Best Practices for Teaching Vocab to ELL studentsThis resource includes Best practices for teaching vocab to ELL students (in an ELL resource, or content setting) When and Why should I use this? When you plan for the year, a unit or a lesson if you have English Language Learners in your classroom. When you are struggling with vocabulary strategies specific to ELLs If you need some extra context about why learning new words is so challenging for ELLs How should I use this? Start by doing the self reflection, which will guide you to different parts of the resource. Then skim the table of contents to see what else you may be interested in learning more about! Additional Notes (if needed) All strategies and ideas were taken from the following sources, which you can access if you would like to learn more: http://www.colorincolorado.org/ Teaching Adolescent English Language Learners: Essential Strategies for Middle and High School by Nancy Cloud, Judah Lakin, Erin Leininger & Laura Maxwell. This book is primarily geared toward 912 ELL. Publisher site: http://caslonpublishing.com/publication/teaching-adolescent-englishlanguage-learners/. Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners: A Teachers Guide to Research Based Practices by Nancy Cloud, Fred Denesee and Else Hamayan. This book is primarily geared toward K-8 ELL. Publisher website: http://www.heinemann.com/products/E02264.aspx . http://www.u-46.org/roadmap/files/vocabulary/acadvoc-over.pdf
Self-Reflection: Where should I start within this document? How to use: Skim though this self reflection to see where you should start within this document. All the hyperlinks are linked to places within this document so you can easily come back to the quiz if you need to. 1. Do you need to learn more in general about ESL instruction? If YESstart at Part 1 If NO Move to question 2 2. Do you know what academic vocabulary is? If YESMove to question 3 If NO Read What is academic vocabulary 3. Do you know the difference between high and low frequency words? If YESMove to question 4 If NO Read Why is academic vocabulary so hard 4. Are you having trouble knowing which words to teach? If NOMove to question 5 If YESRead Simple Rules, Identifying high frequency words, Analyze words by tiers and Teaching with Tiers 5. Are you having a hard time deciding how many words to teach in a lesson? If NOMove to question 6 If YES Read How many words to teach 6. Are you a push in ESL teacher and need a hard and fast rule for knowing which words to teach when youre given an unfamiliar passage seconds before your students see it? If NO-Move to question 7 If YESRead Hard and Fast Rule 7. Are you looking for general strategies and ideas to teach vocabulary to ELL students? If YESRead Best ways to increase retention and comprehension 8. Do you need some concrete lessons, strategies and ideas for teaching vocabulary to ELLs? If YESSkim the appendix for a listing of different resources, who they are appropriate for and how you should use them.
Table of Contents Part 1: How are words learned? The ways that students learn words The difference between direct and indirect vocabulary instruction Research based best practices for learning vocabulary Part 2: Academic Vocabulary Definition and facts about academic vocabulary Reasons why academic vocabulary is so challenging The difference between high and low frequency words How to find high frequency words How to teach high frequency words The definition of what it truly means to know a word Part 3: Strategies and best practices for increasing comprehension and retention of vocabulary words How many words to teach in a lesson The hard and fast rule for which words to pre-teach Strategies: o Preview words with multiple meanings o Teach idioms o Use native language o Word Wheels and flash cards o Collocations and word connections o Vocabulary Journals o Student friendly dictionaries o Shades of meaning and intensity o Labels and categories Appendix: Resources already on the Resource Exchange specific to vocabulary (see appendix for description) Vocabulary Development of ELLs Elementary Strategies for ELLs Secondary Strategies for ELLs ESL Vocabulary Lesson Plan (elementary) ESL Vocabulary Lesson Plan (middle) ESL Vocabulary Lesson Plan (high)
Part 1: How are words learned? How many ways can a student learn words? Read it in a book, figured it out from context or looked it up Read it or heard it and figured out its meaning from its parts Learned it in a conversation Heard it on the television Learned it in a class Heard it from a family member What is the difference between direct and indirect vocab teaching? Indirect: Students learn vocabulary indirectly when they hear and see words used in many different contexts; for example, through conversations with adults, through being read to, and through reading extensively on their own. Direct: Students learn vocabulary directly when they are explicitly taught both individual words and word-learning strategies. Direct vocabulary instruction aids reading comprehension. What does the research say about the way students can learn vocabulary? Marzano: o Effective Vocabulary Instruction: Multiple exposures, Previewing words helps, Image association, Direct instruction works, Focus on most important words Janet Allen: o Build background knowledge o Teach words critical to comprehension o Develop conceptual frameworks for themes, topics, and units of study o Assess students understanding of words and concepts
