Evaluation for 5.3
Materials include supports for English Learners (EL) to meet grade-level learning expectations.
The materials include supports for English Learners (ELs) to meet grade-level learning expectations through lesson features provided for all students, as well as scaffolds labeled specifically for ELs. Accommodations are commensurate with various levels of English language proficiency as defined by the ELPS (“Beginning,” “Intermediate,” “Advanced,” and “Advanced High”), and vocabulary is developed in the context of connected discourse. Scaffolds such as pictures, realia, gestures, and cognates are included. Strategic use of students’ first language as a means to improve students’ development in English is also present.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The “Tabletop Minilessons: English Language Development” resource is suggested for daily use with ELs in small groups to connect to the module topic and/or a specific text. At the beginning of this resource, vocabulary strategies, including using cognates, are recommended to help children bridge their two languages. Setting up a cognate wall, comparing cognates, sorting cognates, and identifying false cognates are specific activities mentioned. The main lessons in these resources are designed to introduce, practice, and reinforce key academic language functions. Each lesson includes a vivid student-facing image to support background knowledge, word and phrase banks to expose students to important academic language, graphic organizers, and accommodations for four levels of English language proficiency. Cognates are identified through color-coding within the lessons when they appear.
Other resources to build language while supporting grade-level learning expectations include “Vocabulary Cards”, “Anchor Charts”, and “Picture Cards”, which are part of the “Teacher’s Guide” lesson design for all students, but are especially helpful for ELs. Vocabulary Cards are used weekly to introduce vocabulary from the literature. The front of each card displays the word and a photo that depicts the word. The back of the card includes various instructional strategies such as “Use a Prop”, “Act It Out”, and “Use the Image” to further support word meaning. Visual Anchor Charts for Reading and Writing instruction are used daily and support understanding of genre features, comprehension skills and strategies, and writing forms. Picture Cards are used daily with “Phonological Awareness” lessons, which include a variety of English Learner Support scaffolds to support word meaning.
In Module 1, students learn about collaborative conversations. Students at the Beginning level practice speaking and listening in their native language. Students at the Intermediate level use the following sentence frames: “That’s interesting. I also think…. I agree with…. I also think that…. I’m not sure I agree. What details in the story…?” Students at the Advanced and Advanced High levels list questions to help others build on what others say.
In Module 4, students listen to Recipe for a Fairy Tale and answer text-dependent questions. Students at the Beginning level point to each step in the recipe as the teacher reads it aloud. Students at the Intermediate level tell what happened in the beginning, middle, and end of the story using the following sentence frames: “First,... Next,... Last,....” Students at the Advanced level answer the following questions: “What happened first? What happened next?
What happened last?” Students at the Advanced High level use the words first, next, and last to describe the events that happened after the dragon invited his friends over for lunch.
In Module 5, Lesson 7, students use vocabulary cards with visuals to learn the focus “Power Words” (rare, relay, honored, success, politics, advice, earned, equal). Students say the Power Words, explain the meanings, and talk about examples. Students at the Beginning level say each Power Word and tap out the syllables. Students at the Intermediate level say Power Words with one syllable (rare, earned), then two syllables (relay, honored, success, advice, equal), then three syllables (politics). Students at the Advanced and Advanced High levels say a Power Word, give the number of syllables, and tell which syllables are emphasized.
In Module 6, students use picture cards as they learn new words. Students at the Beginning level repeat object names after the teacher says them and points to the pictures (chalk, fork, rain, wood). Students at the Intermediate level use the picture cards to fill in the following sentence frames: “I use a…to eat. Chopping…is hard work.” Students at the Advanced and Advanced High levels secretly choose a picture card and create clues about the picture for other students to guess.
In Module 8, students listen to Jack and the Beanstalk and answer text-dependent questions. Students at the Beginning level answer yes/no questions about Jack and the giant. Students at the Intermediate level compare and contrast Jack and the giant using the following sentence frames: “Jack and the giant are similar because…. Jack and the giant are different because….” Students at the Advanced level compare and contrast Jack and the giant, using their own words. Students at the Advanced High level compare and contrast Jack’s life at the beginning of the story to his life at the end of the story.
In Module 10, students are encouraged to use their home language as they listen to the read-aloud Hello, World! Students at the Beginning level practice speaking and acting out how to say hello and goodbye in English; then, they share with the class how to say hello and goodbye in their native language. Students at the Intermediate level use the following sentence frames: “The first word I say when I see someone is…. The last word I say is….” Students at the Advanced level create their own sentences using the first and last words you say when greeting someone. Students at the Advanced High level create complete sentences to tell a partner what they say when they first meet someone and when they say goodbye; the partner translates the sentences into the partner’s native language.
In the “Writing Workshop Teacher’s Guide”, grammar lessons include regular suggestions to use English learners’ primary language as a resource to support understanding of the lesson topic. For example, in a lesson titled “Months”, the English learner support note suggests creating a classroom environment “where children’s first languages can help them learn English. Explain to native English speakers it is important for English learners to use their primary language during class sometimes.” In another lesson, “Action Verbs and Subjects”, the English learner support note suggests having first-language partners discuss what they know about verbs in their primary language, point out words in their first language that have the same function, and ask each other questions about verbs to clarify.
In the “Guiding Principles and Strategies” resource, the “Assessment and Differentiation” section provides several teacher resources to assist in supporting ELs. A “Stages of Second Language Acquisition” chart gives details about the five stages that learners go through as they learn English (pre-production, early production, speech emergence, intermediate fluency, advanced fluency) to assist teachers in identifying where their students fall within these developmental stages so that instruction can be adjusted. Information is provided about research-supported strategies to build language, including building background knowledge, using visuals, explicitly teaching vocabulary, reading repeatedly, and using sentence frames. Best practices for ELs are also detailed, including, but not limited to, demonstrating respect for children’s first languages, acting out procedures and vocabulary, taking advantages of teachable moments to point out differences in words (such as homophones or multiple-meaning words) when they arise, and teaching children that their efforts to communicate are most important and that making mistakes is acceptable.
The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource also provides support in building cross-linguistic connections. Different ways of comparing and contrasting two languages are presented, including exploring similarities (such as the shared letter-sound correspondence of /d/ in both Spanish and English), contrasting differences (such as false cognates like exit/éxito), and non-correlated elements (such as the absence of articles like the in Vietnamese). It also includes the “Language Differences” resource, which gives specific examples to show how different languages compare to English in their alphabets, phonological features, and grammar. Articulation videos are also provided to support ELs in making English sounds correctly. Specific examples of the strategies outlined in Guiding Principles and Strategies are shown in specific lessons.