OSSE 2012 Summer Institute - Educational Consultants | ELL & At

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Academic Discourse
and
Text Complexity in the Classroom
Module I:
Overview of Common Core
Form groups of 4.
 Read each standard in the envelope.
 Discuss the standard with the members in
your group.
 Categorize the grade level standard
under each anchor standard.

1.
2.
3.
Write key components of your standard on your large sheet.
Post the sheet on the wall.
Go around the room and add statements on each standard
by completing one of these sentence frames:
› One challenge for ELs that I have encountered within the
__________ standard is _________________.
› One challenge for Els that I anticipate within the
__________ standard is _________________.
› One benefit for ELs I have encountered within the
__________ standard is _________________.
› One benefit for Els I anticipate within the ___________
standard is _________________.
Define what students should know and
be able to do for college and career
readiness
 Address K-12 in English/language arts
and mathematics
 Have been adopted by 45+ states
 Were developed by states with
leadership from Council of Chief State
School Officers (CCSSO) and National
Governor’s Association (NGA)


Standards are research-based
Foster the independent reading of complex texts that are crucial for
college and career readiness,
Emphasize importance of informational texts.
•
•

Standards are aligned with the
expectations of employers and colleges



Address concern that adult reading levels are disturbingly low
Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through
higher-order skills
Are internationally-benchmarked
• How students should be taught
• Nature of advanced work to be provided to
above average students
• Interventions for students below grade level
• Supports to ELL students
English Language Arts/Literacy in
History/Social Studies, Science, and
Technical Subjects
 Math
 Speaking and Listening, Reading, Writing,
Language and Standard 10 Rang, Quality
and Complexity
K-5



6-12


English Language Arts
Math
Literacy in History/Social Studies,
Science, and Technical Subjects
Speaking and Listening, Reading,
Writing, Language and Standard 10
Rang, Quality and Complexity
Student performance expectations within the Common
Core are very high.
Educators of ELLs will be challenged to identify materials
and methods that support ELLs in meeting the standards.
Districts will be challenged to develop methods of validly
and reliably assessing the progress and performance of
ELLs toward meeting the standards.
Districts must build the capacity of teachers to support ELLs
toward meeting the standards.
Predictable, clear, and consistent
instruction
 Extended explanations
 Opportunities to practice and expand
language
 Visual cues
 Opportunities to build and connect
background knowledge
 Targeted vocabulary instruction
 Explicit language instruction

Read the statements.
 Select if you agree or disagree.
 Justify your response.
 Divide into jigsaw groups.
 Read the article.
 Share out within your jigsaw group.


Confirm your original response.

Justify your response by citing the
appropriate paragraph.
Module 2:
Academic Discourse
"Reading and writing float on
a sea of talk.”
Read the statements.
 Indicate whether this applies to you or
your classroom : often, sometimes,
seldom, or never.
 Give yourself the following points per
item:

› Often = 3
› Sometimes = 2
› Seldom = 1
› Never = 0
1) Offer enough high-quality English language input
2) Offer more opportunities for students to
meaningfully use the target language.
Silent Response:
Place your fingers on your chest to rate the accuracy of this
statistic for classrooms in your school.
Show 1 finger (highly accurate), 2 fingers(somewhat
accurate), 3 fingers (not accurate)
 Students
know the information is important.
 Students listen more attentively.
 Students work harder to process the
information.
 Students have added opportunity for interest
and challenge.
 They
have increased opportunities to become
familiar with the new material.
 They have more chances to experiment with
and personalize the language.
 They develop better communication skills.
 They must work together to repair the
miscomprehension.
Student Talk Time

Should be 20% of the
lesson.

The teacher must speak
more when providing
explanations and
examples early in the
lesson.

Elsewhere he may speak
less as students need
ample opportunity to
practice the new
material.
Should be 80% of the
lesson.
 Student language use
should promote
qualitative thought.
 Students need some drills
to become familiar with
and absorb the target
language.
 Too many drills result in
students who fail to
critically observe, analyze,
and practice with the
new language.

