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Using Montessori Multi-Sensory Approaches in ESL Literacy Education

Multi-sensory methods based on Montessori pedagogy used in Adult Education ESL literacy classes can help adult refugees and immigrants with low education levels build English literacy and numeracy skills. This is a .pdf version of a Mac Keynote presentation given at Illinois TESOL & Bilingual Education (ITBE) Annual Convention 2014.

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Using Montessori Multi-Sensory Approaches in ESL Literacy Education

  1. 1. Using Montessori Multi-Sensory Approaches in ESL Literacy Education Gail Grigg Adult Education ESL Instructor Black Hawk College 1Monday, March 10, 14
  2. 2. Competency-Based Curriculum, Assessment, & Instruction Life skills necessary for individuals to be functionally competent members of their community, their family, and the workforce • Basic Communication • Health • Employment • Consumer Economics • Community Resources • Government/Law • Learning & Thinking Skills • Independent Living • Math 2Monday, March 10, 14
  3. 3. Content Standards • Based on instructional level • Reading skills assessed formally for state reporting (BEST Literacy or CASAS) • Integration of all four language skills in curriculum 3Monday, March 10, 14
  4. 4. Adult ESL Literacy Population • preliterate, nonliterate, semiliterate in L1 • no, limited or interrupted formal education • used to passing and receiving information orally, not throught print 4Monday, March 10, 14
  5. 5. Adult ESL Literacy Population • no formal contact with print • cannot take notes or study from a book outside of class as an aid to memory and for self-study • may need motor skills practice in holding pencils • may need training and support in handling and tracking information in books and paper books • may not recognize pictorial respresentation 5Monday, March 10, 14
  6. 6. Indirect Assessment of Numeracy and Basic Math Some of the functional English language skills formally assessed incorporating numbers or basic math: • personal information • area codes/phone numbers • ID cards • work time cards • store hours • dates • basic housing application • prices • checks/money orders • clothing sizes 6Monday, March 10, 14
  7. 7. Linguistic Focus • adresse = 302 W. 3rd Street (address in French) • sünnikuupäev = 9/17/70 (date of birth in Estonian, non- Indo-European language) • 電話號碼 = (386) 747 - 0055 (telephone number in Chinese, non-Indo-European language and non-alphabetic written form) Adult ESL classes orient on language acquisition. Students with literacy in the L1 may face greater or lesser challenges with learning English based on such factors as whether the L1 written code is alphabetic or how closely the language is related to English in the Indo- European language family. 7Monday, March 10, 14
  8. 8. Decimal PlaceValue Circle October 31. Many Adult ESL Literacy students have limited to no formal education, so they may also struggle with basic numeracy concepts such as base 10 and recognizing place value as well as the function of zero as a place holder for decimal categories. 8Monday, March 10, 14
  9. 9. Decimal PlaceValue How much money? 9Monday, March 10, 14
  10. 10. Montessori Math • multi-sensory • concrete, literal presentation of abstract mathematical concepts • A scaffold to symbolic abstraction While conventional wisdom would have us use realia in ESL literacy classes such as the “play” dollars, we must also consider how the realia itself can be rather symbolic and abstract. Notice that greenbacks look remarkably similar whether $1, $10, or $100. The golden beads in the photo demonstrate a clear materialized abstraction of the relative base ten values of units/tens/hundreds. We want to guide students in understanding the underlying value of the realia symbol through the use of materials that give very concrete numeric concepts. 10Monday, March 10, 14
  11. 11. Concept of Decimal System Montessori approaches to numeracy move from concrete to symbolic. Start with the bead material, naming orally the values (“This is a unit/ten/hundred/thousand.”) Show how ten units make one ten, how 10 tens make 1 hundred, etc. Move into Total Physical Response (“Point to the unit. Bring me the hundred.”) You ideally have a number of pieces for each decimal category so you can then ask students the following TPR commands: “Bring me 3 thousands. Give 4 hundreds and 5 tens to your neighbor”. etc. Eventually, we want students to begin to name the categories and the quantities in the base ten categories for themselves: “What is it?” (2 thousands) “What is it?” (4 hundreds and 5 tens) etc. 11Monday, March 10, 14
