Priority Artifact for Administrators
Academic English: Implications for K-12 English Learners (http://ceee.gwu.edu/node/131). This 77-page article explains academic language, instructional practices used to teach it, teacher preparation and training to improve instructional practice, and policies that support academic language. This article is priority reading for administrators and leadership teams.
Formative Assessment of Academic Language Development
2012 Amplification of the English Language Development (ELD) Standards (http://mediasite.engr.wisc.edu/Mediasite/Viewer/?peid=9078b6820cd44e89a6856ebca1f14e961d). This two-hour webinar by World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) lays out an academic language continuum for English learners from levels 1 to 6 and describes the graphic, interactive, and sensory supports needed to provide access to the Minnesota K-12 English Language Arts standards. The connection of the English Language Development Standards to the State ELA Standards is discussed at the 1:02 video interval.
Formative Assessment of Academic Language for English Language Learners (ELLs) (http://www.wida.us/downloadLibrary.aspx). This download library by World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) include several resources for assessment of English Language Learners (ELLs). See the categories of "Can Do” Descriptors, ACCESS for ELLs, Research, and Videos/Webinars. You will need a login and password to access webinars.
Bailey, A. and Heritage, M. Formative Assessment for Literacy, Grades K-6: Building Reading and Academic Language Skills Across the Curriculum (2008). This book provides learning progressions for language development and shows teachers how to use formative assessment to target instruction.
The Oral Language Acquisition Inventory 2 (http://www.pearsonassessments.com/HAIWEB/Cultures/en-us/Productdetail.htm?Pid=0158130316). Lance Gentile created this 20-minute, paper and pencil assessment to evaluate language and learning behaviors in order to drive effective instruction and/or intervention. Although created for English Learners, it has been expanded to span pre-K to grade 6. NOTE: Minnesota Department of Education does not endorse specific products. This link is an illustrative example of a language inventory that could be used to target language interventions.
Common Core in ELA/ Literacy: Shift 6: Academic Vocabulary (http://engageny.org/resource/common-core-in-ela-literacy-shift-6-academic-vocabulary/). This 6-minute video features a discussion between New York State Commissioner of Education John B. King Jr.; David Coleman, contributing author to the Common Core; and Kate Gerson, a Senior Fellow with the Regents Research Fund. In it, they focus on Shift 6–Academic Vocabulary. By unpacking Shift 6, the discussion addresses the “tiers” of vocabulary and the choices teachers need to make regarding the explicit teaching of “academic” vocabulary. An accompanying worksheet is available in Microsoft Word and PDF formats.
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: English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science.
Framework for English Language Proﬁciency Development Standards Corresponding to the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards (http://www.ccsso.org/Documents/2012/ELPD%20Framework%20Booklet-Final%20for%20web.pdf). This 105-page document, aimed at English Learner stakeholders, explains the language practices that all English Learners must acquire in order to successfully master the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). It also covers practices relevant to second language acquisition in general. The framework including language practices for English Language Arts (ELA) is on page 11.
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. Students need opportunities to approach texts with these varied purposes in mind. The article also highlights how English Language Learners (ELLs) 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.
Identifying and Addressing Language Demands Critical for Supporting Academic Achievement (http://www.cde.state.co.us/cde_english/download/Resources-Links/LCE%20Academy%202011/IDentifyingAddressingLangDemandsSato.pdf). Edynn Sato’s PowerPoint presentation explores the intersection between cognitive abilities, language demands and academic performance. Her taxonomy can be used to inform the development of language progressions from the most basic and foundational English language skills and knowledge to the most advanced and developed language skills and knowledge relevant to accessing and achieving rigorous academic content.
CONNECT Module 6: Dialogic Reading Practices (http://community.fpg.unc.edu/connect-modules/learners/module-6). This comprehensive module focuses on Dialogic Reading, an evidence-based instructional practice that builds oral language development, especially for children who live in poverty or lack age-appropriate language skills, by implementing a systematic approach to shared storybook reading. The module is organized by a 5-Step Learning Cycle that begins with a dilemma of practice and cycles through questions, evidence of effective practice, instructional decision making and evaluation. It includes video clips, activities, handouts, and audio to assist teachers as they learn about Dialogic Reading and implement this evidence-based practice in their classrooms.
Community of Practice Reads for PLC Study Circles
These selections are useful for all learners, even when the title indicates that English Learners are the primary focus.
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). Worah, S. and Zarchen, J. This article asserts that ALL students should have equal access to use their language to communicate within the Common Core Standards. Teachers working with students who use communication devices will benefit from reading this article.
Bailey, Ann. The Language Demands of School: Putting Academic English to the Test (2006). This book describes the research base for academic language testing, instruction and professional development. The central focus of the chapters is the research conducted by Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST) in an attempt to document the academic language demands placed on school-age learners of English. This work also applies to native English speakers who do not have the full repertoire of language skills.
Beck, Isabel L; McKeown, Margaret G.; and Kucan, Linda, Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition: Robust Vocabulary Instruction (2013). This book provides updates and advances in research-based vocabulary instruction. It includes chapters on vocabulary and writing; assessment; and differentiating instruction for struggling readers and English language learners, including coverage of response to intervention (RtI). This newest edition includes expanded discussions of content-area vocabulary and multiple-meaning words, examples of robust instruction in action, and an appendix with a menu of instructional activities.
Johnston, Peter H., Choice Words (2004). This book demonstrates how the things we say (and do not say) have a surprising impact on what children learn and who they become as literate people. Through language, children learn more than literacy strategies: they learn how to become strategic thinkers.
Johnston, Peter H., Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives (2012).The words that teachers choose affect the worlds students inhabit in the classroom, and ultimately, their futures. This book illustrates how to engage children with more productive talk and how to create classrooms that support students’ language development.
Zwiers, Jeff and Crawford, Marie, Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk that Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understandings (2011). This book outlines five core communication skills to help students hold productive academic conversations across content areas. These skills are elaborating and clarifying, supporting ideas with evidence, building on and/or challenging ideas, paraphrasing, and synthesizing. This book shows teachers how to weave the cultivation of academic conversation skills and conversations into current teaching approaches. More specifically, it describes how to use conversations to build academic vocabulary and grammar; critical thinking skills; literacy skills; complex and abstract essential understandings in content areas; and an academic classroom environment that respects others' ideas, equity of voice, engagement, and mutual support. There are practical activities for working on each conversation skill, crafting conversation-worthy tasks, and using conversations to teach and assess.
Zwiers, Jeff, Building Academic Language: Essential Practices for Content Classrooms, Grades 5-12 (2007). This book explains the functions and features of academic language that every teacher should know for supporting academic reading, writing, and discussion. The book includes research-based instructional and assessment activities that content teachers can use to build students' abilities to understand and describes the many abstract concepts, higher-order thinking skills, and complex relationships in a discipline. The book emphasizes an approach that builds from students' existing ways of learning and communicating and ultimately enables them to think and talk as content area experts think and talk about math, science, history, and language arts.
WIDA Guiding Principles webinars
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. Access the Academic Language series by topic.