Touro University’s Graduate School of Education Bilingual Teacher Candidate Valerie Szuster: A Linguistic Case Study for EDDN 636

EDDN 636 Linguistic Structure of the English Language – Sociolinguistic Perspective

Course Description
This course provides an understanding of basic linguistic concepts and their applications for TESOL instruction. Students will be introduced to the essential concepts of language development and modern linguistic components that are relevant to first and second language pedagogy. Specific concepts include: phonetics, phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, pragmatics, discourse
analysis, and the nature of regional and social variations in English and the relationship between dialects and ethnic identity. Students will explore the origins, diversity, and functions of human languages, in addition to the relationship between language and society. Students will also study key concepts of sociolinguistics in order to gain a solid understanding of the social and cultural dimensions of language. Includes 10 hours of fieldwork. 3 credits

Michele Goldin is an Assistant Professor of Bilingual Education and TESOL at Touro University Graduate School of Education. She received her Ph.D. in Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition from Rutgers University. Her research broadly focuses on child bilingualism. As a heritage speaker of Spanish herself, she strives to increase our understanding of bilingual development with direct implications for successful academic outcomes, language policy and pedagogy, as well as bilingual and dual-language education.

Valerie Szuster is a 7th and 8th grade World Languages Teacher at Richard R. Sherman Great Neck North Middle School. She is of Argentine and Colombian descent, and speaks 4 languages: English, Spanish, French, and Hebrew! She earned her BA in French Secondary Education from New York University and is currently completing her MS in TESOL at Touro University.

Dr. Michele Goldin: “Mrs. Szuster’sfieldwork project, a case study, shows a keen understanding of the foundations of research. For the project, she collected a speech sample from an ELL, analyzed two areas of language in which the student encountered some challenges (phonetics and syntax), designed and implemented an activity to address each of these challenges, and then reflected on the results of the activity.”

From a World Languages teacher’s perspective, I find myself using a lot of games, visuals, and TPR in the classroom, such as battleship, bingo, dominos, and Kahoot, to decrease the sense of fears, triggers to the affective filter, and increase students’ participation.

Touro University, Graduate School of Education
Bilingual Teacher Candidate Valerie Szuster

Touro University TESOL Candidates Brielmeier & Smith’s Comprehensible Input Mindmaps

EDDN 637 Second Language Learners and the Content Areas

Students will become acquainted with and practice effective approaches, methods, and strategies for teaching and evaluating English language learners in the content areas (ELA, social studies, math and science). Throughout the course, students will explore the impact of culture and language on classroom learning. Special challenges in teaching and assessment in each content area will also be discussed. Includes 15 hours of fieldwork.

Mindmapping is a strategy that helps students study and professors teach course material. A mindmap is a diagram that is used to visually outline information. One of the most common types of mindmaps is a large brainstorming web where a central word or idea branches out into related subjects. As ideas are fleshed out and connect to one another, one can see how concepts tie together to get a better understanding of what you are trying to study. By using words, pictures, and diagrams, you are able to organize your thoughts in a way that helps you follow your train of thought when you come back to study further. Using a combination of words and pictures while studying is six times more advantageous for remembering information than words alone. Mindmaps differ from other forms of outlines by removing their linear nature and instead positioning information in a way that is more natural for the brain to process and retain. Mindmapping takes a conceptual approach to teaching and learning, and helps students visualize a subject and understand how various ideas are interconnected in both the theoretical and practical senses. In addition to seeing information in a way that helps students remember more of what they are being taught, they are also able to increase their critical thinking and/or memory skills (and thus correct the deficit in critical thinking). Long after their days of cramming for finals are over, the skills they sharpen by using mindmaps will translate to their professional lives. For students that rely on visual learning methods in order to complete projects and study for exams, mindmaps make it easier to communicate thought processes so their teachers and classmates can better understand their ideas.

Mindmaps also allow teachers to gain insight into their students’ thought processes and see the development of their work. This allows them to assess strengths and weaknesses, while also monitoring growth.

The Benefits Of Mindmapping For Learning:
Drawing Ideas

by Andrew Sperl

Week 4’s Discussion Board is constructing a mindmap of comprehensible input strategies AND connecting those to teaching strategies.

  • Share the mindmap in your DB as a screenshot.
  • Below a sample Mind Map from Mind Meister, a free mind mapping tool https://www.mindmeister.com/
  • You need to include your name in the mindmap, title it, and show the connections of comprehensible input strategies to YOUR teaching IN your CLASSROOM.
  • Make sure you include all sources in your mind map
  • Give feedback on 2 of your peers’ mind maps.

