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					Research on Instruction for
LESLLA Students in the
USA
                     Larry Condelli
             3rd LESLLA Workshop
               Newcastle University
               September 15, 2007

                                      1
Adult Literacy Program
Requirements
   National Reporting System (NRS) sets
    accountability requirements to report on students’:
        educational progress,
       employment,
       entry into further education and/or
       secondary credential attainment
   Each state sets its instructional approach within these
    limitations – wide variability in instruction


                                                          2
Assessment Driven Instructional
Approaches
   Basic skills approach, measured by Tests of Adult
    Basic Education (TABE)
   Competencies and life skills, measured by
    Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System
    (CASAS)
   Secondary education content knowledge and skills,
    measured by tests of General Educational
    Development (GED)

                                                        3
ESL Instruction
   A communicative approach is prevalent,
    focusing on life skills or competencies.
   Most instruction assumes basic literacy
   Little attention paid to literacy
   Little research on
    effective instruction


                                               4
Instruction provided to LESLLA
Students
     Sample of 38 classes in seven states (Condelli
      & Wrigley, 2003):
     31 classes spent 40% or more of time on
      second language development
     Only 7 classes spent majority of time on
      literacy development
     Across all classes:
         51% of time on second language development
          activities
         40% on literacy activities
                                                       5
Adult ESOL Literacy Teachers
(What Works Study)
   Teachers were well educated:
       About one third K-12 teachers
       About 50% had MA, 21% in TESL or linguistics
   But…
       Little experience
           (mean 1.7 years)
       No or little training in
         teaching ESOL literacy
       45% part-time
                                                       6
Evaluation of a Basic Literacy
Intervention for LESLLA Learners
   Structured language approach, developed for
    low-literate Haitian adults learning English
   Adapted from Wilson Reading System
   Never before evaluated with ESOL learners
   Literacy activities organized around
    workbook in ESOL context


                                                   7
Literacy Intervention:
Literacy Skills Covered
   Phonics:
       for reading and spelling
   Vocabulary and sight words
   Oral reading for
    accuracy and fluency
   Conversation
   Reading comprehension
   Writing
                                   8
Literacy Intervention:
Sample Teaching Activities
   Phonics: flash cards, letter cards, say words/letters
    while pointing
   Vocabulary/sight words: introduce new words, flash
    cards , pictures, photographs
   Conversation: discuss themes from workbook
   Oral reading for accuracy and fluency: read aloud,
    paired reading, follow along
   Reading comprehension: pre-reading, discuss
    pictures, answer questions about story
   Writing: dictation, letter writing, worksheets
                                                            9
Study Design
   10-15 adult ESOL programs across USA
   1-2 intervention classes and 1-2 “normal”
    classes, meeting at same times and
    locations
   Minimum 5 hours /week 60 hours per
    course
   Each class to be conducted twice over the
    year

                                                10
Student Flow into Study
1.   Student applies to program
2.   Screened for native language literacy
     (LESLLA students)
3.   Recruited into study
4.   Provides background information by
     phone interview in native language
5.   Given informed consent and random
     assignment to class                     11
Student Outcome Measures
   Screen on native language
     literacy
   Pre-Post assessment of
     English literacy and
     speaking/listening
   Student interview data
   Assessment instructions in
    students’ native languages
                                 12
Teachers in the Study
   3-5 teachers per ESOL program, randomly
    assigned
   Initial 3-day teacher training on curriculum
   Classroom observation to monitor
    curriculum fidelity




                                                   13
Timeline
   Recruitment and training: now- Summer 2008
   Study intervention: Fall 2008-09
   Data analysis: Summer 2009
   Report: Spring 2010




                                             14

				
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