Too Much Student Talk Can
Be Problematic
Too Much Student Talk Can
Be Problematic
Too Much Student Talk
Can Be Problematic
Fillmore argued the amount of teacher talk
time should not be decreased blindly. These
two conditions must be met for successful
SLA to occur with reduced teacher talk:
The students must have a high enough
level of language proficiency to
communicate with their teacher and
among themselves.
2. There must be enough students who want
to communicate in class.
1.
Moving from Input to Intake
Swain’s (1985) Output Hypothesis argues that comprehensible
input is not a sufficient condition for SLA.
It is only when input becomes intake that SLA takes place.
The need to produce output encourages the learner to develop
the necessary grammatical resources, which are referred to as
“pushed language use”.
Moving from Input to Intake
Output provides the learner with the opportunity to try out
hypotheses to see if they work.
Production helps to force the learner to move from
semantic to syntactic processing. It is possible to comprehend
a message without any syntactic analysis of the input it
contains.
Production is the trigger that forces learners to pay
attention to the means of expression.
The role of interaction
(Van Lier, 1988:93)
Remedies for the Talkative Teacher
Quizlet
Shades of Meaning
Put words in order of size.
Use in oral sentences.
Small
“My feet are small.”
Little
“My sister is little.”
Tiny
“A baby is tiny.”
Itty Bitty
“A snail is itty bitty.”
Microscopic
“Plankton are microscopic.”
Describe Plankton
“Plankton no can swim.”
“Plankton can float.”
“The fish eat the plankton.”
Horses can gallop.
Horses can canter.
Horses can trot.
Horses can walk.
Look at the picture
 DO NOT SHOW YOUR PARTNER YOUR
PICTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO PEEKING!!!!!!!!!!
 Partner A: Use the words in the box to
describe picture A to your partner.
 Partner B: Draw the picture that your
partner is describing to you.
 SWITCH!!!!

Windows Movie Maker
 Photo Story 3
 PowerPoint
 iMovie

Write a short story describing the
interaction between two people who
are negotiating the sale of a horse.
Include:
 at least 6 vocabulary words that
describe characteristics of the horse
 drawings or photos
 dialogue
Create storyboard by drawing pictures
and writing story.
 Choose program.
 Take pictures, videos, or scan drawings.
 Record voice on computer.
 Add titles.
 Publish!

Windows Movie Maker
 Photo Story 3
 PowerPoint
 iMovie

Module III:
Academic Text Complexity
Academic English is extended, reasoned
discourse. It is not short responses or just
one sentence after another. It is logical,
connected discourse that is much more
precise in reference than ordinary
spoken language.
Wong-Fillmore, 2004
Academic English uses grammatical devices
that allow speakers and writers to pack as
much information as necessary for
interpretation into coherent and logical
sequences.
Wong-Fillmore, 2004
In an effort to create “ELL-friendly”
materials, textbook publishers have
created materials that are devoid of
academic language. These texts are
being used with ELLs, who are then
completely unprepared to transition to
authentic academic readings.
What do you know about plants? Most plants
are green. They need light and water to
grow. Some plants have beautiful flowers.
Many plants are good to eat.
Plants are living things. They are part of a
large group of living things called the plant
kingdom. Plants are the same as animals in
some ways. They need food and water.
They reproduce, or make new plants. They
grow and, in time, die.
Does it have extended, reasoned
discourse?
 Is it not just one short sentence after
another?
 Is it more precise in reference than
ordinary spoken language?
 Does it employ grammatical devices
that allow for large amounts of
information to be coherently included in
one sentence?

What do you know about plants? Most plants
are green. They need light and water to
grow. Some plants have beautiful flowers.
Many plants are good to eat.
Plants are living things. They are part of a
large group of living things called the plant
kingdom. Plants are the same as animals in
some ways. They need food and water.
They reproduce, or make new plants. They
grow and, in time, die.
S-v-o. S-v-o. S-v-o. Sv-o. S-v-o. S-v-o. S-vo. S-v-o. S-v-o. S-v-o.
S-v-o. S-v-o. S-v-o.
How can we engage students and support them in mastering academic
language with texts that are devoid of grammatical complexity?
The astrolabe (in Greek, “star reckoner”) is a
manual computing and observation device with
myriad uses in astronomy, time keeping, surveying,
navigation, and astrology. The principles behind
the most common variety, the planispheric
astrolabe, were first laid down in antiquity by the
Greeks, who pioneered the notion of projecting
three dimensional images on flat surfaces. The
device reached a high degree of refinement in the
medieval Islamic world, where it was invaluable for
determining prayer times and the direction of
Mecca from anywhere in the Muslim world.
Nicastro, Nicholas. Circumference: Eratosthenes and the Ancient Quest to Measure the Globe. New York: St. Martin’s
Press, 2008. (2008)
Does it have extended, reasoned
discourse?
 Is it not just one short sentence after
another?
 Is it more precise in reference than
ordinary spoken language?
 Does it employ grammatical devices
that allow for large amounts of
information to be coherently included in
one sentence?

