How to Engage ELLs in Literary Conversations is headline of another excerpt from our new book on teaching English Language Learners.
It appears in Middleweb.
By the way, the book is now available for purchase from Amazon.
(Editor’s Note: Stephon Clark was killed one mile away from our school. Here’s how one of our teachers has approached the tragedy in class. I’m adding this post to New & Revised: A Collection Of Advice On Talking To Students About Race & Racism)
Antoine Germany is a veteran teacher at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento and is Chair of the English Department.
The recent shooting of Stephon Clark, a 22 year old, unarmed black man by law enforcement has engendered questions, outrage and sadness nationally. This tragedy especially affects the Luther Burbank High School community because the shooting took place merely a mile away from our campus. Although the investigation is ongoing many of our students have shared their anxieties and have expressed strong opinions. Some of our students have even participated in protests that have garnered national attention.
As an educator what can I do to facilitate a conversation with my students about this tragedy without falling into the pit of political advocacy?
This tragedy is clearly a learning opportunity not only for students but for teachers as well. Although as an educator our instincts often are to teach or lecture students about social issues, however sometimes students can learn from each or find their own voice through thoughtful conversation. Here are some ways I facilitated this conversation:
Community Circles: In my class we had a discussion about our interactions with law enforcement. I shared my perspective of law enforcement and the few incidents I’ve had with police officers. Students were asked to share their experiences and perspectives in a respectful manner. They were also asked to reflect on how their perspectives were shaped. Was their view of police officers shaped by experience, family, music, media, or social media? Students had many thoughtful ideas and were given an opportunity to learn from each other.
Writing as problem Solvers: Instead of focusing on who is to blame I had students write about ways to reduce or eliminate the shooting of unarmed citizens. Students had many interesting ideas including an increase of community policing (police living in the area that they police), nonlethal equipment for officers and more minorities in law enforcement.
Critical Thinking through Outrage: In an effort to have students critically think I asked students do they believe protest like the ones many of them participated in was an outlet for them to express their outrage or was it their attempt to bring about change. Of course this is not a binary choice and students were expressing outrage and protesting for change but the conversation led many students to think of ways to more effectively bring about changes. Students expressed an interest in civic participation beyond protest like running for office or volunteering in their communities.
There is no doubt that this calamitous event has laid bare divides within our community, but it is also an opportunity for our students to think, express themselves, and learn ways for them to affect their community. My hope is that my students will not view themselves as victims but rather thoughtful community members that have solutions to problems that have plagued us for generations.
‘Making an Inclusive Classroom Work’ is the headline of my latest Education Week Teacher column.
In it, Donna Wilson, Marcus Conyers, Barbara Boroson, John McCarthy, Louise Goldberg, David Bateman, Jenifer Cline, Dr. Richard Villa, and Dr. Jacqueline Thousand provide advice to teachers on supporting students with special needs.
Here are some excerpts:
University researchers took the idea of “personalized learning” to a whole other level when students used personal biological data in their science class.
The study made an obvious point in its conclusion:
Effective teachers, of course, already know and use this idea. For example, I’ve used it when students have studied the origin of their own names (see The Best Places For Students To Learn About…Their Names), explored their own neighborhood (see A Lesson Highlighting Community Assets — Not Deficits), or done reports on cultures of their home countries (see Home Culture Presentations With English Language Learners).
I’m adding this post to The Best Ideas For Helping Students Connect Lessons To Their Interests & The World.
What are ways you’ve used this concept to promote engagement with your students?
I’m fairly active on Pinterest and, in fact, have curated 13,000 resources there that I haven’t shared on this blog.
I thought readers might find it useful if I began sharing a handful of my most recent “pins” each week (I’m not sure if you can see them through an RSS Reader – you might have to click through to the original post):
I’m adding this new National Geographic video to The Best Sites For Learning About Prehistoric Cave Paintings:
This is the twelfth post in a weekly series I’m creating that will highlight the Best “Best” lists in a particular topic I have posted over the years.
You can see all those lists at the bottom of this post.
These are lists I’ve also recently reviewed and revised, so they are up-to-date.
You can find all my nearly 2,000 continually updated “Best” lists here.
Here are the lists I’ve revised and updated that share resources on teaching and learning about Social Emotional Learning:
See all my Ed Week posts on Student Motivation & Social Emotional Learning
The previous posts in this series have been:
Five years ago I began this regular feature where I share a few posts and resources from around the Web related to ESL/EFL or to language in general that have caught my attention.
You might also be interested in The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2017 – So Far. and The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2017 – Part Two. Also, check out A Collection Of My Best Resources On Teaching English Language Learners.
In addition, look for our new book on teaching ELLs, which was published in the Spring of 2018.
Here are this week’s choices:
How bilinguals process language is from Science Daily.
Reverso is an online dictionary with lots of other features. You can read about it here. I’m adding it to The Best Reference Websites For English Language Learners — 2008.
Mathematical Language Routines is from Achieve The Core. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Teaching Common Core Math To English Language Learners.
4 Ways Microsoft is Making Learning More Accessible is from Jennifer Gonzalez. It’s good stuff, but with so many schools moving to Google tools, I’m not really sure how many educators will actually use Microsoft’s resources. The neatest tool they offer is simultaneous translation of what a teacher is saying appearing on a PowerPoint you are showing. That would certainly be helpful if you are giving a lecture, but I’m not sure how many effective teachers are giving lectures (see The Best Research Demonstrating That Lectures Are Not The Best Instructional Strategy).
Why You Need to Try Tourbuilder with Newcomers is by Wendi Pillars.
This tool could come in handy:
— Nathan Hall (@nathanghall) April 12, 2018
I’m adding this next tweet to The Best Posts & Articles About Videotaping Teachers In The Classroom:
#ELLProTip: Want to improve your craft? Film yourself & focus on one thing. More here: https://t.co/ub6LjLam7g#ESL #esol #tesol #Edchat #educhat #ELL #ELLs #ellchat #leadupchat #JoyfulLeaders #DLL pic.twitter.com/52kzlLRsEP
— Carol Salva (@MsSalvac) April 6, 2018
Our new book will be studied next in the online ELL book club discussed in this next tweet:
Check out all the amazing titles on the right side of the #Ellchat_BkClub blog.
— Katie Toppel, Ed.D. (@Toppel_ELD) April 6, 2018
3 Tips for Presenting in English When You’re Not a Native Speaker https://t.co/xXsYglFOtc
— Harvard Biz Review (@HarvardBiz) April 6, 2018