this course will be offered again in summer 2020 – registration will open in late spring!
ARE YOU A HARD-WORKING NY TEACHER WHO IS TRYING YOUR BEST TO TEACH YOUR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS BUT IS HONESTLY FRUSTRATED AND CONFUSED ABOUT HOW TO HELP THEM ADVANCE ACADEMICALLY?
The approximately 5 million English Language Learners (ELLs) nationwide – also called emergent bilinguals or Multilingual Learners (MLLs) – constitute a diverse group with unique needs: Besides needing to learn English, many ELLs lack enough foundational language and literacy skills to access academic content, typically resulting in them being unable to keep up with the rigorous demands of schoolwork and pass standardized assessments.
ELLs are not reading and writing at grade level because many students still lack sufficient foundational language and literacy skills like phonemic awareness, decoding, spelling, handwriting, vocabulary, and the basic grammar necessary for reading comprehension and sentence level writing. Most teacher training programs don’t adequately cover the teaching of these skills, if at all.
In places like New York City, where teachers struggle to integrate language and literacy into their content for large populations of diverse learners, there is an urgent need to give teachers the necessary knowledge to teach foundational skills.
This course – Linguistics for Teachers of Emergent Bilinguals – aims to teach teachers about the fundamentals of linguistic knowledge, how a speaker of another language acquires English as a new language, the science of reading and writing, and how to use this knowledge to improve outcomes for emergent bilinguals.
We will cover the components of phonology, vocabulary knowledge, syntax, morphology, and pragmatic/conceptual knowledge, as well as the components of literacy – the English spelling system, handwriting, reading comprehension, and beginning writing. We will study how acquisition of oral English progresses from entering and emerging levels to transitioning and commanding levels, and its relationship to the acquisition of reading and writing.
Most importantly, we will learn specific research-based strategies and scaffolding techniques (with a focus on Orton Gillingham) that integrate phonemic awareness, syllable division, spelling, handwriting, reading comprehension and sentence and paragraph level writing into the content.
Coursework will involve linguistically analyzing a curriculum unit that you are currently teaching your students and then planning how to integrate foundational language and literacy skills into it. You will create a customized instructional blueprint that you will be able to recycle for future units. In addition, you will read critically important research and pedagogical articles, and demonstrate your knowledge of the material through online quizzes, and by communicating in an online forum. You will work at your own pace throughout the semester, but with suggested deadlines from me to keep you on track.
The good news is – what’s good for emergent bilinguals is good for all students. You will graduate from this course armed with the linguistic expertise you need to advance your emergent bilinguals toward academic success!
This course is worth 45 CTLE credits.