The following questions and answers are based on chapter four of The Crosscultural Language and Academic Development Handbook: A Complete K-12 Reference Guide by Diaz-Rico and Weed.
Answer the following questions:
1. What is the benefit of having standards?
Standards provide educators with directions and strategies to assist English learners. They are organized around goals and usually provide descriptors, progress indicators and classroom vignettes.
2. Why is important to integrate language skills?
It allows one skill to reinforce another, vocabulary to be seen, heard and spoken, and language to convert from receptive to productive and vice versa.
3. What are some of the guided listening techniques?
Listening to repeat utilizes minimal pairs and backward buildup. Both focus on phonemes and not necessarily on meaning.
Listening to understand focuses on tasks that test comprehension and typically involves listening to that students can answer questions, either in true/false, outlining notes, or testing.
Listening for communication focuses active construction of meaning through methodologies such as Total Physical Response which stresses an initial silent period for students. This allows them to receive input in a low anxiety environment until they are comfortable enough to issue their own commands and manipulate the language themselves.
4. What are some techniques teachers can use for improving speaking skills?
Teachers can use guided practice techniques such as dialogues, role-plays, skits. Communicative practice techniques include activities such as guessing games, brainstorming, and story telling. Finally, teachers can use free conversation such as debates, discussion groups, or socializing.
5. What processes are involved in reading?
The processes involved in reading include sound-symbol relationships (graphophonics), word order and grammar (syntax), and meaning (semantics) to predict and confirm meaning, and using background knowledge about the text's topic and structure along with linguistic knowledge and reading strategies to make an interpretation.
6. What is the difference between bottom-up and top-down reading? Is one more important than the other? Explain. (This is from the orientation lecture.)
Top-down reading focuses on whole-language and the meaning it carries. Bottom-up starts with individual sounds, moves to whole words, and then onto
sentences and longer discourse. Both are important to develop and neither is more important than the other. Meaning does carry a special place in communication, but that meaning can often change dramatically because of individual words, sentences and the larger discourse. Therefore, they are both related interdependently and cannot be fully separated.
7. What literacy skills are transferred to the second language?
Several literacy skills have shown transfer to the second language, including concepts about print, print has meaning, reading and writing are used for various purposes, knowledge of text structure, use of semantic and syntactic knowledge, and others.
8. In what ways should you introduce literacy to students who are not literate in their first language?
Literacy should be introduced to low literate students in meaningful ways, demonstrate the link between oral language and print is made as naturally as possible, and allow students to have the opportunity to enjoy reading and writing.
9. How should you approach errors?
Treatment of errors depends on the context. In early development of language, the teacher should focus on meaning and not necessarily correct grammatical issues unless they inhibit communication. However, as learners become older and have a better understanding of learned rules, the teacher can begin mini-lessons that address systematic errors.
10. How should grammar be taught?
Grammar should be taught within a framework of meaningful concepts - themes, topics, areas of student interest - and deals with grammar only as the need arises.