Watch this hour-long recorded webinar about how you can make math more accessible to every middle and high school student in the classroom, particularly English Learners, and raise student achievement.
Watch this hour-long recorded webinar about how you can make math more accessible to every middle and high school student in the classroom, particularly English Learners, and raise student achievement.
CORE’s English Language Development workshop for elementary educators teaches proven instructional practices for developing students’ oral language and building academic language and vocabulary.
This two-session workshop will support participants in understanding English Language Development (ELD). Throughout the training, ELD practices are presented along with the magnitude or effect size of the practice. Teachers may already be familiar with many of the practices, which is strategic. Participants will learn how they can use these general education practices and make them intentional for ELD instruction. Click here to learn more or contact us directly at 888.249.6155 ext. 3.
Emily: Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us for today’s webinar, High Impact Language Development Practices: Breaking Down Language Barriers for English Learners. Before we begin, I’d like to review just a few quick housekeeping items. We will be accepting questions throughout the webinar for a Q&A period at the end of the presentation. You can go ahead and send your questions in as they come up for you throughout the presentation. You’ll use the questions feature in your control panel. Just type your question into the chat box and click send. I’ll receive the question, and I’ll put it into the queue to be answered during the Q&A at the end.
Emily: You may also notice on that same control panel, a tab that says handouts. If you’re on a mobile device, you may see a little icon that looks like a piece of paper. If you click on either of the icons or handouts, you’ll see a PDF file called ELDWebinarResources.PDF. We will be referencing these materials throughout the webinar, so if you’d like to go ahead and download them, then you’ll be able to follow along. There’s no need. You don’t have to do that. If it’s more convenient, you can wait ’til after the webinar, and we’ll send an email that includes a link to that same PDF. But, if you’d like to follow along or take notes, you’re welcome to download that PDF now.
Emily: If you experience any technical difficulties during the presentation, go ahead and use this questions feature to get my attention, and I’ll do my best to resolve the problem for you. We will be sharing a recording of the webinar with you, as well as that resources handout, once we wrap up here. So, keep an eye on your email tomorrow for details about how to access those materials. We’ll also be posting the recording on the core website, which is corelearn.com. Now, let’s get started.
Emily: I’m pleased to welcome today’s speaker, Jill Youngren, who’s a senior educational consultant with CORE. Jill has a broad background in public education, having served as a principal, classroom teacher, district literacy and assessment director, and district coordinator of instructional coaches. Jill has also worked with Western State College University in the Teacher Education Department, where she developed and taught online graduate courses in teacher leadership, reading leadership, and principal leadership, as well as undergraduate teacher endorsement courses. Jill holds a master’s of education degree, specializing in reading curriculum and instruction from Lesley University and a people license from Western State College.
Emily: Her passion is to support the academic and behavioral success of every student through effective instruction, professional learning communities, individual change management, state standards, and the NTSS framework. We’re really excited to have Jill with us today to share all of her knowledge and experience with teaching language acquisition. I’m gonna go ahead and turn the program over to Jill now.
Jill Youngren: Hi, everyone. Welcome. As Emily shared with you, I’m a senior educational consultant for CORE, which is a professional learning services company. We provide professional development in the form of both, workshops and in-school and in-classroom coaching with teachers and instructional leaders. I’ve been lucky enough to be with CORE for 10 years with 27 years of teaching elementary and middle school leadership experiences at the school and district level, which have been in both rural and urban settings. Again, like Emily stated, my passion is to support the needs of students and adults. As we move forward, I just wanna say that around the country we have a team of consultants. Myself and other consultants for CORE, have really seen ELD as a major focus and teachers needing and wanting ideas to best support the development of English while teaching content.
Jill Youngren: So, let’s get started. The grounds we’re gonna cover today, you can see on our slide here, we have three big bullets. During the next hour, we’ll cover the specific challenges EL students face when simultaneously trying to develop English language skills and learn subject-matter content. How to intentionally use everyday instructional practices in order to support English language deliver. And how to use visual graphics and class discussion supports, that are evidence-based practices for English language development. Well, let’s get started.
Jill Youngren: Before we start, we need to talk about what is ELD and what does the research say about it. On this slide here, you can see there’s a definition. Take a moment and read it to yourself.