Touro University TESOL Candidate Rachel Brielmeier is a certified teacher from B-6th grade general education and special education. She teaches in an 8:1:1 special education classroom and is completing her master’s degree in the TESOL program at TOURO College.

Touro University TESOL Candidate Shannon Smith pursues a master’s degree in TESOL at Touro University, Graduate School of Education. She is currently filling in as a leave replacement Kindergarten and First grade ENL teacher at Greenport Elementary School. Shannon Smith, “This mind map is a digital representation of all the different techniques and strategies I utilize in my own teaching to help support my ENL students.”

Touro University TESOL Candidate Kristen Bergin’s Multilingual First Grade Grammar Guide

In the Touro University TESOL course EDPN 673 Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language the infographic assignment aims to introduce instructional high-leverage practices to TESOL/Bilingual teacher candidates such as:

  • Systematically design instruction toward a specific goal
  • Adapt curriculum tasks and materials for specific learning goals
  • Teach cognitive and metacognitive strategies to support learning and independence
  • Provide scaffolded supports
  • Use explicit instruction

Kristen Bergin graduated from Saint Joseph’s College with her Bachelors in May 2021. She started her professional career as a substitute teacher for the Department of Education in Manhattan.

“As a teacher, it is my job to act as a guide in creating a rich environment for students to learn through my focus on high leverage instructional practices.”

Kristen Bergin, TESOL Candidate
Touro University, GSE

Infographic Description:

An infographic is a visual tool to provide information as a support for students. This infographic was created to support ML first-grade students in building a sentence. This infographic includes Spanish sentence building blocks to support all my first-grade students.

An infographic is a visual tool to provide information as a support for students.

Kristen Bergin, TESOL Candidate
Touro University, GSE

Touro University, GSE TESOL Candidate Erin Gage’s ‘Think Like a Historian’ Infographic

EDPN 673 Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language

This course provides a historical overview of second language acquisition theories and teaching methods. Students learn how to apply current approaches, methods and techniques, with attention to the effective use of materials, in teaching English as a second language. Students will engage in the planning and implementation of standards-based ESL instruction which includes differentiated learning experiences geared to students’ needs. Emphasis is placed on creating culturally responsive learning environments. Includes 15 hours of field work.

Erin Gage is a passionate educator who has taught 7th grade Social Studies and Humanities for six years in Brooklyn. She taught at both Summit Academy Charter School and Apollo Middle School before making her way to teaching back home on Long Island. She is a firm believer in creating a student-centered classroom where students feel validated and heard.

Infographic Description:

Infographics serve as a visual representation of information to enhance student learning. This infographic was created to support seventh-grade students taking United States History. Throughout this class, students are responsible for analyzing both primary and secondary sources while discussing the importance of perspective.

This infographic helps students identify examples of primary and secondary sources while comparing and contrasting similarities and differences between them.

Erin Gage

Touro University TESOL Candidate John Zurschmiede ‘s ‘Personal Experience Narrative Infographic’

EDPN 673 Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language

This course provides a historical overview of second language acquisition theories and teaching methods. Students learn how to apply current approaches, methods and techniques, with attention to the effective use of materials, in teaching English as a second language. Students will engage in the planning and implementation of standards-based ESL instruction which includes differentiated learning experiences geared to students’ needs. Emphasis is placed on creating culturally responsive learning environments. Includes 15 hours of field work.

Assignment Description:

For this assignment, you will create an infographic for a specific group of learners (your audience). It is highly recommended that you create your infographic for the learners that you are currently teaching, or typically teach. You will know more about this group than other groups of learners and are likely to have an easier time designing instruction for them. Integrating the infographic into one of the SIOP lessons is recommended.

Your project will be assessed on the following:

  • Content: content is specifically tailored to ENL/ESL students for a specific grade level,
  • Focus: All content (visual and textual) concisely complements the purpose of the infographic
  • Visual Appeal: Fonts, colors, layouts, & visual elements meaningfully contribute to the infographic’s ability to convey the overall message
  • Argument: The infographic effectively informs and convinces the reader of its intended purpose
  • Organization: Information is systematically organized and supports readers’ comprehension of the main message
  • Citation: Full bibliographic citations are included for all sources referenced
  • Mechanics: The infographic is free of spelling or grammatical errors

Infographics Background:

An infographic is a highly visual representation of information, data, or content that is intended to quickly communicate information to a reader. Smaller than but similar to a poster, an Infographic often communicates a central argument, topic, or thesis focusing on the overall patterns, themes, or salient points. As a quick visual representation, Gillicano and colleagues (2014) suggest that an infographic is easily comprehended and read in less than a minute.

