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Eal strategies booklet

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Follow-up resources for EAL session at Edge Hill University, 21st October 2013.

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Eal strategies booklet

  1. 1. General Strategies Seat the pupil next to a sympathetic friend and if possible someone who speaks the same first language. Frequently provide short lists of key words and vocabulary of immediate application such as names of equipment and provide as much visual support as possible, including all audio-visual aids. Talk clearly and at normal speed and make a point of speaking to the individual in every lesson, using each other‟s names. Involve pupils in collaborative group work. Recognise the use of the first language as it enables pupils to draw on existing subject knowledge and to develop English language skills in context. Encourage them to label diagrams and pictures in their mother tongue. Ensure worksheets are clearly designed with visual clues, diagrams, examples etc. Provide practice in copying sentences with multiple choice answers. Encourage filling in of blanks in sentences or short paragraphs. Complete sentences and sequence sentences Provide simple writing frames Include and emphasise oral/talk activities to maximise the learning potential Activate links to prior knowledge Use multilingual resources When available, make use of bilingual support Multilingual Resources Resources relevant to a topic or ones that relate to his / her culture in the home language will support the student‟s learning. The Internet is a very useful tool for finding such written resources, images and maps. The following are also useful: A taped story in the student‟s home language A book in the student‟s home language (Many local libraries have a small stock of bilingual books in Bangla, Urdu and other community languages) A book, picture, newspaper or poster which reflects the culture or country of the student (particularly in curriculum areas such as Humanities, Religious Studies, Art, Textiles, Food and some areas of Science and Maths)
  2. 2. An artefact Access to bilingual dictionaries help students to both read and write in their home language as well as extending their vocabulary in English. Students (particularly early stage learners) should be encouraged to extend their own glossaries in the home language in all areas of the curriculum. It is a good idea to start with picture dictionaries and extend to more comprehensive ones. There are also many free online bilingual dictionaries such as Collins or oxford dictionaries. These should be used in preference to translating software like google translate which is often inaccurate. How to activate links to prior knowledge It is vital to activate existing knowledge, introducing new vocabulary or reinforcing previously learned / introduced vocabulary when teaching any EAL learners and all strategies involve using a visual element to provide access for bilingual learners. a) Oral Starters Brainstorming: this is elicited from the class / group and draws together students‟ broad area of knowledge. At the beginning of a topic: Science – What do you know about metals? History – Ancient Egyptians – What does the word Egypt mean to you? At the beginning of a lesson: What do you know about liquids? How do we get our fruit and vegetables? Demonstrate on the board, use pictures / projected internet sites, pupils can write a list, a web or a semantic map. b) Visual Starters This might be a picture, diagram, chart or an object to introduce the subject. A cover of a book for prediction or recall. Be careful, especially with beginners, not to assume a knowledge of vocabulary which is not there. A useful strategy is to point to items in the visual starter and to get the students to name the items in their mother language and then to speak and scribe the word to them in English. C) Written Starters These are likely to be in the form of written questions on the board which the teacher reads out. The students may then answer orally while the teacher writes the responses on the board or the students may be asked (depending on their language acquisition) to write the answers down themselves. Quickwrites Pupils working in pairs, write an answer on paper either in English or in their home language. Round Robins Each member of the group writes an answer if they can and passes the paper round the group until everyone has had a chance to write their idea. KWHL Chart What I Know What I want to How am I going to What I have Know find out learned
  3. 3. Students brainstorm what they know about a topic and list their ideas in the first column. They work together to complete the next two columns. As a plenary at the end of the lesson, they fill in the final column. EAL Starters Underline keywords from a passage relating to the lesson Keyword cards Odd one out – place a set of words / sentences which are linked and one that is not Sequencing – put a set of words / numbers on the board (eg. Newt, frog …., 1, 3, 5, ….) and students have to add to the sequence Jumbled words A-Z of a topic – students write out the alphabet in a book and each lesson try to fill in 5 more words for the topic that start with a different letter Making words from a keyword Last letter / first letter – a word is written on the board and students have to think of another word to do with the topic starting with the last letter of the word and so on Learning from display – students write down 5 things they can learn from the classroom display Completing sentences – write 5 half finished sentences about the work from the last lesson on the board and students have to complete them (eg. An igneous rock is formed when ………) Individual tasks – write individual tasks on pieces of paper and give out to each student at the start of the lesson (differentiated for early stage learners). These may be very simple (12 x 2 =) or more challenging (Write down 6 Hindu gods) Bet you can‟t – based on the learning of the last lesson „bet you can‟t remember 5 things we learnt about….‟ etc. Speaking and Listening Strategies These strategies all rely on students working in pairs or small groups so this first section will relate to grouping techniques. The teacher needs to manipulate the grouping procedure to maximise the learning experience. For new arrivals and early stage learners, it is important that they should be placed in a group with a sympathetic friend who speaks their own home language, otherwise they will not be engaged in the task and might even feel threatened.
