Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Research on Reading Intervention for Low-Literate Adult ESL Learners

I just read a research report on the impact of a reading intervention for low-literate adult ESL learners. A link to the research report can be found here. Reactions? For me, these findings illustrate the need for the development of more low-level materials with a systematic, sequential sequence of skills that students can transfer to reading at their appropriate levels. It also suggests a need to train teachers on how to appropriately teach students these strategies and skills. I'm working on it! A free resource currently available includes the Online Workshop which orients teachers to basic decoding and spelling skills that they can apply in their classrooms.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What are Graphic Organizers? - Teaching Reading Resources

Graphic organizers are a way to visually arrange and classify information. They are also used to demonstrate comprehension of reading material. Students can use them individually, in small groups, or as a whole class under a teacher’s direction. Graphic organizers can be used as a pre-reading activity to activate background knowledge of a topic that students are going to read about, or they can be used after students read to assess students’ comprehension of reading material. Consider using graphic organizers to supplement your reading instruction.

There are several free graphic organizer resources available online, but a few examples are included below for each designated purpose listed.

To Show Detail:
Cluster/Word Web

To Compare and Contrast:
Venn Diagram
Same and Different Chart

To Show Sequence:
Sequence Chart
Cycle Chart

To Show Cause and Effect:
1 Cause and 4 Effects Chart
4 Causes and 2 Effects Chart

Adapted from Reading Horizons Reading Library Teacher Edition. Used with permission.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What Research Says about Teaching Vocabulary to ELLs and ESL Students

This blog post highlights a few points that resurface in the research about teaching vocabulary to ELLs/ESL students. Feel free to add your thoughts and share your own experiences with teaching vocabulary!

What the Research Says about Teaching Vocabulary:
         Explicitly teach vocabulary.
         Provide repetition and practice of new vocabulary.
         The use of pictures and context sentences is effective.
         Provide access to word definitions while engaged in a reading task.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Online Articles about Phonics and Balanced Literacy for Adolescents

In some of the digging I've done in the literature about phonics, effective reading instruction, and literacy, I've come across some interesting articles that may be of interest to some of you. I've posted them here:

Whole-Language High Jinks: How to Tell When "Scientifically-Based Reading Instruction" Isn't (Louisa Moats)

Whole Language Lives On: The Illusion of "Balanced" Reading Instruction (Louisa Moats)

 Older Children Need Phonemic Awareness Instruction, Too (Susan Szabo)

What Content-Area Teachers Should Know About Adolescent Literacy (National Institute for Literacy)   

Phonics in ESL Literacy Instruction: Functional or Not? (Monica L. Jones)

Adolescents and Literacy: Reading for the 21st Century (Michael L. Kamil)

Decoding and Fluency: Foundation Skills for Struggling Older Readers (Anita L. Archer, Mary M. Gleason, and Vicky L. Vachon)

Comments? Reactions?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Direct and Indirect Quotations - ELL and ESL Grammar Lessons

This blog post provides a resource to teach ESL students/ELLs the use of direct and indirect quotations. Adapt the following information according to students' levels and needs. Note that the example sentences provided employ simple vocabulary and word constructions to accommodate low-level students. Example sentences can be modified to be more appropriate for your students' levels, interests, and content areas where this instruction will be applied.

The Difference Between Direct and Indirect Quotations
When you write a person’s exact words, it is called a direct quotation. You use quotation marks around a direct quotation. The verbs most often used with direct quotations are said and asked. The word said means that someone spoke words. It is used for imperative, declarative, and exclamatory sentences. The word asked means that someone presented a question. It is used for interrogative sentences.
Examples of direct quotations:
“Pam had a job,” said Dad.
“Is Mom sad?” asked Ned.

When you write what a person said but not his/her exact words, it is called an indirect quotation. For these quotations, you don’t use quotation marks. The phrase most-often used with indirect quotations is said that.

Examples of indirect quotations:
Dad said that Pam had a job.
Ned asked if Mom was sad.

Teacher's Note: Students should note that verb tenses can change in indirect quotations, but right now, they should focus on the quotation marks.

Using Direct and Indirect Quotations
Use quotation marks before and after a person's exact words.
"The dog ran on the sod," said Mom.

If a person's words are interrupted by other words in the sentence, use quotation marks only around the person's exact words.
"That sod," he said, "was a big job."

Capitalize the first word in a quotation, even if it's not the first word in the sentence.
Mom said, "The dog is in the den."

After an interruption, do not capitalize the next word unless it starts a new sentence.
"The dog," Mom said, "is in the den."
"That is good," Dad said. "He gets no ham."

Use a comma to divide the spoken words from the speaker. Always place the comma before the quotation marks.
Mom said, "He will beg."
"He will beg," Mom said.

If the spoken words end in a question or an exclamation mark, do not use a comma afterward to separate the words from the speaker.
"Is Jen in bed?" he asked.
"I am in the den!" she shouted.

Always put a period inside the end quotation mark. Put a question or an exclamation mark inside the quotation mark if the spoken words are themselves a question or an exclamation.
He said, "You have a job."
She asked, "What is it?"

Use a new paragraph, and indent each time the speaker changes.
     Dad said, "You and I will fix the sod. After
that, you can go to bed."
     Jen said, "That bad dog!" Dad led Jen to
the sod.
     "No ham for you!" Mom said to the dog.
"To bed!"

Student Practice
Make an activity page from the items below. Have students indicate if the following sentences are direct or indirect quotations by having them write the letter d for direct or the letters id for indirect on the blank before each sentence. Then have students add proper punctuation and quotation marks. The first two are done.

1. Dad said to come to the den.  _id_
2. “What is in the den?” asked Sam.  _d_
3. Your mother wants a map said Dad  ___
4. Dad said that Mom and Jan’s mom want to go to The Red Hen  ___
5. I put the map to The Red Hen in the den said Dad  ___
6. Jan said that Dad and Sam went to get the map  ___
7. Dad said get this map to Mom Is that OK  ___
8. Can I have Jan help me asked Sam  ___
9. Dad said it was OK for Jan and Sam to get the map to Mom  ___
10. Your mom will be so glad said Dad  ___

NOTE: Information in this blog post is adapted from the Decoding Strategies for Literacy Development manual published by Reading Horizons and is used with permission.