Teaching Reading and Writing to esol/Bilingual Students Part I (Education 625) Course Description

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Fall 2001 shin@umbc.edu

Sarah Shin ACIV 417


Teaching Reading and Writing to ESOL/Bilingual Students Part I

(Education 625)
Course Description:

This course is the first of a two-part series on theories, methods, and techniques for teaching reading and writing to students with limited English proficiency, with a special focus on emergent literacy and developing literacy in multicultural classrooms. In this course, MSDE Reading Standards from both the Elementary and Secondary levels will be addressed. Students will demonstrate knowledge of theories of reading and writing instruction, brain research and language acquisition, early and emergent literacy including word analysis, components of a comprehensive literacy program, and assessment (3 semester credits)

Required Texts:

Franklin, E. ed. (1999). Reading and writing in more than in one language: Lessons for teachers. Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

Peregoy, S. F. and Boyle, O.F. (2001). Reading, writing, & learning in ESL: A resource book for K-12 teachers (3rd ed.). New York: Longman.

Vacca, J.A., Vacca, R.T. and Gove, M.K. (2000). Reading and learning to read (4th ed.). New York: Longman.

Course Objectives:

  • Identify reading process theories.

  • Understand instructional belief systems that embody phonics and whole language perspectives.

  • Articulate reading-related brain research findings and identify ways to adapt instruction accordingly.

  • Discuss and model strategies that encourage integration of reading, writing, listening, and speaking
  • Identify the elements of a balanced literacy program

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the alphabetic principle, graphophonemic awareness and knowledge and cueing systems

  • Demonstrate knowledge of strategies for facilitating word recognition including cumulative letter-by-letter analysis, analogy, and context.

  • Discuss the role of students’ primary language/dialect in reading and writing and the effect of literacy traditions from home and community

  • Understand the role of the immigrant family and community in developing children’s literacy in two languages.

  • Understand how process writing helps English learners

  • Explore ways to utilize cooperative groups (e.g. response groups, peer editing groups) to promote better writing and overall language development

  • Become familiar with a range of assessments related to assessing reading interests, comprehension and fluency.

  • Understand how assessments can be used to inform instruction.

Course Overview:

  1. History of reading and writing instruction

    1. The Reading Wars: Phonics and whole language

    2. The alphabetic principle and learning to read

    3. Schema theory and reading comprehension

    4. Metacognition and learning

    5. Bottom-up and top-down models of reading

  2. Balanced literacy program

    1. Skills based vs. whole language curriculum

    2. Phonics

    3. Basal reading

    4. Language experience

    5. Integrated language arts

    6. Literature-based

    7. Technology-based

  3. Brain research

    1. Brain research and reading pedagogy
    2. Developing a broad range of skills and interests

    3. Sensory stimulation

    4. Critical periods in the acquisition of abilities

    5. The role emotion in learning

  4. Relationships between oral and written language

    1. Describing oral language performance of English learners

    2. Second language oral proficiency of English learners

    3. Songs, drama, poetry, choral reading

  5. Integration of reading, writing, speaking, and listening

    1. Readers/writers workshop

    2. L1 and L2 reading and writing processes

    3. Dialogue journals

    4. Peer and group conferencing

    5. Process-based writing

  6. Emergent literacy

    1. Emergent literacy vs. Reading readiness

    2. Children’s development of writing

    3. Invented spelling

    4. Creating literate environments (e.g. literacy play centers)

    5. Language experience

    6. Big books

    7. Interactive reading and writing

    8. Assessing phonemic awareness

  7. Word identification

    1. Developmental stages in word recognition

    2. Strategies for teaching phonics

    3. Decoding by analogy

    4. Teaching initial consonants, consonant blends, digraphs, final consonants

    5. Teaching short & long vowels, diphthongs, r-controlled vowels

    6. Teaching inflectional endings, syllabication, compound words, prefixes, and suffixes

    7. High frequency and function words
    8. Using context to identify words (e.g. Cloze passages)

  8. Using literature to teach reading and writing

    1. Reader response logs

    2. Levels of questioning

    3. Directed reading thinking activity (DR-TA)

    4. Building vocabulary and concept development

  9. Basal reading approach

    1. History of basal reading programs

    2. Guided reading (Silent and Oral)

    3. Selecting and evaluating reading materials

    4. Adapting reading materials for ESOL students

  10. Reading and writing assessment

    1. Informal Reading Inventory ( IRI)

    2. Miscue analysis

    3. Portfolios

    4. Student self-evaluation

    5. Using assessment to inform instruction

Course Requirements:

  1. Read all of the assignments and actively participate in class discussions.

  2. Complete all writing assignments on assigned dates and be prepared to share these with others in class.

  3. Develop a group lesson plan/unit incorporating reading and writing methods and techniques learned in this course and teach a portion of it to the class during last two weeks of the course (More information on this will be provided in class).

