TeachME Professional Development

Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners

Introduction

1. While the major emphasis for working with English learners used to be teaching beginning reading according to evidence-based practice, new innovative methods are now focusing on teaching both academic vocabulary and content material across the curriculum in regular classroom instruction.

A. True

B. False


2. Which of the following is NOT one of the four recommendations to emphasize language and literacy so that English learners will be successful in school?

A. Teach a set of academic vocabulary words intensively across several days using a variety of instructional activities

B. Integrate oral and written English language instruction into content-area teaching and provide regular, structured opportunities to develop written language skills

C. Provide opportunities for developing critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills

D. Provide small-group instructional intervention to students struggling in areas of literacy and English language development


Overview of Recommendations

3. In order to integrate oral and written English language instruction into content-area teaching, experts recommend explicitly teaching the content-specific academic vocabulary, as well as the general academic vocabulary that supports it, during content-area instruction.

A. True

B. False


4. When designing small-group instruction, teachers should target students’ identified needs and provide additional instruction in small groups consisting of two to three students per group.

A. True

B. False


Levels of Evidence for Practice Guides

5. In order to receive a strong rating, evidence must demonstrate that strategies, programs, or practices improve student outcomes for a diverse population of students, and there is strong causal and __________ evidence.

A. Substantial

B. Stable

C. Consistent

D. Generalizable


Recommendation 1-Exhibit 1.1. Academic Vocabulary Defined

6. While general academic vocabulary words are those used in writing across many academic disciplines, domain-specific academic vocabulary words are unique to a particular academic discipline.

A. True

B. False


How to Carry Out the Recommendation-Choose a Brief, Engaging Piece of Informational Text

7. Which of the following is NOT recommended when choosing an engaging piece of informational text for intensive academic vocabulary instruction?

A. It should be brief, interesting, and engaging for the students

B. It contains a variety of target academic words to focus on

C. It is written at a grade level that all students can easily understand

D. It connects to a given unit of study and builds the students' knowledge of a topic


Choose a Small Set of Academic Vocabulary for In-Depth Instruction

8. The panel suggests choosing a small set of words, perhaps eight to twelve words from the selected text, for instruction over the course of several lessons, as choosing over twelve words is likely to be counterproductive.

A. True

B. False


9. When choosing words to teach, it is important to pick those that are central to understanding the text, frequently used in the text, appear in other content areas, have cross-language potential, and:

A. Have multiple meanings

B. Are used in language-rich context

C. Can be practiced in writing and speaking

D. All of the above


10. Words that can be altered by adding prefixes and/or suffixes are beneficial because they allow teachers and students to attend to how word parts change a root word's meaning or grammatical form.

A. True

B. False


11. Students' lack of familiarity with words is not always a sufficient reason for selecting words for in-depth instruction, but rather the goal is to choose unfamiliar words that are central to understanding the passage and/or meet the other criteria for selecting words.

A. True

B. False


Teach Academic Vocabulary in Depth Using Multiple Modalities

12. Rather than memorizing definitions or learning about word meanings in an insignificant way, the goal of instruction is for students to understand how the word is typically used, which is known as:

A. Coloring

B. Connotation

C. Nuance

D. Overtone


13. To help students gain a deeper understanding of the target words, it is important to provide student-friendly definitions of the target academic words and apply these definitions to the context of the text.

A. True

B. False


Exhibit 1.4. Word Map

14. Creating a word map is a way to reinforce the word's meaning using concrete representation, and it should include definition, synonyms, antonyms, and:

A. Examples and non-examples

B. Pictures or symbols

C. Characteristics and features of the word

D. None of the above


15. Students should be required to use target academic words in their writing activities, preferably by responding to a prompt that is at least one paragraph long, as research indicates that practice with shorter writing activities does not translate into academic words becoming a part of the students' writing vocabulary.

A. True

B. False


Exhibit 1.8. Sample Session Cycle to Teach a Small Set of Academic Vocabulary Words in Depth

16. Which of the following is NOT one of the strategies that Ms. Hunter uses to teach academic words in depth?

A. Read and discuss text, present academic words, and develop student-friendly definitions of words

B. Provide opportunities to use words when speaking, in sentences, and to understand multiple meanings

C. Use high interest short videos and visuals that contain the vocabulary words

D. Allow students to speak and listen to words and use them in writing


Roadblocks and Solutions

17. Selecting content-rich informational texts to teach academic vocabulary words aligns with the Common Core State Standards that require the use of complex literary nonfiction, historical, scientific, and technical texts in both elementary and middle grades, and should be supported by administration.

