Contextualized Instruction for Adult English Language LearnersNational Transitional Jobs Network ConferenceDeborah Kennedy April 13, 2012PowerPoint2012 Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC
Agenda Development of the field Underlying principles Designing contextualized instruction Needs analysis Goals and objectives Assessment Instruction Lesson planning
Older Model Teacher-centered instruction Focus on structure: grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary Emphasis on reading and writing Content: Classical literature Decontextualized uses of language Pattern drills Cloze exercises Multiple choice questions
Entering the U.S. Workforce, 1
Newer Model: Communicative Approach Learner-centered instruction Focus on function Emphasis on communication Content: Related to learners needs and goals
Contextualized uses of language Projects and tasks Role plays Interactions outside the classroom
Underlying PrinciplesLearning takes place best when The goal of instruction is the ability to use knowledge (not just possess it) Instruction is learner centered Instruction is developed around both content learning objectives and language learning objectives Instruction involves active participation in learning
English for Specific Purposes English for Academic Purposes (EAP) English for Occupational Purposes (EOP) English for Professional Purposes (EPP) Business English Vocational English (VESL)
Entering the U.S. Workforce, 2
From ESP to Contextualized Instruction Purpose of instruction is defined by the workplace Instruction takes place in the workplace or in simulated workplace settings Instructional materials are drawn from the workplace Learning activities parallel or simulate workplace activities
Designing Contextualized InstructionConduct needs analysis How is language used in the work environment? What language skills do employees need? What language skills do employees currently have?
Identify learning goals What do employees need to know and be able to do? How should goals be prioritized?
Identify ways of assessing learning How will we know what learners know and can do?
Develop instructional plan How will we facilitate learners acquisition of targetskills and abilities?
Needs Analysis and Learning Goals
Challenges Realistic Measurable Achievable
Areas to assessContent learning objectives Language learning objectives Work readiness objectives
Assessment methodActivity: Carrying out designated task(s) Process: Observation and scoring with rubric Instructor review, peer review, self review
Assessment: Challenges Developing tasks that allow learners to demonstrate what they know and can do Developing meaningful rubrics Aligning with outcomes on standardized tests
Bad RubricExcellent Good ___ ___ Fair ___ ___ Poor ___ ___
GrammarSpelling Punctuation Sentence Structure
Better RubricGlobal Tasks & FunctionsLimited practical needs: simple phone messages, excuses, notes to service people and simple notes to friends, making statements and asking questions. Routine social correspondence, documentary materials for most limited work requirements; writes simply about current events and daily situations.
Lexical ControlVery familiar topics; e.g. simple biographical and personal data. Continual errors.
Structural ControlCan create sentences although almost every sentence has errors in basic structure. Vague time concepts. Good control of morphology and most frequently used syntax. Elementary constructions are typically handled quite accurately, though errors may be frequent. Uses a limited number of cohesive devices.
Sociolinguistic Competence/StyleCan be understood by a native reader used to dealing with foreigners attempting to write the language. Native reader must employ real-world knowledge to understand even a simple message. Writing is understandable to a native reader not used to dealing with foreigners. Satisfies routine social demands and limited work requirements. Native reader may have to adjust to non-native style.
OrthographyContinual errors in spelling, capitalization and punctuation.
Text ProducedCan generate simple sentences. Attempts to create paragraphs result in a loose connection of sentences or fragments with no conscious organization. Minimally cohesive, full paragraphs.
Sufficient to simply express oneself with some circumlocutions; limited number of current events and daily situations; concrete topics, personal biographical data.
Makes common errors in spelling, capitalization and punctuation, but shows some control of most common formats and punctuation.
Developing InstructionPrinciples Plan for active engagement Allow for individual learning styles Include language objectives, content objectives, work readiness objectives Allow for spiraling
Developing Instruction, 2Challenges Becoming familiar with the content Sequencing content and language Connecting content, language, and authentic tasks Locating and using authentic materials
Lesson PlanningIdentify lesson goals
Develop activity sequence Modeling Structured practice Free practice
Some Useful References James Parker and Gail Spangenberg. Random acts of progress: Certification of readiness for jobs and college. Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy, 2012. www.caalusa.org/publications Judith L. Shrum and Eileen W. Glisan. Teachers handbook: Contextualized instruction. Thomson Heinle, 2005. Jane Vella, Paula Berardinelli, and Jim Burrow. How do they know they know? Evaluating adult learning. Jossey-Bass, 1998. Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. Understanding by design (2nd ed.). Pearson, 2005. Texas State Technical College. Intensive English for Specific Technical Occupations. http://www.marshall.tstc.edu/pilot/index.shtml
THANK YOU!Deborah Kennedy