Jill Youngren: English language development should happen across the curriculum. It’s not sufficient to just use evidence-based practices for general education. ELD needs to be tailored to individual needs, thoughtful lesson planning around what the English learner already knows and can do when reading, writing, speaking, and listening, is essential to accelerate the acquisition of English language. Some of the questions that you should really be considering as you’re planning your lessons are, what are English language proficiency levels of my students? What ELD standards have my students mastered, and which ones do they need to master? What aspects of language might present challenges for my students? Another one might be how will my students interact in meaningful ways to learn how English works? And how can I assure my students practice academic conversations?
Jill Youngren: You may ask yourself, why English? Again, take a moment and read the quote on the slide. We know that English learners are a growing population. English learners go through a similar process to acquire the English language, but not necessarily at the same rate. English language development instruction increases the instructional effectiveness for all learners. We hear that over and over again. What supports one group of students, also supports another. I really wanna emphasize that we have to be very intentional. We can’t just do best practice and assume it’s gonna meet the needs of our ELL students. We have to be intentional about it. Schools needs to make a conscious effort to teach ELD. English learners should have an opportunity to be grouped with mixed language abilities, as well as time to be with their like-speaking ability peers. ELD supports all learners, not just English learners. English language development instruction is a way to insure English learners have access to the curriculum. That’s really our goal. We wanna make sure that that high level rigor happens for all students.
Jill Youngren: Why ensure ELLs have equal access to the curriculum? On the slide are some facts about English language learners. They enter kindergarten with a gap in language and math. They fail high school exit exams while meeting all other graduation requirements. Graduate at lower rates than their peers. Are more likely to dorp out of school. This is where I really have passion, and I really wanna emphasize this, that educators have a moral imperative to be responsive to the educational needs. It isn’t enough to just teach English language or just teach content. We must do both.
Jill Youngren: As we look at varied background, it’s real important that we address what our English learners may be bringing to school and that we have to be conscious of. Schooling experiences differ among English learners. Some students may have limited or interrupted formal education. Some students have strong educational backgrounds in their first language but lack English proficiency. The schema may not match the culture for which the text was written, or the structure for our learning. English learner perspectives of how the majority of society accepts or rejects the culture and language they bring to the school are extremely, extremely important for their eventual success in the school. Being culturally responsive is essential to the growth and the development of language proficiencies.
Jill Youngren: It is critical to create a partnership with family and community, because it shows that you respect their culture. In addition, teachers must explain the process of how to learn to students. Too often, students are the last to know. For English learners, this is especially damaging. They need to understand that their feelings of vagueness and frustration are valid. At the same time, teachers should carefully prepare learners by setting up tasks that will prepare them to be successful for what they will be required to do. Most importantly, we must have high, high expectations for our English learners and believe that they can contribute to classroom instruction while creating a safe, risk-free learning environment.
Jill Youngren: The ability to successfully create a safe place for students to take risks and not feel ashamed highly impacts teacher credibility and teacher-student relationships. John Hattie has coined two terms that have a high effect size: teacher credibility and teacher-student relationships. You can find more information on John Hattie instructional practices presented through a two-day ELD workshop CORE provides on the document titled John Hattie’s Instructional Practices Effect Size Alignment To English Language Development Training. Let’s see if I can pull it up so those of you on our webinar can see the handout. So, it’s the second page right here. You’ll see a brief explanation below it. That 0.0 indicates no change, 0.2 is small, 0.4 is medium, 0.6 is large. Then, 0.1 is typically associated with achievement by two or three years.
Jill Youngren: John Hattie did this mega analysis that is explained down below, kinda summarizes what he’s done. Throughout this training, we try to support teachers with seeing what they’re already doing, but adding another lens or a layer of thinking about what our ELL learners need to know. You can see self-reported grades and student expectations, 1.44 effect size. That’s huge. Don’t we all want two or three years growth from all our students? What we’re talking about right now with the teacher credibility and teacher-student relationships, you can see that high effect size again, that teacher credibility is 0.90. Then, the teacher-student relationships, 0.72. This is the resource that you have. Always feel free to go back and look at it, but we are going to move on.
Jill Youngren: The one thing we wanna think about as we’re looking at teacher credibility is that these two evidence-based practices directly correlate to establishing emotional warmth. Let’s learn the meaning of teacher credibility and teacher-student relationships. I’m gonna backtrack here. [inaudible 00:12:14]. Teacher credibility is made up of trust, competency, and urgency. Teachers can harm their credibility by violating trust, making lots of errors, not engaging students during instruction, and by lacking a sense of urgency. Teachers must, must, must balance the sense of pressure they evoke from students, as well as their enthusiasm for the topic. Teachers who have credibility are seen as playing fair. Teacher-student relationships is closely related to teacher credibility. When students feel like their teacher is credible, they’re more likely to create a positive relationship.
