a shell) pie (foot) Recommendation #3: Reading instruction in K-12 classrooms must equip ELLs with
strategies and knowledge to comprehend and analyze challenging narrative and expository texts What we know Comprehension instruction tends to be unidirectional focusing on products rather than process. Products: reading text and answering questions about the text geared toward checking if appropriate knowledge was gained. Process: active strategies and self-monitoring that promote understanding of text.
Francis, 2006 Strategies for Improving Comprehension Small group oral reading Small group discussion, small group work Previewing Generates interest in topic Provides background knowledge Predicting, clarifying, summarizing Effective Comprehension Instruction Teaching students to make predictions
consciously before reading Ask students to recall what they know about the type of text to be read Discussions of predictions that include teacher supports and scaffolds would provide opportunities to gain understanding Effective Comprehension Instruction (contd) Teaching students to monitor their understanding and ask questions during reading
Asking students questions during reading cues them to recognize when their comprehension breaks down Asking students to explain their processes for making meaning is another method to increase opportunities to produce language Effective Reading Comprehension (contd) Teaching students to summarize what they have read after the reading activity
Summarizing requires the reader to synthesize the information and to differentiate between more and less important information Recommendation #4: Instruction and intervention to promote ELLs reading fluency must focus on vocabulary development and increased exposure to print What we know Fluent readers are those who read without much apparent effort; automatically decoding words and applying strategies for decoding unknown words. Fluent readers read with expression, and appropriate
inflection and phrasing. Important to distinguish between rate and fluency Rate = speed of decoding (can be single words or words in context) Fluency = rate AND appropriate phrasing, inflection, and prosody What we know Students who are fluent readers will be able to spend less time focusing attention on the process of reading words, and more time on what they are reading (comprehension).
Instruction for students who have difficulties with fluency should include: Increased practice reading text that is matched to the students instructional level (90% decodable) Goal of practice = deeper representations and more efficient access to words and their meanings in various Francis, 2006 contexts. Effective Fluency Instruction
Students re-read the passage until they meet their oral reading fluency goal, read the passage with very few errors, and read with acceptable phrasing and expression ELLs benefit from oral discussions Pre-teach vocabulary words Teacher leads the discussion about words, meaning Effective Fluency Instruction Corrective feedback from adults
Immediate and positive feedback provides support to students who are not secure about pronunciation of difficult words Teachers may collect data on students miscues in order to provide individual support during small group or one-on-one discussions Effective Fluency Instruction Discussions and questioning
Maintains students engagement Provides opportunity to promote comprehension strategies and vocabulary development Students learn to monitor their understanding Provides opportunity to clarify doubts and explore different angles for meaning Effective Fluency Instruction Important points:
Reading should be an active learning activity with feedback Reading should provide opportunities to serve as models as well as to learn from others Recommendation #5: ELLs need significant opportunities to engage in structured, academic talk across all K-12 classrooms and content areas
Academic Language: The key to academic success Academic language refers to the vocabulary and semantics involved in a particular content area literacy fundamental to academic success in all domains a primary source of ELLs difficulties with academic content across grades and domains often still a challenge after students achieve proficiency on state language proficiency tests
influences ELLs performance on all assessments Recommendation #5 (contd) Academic language learning is facilitated through production and interaction depends on the ability to practice and produce language is optimized when connected to reading and writing activities needs to be modeled and taught explicitly Structured academic talk Reading aloud and shared readings provide practice and modeling effective language use and
appropriate expression a platform for structured discussion, with scaffolds, to promote language development Recommendation #6: Independent reading is beneficial when: 1. it is structured and purposeful, 2. there is a good reader-text match Independent Reading A good reader-text match is critical:
Too many unfamiliar words is not a useful way to build vocabulary or comprehension A good match requires 90-95% accuracy Planning Independent Reading Is there a match between the readers ability and the text characteristics? Is the reader able to read the text with 90 percent accuracy? Is there a ratio of known to unknown words that supports vocabulary knowledge development during independent reading? Is there a relationship between the content of the book(s) for independent reading and the content and material being covered in the class? Is there a follow-up activity or discussion planned to be held after independent reading?
Do the teacher and the EL Learner have a shared understanding of the purpose or goal that guides that particular session of independent reading? Questions? For more information contact: Mabel O. Rivera [email protected]
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