Session 4: Building Knowledge of Academic Language

LA 4.1—This activity takes 50 minutes and asks teachers to be in groups of 4 or 5, consisting of both elementary and secondary teachers.  This allows them all to see how the applications apply to both levels. They bring together their learning from the reading ‘Words as Tools’ in homework for session 3. There are 5 questions they need to discuss amongst themselves, taking notes on important points. Together they create a document entitled the Characteristics of Academic Language giving definitions and descriptions of the six topics at the bottom of the learning activity. 

LA 4.2—In groups of 4, teachers each read one of the four article summaries. They also look at many examples of vocabulary teaching. They prepare to teach the others in their group the article they read, and all take notes and ask and answer questions. They share strategies they have used in their teaching with one another. Finally, they consider how they might adjust their instruction for vocabulary in the unit they are working on to support their two students.  

LA 4.3—Teachers bring forth their knowledge of the article read in HW 3.5 to this activity. They also read from the Wright books you have available—either 2nd or 3rd edition. They record information on the form in the first link. Then they continue on the form by discussing ELs language difficulties. Now they use the chart at the bottom of the sheet to determine academic language they think their 2 students might need help with for the lessons in their unit.  

LA 4.4—Teachers begin by reviewing what they have learned about vocabulary so they talk in groups about the six points listed. Then they read the linked document and start to fill out the chart. The part with the chart they will be working on their own unit and lesson plans to determine the moves they will make to accommodate for the 2 students they studied. Then they pair up to share their thinking and add ideas. 

HW 4.1—the regular reflection work. 

HW 4.2—For this homework, teachers work on their unit and lesson plans. They are reminded of places in the course they can go to for reminders. They use the Planning to Teach Vocabulary document from the session as they revise. They need to use this work in session 7 as they write the document for the final project. 

HW 4.3—Teachers will look at the assessment and comprehension marketplaces, and use the note sheets provided for both of them. This is an opportunity to get more ideas for their units and lessons. Last, there is a link called Text structure to support understanding, and they will find graphic organizers and other things that may help ELs.  

HW 4.4—Teachers need to bring up a video from the TELL materials. Be sure they know to follow the directions below the link to find the right video to watch. It’s about text structures. They use the second link to get the active viewing guide 5.1 to take notes for the video they see. Then they go the link for a second video and use the note taking sheet (AVG) for notes. Then they read from chapter 8 in the Wright book, taking notes on the Wright reading note sheet in the last link. They need to bring all the note sheets to session 5.  

HW 4.5—Now they consider the readings in their unit and the two students they have studied. They determine the reading level of their readings and consider possible strategies they will use. They need to bring these things to session 5.  

HW 4.6—Teachers return to consideration of the Literacy Guidelines for ELs—Build, Expand and Create along with each of their principles. They need to fill in the chart and bring it to session 5.  

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