  12. 12. Introduction to Symbols Only AFTER much practice with the bead base ten material do you introduce the symbols/ numerals. (“This is a unit/ten/hundred/thousand.”) Notice that the cards are laid out showing the units have no zeros, tens have one zero, hundreds two zeros and thousands three zeros. We want to draw students attention to this feature of how many zeros per category. Also, notice that the categories are color coded. This helps students to visually distinguish and draws on more channels for classifying the categories of base ten. The color categorizing is kept for some time with students to help them notice and distinguish the base ten values. Move into Total Physical Response (“Point to the unit. Bring me the hundred.”) You ideally have a number of pieces for each decimal category so you can then ask students the following TPR commands: “Bring me 3 thousands. Give 4 hundreds and 5 tens to your neighbor”. etc. Eventually, we want students to begin to name the categories and the quantities in the base ten categories for themselves: “What is it?” (2 thousands) “What is it?” (4 hundreds and 5 tens) etc. 12Monday, March 10, 14
  13. 13. Formation of Numbers Eventually, we want to combine the use of the concrete materials with the numeric symbols. We can give the numeric tickets and, again using the TPR method, say,“Bring me this amount.” The student must then read the numeric symbol and bring the corresponding bead materials. This can also be flipped by giving the students the bead material and asking them to bring back the ticket(s) representing that amount. 13Monday, March 10, 14
  14. 14. Zero and PlaceValue 14Monday, March 10, 14
  15. 15. Life Skills (Rent) Two of my students knew how much their rents were ($900/mo. and $250/ mo.), but by using the manipulative material, they could better notice and compare their respective monthly rents. Incidentally, this comparison of rent activity prompted some lively discussion discussion amongst students on cost of rent, landlords, public assistance, etc. 15Monday, March 10, 14
  16. 16. Life Skills (Rent) Only once the students have worked a lot with the beads and number cards do we move into number words. Again, these are color-coded, correlating to the numeral cards. After some time repeating the TPR sequences and students working on the word cards as sight words, we can start applying to real life, such as checks or money orders. 16Monday, March 10, 14
  17. 17. Linear Counting 1,2,3,…11, 12, 13,…38, 39, 40,…61, 62… 17Monday, March 10, 14
  18. 18. Teens: Symbol 18Monday, March 10, 14
  19. 19. Tens:Association 19Monday, March 10, 14
  20. 20. Skip Counting by 2s, 5s, 10s and 100s 20Monday, March 10, 14
  21. 21. Montessori Numeracy Work Applied to Life Skills • Students more successful finding pages in their textbooks • Writing street number names/phone numbers/zip codes/ dates with greater awareness and accuracy (less omission/incorrect number order) • Reading dollars and prices more accurately • Beginning basic addition using decimal categories 21Monday, March 10, 14
  22. 22. Montessori Numeracy Work Applied to Life Skills 22Monday, March 10, 14
  23. 23. Montessori Numeracy Work Applied to Life Skills 23Monday, March 10, 14
  24. 24. Montessori Numeracy Work Applied to Life Skills 24Monday, March 10, 14
  25. 25. Vocabulary: Classified Cards 25Monday, March 10, 14
  26. 26. Classified Cards: “Weather” 26Monday, March 10, 14
  27. 27. Classified Cards • Using visuals and oral language without print. • Opportunities to build vocabulary, listening, speaking skills first (important for low L1 literacy students) • Cut/laminate images from color picture dictionary or teacher/student generated photos. • Discuss the pictures to see what students know/ don’t know already. Separate cards based on this for further practice and review using teacher naming/total physical response (point to...)/student naming of vocabulary. 27Monday, March 10, 14
  28. 28. Three Period Lesson 1. This is “windy”. This is “foggy”. 2. Point to “windy”. Point to “foggy”. 3. What is it? (windy/foggy) 28Monday, March 10, 14
  29. 29. Reading Classification Noticing and identifying words in print comes AFTER much oral language practice. windy foggy snowing sunny 29Monday, March 10, 14
  30. 30. Sound Game (Use same onset/different rime to begin) i.e. cat/crayon/ coin/carrot. When possible with low literacy students, use realia or 3D representations before moving to 2D/print images. Introduce initial sounds with vocabulary students have already learned orally. 30Monday, March 10, 14
