"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 Resources

  • Planning Templates
  • Artifacts of Teaching (videos and lesson plans)
  • ELP Standards
  • Other relevant resources
  • Quiz 1 Study Guide
  • Problem of Practice Description
    • Final Pieces
      • Next steps (from the original assignment description)
      1. (You've already done this.) Based on your research and thinking, identify a specific action you can take in English PLUS to address your problem of practice. The goal is not to solve the problem, but to respond to it and learn more about it.
      2. Evaluate your efforts to respond to your problem of practice. What worked? What didn’t work? How do you know? What are possible next steps? What new questions have emerged?
        (Support these assertions with specific examples/evidence from your teaching/observing). 1 page, single-spaced
      3. Based on your experience and research, refine your original problem of practice or add a sub-problem. Conduct a small amount of research on this new formulation. Select 2 additional professional, credible resources to read. Add these to your annotated bibliography.
      4. Write a final reflection summarizing what you learned throughout the "problem of practice" project (including your original research, interventions, reflections, and new thinking from additional research) and possible next steps if you had the opportunity to continue working on this problem. 1 page, single-spaced
      Final Paper - Due December 10:
      • Put together each of the elements of your "problem of practice" into a single document and upload it to BB. It should include these parts, clearly labeled as a new section.
        • Description of your problem
        • Complete annotated bibliography with the two new sources clearly marked
        • Description of your proposed interventions
        • Lesson plans and key instructional materials from the lesson/activities you taught in English PLUS. (If you prepared lessons/activities as a group, clearly indicate your contribution.)
        • Evaluation/reflection of your experience implementing an intervention(s)
        • Final summary/reflection
      • Evaluation criteria:
        • Includes each of the above components completed according to assignment guidelines.
        • Demonstrates critical engagement with professional resources/research; proposals and reflections are linked to research.
        • Reflections and analysis are supported by specific examples and evidence from teaching experience and research.
        • The writing reflects a professional development stance -- communicates a teacher who is curious, thoughtful, and open to learning.
        • Writing is polished and professional.
    • Final Presentation Description
      • The class will be split into two groups with a mix of MTSL, TE, and SPED students as well as a mix of beginning, intermediate, and advanced English PLUS levels.
      • For your presentation you should
        • Represent your “problem of practice” project in an engaging, focused manner. Concentrate on something you learned that really matters to you.
        • You will have 7 minutes to present and a couple minutes to discuss with the audience.
        • Your presentation should be supported by an engaging, creative product, e.g. Prezi, PowerPoint, poster, modern dance, rap, poetry, letter, etc. If you use Prezi, PowerPoint, or poster, do not fill the page with words. It needs to be well designed with consideration to both theoretical concepts and practical application.
        • Presentation Evaluation Criteria:
          • Includes relevant theoretical constructs from your research and course readings
          • Includes practical applications
          • Is specifically grounded in the students you worked with and the Shaw Middle School context
          • Content is reflective, analytical and shows thoughtful connections between theory and practice
          • Creativity (presentation includes a distinctive element that reflects you)
          • Professional Presentation (well-prepared, stays within time parameters, engages audience)

Course Calendar and Agendas

Week 1 - on campus
Sep 1
  • Grabe & Stoller, Comparing L1 and L2 Reading

Week 2 - on campus
Sep 8
  • Kucer, 1

Week 3 - at Shaw
Sep 15
  • Kucer, 2

Week 4 - at Shaw
Sep 22
  • Kucer, 3

Week 5 - at Shaw
Sep 29
  • Kucer, 4
  • Quiz

Week 6 - at Shaw
Oct 6
  • Kucer, 6

Week 7 - at Shaw
Oct 13
  • Kucer, 7
  • Identify “problem of practice” and annotate three resources on bibliography

Week 8 - at Shaw
Oct 20
  • Gibbons, 1 & 2

Week 9 - at Shaw
Oct 27
  • Gibbons, 3 & 4
  • Finish annotated bibliography and describe proposed response

Week 10 - at Shaw
Nov 3
  • Kucer 9
  • Begin implementing a response to your “problem of practice”

Week 11 - at Shaw
Nov 10
  • Gibbons, 5 & 6

Week 12 - at Shaw
Nov 17
  • Kucer, 10

Week 13 - at Shaw
Nov 24 - Thanksgiving - no class!
  • Nov 20 – Nov 27 Response evaluation and revised articulation of problem

Week 14 - at Shaw
Dec 1
  • Gibbons 7, 8
  • First half of toolbox due

Week 15 - at Shaw
Dec 8
  • Kucer, 12
  • Professional Toolbox is due

Dec 10
  • Problem of Practice final paper due

Week 16 - on campus
Thursday, Dec 15, 3:30 - 5:30, Room 216 RC
  • Final Exam – Present your “problems of practice”