“Learning is a social process that occurs through interpersonal interaction within a cooperative context. Individuals, working together, construct shared understandings and knowledge.” -David Johnson Claudia Guerrero John Mendoza Bernadet Caceres On the index card write down what a language rich environment looks like. Stand up – hand up- pair up Discuss with your partner what you wrote on your index card. A language rich environment is mostly spoken of in literature on the first language acquisition of infants, children whose home environment engages in meaningful conversations allowing the students to begin school with a large vocabulary and strong ability to engage orally. For English language learners, they find themselves starting all over again in learning a new language. They need to hear language used for a variety of purposes, engage in conversations, with different partners and see language. In a language rich environment, students need to hear language models from a variety of sources. Teachers, peers, books, videos, and other sources of information can serve as models of language. Students need to be immersed in authentic language tasks that make language comprehensible. They need opportunities to share their thinking with one another and to rehearse oral language for academic purposes. A language rich environment is not a quiet classroom. Has desks organized in a way that allows student so see eyeto-eye and provides spaces where students can come together and talk in larger groups. Students are placed in learning pods of 4-6 students. Room organization is important, one where the teacher can quickly transition students form a pair-share to a small group activity without asking students to leave their seats. Many times students serve as language models for other students. Through peer interactions, students develop vocabulary, learn content, and engage in oral discourse. ELL’s need opportunities to interact with different peers daily, if they are paired with the same person it may limit the exposure to language that they receive. We want all students to feel like an expert and have something to contribute in the classroom. Therefore, teachers need to be intentional on how they pair up the students. It is important to know your students language to be able to pair them with one that is slightly above their level. It is important to mix partners often, giving all students an opportunity to serve as language models and learners. Teachers can provide students language frames to help them initiate a dialogue with their peers, or provide a prompt and allow students to use their own language. A language-rich classroom includes knowledge of where students are in their English language development with formal and informal assessments. When students interact orally, the teacher has the opportunity to listen and learn providing good information for teachers to build upon. Teachers need to model academic language that will build toward encouraging students to talk progressively more while the teacher talks progressively less. A Language-Rich environment encourages Risk Taking ELL students need to believe the whole class is working as a language community,they need to feel safe and know they will not be ridiculed ELL students must feel successful as they build confidence as a speaker of English Ex. Gallery Walks (telling stories through pics, speak what they see) Teachers invite students to interact with text There is a clear obj. for the Read Aloud Students are allowed to contribute their thinking Intentional stopping points are practiced by teacher to check for understanding Pair-Share: students will share their understanding of the text, practicing with peers instead of a group is low-anxiety context for practicing oral language ELL need to see language: ex. Visible access to the text being read w/young learners using Big Books or large charts of text. Older readers, T. can use copies of the text or view via a document camera. S’s are able to make sense from oral and written language. WORD WALLS- provide pictures, full sentences that use the word, full texts w/the word underlined. ELL should be able to understand the words and use the words when speaking and writing Classroom library serves as a valuable resource for English language learners. Through books, students are exposed to a large amounts of language. Variety of texts – trade books, magazines, chapter books, newspapers, Web resources, pamphlets, brochures and other printed materials. Providing multiple sources of text helps students access information in different ways and they learn knowledge can be presented and learned through a variety of ways. Modeling proper written language support English language learners when speaking and writing in English. Picture – Word – association Sentence strips – sentence starters Anchor charts – Vocabulary word walls The key in creating a language-rich environment is to immerse students in language from: talking to peers seeing examples of language around the room In different forms of text ELL’s need to be highly exposed to language They need daily opportunities to practice using the language that surrounds them. Create spaces for peer-to-peer interaction using small-group and whole-group settings. Encourage peer-to-peer interactions. Listen to the language and knowledge students bring to the learning experience. Incorporate interactive read-alouds. Provide daily shared-reading opportunities. Introduce words orally and in print. Have an abundant classroom library. Encourage daily opportunities to read independently. Create an explicit language environment.