Making Biology Accessible for English Learners Dr. Karen

Making Biology Accessible for English Learners Dr. Karen

Making Biology Accessible for English Learners Dr. Karen Kuhel Dr. Brendan Callahan Kennesaw State University Presentation for the 18th Annual KSU ESOL Conference February 7, 2019

Latest literature on teaching STEM to English Learners English Learners in STEM Subjects: Transforming Classrooms, Schools, and Lives National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2018). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

https://www.nap.edu/catalog/25182/english-learners-in-stem-subjects-transf orming-classrooms-schools-and-lives The Shift Focus no longer on learning discrete vocabulary but on knowledge-in-use (Harris, Krajcik, Pellegrino, & McElhancy, 2016) AND language-in-use (Lee, Quinn, & Valdes, 2013) Focus on individual leaners engagement in science practices to make sense of the world around them

(National Research Council, 2012) Language in science is often dense and abstract Science and language instruction are mutually supportive Vocabulary Tiers Which is most important?

Activity: With a partner, write a definition for the following words Kingdom Table Round Power Word Meaning Differs by

Intent & Discipline Science energy kingdom mass matter force Math

table round power root product Mora, 2011 Table It gets even more

complicated Idiomatic Expressions On the table turn the tables on Noun v. Verb Periodic table Table a discussion

Often its the common words that cause the most difficulty! 3 Components of Academic Language Foundation: Language Function (Discourse Level) Mortar: Grammar/Syntax

(sentence level form) Bricks: vocabulary/terminology (word level) Zwiers, 2008 / Franks & Tedesco, 2012 Examples Mortar -- Grammar/Syntax/Sentence Level

What morphological feature gives the phylum Mollusca its name? Brick Tier III Vocabulary Are molluscs metameric organisms? Y/N Discourse Level

Only considering this aspect, would it be appropriate to consider molluscs evolutionarily closer to nematodes or to annelids? Mortar, Brick (Tier I, II & III words), & Discourse challenges Tools we will be using today www.wida.us

What we know about teaching English learners in content classrooms Goals Keep level of content constant Teach same content to ELs at all language development levels

Differentiate instruction based upon language development levels Teach students to use Appropriate discourse patterns (linguistic complexity) Sentence structures (language forms) Word/Phrases (vocabulary) What do you know about Lexile Levels?

What are they? How are they used in classrooms? What do Lexile Levels Mean for English Learners? Go to www.newsela.com Sign in Class Code --- X5FJRF

Full article title -- All the Cells in the Human Body https://newsela.com/read/lib-human-cell-types/id/36618/ What do you notice about the discourse of text? In pairs/trios use:

Compare lexile levels on handout Use the WIDA Performance Definitions (Listening/Reading) Chart What do you notice about the discourse level of the two texts? How does reducing the lexile level support or hinder ELs at ELD Levels Entering (L1), Emerging (L2), and Developing (L3)? What do you notice about the

sentence level of the text? pairs/trios: Compare lexile levels on handout Use the WIDA Performance Definitions (Listening/Reading) Chart What do you notice about sentence level in the two texts? How does reducing the lexile level support or hinder ELs at ELD Levels Entering (L1), Emerging (L2), and Developing (L3)?

What do you notice about the word/phrase level of the text? pairs/trios: Compare lexile levels on handout Use the WIDA Performance Definitions (Listening/Reading) Chart

What do you notice about word/phrase level the two texts? How does reducing the lexile level support or hinder ELs at ELD Levels Entering (L1), Emerging (L2), and Developing (L3)? Which text is best? Juicy Sentence Protocol (adapted)

https://achievethecore.org/content/upload/Juicy%20Sentence%20Pr otocol.pdf STEP 1 -- In pairs/trios: (with limited teacher prompting & questioning to maximize student negotiation of meaning) What do/does the sentence(s) mean? Other questions:

Why does.? How does.? Encourage annotation Purpose -- Formatively check on what students are able to unpack and what meaning they can already identify Juicy Sentence Protocol contd Step 2

Using the WIDA Performance Definitions (Listening/Reading) Chart Consider what would be difficult for ELs at Entering (L1), Beginning (L2), Developing (L3). Discourse Level Sentence Level Word Level Debrief

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