Jill Youngren: Relationships go deeper than trust. Classroom management and organization and holding students accountable for expectations in an equitable way, are two factors that affect a sound teacher-student relationship. Vygotsky, we all remember that from our undergrad time, right, emphasizes that social interaction precedes the development of knowledge and ability. While we wanna teach content in English language development, we must always have the learning environment in mind.
Jill Youngren: Now that you know the importance of connecting with ELL students, let’s talk about how English language is developed. This is a generic way to take a look at the progression of language. We have characteristics of proficiency levels moving from the left side of the column to the right side of the column. When thinking about how to push the ELL students, consider the task. It may vary based on the task that you’re asking. Are you asking them to be concrete or think abstractly? Are you asking them to use informal language or formal language? Are you asking them to use general vocabulary or technical vocabulary?
Jill Youngren: ELLs go through a similar process to acquire the language but not all at the same rate. English learners typically progress quickly from the beginning level to the intermediate level. However, from the intermediate level to the beginning proficiency is typically slow. English language beginning level students have little or no English proficiency. Students with intermediate level English language proficiency levels have good oral skills in English but minimal reading and composition skills in English. Intermediate level proficiency students may appear to be proficient, but often they lack sufficient English language skills.
Jill Youngren: On this slide here, we have put together just some generic levels. Each state may have different terms for each language proficiency level. To meet the needs of all of our participants today, we will use these three levels listed on the slide. I encourage you to make connections to the terms your state uses for language proficiency levels. Take a look at the document English Language Proficiency Levels. It looks like this. It provides a simple way to look at each language proficiency level. In addition, it has appropriate classroom tasks listed for each language level, as well as teacher considerations that can be used when asking students questions.
Jill Youngren: For example, an effective way to find out what a level one student knows is to ask the student to point, draw, match, circle, you would see right here. For an example, a teacher might say, “Show me the picture that represents the main idea of the story.” In our ELD workshop, we support participants with developing a deeper understanding of the language proficiency level so they become fluent with the levels and can easily provide the right kind of scaffolding for each language learner. Let’s learn how we can unwind language proficiency levels to instruction.
Jill Youngren: Visual supports are used every day in classrooms. Some common visual supports are on the slide. Visual supports not only help acquire information, but also an efficient way to learn. For example, vocabulary words can be quickly taught by showing the visual support, like a picture, and then use of the anchor charts can help students remember the most important things. Realia assists students with using objects and materials from everyday life to make sense of academic words, skills, and concepts. Take a moment and visualize some of the best classrooms you’ve been in. Think about the plethora of visual supports used for instruction. I wanna emphasize that just because visual supports are a high impact instructional strategy, ELD teachers must add an additional layer of matching the needs of English learners to their language needs.
Jill Youngren: One of the most underutilized is our visual supports for ELD instruction, our anchor charts. Let’s take a moment and go deeper with how to use anchor charts. Anchor charts are considered a visual support and an effective tool to help scaffold instruction for English learners, because it makes thinking visible. Students can refer to the anchor charts to remind them of prior learning and make connections as [inaudible 00:18:12] happens. Some of the ways anchor charts can act as a support are to show how to answer questions, contribute to discussions, expand ideas, scaffold learning content, new strategy, use steps to take during the learning process, and explain a concept. Let’s learn about different types of anchor charts and what should be included.
Jill Youngren: Again, you have a handout. You have a visual on the bottom here. I’m gonna pull it up, so you can see it again, and I’ll come back to our slide here in a second. Anchor charts, you’ll see here what to include. In the box, you’re gonna have visual drawings and then an explanation of that. On the second page you’re gonna see types of charts. Again, you’ll see a brief explanation of each one. Then, there’s a little thing of Let’s Revise or Retire Charts When The Time Is Right. If you have this in front of you, go ahead and take a look at it.
Jill Youngren: The image on the slide is a snapshot of that handout. Again, take a moment, look at it, have it in front of you. The document lists what should be included on an anchor chart, like visual drawings, color coding, examples and so forth. The next page is different types of charts, which I showed you. The example of a routine chart, if a teacher can list the steps on how to line up or how to play a math game. Think about all the activities a teacher has and what is required of a student to recall or remember. They’ll often have a visual image with the steps listed one, two, three, four. It’s easy for a student to reference, so they can really put their cognitive load on the content than what’s being asked to do. Teachers should consider what they are wanting students to do so that they can learn the content.