Choose the purpose

Decide on the purpose and teaching point of the infographic for your Multilingual Learners (ML’s) .

WHY are you designing this infographic?
HOW will this infographic serve MLs?
WHAT are you trying to point out, teach, focus on, or reinforce?
WHICH language production is this infographic focusing on?
WHERE in your lesson plan will YOU be able to use this infographic?

‘I started my teaching career working with children who had special needs. Then, I transitioned to ESL but soon ended up in managerial roles. Recently, I made the happy decision to return to the classroom as that is what I am truly passionate about.”

John Zurschmiede, Touro University, GSE
TESOL Candidate

I created this infographic using a flow diagram we use at the Board of Education. I noticed that some of the MultiLingual Learners in my class struggled with some of the concepts outlined in the flow diagram. I decided to modify the flow diagram to make multilingual friendly by doing the following.

1) Explicitly show sequence and directionality by including arrows and numbers for each step.

2) Providing a clear visual for Mind Mapping while explicitly highlighting the ‘wh’ questions that needed to be answered.

3) Explicitly outlining what needed to be included in an opening and closing statement.

4) Explicitly providing transition words that students needed to use in their narrative.

John Zurschmiede’s Personal Experience Narrative Infographic

Touro TESOL Candidate Alyssa Petry on Classroom Discourse and Assessment in EDPN 673

Touro’s Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Program

New York is a state that speaks many languages. We need teachers who can find the common ground.

The MS in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Program helps NYS-certified PreK-12 teachers more effectively teach and communicate with a diverse student population.

Academically rigorous and practice-intensive, the 33-credit program includes 50 hours of fieldwork and at least 20 days or 100 hours of supervised student teaching experience. Candidates that complete all coursework, fieldwork, and student teaching requirements are eligible for recommendation for ESL certification.

Alyssa Petry has been a pre-k teacher for the last three years. She is fuelled by a passion for education and supporting her students to achieve their fullest potential. Ms. Petri said: “I believe that given the right tools, our students can climb even the highest mountains!”

The teacher is there to provide support and encouragement and direct instruction, the students are there to practice and apply their new knowledge to content areas.

Alyssa Petry

Touro TESOL Candidate Kristi Mattina on Illustrative Examples of Teacher Classroom Discourse

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

New York’s classrooms are some of the most culturally and linguistically diverse in the country. Our TESOL certificate program prepares NYS-certified teachers to provide responsive, comprehensive education to students of every background. 

What You’ll Learn

The 15-credit program includes five courses—each with carefully designed fieldwork experiences—that emphasize both academic content learning and English fluency for English Language Learners.

We explore contemporary theory and research-based instructional strategies for multicultural education, methods and materials for second language acquisition, and best practices for teaching ELLs in specific subjects. We give you the tools to ensure that your students meet the latest performance standards of PreK-12 curricula in both private and public schools.

Courses are offered evenings and Sundays, and online to accommodate our students’ diverse scheduling needs, and you’ll receive personalized guidance based on your current work and career goals from highly qualified and experienced professors.   

Upon completion of the program, you’ll be eligible for the New York State Advanced Certificate in ESOL. All courses are transferable to the master’s degree program in TESOL at Touro College

Kristi Mattina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Childhood Education and a Master’s in Special Education. In June, she completes her 11th year of employment with the NYCDOE. She is a Special Education teacher and taught in ICT and 12:1+1 settings in District 31. She also enjoys spending time with her family and two young children.

Course Description

EDPN 673 Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language

This course provides an historical overview of second language acquisition theories and teaching methods. Students learn how to apply current approaches, methods and techniques, with attention to the effective use of materials, in teaching English as a second language. Students will engage in the planning and implementation of standards-based ESL instruction which includes differentiated learning experiences geared to students’ needs. Emphasis is placed on creating culturally responsive learning environments. The course also analyzes the applicability of applied linguistic studies to such teaching and the appropriateness of various methods and techniques to different developmental and skill levels. Special attention is given to curriculum development, planning and executing instructional activities. Additional emphasis is given to the selection of materials and the design of evaluation instruments for measuring cognitive development in the core subject areas.

Kristi Mattina and her Discussion Board Contribution

DB 3 Program Models – Bilingual & ESOL

Give specific illustrative examples of YOUR PERSONAL teacher classroom discourse IN YOUR CLASSES.

