Success with Pre-Literate Older Students and Adult Learners

Do not despair!  If you are teaching an older student who may have low or no literacy in their native language, there are certain advantages that student has over a young child who is gaining literacy.

Today I am at the Long Island ESOL (#LIESOL) conference at Molloy College in New York. Thank you Andrea Honisgfeld  and colleagues for inviting me. I’m on the opening panel of the conference and also offering 2 breakout sessions for people who work with older learners.

You don’t need to have the book but a lot of what I share is from Boosting Achievement, Reaching Students with Interrupted or Minimal Education. But ALL of those principles are in the free book study on this site.  Just read through the posts and you can get the learning without the book.

Today I will only have an hour and 15 minutes so I will be giving a quick overview of what is possible and participants will leave with the resources below. I’m going to start by trying to change the mindset of anyone who might think these students are not capable of learning quickly.

I’ll do that by asking if the person is lacking literacy, were they also lacking easy access to technology for many of their formative years?  If so, they may have a cognitive advantage according to the work of Jane M. Healy and Nicholas Carr.  In Boosting Achievement I cite their research by pointing out the following:

In her book, “Endangered Minds: Why Children Don’t Think And What We Can Do About It” Healy examines how television, video games, and other components of our culture negatively impact a child’s ability to concentrate and to absorb and analyze information.  In Carr’s book, “The Shallows” he provides a thoroughly researched examination of how the Internet is actually changing our brains and our neural pathways. He warns that technology has created a means of artificial memory, which seems to be hindering our cognitive abilities (Salva & Matis 2017). 

That is just one example of why we might want to raise our bar for students who are pre-literate.  We need to realize what types of things fail our ELs (see this post with work from EL guru Tan Huynh) and that their inability to read is not a permanent condition. It is usually just a lack of opportunity and we need to provide more opportunities to gain English and gain literacy.

I recommend a pre-assessment that will give you an idea of how many sight words and one that is also a phonetic test.  I just googled and found many on PhonicsHero.com.  They have printables and assessment instructions like this one and I would be fine using these as long as it is the same type of assessment every few months to track progress.

 

Then I DO NOT primarily teach with alphabet or lists of words.  Instead, we learn in context.  I want these participants today to see how I train the students to “hack literacy.”  Our students must understand that they will be able to independently decode text more and more easily as they gain the ability to sound out our letters and blends and also gain sight words.

Everyone must understand that high-frequency words come up frequently!  So we must co-create a lot of text and read with our students A LOT.  They also need materials they can read on their own and with support when they are not with us. For older students I will recommend NewsinLevels.com because it is FREE, it offers choice and scaffolds for the students.  Please make sure your students pick a story and go through Level 1, 2 and 3.  ALL THREE LEVELS every time they read a story… even when they get more proficient.  These are super short news stories and the students will see the change of language structures from one level to the next.  Verbs change and there is a lot that can happen when students attend to these things.

With an older learner, we can capitalize on metacognitive awareness.

I will absolutely share this MUST READ post with these educators because they need to get proficient with QSSSA (to support structured conversations, offer wait time, honor voice, etc.) and with Language Experience Approach (to co-create text with students immediately.)

We will get a quick overview of balanced literacy but only to realize why we are doing what we are doing.  I’ll focus more on QSSSA, W.I.T questioning and Language Experience Approach.

I’m also going to offer them the most important slide that I can think of for this type of PD.  If they challenge themselves to get these messages across to their students, they will be well on their way to success.

There are several videos on this blog that can be helpful to you if you’re also working with this demographic and don’t know where to start.  Check out the PODCAST page and click through those posts.  All have the pre-literate student in mind while I’m teaching a class of multi-level learners.

The most important thing is to raise your bar for the learner.  One of the biggest challenges they face it low expectations.

 

I am so grateful to be at Molloy College today at LIESOL. Please consider attending next year!

And please connect with me on Facebook or Twitter. I’d love to hear from you.

AND THANK YOU FOR TEACHING!!!