A. True

B. False


Recommendation 2

18. With the adoption of Common Core State Standards, students are expected to read, comprehend, and articulate the meaning of increasingly complex informational texts, write opinion pieces justifying their arguments and conclusions by citing evidence from these texts, and:

A. Listen actively to spoken English in a range of social and academic contexts

B. Evaluate how well writers and speakers use language to support ideas and arguments

C. Express information and ideas in formal oral presentations on academic topics

D. Participate in discussions with their peers about issues resulting from their work


How to Carry Out the Recommendation-Strategically use Instructional Tools

19. To anchor instruction and help students make sense of content, the use of visuals such as pictures, experiments, demonstrations, and 3-D models as well as short video clips are recommended.

A. True

B. False


20. Video clips that are between 10-15 minutes long generally recommended to provide necessary background knowledge and raise issues and/or articulate themes to be pursued in the lesson.

A. True

B. False


21. A Venn diagram is a graphic organizer that is used to illustrate the results (effects) of an event or chain of events (cause).

A. True

B. False


22. When students are initially learning how to use a graphic organizer, it is recommended that teachers complete parts of the graphic organizer in advance and have students finish these partially filled organizers based on the material they have read or viewed.

A. True

B. False


Explicitly Teach the Content-Specific Academic Vocabulary

23. To ensure that new words become part of students' listening, speaking, reading, and writing vocabularies, new and previously learned words should be reviewed on a cumulative basis.

A. True

B. False


24. When determining which words should be taught to students explicitly and in depth each of the following should be considered EXCEPT:

A. The bolded words in curricular material are selected by the publisher based on state standards, and therefore should be given priority

B. It is likely that the publisher may not have highlighted many vocabulary words that are conceptually central to comprehending the text and are important for students to know in the future

C. If a teacher or grade-level team member feels that certain words are essential, those words should be targeted for in-depth intensive vocabulary instruction

D. Often the final set of words selected for in-depth instruction will be a mix of the publisher's suggestions and the teacher's or grade-level team's suggestions


25. Students often turn to dictionaries and glossaries that may be well beyond their reading level when they don't know the meaning of the word, which actually helps them increase their proficiency level by improving their comprehension skills.

A. True

B. False


Provide Daily Opportunities for Students to Talk About Content in Pairs or Small Groups

26. As students are working on learning new content, they should be paired or grouped based on _____________ levels of language proficiency.

A. Contrasting

B. Heterogeneous

C. Uniform

D. Homogeneous


27. Opportunities for students to discuss content with their peers should:

A. Occur multiple times daily, although they can be brief

B. Enable them to use a few content-specific vocabulary words to explain a process or to share evidence from the text supporting their opinion

C. Allow them to discuss English language texts in their primary languages, as this flexibility might promote comprehension by giving students a chance to articulate and clarify ideas

D. All of the above


28. Activities such as having students read and discuss short text passages, role-play a word or concept's meaning, or complete a Think-Pair-Share activity, are also very useful for both processing content and practicing language.

A. True

B. False


29. For discussion activities to be productive and successful, teachers must structure and actively monitor the student groups, and provide guidance to facilitate a focused and targeted discussion, while at the same time allowing students to facilitate the discussion whenever possible.

A. True

B. False


Roadblocks and Solutions

30. Since there is not sufficient time to teach all of the content in detail, instructional focus should be on teaching key concepts for understanding the lesson's content, and not on every piece of information contained in the lessons.

A. True

B. False


31. The Common Core State Standards ask that teachers move away from primarily assigning writing projects that rely largely on students':

A. Practice of providing evidence

B. Persuasive abilities

C. Personal reflections and responses

D. Potential to summarize clearly and coherently


How to Carry Out the Recommendation-Provide Writing Assignments That Are Anchored in Content

32. In order to promote development of language skills, writing assignments should have specific objectives related to developing specific English language skills and/or learning target academic vocabulary.

A. True

B. False


33. Consistent use of _______________ that support students as they generate and organize their ideas in preparation for the writing task will help guide them through the entire writing process.