Prior to teaching a new topic, my co-teacher and I always have some sort of a lesson warm-up. If we are beginning a new novel, we have students generate “before” reading questions and comments. We discuss the title, cover illustration, and topic of the novel and invite students to come up with any questions or comments they may have prior to reading. Students work in groups or pairs and write their responses on post-its which are then hung on an anchor chart under the heading “before reading.” Students are always quick to participate during this activity since it encourages students to share their prior knowledge or invites them to ask a question. There really aren’t wrong answers and this creates a stress-free environment for students who are usually reluctant to share ideas.

Another example of teacher classroom discourse, that I have been using more increasingly this year, is extended wait time. I admit that in past years, I would ask a question and call on one of the first few students who raised their hands. This does not give the class enough time to process the question being asked, especially if it uses academic language. As an adult, I find that it takes me time to process some questions, so why would that be different for my students? As I increased the wait time after I asked a question, I saw that more students slowly began to raise their hands. It is definitely an effective way to encourage students to share their thinking.

As I increased the wait time after I asked a question, I saw that more students slowly began to raise their hands. It is definitely an effective way to encourage students to share their thinking.

Kristi Mattina, Candidate at the TESOL and Bilingual Department,Touro College, GSE

PRETEND THAT YOU OBSERVE YOUR OWN CLASS – use the sample classroom observation feedback form p. 361 in your textbook and reflect on what you learned about your planning, teaching and assessment.

I chose to reflect on an activity I implemented after finishing a narrative writing unit. The purpose of this lesson was to reinforce the narrative writing standards that were taught previously and to give students an “on demand” writing piece to demonstrate how much they retained in regards to narrative writing techniques. The lesson involved watching a 3-minute cartoon without volume. We then showed a written model of how one could have narrated the video. Students watched a different video on silent and were given the task of narrating the video using the techniques we had taught.

Lesson Quality: The lesson objectives involved using narrative techniques in student narration. Students were engaged while watching the video and they seemed to enjoy creating their own stories to go along with the video.

Teacher Presentation: I have been a 5th-grade teacher for 7 out of my 11 years of teaching. I feel that I know the writing standards very well. We are constantly looking for different ways to teach our lessons in order to keep our students engaged. They seemed to love this activity. I knew I had clearly presented the task when all students were working actively and independently.

Student Participation: As mentioned above, students were very interested. After I modeled the task, students asked questions such as: “Can we add dialogue to our narration?” “Can we make up names for the characters?” and “Is it alright if we exaggerate a little?” Students made sure that their questions were answered and they were excited to begin the task.

Major Strengths: Regardless of academic ability, all students were able to create a narrative story to explain what was happening in the video. I think a strength was coming up with an activity that all students could access while keeping them interested.

Questions/Suggestions: I think one thing I would have done differently would have been to include a 2nd video that was 1 minute long instead of the 3 minute video. When planning the lesson, 3 minutes seemed short to me. However, there was a lot of detail that occurred and it may have been difficult for all students to capture it in their writing.

4. ON p 389 in your textbook -391 you will find textbook evaluation checklists. Take one book YOU USE CURRENTLY in YOUR classroom and analyze it with those checklists. Reflect on what you learned in your answer in the DB with specific, descriptive examples.

I chose to analyze an ELA Practice Coach book. We use this book because at this point in the school year we have covered most of the 5th-grade reading standards and the book allows us to spiral back to review and reinforce the standards.

Analysis of Linguistic Content: The text uses academic language in its questioning. We change the sequence of the text to suit the standards we are teaching at that moment. The book is aligned to the 5th-grade learning standards and mirrors our curriculum.

Analysis of Thematic Content: Many topics are covered throughout the text. It includes a variety of literary and informational texts. Being that the topics are so vast, students usually identify with a lot of the topics, but not necessarily all of them.

Analysis of Activities for In-Class Use: Each topic in the text begins with an introductory activity. After assessing previous student data on the standard and depending on the level of support needed for the standard, we may incorporate the introductory activity. If the students demonstrate understanding of the topic, we may just go-ahead to the practice part of the lesson. The introductory activity includes guided reading questions and analysis of a question and response.

Analysis of Activities for Homework: Homework, in my class, is given as a reinforcement of the lessons taught that day. I use the text to assign homework on the topic discussed that day, as long as I don’t feel it is too complex for independent practice.

Analysis of Activities for Testing Purposes: The text does supply benchmark assessments to mirror the book’s material.

Analysis of Activities for Review Purposes: Generally, we use the entire text to spiral back to standards already taught. We also use the materials in the text to help students apply what they have already learned.

Analysis of Activities: Special equipment does not need to be ordered ahead of time, but I do create model answers to constructed and extended response questions to help students organize their responses more clearly.

Analysis of Unit Connections and Review Points: Connections are constantly made between the standards we have covered and the activities in the text.