  31. 31. Sound Game 1. Beginning sounds: cat crayon coin carrot 2. Ending sounds: fan crayon coin woman 3. Medial sounds: hat tag man cap 4. Give sound and look at environment for items with that sound (ex: /l/) anywhere within the word: table ball light blinds 5. Give known word and students attend to all the sounds: /b/ /e/ /l/ for “bell” The focus here is still on aural recognition of sounds vs. print/phonics-based reading, blending, etc. 31Monday, March 10, 14
  32. 32. Sound, Symbol & Writing Non-literate adults generally want to move away from materials like sandpaper letters quickly, but they still need support with fine motor skill development in their writing. We still want to provide materials that give strong tactile feedback to students. Options include a slate with chalk or thick crayons or pencils on paper that has a “nap” or texture to it--think, for instance, construction paper texture over printer paper texture. 32Monday, March 10, 14
  33. 33. Sound, Symbol & Writing 33Monday, March 10, 14
  34. 34. Sound, Symbol & Writing Later, you may want to introduce the earlier sandpaper sequence to common English digraphs. 34Monday, March 10, 14
  35. 35. Moveable Alphabet ba bag ba bad ba bam ba bat ba ban bad mad man tan tag sag sat m g t s n b a bat man tag bag 1. 2. 3. 35Monday, March 10, 14
  36. 36. • Point to “bag”,“pen”, “sand”,“insect”, “basket”. • What is it? (bag, pen, sand, insect, basket) pen bag insect sand basket sh sham shag ash gash mash was the are • Use moveable alphabet with digraphs, using a different color for the sound/spelling focus. • Use with sight words (one color). Moveable Alphabet 36Monday, March 10, 14
  37. 37. Names (Nouns) Actions (Verbs) We can build awareness for word functions. For instance, we can give an impression of words that name persons/places/things. Names are stable, they last for many many years in a culture. So nouns are like mountains. Some words are action words--they have energy, like our sun. By telling little stories, drawing analogies, and showing images, we can make connections that “stick” for ESL literacy students. We draw on students’ concrete life experiences of nature and culture to make connections to abstract language concepts such as parts of speech. We can reinforce these channels with “materialized abstractions” in the classroom environment. After making connections of nouns to mountains or verbs to the sun, we can show an origami black pyramid and a red rubber ball that bounces. These can live in the classroom and serve as visual/tactile reminders of abstract linguistic concepts. Functions of Words (Parts of Speech) 37Monday, March 10, 14
  38. 38. Function of Words student rice Myanmar walk eat speak Use of grammar symbols such as the black triangle or red circle creates opportunities for visual and kinesthetic channels to be reinforced in support of grasping abstract grammar concepts. Students can use word or picture cards they know and classify according to word function (name or action?) Student discover that some words can be both! can phone 38Monday, March 10, 14
  39. 39. Oral Introduction to Word Functions Bring me a pencil. That is a pencil, but not the one I want. Bring me a yellow pencil. Example of oral intro to adjective (words that tell “what type of...?”) We want to give a lot of oral practice with the concept of the word function or part of speech we are introducing. Here, make certain that you give TPR commands for students to find/retrieve people or things that are within the learning environment to ensure the function of describing words, words that tell us “what kind?” are visual, tactile, kinesthetic, aural, etc. We want them to have a sensorial experience of adjectives. Make sure there is two of something (in this case, pencils) with variation or contrast. Whichever object (pencil) the student chooses the first time, make sure you tell them you want a different pencil (see the wording above in the pencil example.) 39Monday, March 10, 14
  40. 40. Function of Words “Grammar Boxes” or “Grammar Pocket Charts” activity Materials: 1. 3 to 4 Bigger cards with 2 or 3 phrases or sentences (example shown is with noun phrases in which the only change is the adjective--the cards isolate student attention on adjectives. 2. Smaller cards color coded for part of speech with the individual words from all the bigger cards. These little cards are arranged in stacks according to parts of speech as in illustration. 3. A grammar box--this can be made from box lids with cardboard separators, word wall pocket charts, or file folder with spaces for particular card types designated. by color or term (depending on the students). Purpose: 1. Building awareness of word functions/parts of speech using multiple modalities. 2. Reading/listening practice (word recognition/word matching) **a student not yet an emergent reader but with some English listening skills can be paired with a student who is an emerging reader of English for this activity--Can also be used with paired higher level ESL literacy students (reading some familiar words/simple sentences) 40Monday, March 10, 14