A. Instructional routines

B. Learning tools

C. Informational strategies

D. Grounding mechanisms


Provide Language-Based Supports

34. While native English speakers are generally able to work on their writing assignments using the conventions of academic language, English learners often struggle in this area.

A. True

B. False


35. Sentence starters such as, 'The character I most identify with is...', 'I really got into the story when...', and 'I can relate to this author because...' are used to form interpretations in analytical writing.

A. True

B. False


36. Depending on the instructional emphasis, student collaboration and dialogue can focus on many aspects of written language development, including each of the following EXCEPT:

A. Working on spelling and sentence structure

B. Quick-writes targeting vocabulary acquisition

C. Summarizing argumentative passages

D. Long-term research projects


Assess Students' Writing Periodically

37. Formative assessments can provide insight into the challenges that are common to many children, and regular use of such assessments may be an excellent way to understand how to best support organization and richness of writing.

A. True

B. False


38. As with effective early reading instruction, corrective feedback that is specific, ___________, and followed by further opportunities for practice is likely to foster students' writing development.

A. Constructive

B. Practical

C. Definitive

D. Individualized


Roadblocks and Solutions

39. English learners often make errors in many different aspects of writing, and in order to truly help them, feedback needs to be provided on every aspect of a problematic writing sample, although the feedback doesn't have to be provided all at once.

A. True

B. False


Recommendation 4

40. Small-group instructional interventions for early intervention to support English learners may include instruction in phonemic awareness and decoding skills, listening and reading comprehension, as well as on sophisticated writing and speaking skills.

A. True

B. False


How to Carry Out the Recommendation- Use Available Assessment Information

41. Standardized tests, district benchmark tests, or English language assessments should be used to screen and identify students in need of additional instructional support.

A. True

B. False


Design the Content of Small-Group Instruction to Target Students' Identified Needs

42. Each of the following is an accurate statement about the profiles of struggling English language (EL) learners EXCEPT:

A. In contrast to native English Speakers, a large and disproportionate number of EL learners demonstrate adequate foundational reading skills but struggles with comprehension of grade-level texts

B. Many EL learners are likely to struggle with foundational reading skills, and evidence suggests that they demonstrate difficulties with these skills at a disproportionate rate compared to native English speakers

C. Older students who struggle with comprehension of grade-level texts may also struggle with fluency, particularly at the passage level

D. Students who struggle with foundational reading skills will need interventions devoted to decoding and accurate fluent reading of connected text


Provide Additional Instruction in Small Groups

43. While small, heterogeneous groups are useful when focusing on foundational skills such as phonemic awareness, decoding, fluent reading of connected text, when providing instruction in the areas of writing and oral language, or on listening or reading comprehension tasks, teachers should consider effective ways to group students homogeneously.

A. True

B. False


Students who Struggle with Basic Foundational Reading Skills

44. Planning instructional activities to address both literacy and language needs simultaneously helps make more productive use of instructional time.

A. True

B. False


45. Small-group instructional interventions need to emphasize vocabulary from the perspective of building vocabulary and to develop students' English language skills, although it is not necessary to teach words in depth when the focus is on understanding the text's content rather than on improving vocabulary.

A. True

B. False


46. Writing prompts that require students to respond in a way that will require them to use the English language help determine whether they understand the meaning of the words and also provide an opportunity to build students' ________ language skills.

A. Expository

B. Interpretive

C. Complex

D. Expressive


Provide Scaffolded Instruction that Includes Frequent Opportunities for Students to Practice and Review

47. Breaking a task down into smaller parts may be most essential when teaching complex tasks, such as interpreting textual evidence and connecting ideas.

A. True

B. False


48. Think-alouds may be used to depict how to complete each instructional task, with teachers initially making their thinking processes visible and then gradually providing opportunities to help students perform the same tasks on their own.

A. True

B. False


49. During small-group time, students should have a chance to think about content, practice what they have learned, and ____________ before working with the whole class, as these opportunities will increase their confidence when they share their responses with the larger group.

A. Enhance collaborative dialogue

B. Exchange information

C. Receive feedback

D. Develop fundamental skills


Roadblocks and Solutions

50. The Common Core State Standards provide precise specifications for how students are to acquire foundational reading skills, so teachers will be required to provide time and instruction so these skills can be learned and mastered.

A. True

B. False


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