Jill Youngren: Ultimately, you want to teach students the process of learning so they can apply their learning process to other learning experiences. We all know, as teachers, we can present something, students get it in the moment, and then we ask them to do something similar later on, and they’re like, “I don’t know what’s happening.” They’re not able to do that. We really wanna make sure that we’re helping students transfer the learning into everyday life experiences, and they see how relevant the task is not only while we’re doing explicit instruction with it, but then how to use it across the curriculum.
Jill Youngren: When we look at our anchor charts, we wanna think about differentiation. Really important. Let’s take a look at a possible learning target of asking students to use author’s word choice to help describe or understand the character’s mood. First I wanna emphasize that the purpose of ELD instruction is to ensure students have access to grade-level curriculum. We wanna make sure our tasks expect English learners to learn the same content as their fellow classmates. When planning the task, a teacher can use the document English Language Proficiency Levels. On the document, there are three categories: language proficiencies level one, two, and three. The document provides a general time for students to be in that level, a descriptor, and a one-liner describing that level, an appropriate classroom task, and sentence starters, which you can find under each teacher consideration.
Jill Youngren: This document generalizes the proficiency levels. We know that each state has their own language proficiency categories. You can find the word points … I’m gonna click out of this and show you, again, the document I’m talking about. Right here. If we’re looking at a level one, we know that the timeframe is zero to one year, is typically how long they’re in it. Here’s a little descriptor of a language one. Then, they have little or no English proficiency. Here are the tasks, and then, here are some sentence starters or questions a teacher can ask a student.
Jill Youngren: As we look at this language level one, we would see that the student would utilize an anchor chart to complete the task by pointing to the mood, and then providing support for the answer by pointing to phrases the author may have used describing the character’s mood. Again, it’s really important that these anchor charts are created together with the class. They’re not ones you wanna purchase somewhere. It’s part of your direct, explicit teaching. As a class, they would have the different types of moods a character could be feeling.
Jill Youngren: Let’s look at a language two level. Read the tasks for language proficiency level two. Tell me what the author said that helped you identify the character’s mood. The word “tell me what” is on the English Language Proficiency Levels document under teacher consideration for the language level two students. The student would utilize the anchor chart created with the class listing the steps that tell someone their opinion and to complete the task. Again, you can see on here, the anchor chart, the title would be When We Tell Someone Our Opinion We, one, state your opinion. [inaudible 00:24:16] select the mood. Two, give reasons for support your idea by using the word “because”. Three, use the sentence frame: I think the author wanted the reader to think the character’s mood was blank because the author said”. Again, this helps provide a structure for how we want to present the information so they can focus on the content.
Jill Youngren: On this slide, we have an example of a language proficiency level three. Again, we’re still tied to that same learning target that we had for the level one. A language proficiency level three student would be asked to respond to that same learning target. Use an author’s word choice to help describe or understand the character’s mood. Most language proficiency level three students have more sophisticated reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, therefore, less scaffolding is needed. In the tasks on the slide, students will have access to an anchor chart as a scaffold. The purpose of the anchor chart is to allow the student to focus on content and not the process of acquiring, or sharing of the content.
Jill Youngren: The example of this anchor chart on the slide represents some of the information that would be included on an anchor chart. Teachers would wanna include other elements, such as visual drawings, color coding strategies, headings, numbers, pictures, the use of kid language, question bubbles, sequence of events, graphic organizers. At the bottom here, I just put in two, but you would wanna think through how do you wanna go about having your students think through this. As we look to interact with text, we wanna mark it up. So, we mark text to identify important information. You can see it’s underlined here, so as I was presenting or making this chart with my class I’d be telling them anything we think is important, we’re gonna underline, ’cause you want to be able to find it easily. It draws your eye to that important information. We might highlight key words. If they don’t have access to highlighting, maybe circle. Again, you wanna teach students how to mark up that text so that they can orally justify the character’s mood.
Jill Youngren: If we want students to participate in discussions, we have to provide opportunities for talk. The smaller the group, the more opportunity there is for individual talk, right? Common sense. You will need to decide if students will share with a partner, triad, small groups, or whole group. There are times you will want a variety of ideas to be shared and will want to use small groups, whole group sharing and a way to check for understanding. Just because students are talking a lot doesn’t mean it results in deeper learning. Teachers need to plan for accountable talk and teach it explicitly. Take a look at the handout called Four Tips For Production Discussions. It looks like this.
