Our first discussion in this class revolved around our narrow views on the question “What is literacy? ” We answered the question based on how literacy is required in America. It serves as a vehicle for social mobility and is used to determine economic status. Our definition of literacy as reading, writing and comprehension of written texts was shaped by our experiences in our lives and our beliefs about the trappings of illiteracy.
By the end of that first class my definition of literacy included multiple literacies such as technology, oral storytelling, visual representation and collective literacy practices. This is exactly what is described in the KEEPS claim Knowledge 6 when we use unconventional pedagogical resources to construct new knowledge. After reading, Judy Kalman’s “Beyond Definition: Central Concepts For Understanding Literacy” (2008), I realized that making meaning of texts through discussion was not only a collective literacy practice but also one that I utilized every day.
Our ability to co construct meanings through discussion is one of the most important elements of the learning communities that we create in our classrooms. Kalman discussed the different types of literacies that are evident in different communities and how the needs and functionality of literacy can determine how it is used in different societies. We discussed the function of literacy mediators, members of the community that act on others behalf when they lack the literacy skills needed in certain situations.
When we began to explore the concept of language acquisition and the ease or stress level with which students adopt other English(es) into their everyday language this quote from Lisa Delpit’s book, “The Skin We Speak” resonates with me “When instruction is stripped of the children’s cultural legacies, then they are forced to believe that the world and all the good things in it were created by others. ” (Delpit, pg. 41) As defined in KEEP claim Pluralism 1, I cannot express how powerful this statement is when we speak about African American students and the socio-cultural/linguistic pluralism in New York City.
Aside from the manipulation of both oral and written history by Europeans, tests dictate what children learn, comprehend and recall. There is little reference to both African Americans, Africans and Native Americans contributions to the world at large that students learn about in school in the United States. How do we think this makes students feel? They neither see any evidence of nor hear about their ancestors contributing anything of worth to American History or World History. The belief that they stand in front of a worthless legacy and they are not inventors, creators and dictators of their future.
The concept of “trilingualism” incorporates students retaining their home language, the language they learn and speak in the street and the adoption of the LWC all for their own purposes. The idea that children feel the way they communicate with each other is respected creates the sense of ease and control that aids them in adopting other ways of expression and the idea of code switching. As I read in “Beyond Definition: Central Concepts for Understanding Literacy” (2008) by Judy Kalman, language carries with it the social and cultural contexts of the speaker.
“Speakers or reader/writers bring their world view, language practices, history, and experience with the other participants to a given situation. ” This concept of languaging as a collective literacy practice was something I had never considered but acknowledged simply from our discussions in this class. The idea that we are engaging in the co construction of literacy when we speak is simply amazing. The nuances that accompany every dialect and language are numerous and when we learn these through interaction we are becoming more literate about the world around us.
I would never have acknowledged the worth of that practice if I did not attend this class, this idea of reflection is echoed in KEEPS claim Enquiry 1. These concepts are empowering to those who communicate in ways that would be considered outside of the LWC but are still valuable within the world. As I read “African American Language in Multiethnic High Schools” by Django Paris, this quote resonated with me, “AAL was a shared practice that challenged notions of difference and division rather than reinforced them.
Employing the words, the grammar, and the speech acts of black language provided a space of local youth prestige against the backdrop of shared marginalization in a white language- and white culture-dominated society. ” (443) Although I believed the AAL gave students a shared space, something that made them different, I never envisioned it was used as an escape from the oppression that they felt on a daily basis. As in KEEPS claim Knowledge 7, when I thought about AAL that way it became a language of power something that the dominant culture couldn’t figure out and would emulate so they could feel special.
It echoed the sentiment in this quote from the reading for me, “Yet, even as AAL was a tool of interethnic solidarity, it was somewhat troubling that black youth were the only group without an ethnic and linguistic safe haven within this multiethnic youth space. “(443) This concept that other minorities have a language that separates them and gives them a safe space within which to retreat from the Standard English speakers of the world. As a result African Americans made the idea of AAL even more powerful.
Because of its importance and the area that it provides for its speakers as a place to retreat from marginality and oppression shows how necessary it is in society. Code switching unites these different languages within a speaker and “trilingualism” allows the speaker to unite these different English(es) within themselves so that they truly become a being of power able to move freely within the different spaces of the world while still retaining a sense of self and high self-esteem because they are of their own making.
|Strategy Name |Description |Step-by-step application |Evidence of Learning |Explanation of support for | | | | | |multiple literacies and | | | | | |languaging practices | |K-W-L chart |Allows students to organize |After students are |Allows them to see the |Helps organize thoughts, facts | | |what they Know, Want to Know|introduced to a new topic. |difference between guessing,|and details. | | |and what they Learned about |Students list facts or |inference and prediction. |Helps children organize for | | |a specific concept in a |details in the first two |This chart can be used to |studying.
