Strand 7

Slides 56
Strands 5&6
25th August 2021
Slides 8
Strand 8
25th August 2021
Slides 56
Strands 5&6
25th August 2021
Slides 8
Strand 8
25th August 2021

Learning outcomes

Knowledge:

  • Know about the value of scaffolding language

Skills:

  • Be able to identify technical language
  • Be able to scaffold academic and technical language

Understanding:

  • Develop appropriate groupings for supporting focused scaffolding

 

Strand Overview

7a. Are everyday, technical and academic vocabulary and language structures (language form – the grammatical structure of words and phrases, as well as the word themselves) scaffolded to support comprehensible input? Within early years, has the specific vocabulary and language structures (both every day and technical as well as patterns of language) been considered in advance so that they can then be applied across a range of contexts to support understanding?
7b. Is the language function (what learners do with language as they engage with it, e.g. evaluate) scaffolded to support comprehensible input? Within early years, does the adult enable the learner to use the language that fulfills the function as well as comprehend their utterance?
7c. Are learners using new vocabulary in a variety of ways and moving it into their receptive repertoire? Within early years, are adults eliciting vocabulary and language structures in repetitive stories through sayings that help them comprehend, hear and repeat phrasing. Are there also joining-in opportunities that don’t rely on children having to understand everything adults say but still support their language learning e.g. rhymes, songs, block play. Additionally, ensuring outdoor play that allows for learners to engage with new vocabulary is valued.
7d. Are learners pre-learning vocabulary and language structures? Within early years, have learners had significant exposure to interactions with adults (in any language) and language rich environments.
7e. Are suitable teaching methods and strategies used to support learning vocabulary and language structures? (e.g. writing frames or substitution tables?) Within early years, are adults actively coaching language through expansion and extensions as well as grammatical recasting?
7f. Is there appropriate grouping for supporting focused scaffolding? Within early years, are there small-group opportunities for adults to provide additional or intensive focus on language? E.g. small group walk to the park, making play dough and mixing paint.

From 6 years old:

Connection (orientate, assess & build the field)
7g. Does the session build on learners’ prior knowledge? Within early years, does the practitioner build and value the funds of knowledge, skills and experiences of the learners?
7h. If appropriate, is revision of previous concepts, vocabulary or language structures built into the connection activity? Within early years, are comments (using vocabulary and language structures) extended and recasted e.g. the child says ‘I selled’ and the adult responds with the correctly modelled phrase ‘I sold’ (keeping the meaning).
7i. Is questioning used to initiate thinking, engage and hypothesise about the concept? (This may include pre-taught vocabulary and language structures.) Within early years, are adults using questions well to encourage learners to respond more fully (avoid asking too many questions, particularly closed questions). Are stories, games and routines used as entry points to create and introduce and high quality language learning experiences?

Activation (explore, model & jointly construct)
7j. Do all learners explore the content learning challenge? Within early years when focusing on the learning challenge, does the adult tune into the child’s interest and choose the right vocabulary and language structures to weave in the concept?
7k. Does the activity provide clear, structured, modelling/scaffolding and result in joint construction? Within early years, are learners hearing good language, modelled in a context, with visual support.
7l. Are vocabulary and language structures highlighted clearly so that learners of all language abilities can access the content? Within early years, are the adults highlighting appropriate level vocabulary and language structures through a contextual commentary?
7m. Are language learning strategies modelled to support learners in accessing content? (E.g. using a substitution table for speaking or writing, or a strategy for remembering vocabulary or highlighting words they don’t know to add to a homework activity.) Within early years, is the prime language learning strategy contextual commentary within guided play (when an adult provides support to help children achieve a learning goal)?

Demonstration (refine, practise & move to independence)
7n. Are learners of all language abilities using the vocabulary and language structures highlighted to access the content? Within early years, are adults developing appropriate, intentional learning experiences around specific vocabulary and language structures to access to content?
7o. Are learners using the clear structure or scaffold provided to access the learning? Within early years, are you observing learners applying the language independently following scaffolding?
7p. Are EAL learners using the language learning strategies modelled to support them in accessing content? Within early years, are you observing EAL learners using the contexts you provided to use the language structures and vocabulary?
7q. If writing is present, are opportunities provided to rehearse the language before writing occurs? Within early years, taking meaning from mark making and starting to talk about the features of print e.g. something they recognize in text.

