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Supporting Literacy and Language in Your Dual Language/Bilingual K-3 Classroom

Oct 15, 2024
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Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2024

Time: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM ET

Location: Online, via Zoom

Who Should Attend: Grades K-3 teachers and coaches

Cost: $150 per person

This is a day for teachers who draw on both English and Spanish and whose students are developing literacy in both languages. We will make use of decades of work with this population and in dual language, bilingual classrooms, as well as in classrooms filled with speakers of many languages, to help you be ready to understand and respond to your kids’ needs. We’ll especially help you with the nitty gritty of determining what and how to teach. In part, this will involve learning how to think about your data in both languages, about kids’ stages of language development and about reading development. 

Above all, we'll help with your ‘what if’ questions. What if you have students who are literate in Spanish–perhaps who are reading Level H books in Spanish–and yet are very new to English? We will suggest that no, those children probably do not benefit from Level A/B books, with truncated and overly patterned sentences, nor with the decodable texts that are almost nonsensical. We’ll help you think through the books that can assist these children with the language learning they need to be doing–and we’ll show you how to help those emergent English readers to rely on their strengths in Spanish in order to have more success.  

This day will also help you consider ways to support Spanish speakers who have not learned to read in any language, thinking about ways you can tap into those children’s oral language strengths in speaking Spanish, transferring what they know to reading in English. We’ll show you how to notice reading behaviors in one language and then support the transfer to reading in English through small group work and one-on-one conferences. You’ll learn ways to support students with integrating strategic actions in reading, while at the same time developing language.

Multilingual teachers know how important it is to develop language when working with their students. Yet, so often we believe that students who make errors with respect to words need more work on phonics, when really what they need is more work on language and comprehension. We’ll show you how to study the errors students make when reading. Close observation of errors ensures that we center our students in our instructional decisions. 

Of course, another topic of the day will be vocabulary instruction. You’ll learn the kind of vocabulary work that is–and is not–meaningful for MLL’s. We’ll explore how to introduce words in meaningful ways, allowing kids to first encounter words in irresistible books and then helping kids to connect to those words more personally, so that they learn the words for life. We’ll suggest that some words will have more pay-off for MLL’s than others–the word ‘transform’ will  probably be more useful for a language learner than the word ‘chrysalis,’ for example.