Analysis of What to Skip: As stated above, we do “jump around” quite a bit so that the information in the text mirrors our lesson objectives. At times, we may skip the introductory part of the lesson if students have demonstrated that they do not need that support.

5. Gather some information on student assessment from your school district. What kinds of student assessments are regularly administered, and in what language? If the district includes non-native speakers of English, are testing and assessment requirements modified or altered in any way to accommodate them? If so, how?

One example of an assessment given by our district is the Measure of Student Learning. It is given at the beginning of the school year to assess students’ incoming proficiency on a topic. It is then given again at the end of the school year to measure growth. In my school, the test is given in English. Accommodations are given to students with special needs as they are written on the IEP. After discussing it with the ENL teacher at my school, she explained that since MOSL is a baseline assessment that measures student growth and does not measure English proficiency, there is the option to give it in the student’s home language. The only accommodation given to an ELL student who does not have an IEP is extended time.

6. In NYS, what are the Program Options for English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners?

In NYS, program options for ELLs/MLLs include: Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) programs- In these programs, students speak the same language. They learn to read, write, speak, and understand English while receiving content instruction in their home language.

Dual Language (DL) programs- Students receive instruction in both their home language and the language they are learning in the hopes reading, writing, speaking, and understanding 2 languages. There is an emphasis on culture in order to promote strong self-esteem.

One-way Dual Language program-Students speak the same language and have similar backgrounds. Instruction is taught in students’ home and target languages.

Two-way Dual Language program-Students include native English speakers and ELLs. Students receive instruction in both their home and target languages. “The goal of these programs is for students to develop literacy and proficiency in English and in the home/target language (the second language that is being acquired/learned)” (Program options for Ells and MLS). Integrated ENL classes- Students receive both content area and English instruction. The home language is used to support understanding. Teachers of these programs have content area and ENL certification OR each certified teacher works collaboratively.

Stand-alone ENL class- Students have very diverse backgrounds. Students are taught English instruction by an ESOL teacher in the hopes of supporting the student in other content areas. (Program options for Ells and MLS)

7. What is the purpose of Commissioner’s Regulations – Sections 117 http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/lawsregs/117-1-3.html (Links to an external site.)

The purpose of Commissioner’s Regulations -Sections 117 is to ensure that all new student admits into a district are properly screened. New students are screened for having learning disabilities, limited english proficiency, or being gifted and talented. Upon admittance to a NYS school, students are screened for health exams including immunizations, academic development, and home language. If it is determined that a student has a disability, limited english proficiency, or is gifted, the appropriate referral will be made (NYSED, 2010).

8. How do the BLUEPRINT FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER/MULTILINGUAL LEARNER (ELL/MLL) SUCCESS http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/nys-blueprint-for-ell-success.pdf (Links to an external site.) and CR Part 154 Comprehensive ELL Education Plan (CEEP) and ENL staffing requirements connect with each other? http://www.nysed.gov/bilingual-ed/cr-part-154-comprehensive-ell-education-plan-ceep? (Links to an external site.)http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/programs/bilingual-ed/enl-k-8-units-of-study-table-5-6-15.pdf

The blueprint for ELL/MLL success describes all teachers as being ENL teachers, whether that is their background or by working collaboratively. This blueprint ensures that all the needs of the learner are being met. This includes academic and social needs. It encourages districts to see ELLs and MLLs and their families as assets and partners within the learning environment. It also involves the use of formative assessment tools in order to ensure that students are understanding content area material. The main purpose of a CEEP is to also ensure the needs of a student are being met. The CEEP is a document, where as the blueprint is a set of principles. The principles outlined in the blueprint should be considered when writing the CEEP. This plan should specifically explain how student needs are being met. “The CEEP is divided into multiple sections in which LEAs must outline how they are addressing the needs of their ELLs and describe their strategic plan for providing grade-appropriate, linguistically and academically rigorous instruction that will allow ELLs to meet the Next Generation Learning Standards in alignment with the expectations set forth in the New York State Blueprint for English Language Learner/Multilingual Learner Success. When completing the CEEP it is recommended that LEAs familiarize themselves with the principles outlined in the Blueprint.” (CR Part 154 comprehensive ell education plan (Ceep) 2021)

Resources:

Commissioner’s Regulations – Sections 117.1-3. NYSED. (2010, March 31). Retrieved February 1, 2022, from https://www.p12.nysed.gov//sss/lawsregs/117-1-3.html

