Published on March 10, 2014
Understanding the Cultural-Linguistic Divide in American Classrooms: Language Learning Strategies for a Diverse Student Population Professional Journal Article Review By Nadia Afzal
Introduction There are 149 different languages spoken in American Classrooms Students come with different prior knowledge, experiences, level of schooling, and fluency in their native languages Need to employ methods and teaching approaches to teach English Language Learners
Purpose Create awareness on effects of cultural diversity on vocabulary and prior knowledge required for listening, reading, speaking and writing Educate teachers about the different stages of language acquisition for ELLs Equip teacher with different strategies that can be used in each stage to facilitate new language learning experience
How To Educate ELLs Teachers use Asset Model Provide scaffolding for reading instructions Set attainable goals Incorporate student’s culture into curriculum Small group work Explicit instructions High quality vocabulary instructions
Stages of Language Acquisition Pre-Production Early Production Speech Emergence Intermediate Fluency Advanced Fluency
Stage 1: Pre- Production Students are active listeners Students rarely use English Students rely on pictorial and other non- verbal representations
Strategies Total Physical Response Word and Concept Sorts Total Physical Response
Early Production Students feel secure Utter few words or short phrases Students can use simple memorized words correctly but still make errors that hinder understanding Open ended questions should help students recall prior experience
Strategy Interactive word wall Picture and sentence Match Interactive Word Wall
Stage: 4 Speech Emergence Students gain confidence and language skills May still have limited vocabulary and command on language May still be able to understand stock phrases and academic language highly familiar to them
Strategies Dual Language Alphabet or Concept Books Schema Stories Schema Stories
Stage: 4 Intermediate Fluency Students may be able to read with considerable fluency student will be able to locate specific facts within texts Grade-level literacy still pose challenges due to complex nature of sentence structures and different vocabulary meanings Student’s oral and written work becomes almost like native speakers
Strategies Student Self- Monitoring The K-W-L Chart K-W-L Chart
Stage: 5 Advanced Fluency Students can take several years to reach from intermediate stage to advanced fluency stage Students have built strong vocabulary Students have hold on synonyms, inflections, and academic content
Strategies Closed-Captioning Television Foreign Films with English Subtitles
Reference Holmes, K. P., Rutledge, S., & Gauthier, L. (2009). Understanding the Cultural-Linguistic Divide in American Classrooms: Language Learning Strategies for a Diverse Student Population. Reading Horizons, 49(4), 285-300.
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