Part 2: What is academic vocabulary? What is academic vocabulary? Academic vocabulary is the vocabulary critical to understanding the concepts of the content taught in schools. In identifying academic vocabulary for instruction teachers must remember that not all terms are of equal importance. Why teach Academic Vocabulary? According to Marzano (2005) the strongest action a teacher can take to ensure that students have the academic background knowledge to understand the content they will encounter is providing them with direct instruction in these terms. When students understand these terms, it is easier for them to understand the information they will read and hear in class. Facts about academic vocabulary Vocabulary assessed in first grade predicted over 30% of reading comprehension variance in 11th grade (Cunningham and Stanovich, 1977). While four encounters with a word did not reliably improve reading comprehension, 12 encounters did (McKeown, Beck, Omanson, and Pople, 1985). One of the most critical services a teacher can provide, particularly for students who do not come from academically advantaged backgrounds, is systematic instruction in important academic terms (Marzano and Pickering, 2005). The same student placing at the 50th percentile in reading comprehension, with no direct vocabulary instruction, placed at the 83rd percentile when provided specific instruction in academic vocabulary (Stahl and Fairbanks, 1986). Why is academic vocabulary so hard? High frequency and low frequency words o High frequency: words that appear most often (see this list) o Low frequency: content specific or words that are necessary to comprehend one aspect of a text New usage of familiar words (multiple meaning words) Idioms I know I should teach both high and low frequency words.HOW? Some simple rules: o Teach the words that occur most frequently (in your content or in a text) o Teach the words that are most important to the text that youre studying o DO NOT TEACH the most challenging, rarely encountered words (usually the glossary words identified by the text book). Students need frequent and authentic exposure to learn and understand new words- if you try to teach those words plus other high frequency words, your students will be confused.
How do I know what the high frequency words are? http://www.lextutor.ca/: If you run the program, it will give you average sentence length, total unique words and academic words lists (across the curriculum) http://www.wordsift.com/: If you type or copy a text into the tool, it will scan for repeated words and automatically make the most frequent words the biggest (see below for example). You can show your students this to preview a text and also just use for yourself.
http://tagcrowd.com/: Same as above, but you can also upload files to this website. Once I find the high frequency words, what do I do? You can analyze the words by tiers. ELL students can be expected to master Tier 1 and Tier 2 words in order to aid in comprehension and understanding content.
Tiers:Tier 1 -ELLs may know concept in primary language, but not the label in English (ex: desk) which can easily be defined with a picture -Words that can be easily acted out (ex: march) Tier 2 -Words that appear in grade level texts -Words that are important to understanding the text, such as: character, setting, plot, even numbers, and country. -Words that have connections to other words and concepts, such as: between, among, by, combine, and estimate. -Words for which students understand the general concept, but need greater precision and specificity in describing a concept or a person, such as: sets, tables (for math or science, or for a table of contents), shy, ashamed, and stubborn. Tier 3 -low frequency, subject specific words
Then, you can use these strategies to teach the different tiered words:Tier 2
Tier 1 -simple explanation or translation (if applicable) -explicit teaching of idioms and everyday expressions -explicit teaching of cognates (family/familia) The teacher can state the English cognate and have students give Spanish cognate (if applicable) -explicit teaching of false cognates (rope/ropa (clothing)
-easy demonstrations/picture mapswith multiple meaning words (ex:: trunk, which can be taught by using gestures to show that it is part of an elephant, part of a tree, part of our b