CR Part 154 comprehensive ell education plan (Ceep). New York State Education Department. (2021, October 26). Retrieved February 1, 2022, from http://www.nysed.gov/cr-part-154-comprehensive-ell-education-plan-ceep

Blueprint for ell success – new york state education … (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2022, from http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/nys-blueprint-for-ell-success.pdf

Program options for Ells and MLS. New York State Education Department. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2022, from http://www.nysed.gov/bilingual-ed/program-options-english-language-learnersmultilingual-learners

Rennie, J. (1993, August 31). ESL and bilingual program models. Eric Digest. ESL and Bilingual Program Models. ERIC Digest. Retrieved February 1, 2022, from https://www.ericdigests.org/1994/esl.htm

Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D. M., & Snow, M. A. (2014). Teaching English as a second or foreign language. Boston: National geographic learning.

Touro College TESOL Candidate Gabrielle Mescia: The Divide between Proficiency in Social versus Academic Language

Touro College, Graduate School of Education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

New York is a state that speaks many languages. We need teachers who can find the common ground. The MS in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Program helps NYS-certified PreK-12 teachers more effectively teach and communicate with a diverse student population.

Academically rigorous and practice-intensive, the 33-credit program includes 50 hours of fieldwork and at least 20 days or 100 hours of supervised student teaching experience. Candidates that complete all coursework, fieldwork, and student teaching requirements are eligible for recommendation for ESL certification.

Gabrielle Mescia is a Pre-K teacher in the West Islip School District in Long Island, NY. Gabrielle graduated from St. Joseph’s College in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Study and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in TESOL at Touro College. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, exercising, and spending time with her loved ones.

I think that it is important to give students real-life context and how learning is applicable to real-world, everyday tasks.

Gabrielle Mescia, Touro College, GSE, TESOL Candidate
  1. Have you had any students who were proficient in social language but struggled with academic language?

After reading this question and article I can think back in particular to my fieldwork hours last semester. For some of my fieldwork experiences, I went to one of our district’s middle schools, where I could see more of this divide between proficiency in social versus academic language. I teach very young students, so it was easier to see the use of more dense and challenging academic language at the secondary level. I was also able to see how the ENL teacher collaborated with content area teachers to give them insight on how to better help their students, as suggested in the above article. 

If so, how did their social and academic language use differ?

Many of the students were proficient in conversational English and would appear “fluent”, however, when it came to completing assignments such as science labs and social studies reports, they struggled to understand some of the academic language. For example, one student had difficulty completing an assignment because he did not understand what an egg “hatching” meant before the ENL teacher showed him a video. After seeing it, he was able to complete the assignment. Or with the social studies report, when a student was having difficulty interpreting one of the prompts, the ENL teacher had to rephrase the prompt for him. He was struggling to understand words and ideas such as the causes of war and how it affected people. 

Did anything in their language abilities surprise you?

It certainly surprised me to see how some of these students could communicate so well but really got “stuck” when it came to certain terms and ideas for assignments. In speaking with my mentor ENL teacher, she explained to me how dense the academic vocabulary and language can be, especially in a subject area like science. 

What are some examples that could be used to compare social and academic language in your classroom?

A couple of examples I could think of at the level that I teach (Pre-K) include something such as if I asked students to “sort” objects (academic) instead of “putting them in groups” (social). Or, a word such as “opposite” (academic) instead of “hot and cold are different” (social). 

What changes have occurred regarding the teaching of a) pronunciation, b) grammar and c) vocabulary in the many approaches discussed in this chapter? Has there been a swinging of the pendulum in respect to the teaching of these areas? Why or why not? Celce-Murcia Chapter edition 4 Chapter 1:

After reading Chapter 1 of the Celce-Murcia textbook, it is quite evident that there has been a “swinging of the pendulum” in respect to teaching pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary in the many approaches used in teaching second language acquisition. For example in the grammar-translation approach, “The focus is on grammatical parsing, that is the forms and inflections of words” (Celce-Murcia et al., 2014). Then after that in the direct method, “Grammar is learned inductively”, and “Literary texts are read for pleasure and are not analyzed grammatically” (Celce-Murcia et al., 2014). Then there was the reform movement in which phonetics was a strong focus to be applied to language teaching. Following that came the reading approach in which vocabulary is controlled at first and then expanded. After that came the audiolingual approach in which “Grammatical structures are sequenced and rules are taught inductively”, “Accurate pronunciation is stressed from the beginning”, and “Vocabulary is severely controlled and limited in the initial stages” (Celce-Murcia et al., 2014). These are several examples of the various approaches that have been used with ELs over time, and the differences in focuses between them. Now, thinking has evolved so that we are aware that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach, and that not one of these approaches is the “correct” answer all of the time. 