Consolidation (revise, apply & reflect)
7r. Can the learner apply the learning to real-life experiences? Within early years, are children having longer conversations with increased turns around the language/concept focus?
7s. Is there a review of all vocabulary and language structures learnt? Within early years, are adults revisiting the language to support children with additional exposure?
7t. Are all learners able to reflect on their content learning? (Prior modelling of appropriate vocabulary and language structures can support learners of all abilities in articulating themselves.) Within early, do adult pose the right opportunities to encourage reflect and think about their learning?

Preparation:

Graphic organisers on the Across Cultures Framework Portal.

All resources are listed in the Shared Document for this strand and strand 7 of the Portal.

 

Slide 2 – Focused scaffolding – what is it? Why do we need it?

Although scaffolding should be integral to all learning, this Strand highlights its importance.

Gibbons outlines ‘designed scaffolding’ as follows:

  • “Programs build on students’ prior knowledge and their current language skills (both home language and their second language), while at the same time embracing new content and language goals
  • Clear and explicit program goals are shared with the students
  • Tasks are sequenced so that each task serves as the ‘building block’ for the subsequent task
  • A variety of organisational structures is used (pair work, group work, individual work, teacher-directed whole class work)
  • The curriculum is amplified not simplified: teachers use ‘message abundance’.”

 

Slide 3 – Are learners remembering new vocabulary?

“Cassels and Johnstone (1985) found that pupils had little understanding of important vocabulary (words like incident, component, random, negligible) and that this persisted throughout their school years. If they did not understand the word to start with, they still wouldn’t understand it several years later.

Why does this happen? It happens partly because we may not realise that children don’t know words that seem to us basic. Teachers may be aware that they need to teach subject-specific technical vocabulary, but not know they need to teach non-specialist vocabulary that recurs across learning contexts. We know from research, too, that teachers typically introduce a new word and explain it just once (Scott et al 2003), whereas children need to hear a word around 6 times (more if they have language difficulties) in a range of contexts that help them internalise its meaning, if they are to remember it.”
Gross, J. (2013) Time to Talk: Implementing outstanding practice in speech, language and communication, David Fulton: Oxon

The National Curriculum states that:

“Pupils’ acquisition and command of vocabulary are key to their learning and progress across the curriculum. Teachers should therefore develop vocabulary actively, building systematically on pupils’ current knowledge.”
(National Curriculum of England, 2014)

We need to scaffold new vocabulary in a variety of modes.

 

Slide 4 – High-frequency words

High-frequency word learning game: the participants work in pairs to match the titles of the ‘Activities for introducing and practising high-frequency words’ to the details (see activity 7.1)

Ask:

  • Which have you used?
  • Circle the ones you would be keen to try
  • Share this with a partner

 

Slide 5 – Scaffolding technical language

Refer to the slide. 

What academic and everyday language lends itself to these subjects?

Possible examples:

Subject: Ancient Egypt
Technical language: pyramid, pharaoh
Academic language: created, constructed, developed
Everyday language: had, did (past tense)

Subject: Programming
Technical language: algorithm, code
Academic language: calculate, solving, define, identify
Everyday language: sequential connectives, e.g. ‘next’

 

Slide 6 – Academic and everyday language

Refer to the slide.

What academic and everyday language lends itself to this subject?

Possible answer:

Subject: Programming
Academic language: calculate, solving, define, identify
Everyday language: sequential connectives, e.g. ‘next’

Consider the types of vocabulary that need to be scaffolded (see Activity 7.2).

 

Slide 7 – What academic language should we teach?

Refer to Activity 7.3.

There is an example of high-frequency words by level of thinking (based on Bloom’s taxonomy) listed in the Shared document.

Ask the participants:

  • Are you covering a whole range of academic language? How can you systematically teach this?
  • Can you prioritise frequently used words?
  • Can a learning objective include a carefully chosen corresponding academic action verb?

 

Slide 8 – Meshing everyday and academic language

Explain:

Teachers need to model the use of academic language in discussion with students.