  4. Complete a take-home final exam.

  5. Develop a Reading and Writing Portfolio that represents your understanding of the teaching of reading and writing to ESOL/Bilingual students (More information on how to put this together will be provided in class).


Class participation 20%

Reading and Writing Portfolio 60%

Weekly writing assignments 40%
Lesson plan/unit 20%

Final exam 20%

Total 100%

EDUC 625 Sarah Shin

FALL 2001 Office: ACIV #417 (410) 455-2485





Sept. 4 Introduction to the course and participants

Personal experiences with reading and writing (instruction)

Getting started with writing


Sept. 11 Historical review of reading and writing instruction

What is reading?

Purposes of reading/writing


Reading assignment:

VVG – Chapters 1: Knowledge and beliefs about reading

Pearson, P. David & Stephens, Diane. (1994). Learning about literacy: A 30-year journey. In R.B. Ruddell, M.R. Ruddell, & H. Singer (Eds.), Theoretical models and processes of reading (pp. 22-42). Newark, Delaware: International Reading Association.
Writing assignment:

Develop a Reading Autobiographical Narrative (Refer to Figure 1.1 on p.14 in VVG for instructions).


Sept. 18 Comprehensive Literacy Program

Connections between reading and writing

Differences in instructional approaches and philosophies

Skills-based vs. whole language curriculum
Reading assignment:

Bowler, Mike (2001). Bold reading reforms bog down in colleges. The Baltimore Sun, May 13.

VVG – Chapter 2: Balanced instruction
Writing assignment: Do either #1 or #2 below.

1) What are the components of a comprehensive literacy program and why is it important to maintain a balance in your instructional approaches? Refer to your own experiences as a reader and a teacher as well as the experiences of others you know.


2) Interview either a teacher who uses a mainly whole language curriculum, or a teacher who uses a mainly skills-based curriculum and find out whether and how the teacher encourages children who don’t want to read or have difficulty reading. Describe how the teacher keeps track of what each child is reading and the child’s reading progress. How does the teacher encourage children to respond to what they read?


Sept. 25 Interpreting Brain research

Developmentally appropriate instruction

Enriching the learning environment

The role of emotion in learning
Reading assignment:

Greenleaf, Robert. (2000). Developing language: The science behind learning to read. American Language Review. May/June, pp. 32-33.

Wolfe, Pat & Brandt, Ron. (November, 1998). What do we know from brain research? Educational Leadership. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Bruer, John T. (November, 1998). Brain science, brain fiction. Educational Leadership. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

D’Arcangelo, Marcia D. (November, 1998). The brains behind the brain. Educational Leadership. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Writing assignment:

Summarize the arguments advanced in the articles on brain research and discuss how they have informed your practice of teaching reading and writing to ESOL students. Discuss why it is important for educators to be critical consumers of brain research.


Oct. 2 Second language proficiency of English learners

Strategies for promoting oral language development in the classroom

Amount of teacher talk vs. student talk

The role of L1 on L2 literacy development

Observing students’ oral language development

Reading assignment:

PB – Chapter 4: Oral language development in second language acquisition

Franklin – Chapter 4: Achieving literacy through multiple meaning systems.

Writing assignment:

Write a narrative about your experience in reading and writing in a second language and how it is different from/similar to reading and writing in your first language. Discuss areas of special difficulty for second language learners in dealing with written texts. What are the implications of your experiences for teaching reading and writing in a second language to others? What might a successful second language reading and writing assignment look like?


Oct. 9 Integrating the four skills

Creating a literate classroom community

Readers/Writers Workshop

L1 and L2 writing processes

Dialogue journals
Reading Assignment:

PB – Chapter 6: English learners and process writing.

Franklin – Chapter 2: The everyday surprise: Nourishing literacy in classroom environments.

Franklin – Chapter 6: The fiction writing of two Dakota boys.

Gee, Roger W. (1996). Reading/writing workshops for the ESL classroom. TESOL Journal, 5(3), 4-9.
Writing Assignment:
Discuss ways in which you might create a community of readers and writers in your class. Why would you want to achieve that? Suppose a more traditional ESOL teacher asks you these questions. How would you answer them? Discuss ways in which this community would embrace cultural and linguistic diversity.

Oct. 16 Emergent literacy

Early reading behaviors and trends in literacy development

The alphabetic principle and the development of phonemic awareness

Sociocognitive theories of language development (Piaget, Vygotsky, Schema theory)

Invented spelling

Reading assignment:

VVG – Chapter 3: Early literacy: From birth to school.

VVG – Chapter 4: Inviting beginners into the literacy club.

PB – Chapter 5: Emergent literacy: English learners beginning to write and read.

