Happy Friday Teachers of Emergent Bilinguals! This week, we’re on to Step 2 of a lesson plan template for phonics for emergent bilinguals: Introducing new information.
Last week, I showed you the first step: review. The lesson is meant to take approximately 20 minutes. You can choose to do this either two to three times a week in a stand-alone ENL class, or as part of an ELA block in a small group setting (although K-2 teachers could use this as a model for daily phonics lessons).
how does phonics instruction need to be differentiated for emergent bilinguals?
In my first post in this series, I wrote about some of the challenges for emergent bilinguals when it comes to learning the sound-symbol correspondences of written English. If phonics is the explicit instruction of sounds to symbols in written language, then students need to have a minimum inventory of sounds in their oral English to be able to relate it to a symbol. By minimum, I mean that they have at least emerging oral communication skills, and are able to make some sense of spoken language by learning more and more vocabulary.
if your students are brand new – stop here and teach them theme-based vocabulary with sentence stems to develop oral language! see and copy this lesson plan for your classroom.
For emergent bilinguals who are ready for reading, vocabulary learning needs to be incorporated into the phonics lesson as a scaffold. In the review part of the lesson, we can include pictures on the sound cards to help our learners remember the sound to a word to a picture. Before or after reading a word list, we can target certain words, include pictures, and ask students to use them orally in sentence. For spelling/dictation, we can give them a word to spell below a picture. All these scaffolds ensure that they are not just learning symbols and blending sounds, but also the meanings of words.
Phonics for emerging bilinguals: Introducing new information
Now that we have gone through a quick 5-8 minute review of previous learning, we want to teach our students the objective of this lesson and model it for them:
“Students, today we are going to learn a new vowel team. A vowel team is (usually) two letters that make one sound! Our new vowel team today is oa. Oa makes the long /ō/ sound as in boat. Sat it with me! /ō/ like boat. Let’s tap out the sounds in boat on our fingers or desks: /b/ /ō/ /t/. Let’s spell boat on the board:
Notice my Elkonin boxes so students get a visual representation of a vowel team. It only gets one box because it has one sound! Notice also my little boat drawing for vocabulary comprehension!
Now, we’re going to choose between 4-6 new words (depending on how much time you have) and have students read them as a list:
Reinforce that oa makes the /ō/ sound and have students tap out one or two words for more phonemic awareness practice. Scaffold for emergent bilinguals: Can someone use the word coast in a sentence? Having some pictures here is also helpful (after they’ve read the words – we want them to decode first and not guess from the picture).
See these resources for choosing words for this purpose.
Megawords 1 for multisyllabic words (for purchase)
Next, sentence reading: Student practice reading between 3-5 decodable sentences for fluency
The frog is croaking.
Their boat is in the bay.
Put on your coat – it’s cold!
This is hard, because unless you’re following a scripted phonics curriculum like Fundations or Wilson with all the materials, you’ll have to make up your own sentences. But again, once you’ve done this ground work, you will reuse all your word lists and sentences. Simply pick three words and come up with simple sentences like above that only include elements like syllable types, suffixes, or sight words that you’ve already taught!
For example, in the above sentences, my students are already familiar with closed syllables containing short vowels like frog, the sight words the, is their, your, put, and it’s, the vowel team ay in bay, and the closed syllable exception old in cold. In other words, these sentences are to practice reading fluency – I’m only giving them symbols that they’re already familiar with, plus the new symbol oa.
If my students read these with hesitation or stumble, I may model pronunciation, and have them repeat after me; or, I may ask them to read more than once. I want to be sure that they can not only read the new symbol oa in isolated words, but that they can incorporate it into sentences.
That’s it! We’re done with step 2 of phonics for emerging bilinguals: Introducing new information!
Well, almost 🙂 In next week’s post, I want to show you how to wrap this lesson up with dictation of words and sentences and why reading and spelling are two sides of the same coin.
Enjoy your weekend teachers and we’ll talk again next week. As always, leave any questions or comments below!