  4. 4. Roles within the Group It is often useful to allocate roles within a group as this often clarifies the task for the students and keeps them on task. Possible roles are: Chairperson – to keep group at work Record keeper – to keep track of the work Time keeper – to ensure the whole task is covered Spokesperson – to report or speak for the group Random Grouping Mechanical: Students‟ names drawn from a box Birthdays in the same month Different categories of card in a box (colours, animals etc) with a number of cards the same depending on the group sizing required Same height, colour of eyes, colour of hair String pairs: tie half as many pieces of string together (into a loose knot) as the number of people in the group; everyone takes an end; string is untied leaving learners attached to their partner Letters and numbers; cut paper into strips and write a letter on one side d a number on the other; half the learners take a paper strip and memorise the number; the strips are reshuffled and the other half take a strip and memorise the letter; the teacher calls out the pairs by matching the letter to the number eg. A/1, B/2 etc. Language Related: Jumbled words – learners unjumble their word and find another student with the same word Letters of the alphabet matched with pictures of an object which starts with that letter Jumbled words matched with pictures of objects Anagrams Synonyms / antonyms Text jigsaws – cut up a piece of text into 2 or more pieces and the students match their texts to form a text Paragraph pieces – a paragraph is cut up into sentences and students form a group by finding those with sentences about the same topic
  5. 5. Communicative Activities Problem solving – students solve a problem by consensus e.g. Discussing the importance of an idea or a statement or an interpretation of an ambiguous picture Information gap – each student holds part of the information required to complete a task and they need to share this information thus stimulating interactive discussion. Alternatively, student A has all the information and student B has to obtain this information by appropriate questioning Rank ordering – students place a certain number of items from a given list into an order of importance or preference Thinking strategies – students collect different ideas around an issue and then order and evaluate these ideas Jigsaw tasks – the group have several pieces of a text or a picture and they have to fit them together to form a whole Mutual dictation – a short text is cut up either vertically or by alternate lines and the students work as a pair each dictating their half in turn to the other in order to complete the whole text Treasure box – each student brings an object from home and this is placed in a brown paper bag. When a bag is held up, the other students ask questions about it to determine what is in the bag eg. Its shape, colour, size, texture, possible uses etc. What happens next? – the teacher writes a sentence starter for a range of different stories. Each group has to continue the story. After a few minutes, the teacher makes a signal (whistle etc.) and the groups rotate to the next story. They must then add to the already existing story. When all the groups have rotated, the final stories can be read. This exercise works particularly wee using computers when the final stories can be printed out. Reading Strategies The teacher needs to make sure they are clear about the kinds of reading tasks the students will undertake and that appropriate materials have been selected. Preparing students for the reading task Introduce the activity and make clear the purpose of the activity and the skills to be developed Provide a shared experience – film, video, pictures, music, experiment etc. Provide a diagram or flow chart representing the context of the text or the sequence of instructions / events Brainstorm the topic and produce a concept map
  6. 6. Get students to pose questions about the topic which they would like their reading to answer. This is a valuable exercise as it also provides a plenary in that after the reading the students can check to see if their questions have been answered Get students to provide a graphic outline (headings, sub-headings, illustrations0 Picking out key words and getting students to predict what the text will be about Using non verbal clues such as cover and illustrations Looking at the layout features of a text before reading the content Using verbal clues such as title, headings and blurb Using scanning and skimming techniques Introduce new vocabulary, idiomatic and metaphorical language Use a parallel text first Highlight words with more than one meaning Identify expressions that may not be understood Jumble sentences up Supporting students during Reading Students reading aloud Student reading to teacher Stopping after a short while and getting students to predict what will happen Use what / when / where questions to help secure knowledge of sentence structure Ask who or what reference words refer to Model the pronunciation Provide activities which require the student to look for information in the text Discuss language or cultural points Point out features of the text , pictures and diagrams and their style and organisation Explain unfamiliar / new vocabulary Use big books