The astrolabe (in Greek, “star reckoner”) is a
manual computing and observation device with
myriad uses in astronomy, time keeping, surveying,
navigation, and astrology. The principles behind
the most common variety, the planispheric
astrolabe, were first laid down in antiquity by the
Greeks, who pioneered the notion of projecting
three dimensional images on flat surfaces. The
device reached a high degree of refinement in the
medieval Islamic world, where it was invaluable for
determining prayer times and the direction of
Mecca from anywhere in the Muslim world.
Nicastro, Nicholas. Circumference: Eratosthenes and the Ancient Quest to Measure the Globe. New York: St. Martin’s
Press, 2008. (2008)

The astrolabe (in Greek, “star reckoner”) is
a manual computing and observation
device with myriad uses in astronomy, time
keeping, surveying, navigation, and
astrology.




Parenthetical devices
Greek roots
Modifiers
Serial commas

Read the text

Use the criteria to evaluate the level of
complexity.
Criteria
Does it have extended,
reasoned discourse?
Is it not just one short sentence
after another?
Is it more precise in reference
than ordinary spoken
language?
Does it employ grammatical
devices that allow for large
amounts of information to be
coherently included in one
sentence?
Evidence
Criteria

Does it have extended, reasoned
discourse?

Is it not just one short sentence after
another?

Is it more precise in reference than
ordinary spoken language?

Does it employ grammatical devices that
allow for large amounts of information to
be coherently included in one
sentence?
Evidence

Yes, particularly in the first paragraph.

No. When a horse walks, each hoof
leaves the ground at a different time. It
moves…

Yes. Palominos, pintos, the body swings
gently …

Noun Phrases – Most horses that look
white are actually gray.
Informational Density –When a horse
trots, its legs moves in pairs, left front leg
with right hind leg, and right front leg with
left hind leg.
Criteria




Does it have extended, reasoned discourse?
Is it not just one short sentence after
another?
Is it more precise in reference than ordinary
spoken language?
Does it employ grammatical devices that
allow for large amounts of information to be
coherently included in one sentence?




Evidence
Yes, explanation for Ginger’s biting habit
No. Short sentences only appear in the
dialogue.
Yes. Fond farewell, box lined with clean, fresh
hay, sweet oats, patted me and left me to settle
in.
Noun Phrases – So the poor horse that was killed
in the hunt when I was young was my brother.
Informational Density –We started slowly, then
we started trotting and cantering and when we
were on the common by Highwood, he gave
me the lightest touch of the whip and we had a
splendid gallop.
Adverbial Clause- After I had eaten, I looked
around my stall and into the one beyond.
Frequent tense changes within the narrative.
Simple to Complex
 Sentence Chain
 Point of View Rewrites
 Systematic Revising
 Juicy Sentences

1.
Read the sentences.
2.
Write one complex sentence, including
as much of the original information as
possible.
3.
Share your sentence with a partner.
1.
2.
Read the sentence strip.
Rewrite the sentence at the bottom of the
page by:
›
›
›
›
›
›
›
›
3.
Adding a sentence connector.
Adding a complex noun phrase
Changing to conditional tense
Adding a prepositional phrase
Adding an appositive
Adding an adverbial phrase
Changing to past tense
Changing the subject
Fold your sentence up and tape it closed!
1. Take out your digital oral storyboard.
2. Using your dialogue, think about the horse’s
point of view.
3. Brainstorm the horse’s feelings during the
sale.
4. Use this information to rewrite the story of
the horse’s sale from the horse’s point of
view.
5. Increase the complexity of your text by
rewriting at least three sentences using the
grammatical structures practiced during
the Sentence Chain activity.
Important to be consistent in your
editing/feedback system within your
class and through out school
 Create of find a list of symbols to use in
revising and editing
 Focus on content and form separately
 Student Example: Bella Sciveri system
used at Glen Burnie H.S.

Handout
 Video Clip

The Chincoteague Pony, now a registered
breed, descends from the 'wild' horses
on Assateague Island, a 37 mile long
barrier island off the coast of Maryland
and Virginia.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Read the sentence orally with students.
Write what you think the sentence
means on a post-it.
Deconstruct the sentence.
Ask HOT questions.
Students answer with text support.
Identify morphology.
Write what the sentence means to you
now on a post it.
The Chincoteague Pony is a type of pony.
The Chincoteague Pony is a registered breed.
The Chincoteague Pony descends from the 'wild'
horses on Assateague Island.
Assateague Island is a 37 mile long barrier island.
Assateague Island is off the coast of Maryland.
Assateague Island is off the coast of Virginia.
Choose a text exemplar.
2. Find a juicy sentence.
3. Break it down.
4. Develop HOT questions.
5. Identify morphological/grammatical
structures you can teach.
1.
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