Writing assignment:

Reflect on the literate environment that you experienced personally as a child or that a child you know well experienced. Use the following questions to guide your retrospective inquiry: A) were stories read or told? B) How much time was spent listening to stories? C) Describe an instructional situation and the child’s responses. D) Was child given encouragement and support, perhaps a hug or an accepting word, in the learning situation? E) How much time was spent doing worksheets? F) Was time spent scribbling, drawing, or writing? Describe the nature of the child’s participation.

What can be drawn from your personal reflection?


Oct. 23 Word identification

Rapid recognition and phonics

Developmental stages in word recognition

Teaching initial consonants, consonant blends, digraphs, final consonants
Reading assignment:

VVG – Chapter 5: Word identification.

Heilman (in the reading packet) – Chapter 5: Teaching consonant letter-sound relationships.

Writing assignment:

Discuss the purpose and limitations of phonics instruction. How would you respond to parents who complained that either phonics or whole language should be the only method of choice in reading instruction?


Oct. 30 Teaching word analysis skills

Decoding by analogy

Rapid recognition of words

High frequency words and function words

Short & long vowels, diphthongs, r-controlled vowels

Reading assignment:

Heilman (in the reading packet) – Chapter 6: Teaching vowel letter-sound relationships.

Writing assignment: Do either #1 or #2 below:

  1. Collect several samples of writing from a child in elementary school. Analyze the writing to determine the child’s letter-sound knowledge. Then interview the child’s teacher to determine his or her perceptions of the child’s strengths and gaps in phonics. Does your analysis match the teacher’s perceptions? Why or why not?

  2. Compare the list of high-frequency words on pgs. 187-188 of VVG with a list of sight words on pg. 111 of Heilman. What do the lists have in common? Based on the grade level you are interested in teaching, which list do you prefer and why?


Nov. 6 Development of spelling

Using context to identify words

Using Cloze passages

Inflectional endings, syllabication, compound words, prefixes, suffixes
Reading assignment:

Heilman (in the reading packet) – Chapter 7: Structural analysis skills.

Writing assignments:

Select a textbook (Go to the Resource Center for Language and Culture (RCLC) or the Curriculum Resource Center) and develop a mini-lesson using any two of the following word analysis skills: a) initial consonants, b) short vowels, c) long vowels, d) digraphs, e) consonant blends, f) dipthongs, g) r-controlled vowels, h) syllabication, I) prefixes (root word - new, prefix – RE = renew), and j) suffixes (root word – jump, suffix – ed = jumped).


Nov. 13 Responding to reading/literature

Reader response logs

Building vocabulary and concept development


Directed reading thinking activity (DR-TA)

Reading assignment:

VVG – Chapter 7: Reading comprehension

PB – Chapter 7: Reading and literature instruction for English language learners.
Writing assignment:

Choose a story from a basal reader (available in the Curriculum Lab) and construct a story map, using a chart similar to the one suggested on pg. 250 in VVG. Then examine the story map to determine where to create stopping points in planning a DR-TA (see figure 7.7 on pg. 258 for an example). Try out the DR-TA with an appropriate group of elementary school students (or your classmates) and report on the lesson.


Nov. 20 Basal reading approach

Selecting and evaluating reading materials

Adapting reading material for ESOL students

Promoting literacy in multicultural classrooms

The role of the family in literacy development
Reading assignment:

Franklin – Chapter 7: A bilingual child’s choices and voices: Lessons in noticing, listening, and understanding.

VVG – Chapter 11: Basal readers and instructional materials

Writing assignment:

Select a multicultural literature that you think would be effective with ESOL students and write a reader response log, first giving basic information about the book (title, author, illustrator, setting, characters, plot, etc.) and then responding to it, indicating why you selected the piece, the context in which you would use it, and reading and writing activities you might assign in relation to it. Bring the book to class with you and be prepared to give a brief “book talk” about it.


Nov. 27 Reading and writing assessment

Discrete point vs. holistic assessment

Student self-evaluation


Informal Reading Inventory (IRI)

Miscue analysis

Reading assignment:

PB – Chapter 10: Reading assessment and instruction; Also pgs. 289-302;

Assessing writing- pgs. 247-255.

Franklin – Chapter 5: Evaluating reading, valuing the reader.

Butler, Yuko G., Orr, Jennifer E., Bousquet, Michele, & Hakuta, Kenji. (Sept./Oct., 2000). What can we learn about the impact of proposition 227 from SAT-9 scores?: An analysis of test results from 2000. NABE News, 8-10.

Crawford, James. (2000). Stanford 9 scores show a consistent edge for bilingual education. Web document (www.alec2000.org/craw1b.htm)

Writing assignment:

Develop a method of portfolio assessment that you believe would serve to show students’ growth in literacy. What would be the essential elements of all of the portfolios? What elements would you leave open to student selection? Design a cover sheet to help organize and explain the portfolio’s contents and determine criteria for evaluating the contents of the portfolio.


Dec. 4 Lesson plan presentations


Dec. 11 Lesson plan presentations

Final Exam Due in Class

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