Jill Youngren: You have your facilitator prompts here. Facilitators, which we know are teachers, right, ’cause we facilitate learning, can provide support to encourage productive talk. These prompts are intended for teachers but can be taught to students. An example of how a teacher can use one of these prompts is ask a student to turn to a partner and state “Do you agree or disagree with blank and why?” The teacher would model how to answer the question with the sentence frame, “I agree or disagree with blank because.”
Jill Youngren: Now that we have learned about anchor charts, let’s take it back to that. Our learning target was justify, or orally explain, how the author is trying to portray the character’s mood. If I was presenting it, I would want to help build off that conversation. “Turn to your partner and tell your partner why you agree or disagree with what Jill said about how the author was trying to create the character’s mood.” You would easily tie that all in together. You can see we use visual supports, we’ve used discussion supports.
Jill Youngren: As we look at that, we really wanna take a look at another support. That support is a graphic support. Oh my … As we look at the graphic supports on the slide here, again, I’m sure if you think back to the effective classroom when we were talking about visual supports, you would also see the teacher using a wide variety of graphic supports. With the demands of more rigorous texts, especially informational texts, graphic supports will help address text complexity. CORE has a training called Close Reading that addresses strategies to use to support teaching with complex texts. Teachers would wanna bring to the students’ attention how some texts are more considerate than others. It’s also important to align graphic organizers to text structures. Ideally, you wanna students recognizing text structures so that they can use the type of graphic organizer that aligns with the type of text. Graphic organizers supports ELs’ comprehension through visual illustrations of key terms, vocabulary ideas, and relationships among them.
Jill Youngren: Let’s take a look at how we can differentiate these graphic supports based on the different language levels in your classroom. We need to remember that ELLs are not necessarily struggling learners. They’re learning a new language. ELLs need to have access to grade level curriculum, and the use of graphic organizers is an effective tool. Teachers use graphic organizers all the time. We wanna make sure we utilize them, but really be thoughtful and align it to the needs of our ELL students. What makes the graphic organizer effective for ELLs is by ensuring the task [inaudible 00:31:07] their language proficiency level. Let’s take a look at how a graphic organizer can be differentiated for different language proficiency levels.
Jill Youngren: On this slide here, you’ll see that we have a proficiency level one student. When learning about different acts, so if you’re looking at the colonists in the American Revolutionary War, we might say students, when learning about different acts imposed on the colonists during the American Revolutionary War, we want them to sort them to sort the orders. Again, if you look off of the English Language Proficiency Levels document, you’ll see the word sort, in language level one, and point. So, students would have the acts on cards, and then, they would sort them and place them in chronological order. A flow map, which you can see here on the slide, can be used to show the sequence of events. The first part of the task is a sorting activity, which is one of the verbs. The second task, pointing to the picture that best represents the act, is also on there.
Jill Youngren: When we think about having students select the best picture that represents the act, you’re making them use the higher-level thinking, so they’re gonna have to summarize and use a visual that best represents it. You wanna make sure they would have access to a couple different pictures, and they would find the one that best represents their thinking.
Jill Youngren: Let’s look at [inaudible 00:32:45] language level two using the same kind of idea, same learning target. Read the task for the language level proficiency level student. Here, we want students to summarize the order of events. Then, we want them to write one detail about the act. The major difference here is how the student will share the information. Most language level students have more reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills than that of a language level one. Teachers will want to support the language level two students use more sophisticated reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.
Jill Youngren: Here goes language level three. This student’s asked to do a similar task but with less scaffolding. A task explains the order events that were imposed upon the colonists by listing the acts in order, and then write a summary about the acts. Each language level is asked to respond in a different way as you can see, but still exposed to the same grade-level content. There’s a fine line between what you ask each language level to do and the higher order of thinking required. It is critical that teachers expect high-level of thinking from all language levels. A student’s reading, writing, speaking and listening skills will guide how you will ask students to share what they are thinking.