See Activity 7.4

Participants should identify more formal language for the following:

  • Ask for
  • Find
  • Help 
  • Check
  • Get

Answers:

  • Ask for – request
  • Find – identify
  • Help – assist
  • Check – verify
  • Get  – receive

Statements appear more informal when we use:

  • Contractions, e.g. ‘can’t’
  • Slang/colloquialisms, e.g. ‘time flies’ or ‘gang’
  • First person pronouns, e.g. ‘I would like to…’
  • Phrasal verbs, e.g. ‘got over’

Participants adapt the sentences in Activity 7.5 to be more formal:

Contraction
Informal: The changes can’t be introduced following the station redesign.
Formal: The changes can not be introduced following the station redesign.

Phrasal verb
Informal: The balloon was blown up for research purposes.
Formal: The balloon was inflated for research purposes.

Phrasal verb
Informal: The nurse ensured the patient got over his illness.
Formal: The nurse ensured the patient recovered from his illness.

Phrasal verb
Informal: The results of the project were mixed up.
Formal: The results of the project were confused.

Slang
Informal: They had a wicked time at the party.
Formal: They had an enjoyable time at the party.

First person pronoun
Informal: I used a few different methods before deciding on the best course of action.
Formal: A few different methods were used before the best course of action was decided on.

 

Slide 9 – Vocabulary focuses

When introducing a new topic, it’s important to begin with a vocabulary focus. Ideally, EAL learners should be given some vocabulary to study prior to lessons, so that they come prepared.

The ‘Spelling Log’ (Activity 7.6) can help learners to repeat the learning of their vocabulary or language structures daily. Combined with flashcard activities, this can provide a structured approach to pre-learning.

 

Slide 10 – Supportive strategies

Explain:

These strategies can have a powerful impact of the development of vocabulary and language structures.

 

Slide 11 – Is there appropriate grouping for supporting focussed scaffolding?

Explain:

There isn’t one solution and participants will come up with the best solutions for their context.

 

Slide 12 – Cycle of learning

Reminder:

The learning cycle is designed to offer a clear approach to learning which includes scaffolding for language learning.

The cycle does not have to be achieved in one lesson, but forms a good framework for a whole unit leading to a final outcome, e.g. a piece of writing, a debate, a film or story.

For more information on the learning cycle, see ‘Further learning – How it works – in theory’ in Strand 4 of the Portal.

Reminder: Learning cycle

Connection
At the beginning of a session, the connection phase (orientate, assess and build the field) allows the learners to orientate themselves within the context and start building their understanding of the new topic. It also allows both learners and teachers to collaboratively assess understanding.

Activation
The activation phase (explore, modelling and joint construction) is for generating ideas on how you use the language. It incorporates modelling and joint construction.

Demonstration
The demonstration phase (refine, practise and move to independence) helps the learners to recall and use the vocabulary or language structures independently.

Consolidation
The consolidation phase (revise, apply and reflect) is a chance for students to revisit as well as reflect on their learning and to relate this to their own lives by applying it to real-life experiences.

 

Slide 13 – Cycle of learning

No notes

 

Slide 14 – Speaking, listening, reading and writing across the curriculum

Explain that:

In order to scaffold text-level content, we need to gather all our sentence and word-level content and know-how to implement it.

We have now looked at language learning on a word and sentence level, alongside content. In this next session, we provide ideas on moving to text-level discourse, using the new language within the reading and writing of content studied across the curriculum.

There are a number of text types that we frequently use in our discourse. Each of these has certain characteristics (or features). Let’s take persuasive texts as an example.

 

Slide 15 – Persuasive text

Set the scene by reminding participants that you use persuasion to encourage someone to join a point of view. Provide some examples.

Inspired by Sue Palmer (2001).

 

Slide 16 – What else needs to be considered in a persuasive text?

Discuss the specific language structures pertinent to this text type (e.g. ‘There might be…’).

The technical vocabulary is topic-specific rather than text-type-specific (e.g. ‘motorway’).

There will also be academic language specific to the text type (e.g. ‘persuade’).

 

Slide 17 – Planning

Participants need to read the example plan (Activity 6.1), before constructing their own (using an agreed, relevant learning challenge they can try in class). This planning template is available on the Across Cultures Framework Portal.

