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					Teachers’ Practices When Working with
U.S. Latino English Language Learners
   with Reading Related Disabilities


         Dr. Rocio Delgado
         Trinity University
      San Antonio, Texas, USA
                         Context

   Increasing cultural and linguistic diversity
   Latinos in the U.S. fastest growing “minority”
   5 million identified as English language learners (ELLs)
   Latino ELLs have the lowest educational attainment
   Low performance on achievement tests
   High dropout rates
   Disproportionately represented in special education
     Purpose of the Study
To investigate reading practices implemented
   by teachers of Latino ELLs with reading-
related disabilities and the beliefs, knowledge,
       and skills reflected in their work.
          Research Questions
   What is the nature of reading instruction provided
    Latino ELLs with reading-related disabilities?

   What beliefs, knowledge, and skills are reflected
    in teachers’ reading instructional practices?

   What other factors do teachers perceive as
    influencing reading instruction?
                         Participants
•   Elementary teachers who provided reading instruction to Latino ELLs
    with disabilities. Students provided the context for understanding what
    the teachers were doing in their classrooms.

         Three Special education resource room teachers
         - European American, female
         - Assigned to work with 2nd, 4th and 5th graders
         - Range of experience between 5 and 24 years

         Two Bilingual education teachers
         - Latino, female
         - Assigned to work with 3rd and 4th graders
         - Range of experience between 5 and 24 years
    Data Collection Procedures

   Eight 90 min. observations over 12 week period in
    each teacher’s classroom
           Debriefing sessions following each observation
   Two semi-structured 60 min. interview with each
    teacher
           Initial
           Final
   Document analysis
           Student records
           Lesson plans
           Daily reflection journals
   Mrs. Emerson: 2nd Grade
         There could have been a better way for Dinora

Focus of Reading Instruction    Strategies
•Phonological instruction       •Systematic instruction
(blending/segmenting)           •Sight words
•Phonics                        •Small group instruction
•Fluency                        •Immediate, corrective feedback

Beliefs, Knowledge and Skills Reflected in Practices
•Multiple purposes of reading, but limited opportunities to
read for enjoyment due to on-going assessment of skills
•Limited understanding of BICS and CALP
•Difficulty translating theory into practice
 “I am very lucky that I have Mrs. Gómez [a bilingual teacher] to talk to. She is
   very knowledgeable about bilingual education and is always willing to explain
   to me what she knows about language and how to take that into consideration
                              when making decisions.”

“We decided to teach her in English only because the bilingual teacher and I felt
   she [the student] was getting confused by having to go from one language to
                                    the other.”

“If I had really felt that Dinora needed to be in a bilingual resource, I could have
      really pushed the issue [with administration], but I did this before and was
     told to just do my job. With Dinora, we really feel this was a good decision,
                                 but it’s not that easy.”

    “I understand the theory about the need to work collaboratively and to talk
   about students’ language, but I think it is very different when it actually comes
    to having to make a decision about which language to instruct children, how
    to differentiate what's difference from what’s disability, and who that student
                           is to work with in the classroom.”
    Mrs. Ornelas: 3rd Grade
         What are we doing to give Jorge success?


Focus of Reading Instruction      Strategies
•Integrated ESL and other         •Graphic organizers
content areas                     •Think-alouds
•Comprehension                    •Small and large group
•Story sequencing                 instruction
•Memory                           •Visual and auditory cues


Beliefs, Knowledge and Skills Reflected in Practices
•Perceptions about parents/families
•Questioning language of instruction
    “He has been going to his special education teacher for the whole year. My
    concerns are that there are no set expectations for him in there. What is she
   [special education teacher] doing so that he has success? She can’t serve him
   there because she doesn’t speak Spanish! And we have some teachers who do,
                            but not in his special class.”

“I’ve said to him, “Jorge, you’re the only one that can help yourself. You need to
   focus on your story and study it from beginning to end. You can track your text
    to stay on the story.” We do little things like that. I show him how to keep his
   hands together, like rubbing his hands together instead of tapping them on the
     table. One of the things that helps me is sign language, because sometimes I
   will do the sign of words or letters he’s reading. Or squeeze a ball or rub your
      hands together; and it’s just having your body moving in a different way to
      focus on what you need to attend to, which is your reading. I do these little
   things for him to be able to be focused when he needs to be focused. He hasn’t
              implemented them. Sometimes I’ll have to re-direct him.”
  Mrs. Carrillo & Mrs. Glasser:
           4th Grade
   Poco a poquito Melissa and Julio se van apagando