Hugs,

Carol

 

Hey! I hope I see you at one of these events

April 5, 2019 in Edmonton, Canada at Edmonton Regional Learning Center – Presenting 7 Steps to a Language Rich Interactive Classroom.  

May 9 & 10, Michigan Association of Bilingual Educators  (MABEMI) I’m a keynote and I have break out sessions

Awesome $129 rate for Rapid Literacy pre-conference May 8 through MABEMI.($99 if you go as a group!)

Andrea Honigsfeld will be the Keynote Speaker for #VirtuEL19! – Let’s get some IRL watch parties together!

 

 

BAP049 ELLChat_BkClub the SIOP Meta Round

DO NOT miss this free SIOP PD opportunity!  Grab a copy of the new Making Content Comprehensible: the SIOP Model or dust off your old one to join us for round 17 of #ELLChat_BkClub! 

It is going to be a free 8 week book study on Twitter and we will be connecting this text to the other #ELLchat_BkClub texts we have read in the past.

I’m so honored to be leading week 8 of this #meta round and I was thrilled to record this LIVE podcast about the chat last week.  I was joined by some of the ELL heavy hitters that will also be leading the book study. You can listen to Episode 49 of the Boosting Achievement ESL Podcast in any podcast app or right here:

Listen to “BAP049 ELL Chat Book Club – Meta Round” on Spreaker.

And YOU are more than invited!

The study will cover one component per week, with a different leader each week.  MANY thanks to these leaders who were on the show with me.

I highly recommend that you follow them if you’re not already:

Carlota Holder, EL Coordinator at Enlace Academy

Katie Toppel, Ed, D. is a K-5 English Language Development Specialist and an Adjunct professor at Portland State University

Allyson Newton is the Senior SIOP Product Manager at Pearson

Emily Francis is a high school teacher in Concord, North Carolina. She is a former elementary teacher and shares her own story as a language learner at conferences around the country.


Emily is also the keynote for this year’s SIOP National Conference!

We were missing a few of the Meta Round leaders in this show.  You’ll want to also follow Tan Huynh who we mentioned is a founder of the chat and shares incredible infographics and content on Twitter for all of these chats!  We also gave a shout out to PLN rock stars, Dr. Christine Tennyson and Jess Bell who are going to be leading weeks as well.

As Dr. Katie Toppel said on the show, it has become quite a movement!  Over the 2+ years of book studies, #Ellchat_BkClub has given us a progressional growth and has also given us a sense of community.

And we want you to join the community!

Several people are tweeting about the incredible experience it is to be a part of one of these chats.  We are not only reading a text that will help us support ELs, we are analyzing, synthesizing, reflecting and collaborating with like-minded people who are helping us grow professionally.

Many of us appreciate the flexibility of a slow chat and we discuss that in the show.  I can’t recommend this self-directed, PD in your PJ’s enough! 

You really don’t want to miss this meta round!  It is a chance to collaborate with folks around the world as we learn about or revisit the text, Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners: The SIOP Model, 5th Edition by Jana Echevarria, MaryEllen Vogt and Deborah J. Short

 

Katie referenced a current blog post that will give you so much information about the chat.  She also gave us a great overview of the history of the chat.  She explained that she and Tan Huynh founded the chat to offer teachers of ELs with a professional development opportunity that was flexible.  The slow chat is set up so that participants can interact as able and often we are collaborating with the authors themselves.

From my perspective as an author, being a part of the chat is a huge win for me because participants really do better my work.  I know other authors have said the same.

 

Carlota Holder and Jess Bell have blogged about how to answer questions, what the chat is and why to use Twitter for PD.  Katie links to that article but you can also check it out here. 

 

Katie says PD should be FUN!  There is a lot of enthusiasm around the chat for many reasons.  Follow Tan Huyhn

In this blog post, Becoming a Passionate Reader by Emily Francis, she explains how #Ellchat_BkClub turned her into a person who can’t get enough of this type of self-directed PD!  Many of us are compelled to read and study the text because of the dynamics of the chat.


Carlota has some great points about being able to stay connected even though she is unable to read all of the books completely right now while she is in graduate school.

