At the Initial Implementation stage, staff have already selected practices and begun delivering instruction with academic language intentionally woven into every lesson. Staff use materials, scaffolds, language frames, and other techniques to support students, and close attention to delivery as intended and student performance take center stage.
It is almost certain that teachers will implement the essential components of academic language with uneven results. Therefore, it is critical to review student performance results, discuss effectiveness of teaching efforts, and maintain fidelity to selected practices.
Leadership and Implementation Teams work to maintain high expectations until all staff provide equivalent opportunities and instruction with fidelity across the curriculum and school day. Effective use of student performance data should lead to continued improvements and increase the effectiveness of practices and sufficiency of opportunities to use language throughout the school day.
Because Minnesota is itself still in exploration, we continue to evolve the explanations and resources available on this concept.
WIDA Guiding Principles webinar
(http://www.wida.us/downloadLibrary.aspx). This set of six 30-minute webinars from a collaboration between Minnesota Department of Education and the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) consortium focuses on academic language development and standards. They include: 1) Overview of the Academic Language Across Content Areas; 2) WIDA English Language Development Standards; 3) Academic Language of English Language Arts; 4) Academic Language of Social Studies; 5) Academic Language of Science; and 6) Academic Language of Math. From the WIDA library page, find Videos and Webinars, then select Minnesota Webinars. Use your WIDA login and password.
Instructional Practices and Example LessonsPreschool Language and Literacy
(http://dww.ed.gov/Preschool-Language-and-Literacy/topic/index.cfm?T_ID=15). This site includes a module on teaching phonological awareness and a second on using interactive and dialogic reading. Each module includes a brief video overview, key concepts, case studies, and ideas for action.Providing Access to Common Core Language Arts Standards to Students who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
(http://ctserc.org/aac-core/Providing%20access%20to%20Common%20Core%20Language%20Arts%20Standards%20to%20Students%20who%20use%20Augmentative%20and%20Alternative%20Communication%20(AAC)%20(2).pdf). This 34-page document offers examples of ways students with complex communication needs can access robust, rigorous, standards-based instruction when provided with augmentative and alternative communication.How to Teach the Common Core Vocabulary Standards
(http://penningtonpublishing.com/blog/reading/how-to-teach-the-common-core-vocabulary-standards/). This blog presents lesson ideas on how to teach the Common Core vocabulary standards explicitly across the curriculum. It offers a comprehensive, ready-to-use template for teaching vocabulary.Core Practice Frames
(http://complexlanguage.org/core-practice-frames). This website includes three modules that cover practices for developing complex academic language across content areas and grade levels. The first discusses fostering academic interaction; the second covers fortifying complex output; and the third addresses using complex texts. Each module has a brief video overview; details on clarifying, modeling, guiding and designing learning for that practice; and additional resources.Complex Academic Language
(http://complexlanguage.org/academic-language). This web page includes information on teaching three aspects of academic language, namely discourse, syntax, and vocabulary. It has summary information and tools as well as several five- to seven-minute video overviews.Understanding Language: Language, Literacy, and Learning in the Content Areas
(http://ell.stanford.edu/teaching_resources/ela). This website includes teaching resources that exemplify high-quality instruction for English Learners. It has sample lesson and unit plans in three content areas, namely English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science.Realizing Opportunities for ELLs in the Common Core English Language Arts and Disciplinary Literacy Standards
(http://ell.stanford.edu/publication/realizing-opportunities-ells-common-core-english-language-arts-and-disciplinary-literacy). This 16-page paper emphasizes that texts are approached differently for different purposes, and students need opportunities to approach texts with these varied purposes in mind. It also highlights how English Learners may be well served by opportunities to explore and justify their own “textual hypotheses,” even if their initial interpretations diverge from those of the teacher.College- and Career-Ready English Language Learners: Challenges, Strengths, and Strategies
(http://ccweta.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/nabe-2013_diane-august.pdf). This 45-slide presentation from the American Institutes for Research demonstrates that text is at the heart of the Common Core standards and covers how to provide supports for English Learners to access those texts.