Jill Youngren: Before we learned how to use discussion supports with visual supports. Now, let’s take a look at discussion supports within the graphic organizer. Take a moment again and read the slide. Discussion support should be integrated in every task that we have. We would want students to utilize the graphic organizer they have already completed to support them in presenting the information. After student presents the information, we could even build off of their delivery of that and ask them to pair up or get in triads, small groups, or whole groups, and the teacher can extend the students’ thinking about asking one of the discussion prompts we use with the visual supports. “I agree with blank because.” One of the ones I really like is “Who can repeat what Jill said?” Again, if we have a student that’s just acquiring the language, they don’t have to focus so much on the content but trying to repeat what somebody else has already said. Or, we could take it up a notch, who can put that in their own words?
Jill Youngren: In our ELD training, we support teachers with using visual, graphic, class discussion, linguistics, and instructional support. While we present them individually, the reality is that multiple support can and should be integrated and used at the same time. For example, when a teacher uses an anchor chart, they can and should include a graphic organizer when appropriate. Teachers can also use discussion supports to help the students explain how they use the anchor charts and graphic organizer. Our goal is to help teachers see how they can us everyday instructional tools to meet the needs of English learners by planning, again, with these following questions. One of them might be, what are the English language proficiency levels of my students? What ELD standards have my students mastered and which ones do they need to master? What aspects of language might present challenges for my students? How will my students interact in meaningful ways to learn how English works? And how could I assure my students practice academic conversations?
Jill Youngren: If you’d like more information regarding CORE services, you can use the email that’s at the bottom of the slide. Also, feel free to contact CORE Professional Learning Services. We provide both workshops and in-school, and classroom, coaching alongside with teachers and instruction leaders in both, ELA, leaderships, and math. So, Emily, I’m gonna turn it back over to you. This would be a time that we can do some Q&As.
Emily: Excellent. Well, thank you, Jill, so much for sharing all of this information. As Jill said, CORE does provide a whole lot of professional learning services around both ELA and math. One of the things that they’re offering right now is this English language development workshop. Much of what Jill reviewed today is, actually, covered so much more in depth in that English language development workshop. It’s a two-session workshop for elementary teachers. A CORE facilitator comes to your school and your site to conduct the training, and will work with you to make sure it’s in line with what your learning goals are and the needs of your teachers.
Emily: As Jill said, you can visit the corelearn.com website. The exact URL for the ELD workshop is on your screen. Also, feel free to give a call to CORE directly. That number is 888-249-6155 extension 3. We will provide that link and that phone number in the followup email that you get tomorrow. That email will include a link to view the recording if you wanna watch anything again, or share it with your colleagues, we encourage you to do that. We’ll also include the link to download the handouts that Jill referenced quite a bit throughout the webinar. There’s lots of useful information in those that you can put into your practice. Thanks again, Jill.
Emily: Yes, we do have some questions that have come in, so we’ll go ahead and get started with those. If folks have other questions, feel free to send them in, and we’ll get them in the queue. All right, so when someone is teaching ELL in the general classroom, or English language learners within the general classroom, do you recommend using the instructional modifications in front of the whole class with the students, or using them privately with the student while other students are doing other things?
Jill Youngren: I think this is definitely based on my opinion, so put that out there right now. I don’t know that all our students in front of us have the same language needs if they’re English only students. As we think through our instruction, I think we’re gonna find that many of our students might be at different language levels, or may want to use some of the visual supports or graphic supports to support their learning and the delivery of that. My recommend would be we would definitely use it, whole group, or when you’re presenting it all. Some states call that integrated ELD time. That means it’s within our CORE instruction, but then, there’s also a time for designated, like a pull out time, when it’s very specific to their language levels. Honestly, at that point, you would just be doing it in small groups, if it was during that designated time.
Emily: That makes sense, yeah. So, we’ve got someone asking if you could repeat those essential questions that a teacher should ask in planning. The example, what is my students’ English proficiency level? Could you go over those again?
Jill Youngren: Sure. Let’s see if I can recall all of them. What are English language proficiency levels of my students? Again, sometimes we’re in classrooms, and teachers don’t know that there is an actually level for each student. We all get busy or miscommunication. Your ESL teacher comes in and gives you a folder. It’s really important you take them time and we look at that folder, and we know exactly where each student’s at so that we can do some backwards planning and designing to make sure that we’re gonna grow them in their language proficiency levels. Most importantly, know the proficiency levels of your students.