She also shared real-life connections with people like Christine Howard.  Christine told Carlota that she is actually reading the other books that we will be making connections to as we do this round.

So please do join us over on Twitter! Tag one of us or just use the #ELlchat_BkClub hashtag and you’ll be linking up with the best PLN on the planet!

THANK YOU to everyone who is in the PLN and everyone who listened to this show or read this post.  We are all so much better together!

Carol

PS: Don’t forget that we can connect in one of these other places in the near future as well.  Hope to see you!

April 5, 2019 in Edmonton, Canada at Edmonton Regional Learning Center – Presenting 7 Steps to a Language Rich Interactive Classroom.  

May 9 & 10, Michigan Association of Bilingual Educators  (MABEMI) I’m a keynote and I have break out sessions

Awesome $129 rate for Rapid Literacy pre-conference May 8 through MABEMI.($99 if you go as a group!)

Andrea Honigsfeld will be the Keynote Speaker for #VirtuEL19! – Let’s get some IRL watch parties together!

 

 

 

BAP048 NABE Recap with PD You Can Turn Around Quickly

This podcast & post have two different PD sessions you can turn around or make your own.

You can find this episode in any podcast app or you can listen right here:

Listen to “BAP048 NABE Reflections and PD Resources” on Spreaker.

The resources are not only from the #NABE2019 conference but also the Annual Meeting of the National Council of State Title III Directors (NSCSTIID). That meeting happened as a pre-conference day to NABE.

In this episode, I start by reminding you that everyone is able to attend a great conference for people who support English learners. VirtuEL 19 is around the corner.  Mark your calendar for June 15, 2019 at 10am ET.  You’ll be able to attend this Youtube based conference from the comfort of your home.  Our keynote speakers are Andrea Honigsfel and Maria G. Dove!  Don’t miss it!

I was honored to be the keynote for the NCSTIIID Annual Meeting. Please consider joining that association.  I’ve been on the advisory board of NCSTIIID for about six months and it has been one of the best things I’ve done professionally.  Effective this coming July, we are changing our name to the National Association of English Learner Program Administrators (NAELPA) and we’d love to have you as a member.  We support leadership! Our association supports anyone who administers English Learner programs – so if you are in the U.S., this likely affects you in some way. Please reach out to learn more.

During the annual meeting, I learned more about the Joint National Committee on Languages.  I was inspired by the advocacy work Dr. Bill Rivers and his colleagues are doing through this nonprofit education policy association.  I speak about this in the podcast because I was moved to subscribe to their newsletter and strongly suggest you do the same.  I hope to share more about how we can help the JNCL advocate for America’s languages.

In the show I promise to share links to the following:

Larry Ferlazzo’s blog post to help you support content teachers.  My advice is to use videos like these to give teachers 2-3 minute experiences followed by some time for reflection.  This suggestion was in response to a question we received about how to support content teachers in their empathy and support of our English learners.  Experiences like these can help raise the bar and remind us all of some techniques that should help students in content classes.

RAPID LITERACY BREAKOUT SESSION

The first break out session I did was on Rapid Literacy.

That session was delivered entirely from this blog post that I published on the same day. I scrolled through that blog post and clicked on different images as opposed to a powerpoint.  The benefit to you is that I have the talking points in the post that explain what I said and why. You have the videos and all the links in that post.  I gave a shout out to Natalie French, Brenda Daisy and Khrista Buschhorn who helped me tweak the way I’ve been delivering PD.  We had great feedback in West Des Moines and Twin Falls, ID when we started with a model lesson. I’ll be doing that more now.

USING TECHNOLOGY WITH ELs BREAKOUT SESSION

HUGE thank you to Harvey Oaxaca and Dora Deboer who were my fabulous co-presenters for the Using Tech session.  It was a home run! We have the powerpoint with the notes for you right here.

For this session, we took participants through a few experiences and then we had them reflect with the following rubric.  Our point was that of course, we need to build the target language.  That must be at the forefront of all we do if we are the language development teachers.  But we can do much more with technology!  The irony for me has been that language comes much more quickly when we hit more of these “Keys.”