  41. 41. Function of Words Can you find the little cards? Can you go get that? Can you read the first phrase on this card? Pull down a large card. Students can read the large card. Then they find the matching little word cards, coded for parts of speech. Then they do the action from the phrase (in this example, they go get a red book.) red 41Monday, March 10, 14
  42. 42. Function of Words Can you find that little card? Can you go get that object? Can you read the first phrase on this card? Students read the second phrase. Ask what word has changed (only one will have changed--in this example the adjective). They find the little card for that (here,“black”). Then they do the action from the phrase (now they go get a black book.) What word has changed? 42Monday, March 10, 14
  43. 43. Function of Words 3. Which word tells you which book or what kind of book? We can place a symbol for that. (first time) Can you place a symbol for that? (later times) The teacher can show the students symbols to associate with parts of speech. Notice that the symbols for articles and adjectives are similar to the noun but smaller and lighter in color. This provides a visual for students to see the relationship of words in noun phrases. The retrieving of the red book and later the black book kinesthetically reinforces the concept that adjectives tell “what kind of _____”. 1. Which word tells you the name of something? We can place a symbol for that. (first time) Can you place a symbol for that? (subsequent times) 2. Which word tells one particular object or one of many? We can place a symbol for that. (first time) Can you place a symbol for that? (later times) 43Monday, March 10, 14
  44. 44. Noun Phrase (Noun “Family”) We can connect abstract language concepts like “noun phrases” to more familiar contexts for our students, such as family life. If the students have some oral/listening skills in English, we can use a visual and tell a story about the “noun family” something like this: When we use a noun, many times there is an article with it. Usually an article and a noun go together just like a mother and a baby (NB to teacher: this does not apply with proper nouns or indefinite plural nouns). We can think of these words as a family. We can see the adjective is also part of the noun family. The adjective is sometimes present, and sometimes it is not. Sometimes we can say, “the book”, and there is no adjective. But maybe we can say “the red book” and there we are using a word that tells what kind of book or which book (an adjective). The adjective is not as close to its mother. Sometimes it goes out with its friends and does other things. The article, noun and adjective are considered the noun family. Notes Through visuals and charts such as the above, we help children see the relationship and connection between these three parts of speech. The chart with its story reinforce the triangle symbolic representation for these parts of speech. This, in turn, helps to create “hooks” for students with low levels of formal education to grasp abstract grammar concepts. 44Monday, March 10, 14
  45. 45. Another Story about the Noun Family &Verb Show chart and tell the following story: We can see how the verb is giving energy in this chart. The verb energizes the noun family, so the verb shines on the family of the noun. It is because we have a verb that we can have a sentence. WIthout a verb, we cannot have a sentence. NB: This is what we may want to show the students after a certain point to emerging and early readers-a verb is necessary to have a sentence. 45Monday, March 10, 14
  46. 46. Language Experience Approach Hari says a prayer. We can use student oral language, transcribe it, and then use the students’ oral language for literacy activities. Often, students like to share their culture and life experiences in the classroom. We can encourage that sharing. For example, my Hindu Nepali students were having a holiday one week and I found some images on Google that I thought they could comment on and would make good LEA prompts. Once I transcribe their words, I may use their words later for reading or grammar work. Below, I wrote a student’s sentence about her husband on a strip of paper. For sentence analysis, I may use strips of adding maching paper--It is a good size for the following: 46Monday, March 10, 14
  47. 47. Reading Analysis/Sentence Analysis While function of words work focuses attention on parts of speech, the above manipulatives help students focus on parts of sentences. This work would be for once students are already early readers. Using their own words and stories can be helpful in devising simple sentences. 47Monday, March 10, 14