  7. 7. Students read and discuss texts in small groups Cloze activities Provide „talking‟ books Provide parallel texts Provide chapter summaries, outlines and graphic outlines Processing and Responding to the text Produce visual materials and graphics Use questions and other written responses Use different levels of comprehension questions (literal, interpretive – between the lines, inferences, applied – relate to other knowledge) Students ask / write their own questions Use noting and summarising techniques Get students to change the style of the text Look at sentence structures Retell the text Recall, dramatise or graphically represent the sequence of events Go beyond the text make a display Have a debate / talk Telephone for more information Write letters for various purposes write a newspaper article, pamphlet, review, story, essay Writing Strategies Before starting a writing activity Determine the purpose of the piece of writing Determine the genre Discuss and list vocabulary and key phrases which will be needed
  8. 8. Discuss who the audience will be Help students generate their ideas by letting students of the same heritage work together in their mother tongue. Brainstorm the topic and write the ideas generated on the board – perhaps in a spider diagram Get students to write about the same topic for different audiences In all curriculum areas, decide if writing is the most appropriate response to the activity Ensure the students are familiar with the context and content Pre-writing activities Be explicit about purpose, genre, vocabulary and audience Establish a context for the writing task (eg. Reading a text, viewing a video / film, listening to music / a speaker, going on a trip, doing an experiment etc.) Provide opportunities to discuss the writing task Provide techniques for organising ideas (writing frames, visual charts, outlines, notes etc.) Provide examples of the language needed for the purpose or function of the writing Teach / revise the text types you are expecting students to use Model the kind of writing required Supporting students during writing Focus on meaning and appropriateness Give ongoing feedback Address language difficulties in context Use conference techniques to encourage collaborative writing Maintain a balance between process and product Post-writing Publish / display student writing Give a meaningful response and comprehensive feedback to student writing either written or verbally Consider further developments
  9. 9. EAL Plenaries Ruler Game – Put words relating to the lesson on the board. Split the class into 2 teams with a spokesperson. Give each spokesperson a ruler. As questions are asked, the spokesperson has to run to the board and point to the answer. Whoever is first gains the point. Test at the beginning and end – Start with a test about the leaning objectives and what will be covered in the lesson. At the end of the lesson retest the class using the same questions to shw what they have learnt in the lesson. Paired sharing – Students work in pairs and feed back the key points to the class. Three things – Explain either orally or in written form three things that you have learnt in this lesson. Reduce the lesson to a sentence – Write one sentence to say what the lesson has been about. Read out the sentences. Explain the lesson to a younger brother or sister – Make the explanation understandable to a young person. Active brainstorm – The topic is written on the board and students come out in turn to write one thing they have learnt about the topic. The same thing cannot be written more than once. Bingo – Students write down a set number of key words about the lesson. The teacher then reads off the words that were most important and students tick them off. The first to get all the words wins. “Stop when you think it‟s right” – Write on the board the key things students have been learning. Ask a question and then using a ruler start at the top and slowly move the ruler down. Students should say „Stop‟ when you have got it on the right answer. Peer assessment – Review for group work. Students are given a slip of paper on which they write the names of the people in their work group. They then (including themselves) give each person a mark out of 5 as to how they feel each has contributed to the work. The group then discusses the marks given and the reasons for them. Self assessment – The students give themselves a mark out of 5 and then have to justify it. Mini whiteboards – ask students questions about the lesson and they write the answers on mini whiteboards. When prompted, the students hold up their answers together. Questions to go – Students answer questions about the lesson in order to gain permission to pack up. Letters – A letter is called out to each student in turn and they must either think of a word beginning with that letter which says something about what they have learnt or a sentence that begins with that word which summarises their learning. Keyword hangman – Play hangman with the class as a whole using keywords or new words used in that lesson.
  10. 10. Post it notes – Each student or pair of students is given a post it note on which they write down 3 key things they have learnt in that lesson. The notes are then stuck on the whiteboard and the teacher reads key ones off. Students can look at them and pick out ones that they think are the best. Text summary – Students summarise the key learning in the lesson in the form of a text message. They may work in pairs. Can of worms – Each pair is given a strip of paper on which they write a question about the lesson. These are all put in a container and each pair in turn takes one out and has to try to answer the question. Make what you have been learning about – Students work in small groups to construct a three dimensional representation of what they have been learning about using whatever is available in the class. Each group then explains their model to the rest of the class.