1. Krashen’s theory of comprehensible input states: We learn a second language containing linguistic structures that are just beyond the structures we already know. (Ruddell, Page 341). According to Krashen, Comprehensible input is symbolized by the following formulated statement: i (input + 1). This means that comprehensible input is just beyond our current level of competence in which we can construct new meanings. Thus, we can construct new meanings with what we already know about language, world knowledge, contextual information, and extralingual information.
Krashen also states that we Acquire new structures in a second language not by focusing on the structures themselves, but by understanding the meaning of a communication containing those new structures. (Ruddell, Page 341). Language acquisition environment and language learning environment differ by theory. According to Krashen, Acquisition of a language occurs as a subconscious process as we encounter and use a second language for some communicative purpose. (Ruddell, Page 340). Krashen also states that Conscious learning of a language occurs as we study formally the grammar, structure, and lexicon of a language. Ruddell, Page 340).
Hence, Krashen views acquisition to be the main reason for second-language development. The optimal conditions needed for L2 acquisition, according to Krashen, can be stated as People acquire second languages when they obtain comprehensible input and when their affective filters are low enough to allow the input in. Furthermore, second l language acquisition will occur in classes taught in the second language if the student can understand what is going on in the class; that is, when input is comprehensible. (Ruddell, Page 342).
What are two strategies that I can use in my classroom so that language-related problems are not as likely to interfere with the academic aspirations of language minority students? a. I plan on teaching history! Therefore, one strategy I could use is Co-operative learning! Students who have language-related problems can work with other students on projects that I will give in class. These groups can assist those who have language-related problems by working as a team to solve the projects I give them. b. I can also write words from the text that I feel are important to know.
For instance, most history books in high school have words that are in bold print. If some of these words are difficult (i. e. – Tyranny, Totalitarian, Anarchy, ect. ), I would write these words on the board and introduce those words to the students. I would give the meaning of those words on the board and give examples that correspond to those words. I can even ask them to use these words in sentences if need be! 2. The assumption that language minority students have become English proficient when they have acquired relatively fluent and peer-appropriate face-to-face communicative skills is a misconception. Why?
According to Cummins, he estimates that ESL students acquire age-appropriate conversational proficiency (BIC) in about two years, while academic proficiency (CALP) requires 5 to 7 years. (Ruddell, Page 342). Thus, he warns, to Refrain from assuming that second language students’ proficiency in conversational English is a true measure of their proficiency in science, or social studies, or mathematics. (Ruddell, Page 342). Cummins also argues that schools placed ESL students in Special Education classes through inappropriate testing practices based on faulty assumptions about a students ability to speak English.
Just because an ESL student can speak English fluently doesn’t mean that he/she is literate in their understanding of the English language. For example, if I understood Spanish fluently, people would assume that I could get an ‘A’ in my Spanish classes. Even if I could speak this language easily doesn’t mean that I could read or write in that language. Take for another example: illiterate people. That are lots of people in the United States who can speak English easily. But when it comes to reading or writing, they fail.
I had one lady ask me if a rubber mat fabric had adhesive on the back side. Clearly marked on the front of the product was the words: New, Adhesive backing for increased hold. I felt bad, for I new this lady couldn’t read. The language minority student is often placed into Special Education classes because of inappropriate testing practices that are based on the beliefs of a students’ English language proficiency. Cummins talks about the range of contextual support and the degree of cognitive involvement in communicative activities.
Cummins explains there are two intersecting continua of cognitive and linguistic elements of language transactions. In regards to Context, we usually use Context-embedded activities rather than Context-reduced activities. Embedded can be social conversations, whereas reduced can be reading or writing. Thus, Context-embedded is much easier. Along with this notion involves Cognitively-undemanding activities and Cognitively-Demanding activities. Undemanding activities involve things that we already know, whereas demanding activities involve things that we must learn.
Hence, if you can imagine Context activities being placed on a horizontal line, and Cognitive activities place on a vertical line, you can see that most people enjoy Context-embedded and Cognitively Undemanding activities rather than Context-reduced and Cognitively Demanding situations. Thus, one can see that ESL students are more willing to learn English on a social level rather than on an educational level. How does this misconception impede the academic progress of the language minority student? Schools would pull ESL students out of their classes too early.
Thereby, these students suffer because they haven’t developed the ability to read and write adequately. What nonsense! Schools have no right to believe the notions about English proficiency. As stated earlier, ESL students acquire age-appropriate conversational proficiency in about 2 years, while academic proficiency requires 5 to 7 years. Schools need to adhere to Cummins findings. If ESL students are continued to be mainstreamed into regular classes too early, they will surely fall behind. Students shouldn’t be placed into situations in which they must ‘catch up’ for the rest of their lives.
Cummins concludes that ESL students are acquiring skill in academic discourse, so too are native English speakers; thus, ESL learners must ‘Catch up with a moving target’ if they are to match the proficiency of native English speakers. (Ruddell, Page 344). 3. I just sat in my classes and didn’t understand anything. List three factors that might account for this: Student lacks motivation There is a language barrier in regards to the content being presented. There may be a learning disability. How would I prevent these things from happening in my class?
I would provide students with learning activities that would be more brain compatible. Meaning: I would have lesson plans that would ‘flow’ from task to task, which would keep students on-task and more task-oriented. Thus, students would become more ‘motivated’. I would also use more collaborative discussion groups in which all students would be able to communicate with each other. For language barriers due to content material, I would present vocabulary words to my students that are considered to be confusing or difficult to say. Therefore, students will be able to associate these words with things they already know.
For example, I can use ‘Layman’s’ terminology for words such as ‘excruciating’ and compare it to ‘painful’. If students can learn these new words, and associate these meanings to things they already know, than the content being presented won’t be as difficult. I would also use charts and examples to illustrate the key concepts throughout the lesson. Students can understand things easier if it is done using visuals rather than reading about concepts. A student may have a learning disability which will definitely have an impact on what he/she is learning.
If there is a learning disability, than the student should be given appropriate assistance in his/her studies. For example, a student may have problems in paying attention in class, or may have problems with visual/auditory skills. Hence, these students need extra help in their curriculum. An appropriate solution to this scenario would be to place them in a Resource Specialist Program in which they can succeed. In regards to the second portion of question three, I would use such activities as (1) Directed Reading-Thinking Activity (DR-TA) and (2) Group Mapping Activity (GMA).
The DR-TA would develop reading comprehension by having the instructor ask students to make and support predictions before reading and them examine their predictions, conclusions, and logic as reading progresses (Ruddell, Page 40). The GMA would assist students in organizing the information they have read (Ruddell, Page 60). Thus, students can draw on paper what they believe they have just read as a diagram. I would also use the Input Hypothesis theory and the Affective Filter Hypothesis by Krashen. By this, I mean, the Input Hypothesis Theory can be utilized in helping students become successful in a particular content area.
Likewise, I would use the GMA to assist with problems such as anxiety, motivation, and self-confidence. In addition to the above, I would utilize Cortes’s multicultural educational models. These models, which compose: Mainstream empowerment acculturation, Intergroup understanding acculturation, Group resource acculturation, and Civic commitment acculturation will help shape our students into becoming better overall individuals. Students will obtain the ability to deal more effectively in life, develop the ability to function with intercultural knowledge/understanding/and sensitivity, utilize individual and societal