How is Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) related to other proficiency-based approaches to language teaching? Celce-Murcia Chapter edition 4 Chapter 2:

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) “is an approach to language teaching that emphasizes learning a language first and foremost for the purpose of communicating with others” (Celce-Murcia et al., 2014). It relates to the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Standards for Foreign Language Learning for the 21st Century, or the Five Cs model, Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB), content-based language teaching, task-based language teaching, and service learning. CLT is related to these other proficiency-based approaches to language teaching because it is both informed by some of the approaches that preceded it and then influenced other approaches that came after it. Similar to these other approaches, CLT focuses on helping language learners communicate effectively and exchange messages across various contexts and purposes. CLT aims to make language practice interesting, useful, and relevant while building the confidence of language learners. CLT has evolved over time and has been used and adapted for various curricular purposes. 

References

Breiseth, L. (2014, January 7). Academic Language and ELLs: What Teachers Need to Know. Colorin Colorado. Retrieved January 31, 2022, from https://www.colorincolorado.org/article/academic-language-and-ells-what-teachers-need-know

Brinton, D., Celce-Murcia, M., & Snow, M. A. (2014). Teaching English as a Second Or Foreign Language (M. Celce-Murcia, D. Brinton, & M. A. Snow, Eds.; Fourth ed.). National Geographic Learning.

Peer responses

Hi B!

It was great to read your post this week. I liked how you discussed your experiences with your own students regarding social and academic language. It was interesting to read about your experiences. It seems to be pretty common that ELLs seem much more easily able to have basic conversations and make friends, but academic language use, both orally and in writing is completely different. I liked what you said regarding your surprise about your students’ language abilities. They were able to answer “right there” questions but had difficulty extending their thinking. I also like how you mentioned helping your students develop their answers to questions from basic to more detailed and specific responses. You also gave a great and thorough summary of the changes that have occurred in the teaching of grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary.

Hi K!

I enjoyed reading your post this week. Your experiences with your students regarding social and academic language was very interesting. I like how you described your students’ growing independence and social skills at that age as they begin to get ready for middle school. At that age, socializing with friends seems to become an even more important part of their life than it already has been. It is also interesting how although you said that they do not use academic language as fluently, they were able to work and discuss with their group to figure out the particular task at hand. I also like those suggestions of comparison between social and academic language. I think that it is important to give students real-life context and how learning is applicable to real-world, everyday tasks.

Good afternoon J.,

This was a great post! I like how you mentioned that the verbal language production of the students seemed fairly proficient in social context, but how it was very different when it came to an academic task such as writing. I have seen that writing can be quite a difficult task for many students and is not always something that they enjoy doing. As you said, I am sure that your students were great at expressing their personal opinions and needs! Academic tasks are very different though. It is important how you mentioned that they struggled to use critical linking words in their writing to connect their ideas. Those types of words can be very difficult. That is the idea of “bricks and mortar”, and in this case the phrases such as even though, alternatively, consequently are “mortar” words. Students need to understand these connecting words to fully understand something that they are reading, and they must be able to then use them in order to produce clear writing. “Understanding signal words and phrases is a key step in a student’s ability to “unlock” the academic language they encounter, as well as to start using it correctly themselves” (Breiseth, 2014). As you mentioned, a chart highlighting the differences between social and academic language would be a great idea.

Reference

Breiseth, L. (2014, January 7). Academic Language and ELLs: What Teachers Need to Know. Colorin Colorado. Retrieved January 31, 2022, from https://www.colorincolorado.org/article/academic-language-and-ells-what-teachers-need-know

Touro TESOL Candidate Liana Ignarro on Social vs Academic language

Putting Theory Into Practice

Touro’s Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and advanced certificate programs reflect two core principles: Praxis and community.

Every one of our programs meets the U.S. Department of Education’s most current curricular standards, and include plenty of fieldwork and preparation for New York State Education Department (NYSED) certification exams. Many programs offer online, evening, and weekend courses. We’re leaders in educating educators and meeting the needs of our communities.

Discussion Boards offer the opportunity not only to reflect on readings but also contribute with peer responses to the learning process of the course cohort. As a facilitator and educator, I pursue a variety of strategies for fostering student engagement. One approach is to emphasize the quality and thoughtfulness of responses over quantity and frequency. Touro TESOL Candidate Liana Ignarro submitted thoughtful responses and analyses to the readings.

Touro TESOL Candidate Liana Ignarro is a graduate student at Touro College’s TESOL program. She had the opportunity to fill roles in the Eastport South Manor School District as a permanent substitute teacher. Ms. Ignarro teaches Pre-K through SCOPE’S Education Services. During her free time, she enjoys working out and spending time with her family.

