Monday, April 12, 2010

Gibbons Chapter 4

This Chapter of Gibbons was extremely interesting to me because I have not had a lot of experience with second language learners so far. I liked reading about all of different teaching strategies that can be used. I also liked to see that my teacher uses these strategies with all of her students not just the second language learners. There were three strategies that stuck out to me while I was reading this chapter: modeling, scaffolding, and inventive spelling. After subbing in many classrooms I have found that modeling is so important. If you want students to do as you ask then you better make sure they know what you are looking for. If they don’t know then they just make it up and then you have work that didn’t want. Modeling for second language learners is extremely helpful because it shows him or her the exact steps that they need to take once they start to work independently. It puts all of the expectations out on the table for the students to take and follow. If second language learners do not know what to do they spend more time focusing on their peers and not on the content of the lesson. The intent of any lesson if for students to focus on the big picture and not on the small details as second language learners tend to do if they do not understand what to do. They become lost, confused, and frustrated and that gets them nowhere. So as teachers we need to make sure that are letting our students know exactly what we want them to do. Scaffolding is also extremely important when it comes to teaching literacy. The teacher needs to make sure that he or she has a close eye on the second language learners. These students to be questioned so that the teacher can see what they are thinking. Students may not be able to express themselves on paper but can verbally. By having the students discuss there ideas they are no longer focusing on the spelling and writing portion of the activity they are focusing on the content. This leads right into inventive spelling. If students don’t have to worry about how they spell things they are more focused on getting their ideas down on paper. This is the first step of writing, getting all of your ideas down on paper and then later students can revise and edit. My teacher uses this strategy during our writing workshop time. Students are not allowed to ask questions about spelling until the final stage in writing. This allows the students to focus on their ideas and not about writing their ideas on paper. Second language learners need explicit directions that are modeled to them and they need to be scaffold throughout their learning career.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you. Modeling and scaffolding are two extremely important strategies to utilize in the classroom; and not only for ELLs...all children benefit from these learning strategies. I experienced an issue relating to the fact that I DIDN'T utilize the method of modeling when teaching my math lesson on Monday. I was able to easily explain to the students what was they needed to do, but I never actually showed or modeled a final product for the students. Therefore, they were unable to fully grasp what their final product should look like, and every student group did something different. This just goes to show you, that students will adjust to what is presented. If they are not aided through the use of modeling and scaffolding, then they will produce work and employ behaviors that are not what we want. ELLs NEED these strategies...all the time. One way these students can excel in school is if they are partnered with a specific student during the year. I discussed this method in my TESOL class and, as a teacher, if we could partner an ELL student with a kind and considerate peer, they can easily develop a helping friendship and the ELL student can feel comfortable going to the teacher AND their partner for help, whenever and where ever....just an additional method to consider.