If you have any questions about the PD resources above or any of these links, please reach out. I’d love to hear from you and to know how it went if you try any of it.

Also, don’t miss our 8 week Twitter book study on Making Content Comprehensible, the SIOP Model.  We are doing that through the #ELLchat_BkClub hashtag and you can find out a lot more about that here.  We begin the 8 week study on March 25th.  I’m so happy to be leading round 8.  Join us!

I hope this podcast and post were useful for you.

If nothing else, I hope it helps you reflect a bit on your practice or how you’re supporting teachers who server our ELs.  I have found that the reflection piece is the most powerful tool I have as a learner and an educator.

So big THANK YOU for dropping by.  You are super-fantastic for your desire to learn more about how we can best help English learners.

My best,

Carol

PS:  Reach out if you’d like information about bringing Seidlitz Education training to your district.  I’d love to come work with you!  Or perhaps you will be at one of these events soon:

March 23rd in Long Island, NY at the  #LIESOL Conference. I’m on a panel and I have sessions.

April 5, 2019 in Edmonton, Canada at Edmonton Regional Learning Center – Presenting 7 Steps to a Language Rich Interactive Classroom.  

May 9 & 10, Michigan Association of Bilingual Educators  (MABEMI) I’m a keynote and I have break out sessions

Awesome $129 rate for Rapid Literacy pre-conference May 8 through MABEMI.($99 if you go as a group!)

Andrea Honigsfeld will be the Keynote Speaker for #VirtuEL19! – Let’s get some IRL watch parties together!

 

 

 

You didn’t miss my NABE 2019 session! Here are Links and Resources

Want to be in my Rapid Literacy session at #NABE2019?  This is the post I’m using and reading it on your own time might be even better!

It will be 1 hour and 20 minutes of fun!  Here is how I’m rolling out this breakout session if all goes to plan. I hope you can use some of this with the teachers or students in your life!

When folks come in I will ask them to log on to this post or follow along as I project it on the wall.

I’m going to ask them to look at this image

I’ll let them turn and talk with this frame:    “I notice…”

(I’m using the Talk #1 part of Nancy Motley’s Talk, Read, Talk, Write approach. Her book is amazing!)

Before they talk, I’ll ask everyone to stand and look at the image. They can sit down when they have an idea.  (this levels the playing field, everyone can notice something. and I’m offering wait time.  I’m going to let them talk to a shoulder partner and then randomly call on someone. This is QSSSA questioning so I’ll point that out on a poster.

Once they have ALL had a chance to talk, I’ll ask them to find a fact about Frederick Douglass or Susan B Anthony in their “textbook” which is really their cellphone in this breakout session.

We will get up and move to a side of the room if we want to find a fact about Douglass and another side of the room if we want to research Anthony.

Then they will give me some facts.

 

My goal is to have everyone talking and comparing the two activists, using academic language.

I’m going to model Language Experience Approach with the facts they find.  Our discussion will be about encouraging language production, read aloud and reading together to accelerate decoding skills in a low stress environment.

Here is a video I may use but if you’re not in the session, and you want to understand LEA, it should be helpful. QSSSA is a big part of this 30 min PD video:

You might also be interested in this post and podcast that goes with that video.

I’m also going to use this video to show the engagement we get when we use text we co-create with students. This post has more details about what can go on our walls that ALL students can read (including emergent readers in secondary) in our ESL classrooms:

Finally, I want teachers to understand that these ELs are gaining literacy quickly because of many factors.  But a big one is the metacognitive awareness of what they are doing. They understand that they need to gain sight words and letter sounds in print from our reading together.  We have older students and they can understand this concept and that we are partnering with them every day to gain decoding skills….WHILE we work on grade level content.

A great part of this lesson is this article shared by Larry Ferlazzo on Twitter.  

So yes, we do a LOT of reading together with text we co-create.  And VERY soon, they can read emergent readers books. But NO baby books, please.  They can read whatever they want.  And I want them to have age-appropriate text like these free resources from our friends in Canada or the awesome books from Saddleback Publishers.  This video is what is possible when you get your emergent readers hooked on reading:

Friends, there are SO MANY MORE resources out there for you and your students!  Here is the padlet I use for my full day of Rapid Literacy training. I hope some of those links will be helpful to you in the great work you’re doing with students!