  1. Have you had any students who were proficient in social language but struggled with academic language?
  2. If so, how did their social and academic language use differ?
  3. Did anything in their language abilities surprise you?
  4. What are some examples that could be used to compare social and academic language in your classroom?

I have had students who were proficient in social language but struggled with academic language. Their language uses differ because in social settings students were able to have conversations and form sentences using correct word structure. However, one particular student struggled with writing. The student often needed sentence starters to assist him. This was not surprising to me as I knew the primary home language was Spanish. A strategy that I learned from the article, Academic Language and ELLs: What Teachers Need to Know, explains how Dr. Robin Scarcella helps her students understand the difference between social and academic language. She does this by providing her students with similar sentences that portray the same meaning. They are just written in different styles. 

Celce-Murcia Chapter edition 4 Chapter 1: What changes have occurred regarding the teaching of:

  1. a) pronunciation- According to the text, it states that language learning is viewed as rule acquisition, not habit formation. When students speak, their pronunciation is deemphasized and perfection is viewed as unrealistic and unattainable. To help students, listening comprehension is important and a basic skill and it will allow speaking, reading, and writing to develop. 
  • b) grammar- There are key elements of the grammar-translation approach. For example, instruction is given in the native language of the students, there is little use of the target language for communication, the focus is on grammatical parsing. In other words, the forms and inflection of words. The result of this approach is usually an inability on the part of the student to use the language for communication. (Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D. M., & Snow, M. A. (2014)
  • c) vocabulary in the many approaches discussed in this chapter- Vocabulary learning is stressed at intermediate and advanced levels. When students work in groups or pairs they can discover the meaning in situations by engaging in role play or dramatization. 

Celce-Murcia Chapter edition 4 Chapter 2: How is Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) related to other proficiency-based approaches to language teaching?

Communicative language teaching is defined as an approach to language teaching that emphasizes learning a language first and foremost for the purpose of communicating with others.

A framework/model that arose alongside Communicative Language Teaching is the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). This model consisted of communication, cultures, connections, comparison, and communities. Each component represents an interlocking knowledge domain for language education.

Like CLT, learning theories informing the model underscored both top-down and bottom-up orientations to learning and processing language. 

References: 

Breiseth, Lydia. (2021, May 10). Academic language and ells: What teachers need to know.

Colorín Colorado. Retrieved February 2, 2022, from https://www.colorincolorado.org/article/academic-language-and-ells-what-teachers-need-know 

Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D. M., & Snow, M. A. (2014). Teaching English as a second or foreign language. Boston: National geographic learning.

Touro College GSE TESOL Graduate Annie Quach’s Digital Portfolio for EDDN 680

As the TESOL Practicum Coordinator, it is always exciting to showcase our Touro TESOL Graduates Digital Portfolios for EDDN 680. Touro College’s TESOL and Bilingual Program goal is to train teachers to create effective, responsive learning environments where all students can thrive. Online courses are available, and students can transfer up to twelve credits from previous graduate-level study toward our requirements. Students pursuing an Advanced Certificate in TESOL may apply their credits toward the Master’s degree. Completion of the program makes you eligible for New York State certification as a TESOL teacher for PreK-12.

The learning theory behind ePortfolios

According to Basken (2008), ePortfolios “are a way to generate learning as well as document learning”. Both generating learning and documenting or recording learning are important, but the process of generating learning sometimes gets overlooked. ePortfolios generate learning because they provide an opportunity and virtual space for students to critically assess their academic work, to reflect on that work, and make connections among different courses, assignments, and other activities, such as work experience, extracurricular pursuits, volunteering opportunities, and more. ePortfolios are effective learning tools because they support students’ own knowledge construction, make otherwise invisible aspects of the learning process visible, and place agency in the hands of students, which fosters learners’ motivation. (Basken, P. (2008, April). Electronic portfolios may answer calls for more accountability. (Links to an external site.) The Chronicle of Higher Education.)

For non- ESL educators, I would like them to know that you cannot just know a student based on their test data. You have to know what cultural differences may be influencing their learning styles and habits. Educators need to continue to modify their instruction that fits the needs of every individual. It is important for non- ESL educators to really know the importance of understanding the cultural background of their students. It can build a connection and relationship with the teacher and student, where it forms a trusting and nurturing learning environment.

ANNIE QUACH, Graduate of the Touro College TESOL Program, Graduate School of Education

Please enjoy Ms. Quach’s e-portfolio and website.