  48. 48. 1.“What is the action?” (“says”) 2.“Who is it that says?” or “What is it that says?” (“Hari”) 3.“Hari says what?” (“a prayer.”) On the back side of the black arrows are the language terms for the function questions. After much practice and depending on the student’s ability, you may try introducing the terms “subject”,“verb/predicate”, and “direct object”. 48Monday, March 10, 14
  49. 49. who is it that?what is it that? whom? what? who is it that? what is it that? Januka Durga and read. Januka and Durga read. Simple sentence with compound subject. Examples of other sentence structures: 49Monday, March 10, 14
  50. 50. who is it that?what is it that? whom? what? who is it that? what is it that? Dhan Ma Puh cooks chicken and rice. and reads Dhan reads and writes. Simple sentence with compound verb. writes. Simple sentence with compound direct object. who is it that? what is it that?Ma Puh cooks whom? what? chicken and rice. 50Monday, March 10, 14
  51. 51. whom? what? to whom? to what? where? how? by means of whom? by means of what? when? why? from whom? from what? by whom? by what? what for? with whom? with what? who is it that? what is it that? Hari says a prayer every day at home. For more advanced literacy students who continue making progress in ESL classes, the Montessori simple sentence/ reading analysis work can continue to include adverbial and adjectival extensions. 51Monday, March 10, 14
  52. 52. DIRECT OBJECTSUBJECT PLAC Hari says at home. TIME every day PREDICATE a prayer. This sentence has SVO simple sentence structure with adverbial extensions of place and time. 52Monday, March 10, 14
  53. 53. Conclusion Montessori approaches to numeracy, language, and literacy can tap multiple learning modalities: visual, aural, tactile and kinesthetic, taking advantage of multiple learning channels. For students with limited formal education, low L1 literacy, and little experience with textbook-based learning, Montessori-inspired materials embody “materialized abstractions” that students can literally manipulate. 53Monday, March 10, 14
  54. 54. Resources: Montessori • www.infomontessori.com/mathematics • www.infomontessori.com/language • www.montessoricommons.cc • www.alisonsmontessori.com • Materials supplier (including golden base 10 beads) • Montessori Read & Write by Lynne Lawrence • Basic Montessori: Learning Activities by David Gettman • Teaching Montessori in the Home: Pre-SchoolYears by Elizabeth Hainstock • Teaching Montessori in the Home: SchoolYears by Elizabeth Hainstock Resources: ESL Literacy • ESL Literacy Network at BowValley College, Calgary,AB at www.esl-literacy.com (online portal specifically for ESL literacy--offers articles, downloadables, and webinars) • www.eyeonliteracy.com (ESL teachers who have created beautiful visual/picture books for adult ESL literacy) • www.tacomacommunityhouse.org (go to downloadable materials link--there are several excellent downloadable teaching handbooks on ESL adult literacy--all free!) 54Monday, March 10, 14
  55. 55. Appendix • Montessori Function of Words Symbols and Key Questions. • Montessori Sentence Analysis templates • Montessori Movable Alphabets Templates • Montessori Decimal Cards • see the Resources page for more how-to’s or materials distributors 55Monday, March 10, 14
  56. 56. Word Function/Parts of Speech Symbols and Key Function Questions Article: Which word tells you a particular one or one of many? Noun: Which word tells you the name of a person, place, thing or idea? Adjective:Which word tells you which one or what kind of? Pronoun: Which word can be used instead of the name of a person, place, thing or idea? Verb: Which word tells you the action or what to do? Preposition: Which word tells you the relationship between two things (**start with spatial prepositions first). Adverb: Which word tells you how to do an action? Conjunction: Which word connects two or more ideas together? Interjection: Which word helps you to express feelings? article noun adjective pronoun verb adverb preposition conjunction interjection 56Monday, March 10, 14
  57. 57. Sentence Analysis: Function Questions 57Monday, March 10, 14
  58. 58. Sentence Analysis:Terms 58Monday, March 10, 14
  59. 59. aeiou bcdfg hjklm npqrs tvwxy z 59Monday, March 10, 14
  60. 60. aeiou bcdfg hjklm npqrs tvwxy z 60Monday, March 10, 14
  61. 61. aeiou bcdfg hjklm npqrs tvwxy z 61Monday, March 10, 14
  62. 62. 9000900909 8000800808 7000700707 6000600606 5000500505 4000400404 3000300303 2000200202 1000100101 62Monday, March 10, 14

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