Please reach out if you’re going to be at any of these events:

March 23rd in Long Island, NY at the  #LIESOL Conference. I’m on a panel and I have sessions.

April 5, 2019 in Edmonton, Canada at Edmonton Regional Learning Center – Presenting 7 Steps to a Language Rich Interactive Classroom.  

May 9 & 10, Michigan Association of Bilingual Educators  (MABEMI) I’m a keynote and I have break out sessions

Awesome $129 rate for Rapid Literacy pre-conference May 8 through MABEMI.($99 if you go as a group!)

Andrea Honigsfeld will be the Keynote Speaker for #VirtuEL19! – Let’s get some IRL watch parties together!

 

 

 

 

 

BAP047 Karina Chapa and Camino de Paz

Won’t you please consider helping immigrant families along our Texas border? Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley are having to find a new place for their Humanitarian Respite Center now that the city has terminated their permit.  But there are three ways you can help right now! You can listen to this show to learn more or read details about it below:
Listen to “BAP048 NABE Reflections and PD Resources” on Spreaker.

This  is the link to the GoFundMe page I mention in the show.

The fact that the community has lost their center is such a sad thing for families walking for days, weeks, months to get to safety. The respite center was just a place for these desperate people to find rest as they apply for asylum in the U.S.

My guest on this episode is Karina Chapa.  She is a Language Proficiency, Biliteracy and Cultural Diversity Director at our Region One Education Service Center.

Being an alternatively certified teacher (through our Region 4 ESC) myself, I appreciate all Karioma does for teachers and English learners.  I highly recommend following her on Twitter.

You’ll be inspired by her passion for supporting teachers of English learners and supporting their families.

And in this show, YOU have a chance to join Karina and others who volunteer so many hours to help immigrant families in need.

John Seidlitz, Anna Matis and Dr. Michelle Yzquierdo of Seidlitz Education, together with Karina, have created a beautiful event to raise funds and show support for Catholic Charities of Rio Grand Valley. 

They have organized a beautiful pilgrimage of peace.

It is a charity walk and you can join us in more than one way.

Who are you helping?  Please check out the following video about the amazing Sister Normal Pimentel.  The first part of the video is Sister Norma being honored by Pope Francis and the next few minutes tells more about her amazing efforts and those of the wonderful volunteers of the respite center:

THANK YOU for everything YOU are doing for language learners and their families.  I truly appreciate all your efforts daily. I would be very honored if you would consider sharing this show with your social network.

BOOSTING ACHIEVEMENT DONATION CONTEST:

If you donate as a result of hearing this show, please comment here to let me know or reach out in some way so I can add your name to this contest.  On April 13 I will chose 3 names to choose:

  1. One Hour Consultation
  2. Guest on the Boosting Achievement Podcast (as long as it is for the sake of ELs)
  3. Moderate a Boosting Achievement Twitter Chat (as long as the topic is for the sake of ELs)

So go donate and good luck! 

I hope to see you soon!  Below are the places I will be in the next few months!

Hugs as always,

Carol

Please reach out if you’re going to be at any of these events:

March 6, NAELPA, formerly NCSTIIID, is having our annual meeting in Orlando. Come! I’m the keynote & on a panel that day.

NABE March 7-9  in Orlando.  I have Breakout Sessions

March 23rd in Long Island, NY at the  #LIESOL Conference. I’m on a panel and I have sessions.

April 5, 2019 in Edmonton, Canada at Edmonton Regional Learning Center – Presenting 7 Steps to a Language Rich Interactive Classroom.  

May 9 & 10, Michigan Association of Bilingual Educators  (MABEMI) I’m a keynote and I have break out sessions

Awesome $129 rate for Rapid Literacy pre-conference May 8 through MABEMI.($99 if you go as a group!)

Andrea Honigsfeld will be the Keynote Speaker for #VirtuEL19! – Let’s get some IRL watch parties together!