Explain:

This planning template includes:

  1. Both a subject learning objective and a language learning objective
  2. Explicit notes on differentiating for different levels of English proficiency
  3. Acknowledgement of levels of thinking (with reference to Bloom’s taxonomy)
  4. Links to international understanding
  5. Support for home language

The planner contains a supportive cycle of learning:

  1. Orientate, assess and build the field (connection)
  2. Explore, model and joint construction (activation)
  3. Refine, practise and move to independence (demonstration)
  4. Revise, apply and reflect (consolidation)

 

Slide 18 – Planning: Recording the right vocabulary and language structures 

Remind participants:

Teachers need to consider the outcomes of a learning challenge. Participants can form a group with one scribe. The group solves the learning challenge, while the scribe writes the vocabulary and language structures the group uses to articulate it.

The commitment to scribing real interactions will have a powerful impact on selecting the right language needed.

Point out that it’s easy to assume the language requirements for a task and then find that they don’t quite fit with the outcome you require.

Activity 6.2 requires participants to note down their theme, learning challenge, outcome and text type, as well as notes for scribing and beginning their plan. It also requires them to note the levels of thinking the learners will engage in, how the home language will be supported, links to international understanding, and notes on support for more able pupils and those with SEND.

 

Slide 19 – Planning: Building a persuasive text toolkit

Explain:

Teachers and then learners can populate their toolkit (language functions) with vocabulary and language structures based on shared speaking and listening, with reference to an image or perhaps a YouTube clip.

 

Slide 20 – Connection (orientate, assess, build the field)

Explain:

Connection:
At the beginning of a session, the connection phase (orientate, assess and build the field) allows the learners to orientate themselves within the context and start building their understanding of the new topic. It also allows both learners and teachers to collaboratively assess understanding.

Ask the participants to plan their inspiring speaking and listening introduction. There is an example in the Shared document – Activity 6.1. It should incorporate some of the key vocabulary and language structures the learners will need for articulating the final outcome. For example, if the final outcome is a report on the Amazon rainforest, then the language they might require could be ‘In the Amazon rainforest, we observe different layers of the rainforest’ or ‘In the Amazon rainforest, we find…’.

The speaking and listening activity can start with a video or an image to prompt learner responses. It could include role-play, mime or freeze frames (in which action is frozen: for example, a group of learners could be shown ‘frozen’ cutting wood, indicating deforestation).

See Activity 6.3.

 

Slide 21 – Activation

Explain:

Activation
The activation phase (explore, model and joint construction) is for generating ideas on how you use the language. It incorporates modelling and joint construction.

Read the slide and review the structure

 

Slide 22 – Graphic organisers to support comprehension

Graphic organisers support learners with the comprehension of text or dialogue, and with speaking, listening and writing, depending on how they are used. The Portal provides a number of templates. Learners can also use ‘skeletons’, which are a little less structured, but allow them to create their own more easily. Refer to ‘Further learning – graphic organisers to structure text types‘ in the Portal.

Ask the participants to plan an example outcome using one of the graphic organisers, e.g. a report or a narrative. They should add key vocabulary and language structures from the toolbox as they plan. See Activity 6.4.

 

Slide 23 – Demonstration

Explain:

Demonstration
The demonstration phase (refine, practise and move to independence) helps the learners to recall and use the vocabulary or language structures independently.

The toolkit and graphic organiser an be used by learners to independently reconstruct the text.

On completion, they can edit the text, referencing where they have used the tools in the toolkit, perhaps by colour-coding adjectives or using the letters SC for sequential connectives. At this point, they can choose to update the text with more vocabulary or language structures from the toolkit.

 

Slide 24 – Consolidation

Explain:

Consolidation
The consolidation phase (revise, apply and reflect) is a chance for students to revisit as well as reflect on their learning and to relate this to their own lives by applying it to real-life experiences.

The toolkit can be used by learners to independently construct a new, yet similar text. For example, if they initially wrote a letter to persuade the government to limit deforestation, they could then write a reply from the government to persuade you otherwise (using the same technical and academic language). They should have access to their previous scaffolding.

 

Slide 25 – Post-session learning

All participants should ensure they read any ‘Further learning‘ sections within Strand 7 that were not covered in the session.

 

Slide 26 – Reflection and Action Points

Allow participants 5 minutes’ reflection time to add to their Reflection and Action Points notes.

Tasks for participants:

  • Are there practical tasks found in this session you can ask participants to try out themselves?
  • Can they then feedback on these tasks in a follow-up session or at a later date?
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