ELL240: Linguistically & Culturally Diverse Learners,
Today I will be talking about children and students in a K-12 grade learning environment
Learning vocabulary is crucial for different reasons. I like to listen to our textbook while I’m in the car going back and forth to work or listening to it while I’m at the gym. Listening to this over and over again has helped me understand the book more. Reading is really important for students to learn. Reading and listening will help you understand more words and vocabulary. In every classroom there will be one or more children who need a little extra help than the others and there is nothing wrong with that. The generally need more help because they are not paying attention to what the teacher is saying or reading to the classroom. This makes the teacher repeat herself to help the student, so they understand what is going on in the lesson. Having an ELL student do vocabulary reading can be frustrating but also rewarding for the student. It helps them with their speech and pronunciation. If I had a student in my classroom read a paragraph from a book the next day, I would have a small quiz on that part of the book for them to take. This would help me see if they were struggling with any words or any comprehension and I could use my findings to help me figure out ways to help them succeed more. Having vocabulary words next to the paragraph that goes with what they are reading will help them understand the words more and they will be able to understand what they are reading.
Not everyone realizes that every time they are reading anything you are using vocabulary words you previously had. Your using your vocabulary word skills to help you read. I tend to understand myself more when I am reading out loud. I catch myself making mistakes more often instead of just skimming through a book and missing important parts of what you should be reading. I feel like this can work for some students. It is something I would definitely try on all ELL students to see if it helps them with their reading and vocabulary skills. Another thing that could help is put the vocabulary words on some flash cards and have the student focus on three or four at a time. This will help them understand a little at a time and then they could always go back to their flash cards if they needed. It will help them study for an assessment. Reading comprehension is important for everyone. If you don’t understand what you are reading then how are you supposed to know what is going on in a book, assignment, or your daily life. This is why teachers push comprehension so much. It will help them with their reading and vocabulary skills. If a teacher sees a student struggling with these skills, he or she can help the student become more successful in those skills.
There are two major roles in a child’s vocabulary development, such as BICS and CALP. BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills) are used in a classroom setting, this will help with a student’s social interactions. This helps them solve social problems, how to communicate with their peers and teachers, and will help them become more comfortable when talking in front of people they do not know. Having a good set of communication skills is needed to have a good vocabulary skill. ELL students may have a hard time with BICS but its something they should be able to understand as they are communicating more and more with other students, teachers, and their parents. Its not easy for them at first, so it’s important that they keep trying and never start feeling discouraged. They will use this skill when they are communicating with anyone, they are meeting. A non-ELL student picks this up pretty quickly when we are communicating back and forth with them. Everyone will need to try their best to not put an ELL student down, we want them to feel comfortable and excited to come to class to learn more. Most teachers are making it harder for an ELL student by not fully understanding what an ELL knows. This is why vocabulary is important it shows the teacher what the student understand and what he or she doesn’t understand.
Some teachers think that because an ELL student has a hard time speaking our language than they don’t know as much as they do. As a teacher you need to take your time and make sure you know what they need to learn and how to teach that student. An ELL student can talk to their classmates in their native language and English. But the student needs to speak with the teacher in English, so in return the teacher will need to help the student learn English. Whether it’s the teacher teaching them, finding different programs to help, or finding a specific teacher to help the student learn English. CALP is (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency), a crucial role in the vocabulary development in a ELL. You see CALP help with reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills. As an ELL comes to a new environment, they will need to learn the English language. Not only how to speak this language but they will need to learn how to write, read, and comprehend what they are learning. If a student is having a difficult time with their vocabulary skills a teacher will step in to help the student learn what they are struggling on. Partnership for reading (2007) stated “when you are learning to read a book, you are also listening new vocabulary words as well to get your knowledge and experience up to date.” So, you will never stop learning vocabulary words.
Assessments are important for both the student and the teacher. The student will be able to show what he or she knows, and the teacher can learn new ways to help the student. The teacher will also know what ways have and wont work for a student. We have students take them so we can understand as a teacher what they are comprehending and learning with their vocabulary skills. Each teacher will hand out an assessment to each student and the teacher will then observe each student to see how well they are doing and what they are struggling with. Because the teacher already did the assessment, she can now start planning lesson plans and activities to help the students understand whatever they were struggling with. They can create games and fun activities to help them with their reading and vocabulary skills. This will help both the student and their teacher to improve their skills. There are many other kinds of assessments that teacher can use such as, verbal, computer, observing, and paper assessments. In order for a student to succeed in the education journey they need to know vocabulary, communication, and reading skills.
Piper, T. (2015). Language, Learning, & Culture: English Language Learning in Today’s Schools. Bridgepoint Education, INC [Electronic Version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
Partner for Reading. (2001). Put reading first. Helping your child learn to read. Washington, DC: The Partnership for Reading.
Watts, S. (1995). Vocabulary instruction during reading lessons in six classrooms, Journal of Reading Behavior, 27, 399-424.
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