Jill Youngren: Then, what standards, ELD standards … Again, that’s real important that … I understand sometimes with the [inaudible 00:41:52] standards around the country, we’re just trying to figure out what they are, but we also need to understand our ELD standards. So, what ELD standards have they mastered, and which ones do they need to master? Another one might be thinking through your lesson, what parts of the lesson my present some language challenges for my students? Again, if there’s idioms, or similes, or metaphors, or they’re thinking about the instruction, maybe in a different way, they’re taking it literal, you would need to think through that prior to your lesson.
Jill Youngren: Another one understand wanna think about are, how will my students interact in meaningful ways to learn how English works? We don’t wanna give them a bunch of worksheets? That’s not gonna be a way to really help them transfer that learning into everyday life and everyday academics. We wanna make sure that what we’re asking them to do are meaningful, relevant activities. I think the other one I said was, how can I ensure my students practice academic conversations? We go into this really thoroughly in our workshop, the difference between academic conversations, and then everyday conversation. When with we’re asking students to use academic terms, we have to support them in how to answer and complete sentences, how to provide the context and examples within that.
Jill Youngren: Just thinking through those discussion supports, am I integrating that throughout the day and expecting all kids to use those sentence starters, or a sentence frame, to answer and complete sentences using those academic charts?
Emily: Great. Thanks so much for that review. Here’s some questions that are a bit broader than just language acquisition, but do you have ideas to help English language learners feel more comfortable speaking in a group?
Jill Youngren: Yes. Just like with adults, it’s easier to turn to a partner and first practice with a partner. I would always say give them the opportunity to turn and talk to a partner. You want your partners to probably stay the same for a given period of time. They don’t have to be the same all year long, but you want language levels to be close by each other. You don’t want a high English language learner level with a very low. That’s too far apart from each other. They might feel intimated. Again, you wanna pair them up with similar levels and providing those sentence frames or starters, and getting them comfortable to talk in partners. Then, you might move it to triads. Then, you might move it to small groups and then whole group.
Jill Youngren: If you find that you have a student that’s really shy and bashful, sometimes I’ll go over and listen to their remark, and I’ll praise them like, “Spot on. You got it! I’m gonna ask you to repeat that. Wanna practice with me right now before I ask you to share it whole group?” Just giving them a heads up really helps them, and it provides that scaffolding, or that release, so that they can feel comfortable speaking in front of a whole group.
Emily: I love that encouragement idea. As you said, that works for adults too. We all like encouragement. Helps us feel more comfortable and confident, so that’s great. Also, on the recommendation front, do you have ideas for communicating and engaging parents of English language learners?
Jill Youngren: Yeah. That’s an area that … We’re all educators, and we’re busy. So, we’re trying to meet the needs and the demands of everything that’s put on our table and during our school day. But parents are our biggest advocates. As we can engage them and support them in the learning process, the more likely we are to have them support their student at home. Again, communicating or engaging with them and helping them understand what their child may be going through, like the emotions they may feel, like they might be frustrated, that learning is gonna be a challenge, but we’re gonna continue to teach them at a high level. Our goal is to work on some phrases within the language and helping parents, one, know the process their child’s gonna go through, but then, also, giving them some ways they can support their child at home.
Emily: Great. That was helpful. It looks like that was our last question. If anyone out there has more, we’ll stick around for just a little bit. But in the meantime, I will just thank Jill once again for sharing all she’s learned with us to help us in our classrooms, as we wind up the school year and start to prepare and plan for the one that’s just around the corner.
Emily: You’ll also find lots of information in resources about both English language acquisition, as well as math and other topics around literacy on the CORE website, which is corelearn.com. There’s a resource section with other webinars and articles and links. Then, there’s a blog where CORE leaders share their idea and information on what’s happening in the world of teaching literacy and math. Do be sure to check out that. We’d be very happy to help you out with any of your professional learning needs that you have at your school or district.
Emily: It does not look like we have any-
Jill Youngren: Yeah, I-
Emily: Go ahead, Jill.
Jill Youngren: I just wanna say, I wanna thank everybody for the difference they’re making in the lives of our future, and just appreciate taking the time during the end of the school year learning about English language development. Thanks again for listening and doing what you do.
Emily: Yes, I second that. Everyone deserves a pat on the back, especially after a long school year. Thank you so much for joining us today. Do be on the lookout tomorrow in your inbox for the email with the link to the recording and the handout. We’ll be sending that out tomorrow to you. Again, you can always find the same information on the corelearn.com website. Have a great afternoon everybody, and good luck wrapping up the school year. Enjoy your break.
Jill Youngren: Bye-bye.