"Language is the window to my soul . . ."

Photo by Spring Johnson

“Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savor their songs.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Course Materials


Additional Readings
Artifacts of Teaching (videos and lesson plans)
ELL Writing Samples
Student Organization Tool
Reading Group Guidelines

Reading Roundup
  • Purpose: To highlight a few key concepts from the reading and demonstrate a useful teaching strategy/application.
  • Time: 10 minutes (this is a strict time limit and you will be timed)
  • Component:
    • 3 Key Concepts
    • 2 Discussion Questions
    • 1 Teaching Strategy/Application (demonstrate it)

Professional Toolbox
  • Purpose: To compile a collection of strategies that you can use to support ELLs in your future work.
  • Requirements:
    • 20 concrete ideas gathered from the various readings, videos, discussions, or elsewhere (5 items per week, weeks 2-5)
    • For each item, you should include the following:
      • Title/name of the strategy
      • Source (where you found the idea)
      • Brief description of how it works
      • Likely contexts for using it (i.e. to introduce a new story; to build academic vocabulary, etc.)
      • Why it has the potential to promote learning (1-2 sentences)
      • Any needed materials (i.e. templates, links, etc.)\
    • You may create a hard copy or digital version of the template organized in a way that is useful for you.

Video Descriptions
  • Purpose: To visualize/analyze what high quality ELL instruction might look like in practice.
  • Requirements:
    • Most weeks, you will choose 3 videos
    • For each video, write a 3-4 sentence description of the video that might be used in a catalogue. Include the instructional context, grade, subject. instructional strategies highlighted, and anything that would help an outside reader get a snapshot of the video.
    • Identify 3-4 very specific instructional decisions that facilitated ELL learning and participation.
    • Write down 2 questions you would like to ask the teacher in the video.
  • Video Log (upload to Blackboard by June 21)

Curriculum Project
  • Purpose: To demonstrate your ability to scaffold texts and writing for ELLs across proficiency levels
  • Requirements:
    • Work in groups of 3-4 by grade level of targeted students
    • Choose an age-appropriate theme
    • As a group, select 4 texts (these can be books/picture books, textbooks, online texts, etc.) connected to the theme.
      • Two texts should be informational and two narrative
      • The text set should include at least one text that is appropriate for ELP 1/2 and one that is geared for ELP 3/4
      • The texts can be short -- just sufficient to build a lesson around
    • Divide up the texts
    • Each person will create the plans and materials for two texts (one provided by the group; one chosen by the individual teacher)
      • One plan should be geared for ELP Level 1/2; one plan should be geared for ELP Level 3/4
      • One text should be informational and one text should be narrative
      • Each plan should provide 50 minutes of instruction (including student work time)
      • Each plan should include scaffolded reading AND writing activities
      • Each plan should have a language, literacy, and content learning goal and be aligned to an ELP standard
      • Plan should be written in sufficient detail so that a substitute teacher could successfully replicate your plan
      • All instructional materials (i.e. student worksheets, presentations, links, etc.) should be included with the plan
  • You will post all materials on a designated spot on the wiki
  • Due June 27
  • Ideas for language objectives

Additional Resources

ELP Standards
Link to the standards
Link to an overview

Common Core Standards

Tech tools for academic language and text analyzers

Course Calendar

5/17 - "Immersion" - Who are English Learners? (Case studies); Crash Course in SLA; Reading in a Second Language
5/19 - Reading in a Second Language; Scaffolding and Layering Instruction from an Asset-Orientation
  • Chapter 1 - English Learners, Academic Literacy, and Thinking -
  • Chapter 2 - Intellectual Work in Practice -

(5/20 - 5/23 - Reading with Multiple Languages articles; 2 Videos - Teacher Portraits)

5/24 - Relationships between L1 and L2 reading/writing; ELP Standards; Literacy demands at different ages/stages
5/26 - Introduction to scaffolding reading for ELLs
  • Chapter 5 - Building Bridges to Text: Supporting Academic Reading (RR)Katherine
  • Wilhelm, 2013 - The Question of Vocabulary (RR) - Jessica J

(5/23- 5/29 - Parent and Family Engagement articles; 3 Videos - Reading; Reading Group)

5/31 - Mini Practicum at Garry Middle School (reading demonstration)
6/2 - Mini Practicum at Garry Middle School (one-on-one reading)

(6/4 - Analysis of Teaching- upload to Blackboard)
(5/30 - 6/5 - Subgroups of ELLs articles; 3 videos - Writing; Reading Group)

6/7 - Mini Practicum at Garry Middle School (writing demonstration)
6/9 - Mini Practicum at Garry Middle School (one-on-one writing)

(6/11 - Reflection - upload to Blackboard)
(6/6 - 6/12 - Reading articles; 3 videos - Misc; Reading Group)

6/14 - Scaffolding Writing and Giving Helpful Feedback
  • Reading Roundups - Katherine, Jessica J, Jessica M, Jill
  • Gibbons, chapter 7 - Planning Talk for Literacy and Learning (upload reading guide to Blackboard) (RR) Jessica M.
    (Gibbons, 6 - RR) Jill
  • Bring video logs and professional toolbox - I will meet briefly with each of you to be sure you're on the right track
6/16 - Blending Language, Literacy, and Content Learning
  • Gibbons, chapter 8 - Planning for High-Challenge, High-Support Classrooms (upload reading guide to Blackboard) (RR) Jay
  • Panferov, 2010 - Increasing Parent Involvement in Our Schools (RR) Tricia

(6/15-6/19 - Writing Articles; 3 videos - student/family stories; Reading Group)

6/21 - Course Synthesis; What are your resources?

6/23 - Educator Panel and Toolbox Presentations
  • Toolbox Presentation

(6/27 - Curriculum Project - finished and uploaded to the wiki)

Optional Readings (especially for new MITers)

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