 Focus of Reading Instruction        Strategies
 •Integrated ESL and other           •Instructional
 content areas                       conversations
 •Vocabulary development             •Culturally relevant lit
 •Letter/sound recognition           •Individual tutoring
                                     •Visuals and TPR
Beliefs, Knowledge and Skills Reflected in Practices
•Need for raised expectations
•Limited understanding of interrelationship of ELL status and
disability
•Lack of preparation to effectively teach ELLs with LD
  “I've heard many people who know more about bilingual education than me and they
   have different opinions on it. I feel sometimes bilingual students are kept in Spanish
   classes for too long. They have low skills not because of special education needs. I
               just think they haven’t had enough English.” [Mrs. Glasser]

 “A lady in the district told me they manage it [working with ELLs with LD] using a lot
  of pictures. I use more pictures and identifications to try help them get the meaning. I
 do more of this than I would with English speaking students. I guess it’s just providing
  more context. I feel I could do a better job if I actually had someone come in to show
                              me how to do it.” [Mrs. Glasser]

 “I sometimes feel like I'm drowning. It's not that I don't want to help. I just don't know
    how to help. I try to read and read with them [bilingual special education students]
         but there's something else that's going on because they're not getting it.”
                                     [Mrs. Carrillo]

“That’s one less kid that I'm responsible for. I've given it my best shot and I'm sure she
  [Melissa] has given it her best shot. I tend to put her aside because the responsibility
  has been shifted to special education teachers. They [special educators] should be the
                       ones to bring Melissa along.” [Mrs. Carrillo]
  Mrs. Zimmerman: 5th Grade
            Linda doesn’t need the bilingual stuff

 Focus of Reading Instruction        Strategies
 •Fluency                            •Summarization
 •Comprehension                      •Comprehension questions
 •Vocabulary development             •Fluency
                                     •Vocabulary Development


Beliefs, Knowledge and Skills Reflected in Practices
•Limited understanding of BICS and CALP
•No need for differentiated instruction
  “I’ve always had children that spoke English and Spanish in my classrooms,
  but generally I have not had to do any kind of differences in their assignments
    because they were able to understand and do what we asked them to do.”



  “I never felt they [ELLs with disabilities] needed bilingual support because
 they understand everything I say to them in English. If they don’t understand I
 don’t believe it’s because of the language barrier. It could stem from that, but
   it’s not because they want you to explain in Spanish. I think they just need
                         further explanation in English.”

“Problems might have to do with cultural or family exposure. There are many
    things we read about that they have never been around or never seen. For
   example, we read two poems to compare and contrast. I found they weren’t
   able to do it because I don’t think they’ve had a lot of exposure to poetry. I
 don’t know that has to do with them being bilingual. I think it’s just a matter of
   them thinking “we’ve never done this before” or “we’ve only done this one
 other time maybe and we don’t remember reading poems like these before,” or
  “I don’t even know what a poem is,” you know? That’s just my interpretation
                                  of the problem.”
Factors Influencing Instruction
   Impact of high-stakes assessment on instruction

   Limited collaboration between general and special
    education

   Limited understanding of the interrelationship
    between students’ ELL status and their disability
                            Results
   Reading instruction for Latino ELLs with disabilities in non-
    bilingual special education settings was characterized by limited
    student engagement and accommodations for culture/language or
    disability, but not both.


   The delivery of reading services for ELLs with LD reflected limited
    opportunities for collaboration and instructional planning between
    bilingual and special education teachers.

   Although teachers had a positive disposition towards bilingualism
    and family and cultural resources, their reading programs reflected
    limited understanding of the interrelationship between students’ ELL
    status and LD.
         Results - Continued
The findings of this study illuminated two unintended consequences
                          of the NCLB Act:

(a) Pressures associated with accountability and high stakes
assessment seemed to displace teachers’ attention and efforts from
teaching reading to teaching to the test

(b) The definition of highly qualified teachers for ELLs with LD
seems inadequate in addressing these students’ instructional needs.
    Discussion and Implications
   Systemic inequities in educational system
           Children Left Behind
   Professional development in schools
           Shared responsibility for students and services
           Opportunities for sharing of teachers’ expertise
           Systemic, on-going collaboration across programs and personnel
           Working toward same instructional goals
   Preparation in teacher education programs
           Interdisciplinary classes
           Diversity infused throughout university courses
           Preparation of higher education faculty to teach CLD students with
            and without disabilities and to work collaboratively
  Contact information:

rocio.delgado@trinity.edu


      THANK YOU!!

				
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