The class is on English Language Learners and Differentiated Instruction.
This class will go into the application of all subjects. (Analysis) This shows the continuity of the teaching philosophy toted by CSU and the idea of crosscurricular instruction.
The funding is only for students who were born outside of Canada. (Evaluation) This seems like an inequitable thing to do coming from a government who is pushing the teachers to promote social justice and equity in the classrooms. The policies need to reflect their teachings in order to support these children and make the philosophy authentic. I feel as though this could leave students who were born in Canada but did not speak English at home feeling discriminated against, especially when they grow up.
There was a discussion about how Asian students generally pick up on the math language quicker than the ideas in the other subjects. (Metacognition) It seems as though this is the case because in many Asian languages, mathematical terms are logical and straightforward to the concepts. For example, twenty-one would be two-tens-one (place value). Since they would already have the fundamental understanding of the concept in their own language, they only need to attach the new abstract wording to the concept, rather than learn a new concept at the same time as a strange term. This is information that I had read about previously in the book Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell and my thinking about the topic was confirmed.
We have the highest aboriginal population next to New Zealand. (Interesting info)
ELL refers to the people (English Language Learners)
– these people have two programs: ESL (English as a Second Language) and ELD (English Literacy Development)
If supports for parents of ELL’s does not exist at a school that I work at in the future, that could be something that I could initiate.
Know the student.
– (Evaluation) This is something I did during the first Prac Assignment. I could go further by continuing conversations with the students and the other members of the teaching staff. I cannot differentiate unless I know the student.
Provide engaging and challenging opportunities for English language development.
– (Analysis) This needs to be done within the proximal zone of development for each student and cannot be the same for all ELLs. This becomes difficult as funding becomes a crucial issue. (Evaluation) The responsibility falls on the teacher a lot as a result and they need to be able to balance these unique needs with the needs of the other students.
Collaborate with ELL support personnel.
Celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity.
Integrate ELLs into academic and social life of school.
Communicate effectively with parents.
Work to increase capacity of whole school in meeting needs of ELL students.
What types of things are necessary to consider in creating a safe, respectful, and caring school?
– (Evaluation) It is crucial to have supports in place for students with different cultural experiences and backgrounds. This includes educational and extracurricular opportunities where the students can celebrate themselves and excel within their proximal zone of development in a differentiated environment. This requires the staff to inform themselves about the students they are working with and the needs of the community. This means that the teacher needs to teach to the whole student and their family, celebrating and respectfully honouring what they bring to the community. As mentioned earlier, we also need to provide opportunities for ELLs that were born in Canada so that we are equitable and do not look like hypocrites. For example, we could have a welcome sign in all different languages on the door. I had one student in my class teach the other students how to say hello in Arabic after reading a book about the unlimited possibilities of words. (correct pronunciation of names, respect cultural customs and create opportunities to bridge cross cultural communication gaps like asking for help, making eye contact, expressing opinions openly, anti-discrimination, anti-violence, anti-bullying policies, opportunities to develop social leadership skills, multicultural programs and events – taken from the slides)
This got me thinking of the pronunciation of my own last name and I had to write it out phonetically, so I looked it up online and listened to an Italian women pronouncing it.
Stages from the Ministry
STEP: Steps To English Proficiency (remind me of the steps to identifying students for an IEP) http://www.edugains.ca/newsite/ell2/step/stepflowchart.html
Stages are in the categories: Listening and Speaking, Reading, Writing (more related to the overall expectations except media) (Analysis) This seems to give more of an overall view relating to the curriculum with vague explanations.
Steps are in the categories: Meaning, Form and Style, Fluency (more related to some specific expectations) (Analysis) This seems to give a more straightforward and applicable strategy.
Both have 6 STEPS/STAGES
(Evaluation) Everything does not have to be in writing, but if students are given opportunities to explain themselves orally instead, this should be noted on the report card so that parents are not mislead and it should be noted that the writing still needs work.
(Synthesis) Communicating my thoughts has always been the hardest part of my life. I blame this partly on the inconsistencies in our language that we have acknowledged but failed to improve, and partly on my own lack of motivation to practice. If language were a scientific theory and there were parts that were proven wrong, it would be advanced for the benefit of our existence. (Evaluation) I believe that the social issues resulting from our language (difficult/inconsistent rules) hold us back from thinking critically about the concepts that we are trying to talk about because we spend so much time working around the unimportant ideas that are based purely on tradition rather than logic. I think we need to change our mathematical language to improve student understanding (especially eleven-nineteen, where the first two words have no relation to other numeric terms and the last seven are in the reverse order of all the other tens) so that there can be a focus on problem solving, and we should have a Canadian English language that has rules that make sense, like the sound that the letter “f” makes is only made by the letter f and it replaces all other places where it had a ph. We can still trace its roots back through the English we write with today so it will not lose its cultural significance, and it will make learning opportunities more accessible for English speaking learners and ELLs, ultimately lowering the need for funding and improving motivation through external factors such as better grades. Since this may be unrealistic in the modern classroom, I will need to provide my students with alternative ways to present their findings. Interviews and conferences may be more suitable for students who are struggling with written language yet understand scientific processes and concepts. They may also be able to show me their understanding if they are tactile learners. (The Collaborative Process) The only way that the change in language would be possible is if enough people worked together and supported the ideas of one another. One voice will not be listened to in this manner, so collaboration and support is essential. My thinking about this group mentality has been confirmed by my work on the Integrated Inquiry Unit Outline, and I have seen that the support of colleagues can help strengthen ideas and have an effect that continues to draw the support of even more colleagues.