| | |visually pleasing way. |columns about what they Know|find out students interest |Helps children organize for | | | |and what they Want to know |to inform instruction and |research projects. | | | |about the topic. They do |increase student motivation. |The chart is a comprehension | | | |this before they complete |This can be used to activate|strategy used to activate | | | |the reading and application |prior knowledge on a |background knowledge prior to | | | |of what they learned. Then |subject.
|reading and is completely student| | | |after they complete the task|Can be used as a formative |centered. | | | |they fill out the last |assessment at the beginning,|Can be used for visual | | | |column of the chart to |within and at the end of a |representation so it supports | | | |demonstrate what they |unit to assess student |multiple modalities. | | | |learned. |learning and depth of |Could be used for free write to | | | | |knowledge about any topic. |assess student’s language use and| | | | | |comprehension.
| |Definition Table |A word wall that |This word wall lists words |Translanguaging |Allows students to see uses of | | |incorporates the translation|that should be regularly |Trilingualism |different words and word | | |of technical language to LWC|used in class in three |Improved awareness of |counterparts. | | |to AAL posted on the wall of|formats so students can see |different translations |Represents at least three | | |the classroom. |how to translate words they |Improved vocabulary |English(es) in the classroom.
| | | |normally use into technical |Improved pronounciation |Supports students language and | | | |words they will need to |Self correcting for |shows student input into | | | |comprehend for the task, |pronounciation and |classroom environment. | | | |concept and class. |alternative vocabulary |Students learn definitions of | | | | |Multiple steps of LWC and |academic words and encourages | | | | |AAL |academic participation | |Guess and Check |A student uses a graphic |After students receive the |Increased vocabulary |This strategy can be used | | |organizer for vocabulary. |template.
Students would |Improved inference skills |independently or in groups | | |The student guesses the |write down vocabulary that |based on context clues |This strategy allows students to | | |meaning of the word shows |they do not understand from |Improved reading |be exposed to new words and | | |what context clues they used|a reading or task in class. |comprehension |working knowledge of known words | | |to guess and then checks the|They would also write down |Improved spelling |Helps students self discovery how| | |dictionary for the right |the clues to what they |Improved self discovery |to improve their comprehension | | |definition.
|Thought it meant from the |skills and knowledge of |Shows students they do not need | | | |text. Students then check it|strategies to use when |to ask but can use the tools in | | | |in the dictionary for |students do not understand |their home or on internet | | | |clarity. |Improvement in reading |Students learn new words to add | | | | |comprehension |to their vocabulary on their own | | | | | |or in pairs | |Jigsaw |A cooperative learning |After students are given a |Improved collaboration |Increased understanding amongst | | |technique that involves |large reading.
It is broken |Improved Accountable talk |the classroom | | |splitting up a reading where|up amongst a class as |Increased vocabulary |Students learn from each other | | |each student must summarize |individuals or groups. Then |Academic language |and engage in languaging | | |their portion and share out |after they have read and |translation by “group |together. | | |in order for all students to|constructed or co |expert” |Students learn from one another | | |learn the essential whole |constructed understandings |Co-constructed meanings of |while engaging in accountable | | |concept.
|based on the reading. They |new vocabulary |talk. | | | |share out their explanations|Co-constructed decoding |Students engage in translating | | | |so the whole class |skills are shared |the reading into their own | | | |understands the entire |Shared multiple perspectives|language together | | | |reading by co constructing |on reading |Students engage in Co | | | |their understanding |Build mutual respect |construction literacy practices | | | |together.
|Improved awareness of | | | | | |audience | | |Visual translations |The collaborative task of |Students are asked to co |Increased understandings |Co constructed understandings | | |translating an important |construct or independently |Increased vocabulary |Translated meanings into visual | | |paragraph or concept into a |construct meanings of topics|Increased illustration |formats | | |drawing, sketch or other |and concepts.
They |skills |Possible incorporation of ELLS | | |type of visual |translate these meanings |Multiple modality |and multiple languages | | |representation to convey the|into visual representations |perceptions |Translanguaging with visuals | | |content. |to facilitate comprehension |Increased language |Adaptation of multiple modalities| | | |and application to memory. |understanding | | | | | |Students themselves | | | | | |identifying language | | | | | |varieties in texts | | |Graphic Organizers |Allows students to map their|Students categorize |Increased organization |Shared formats | | |ideas in a visual manner.
A |information in a visually |Students format their notes |Shared meanings amongst students | | |graphic organizer often |simplified format for easy |Students group information |Co-constructed meanings | | |depicts the relationships |recall, comprehension and |on the page in easier ways |Co-constructed formats | | |between facts, terms, and or|studying. |Increased study skills |Information can be recorded in | | |ideas within a learning | |Increased organization |multiple formats | | |task. | |skills |Can address multiple modalities | | | |.
|Improved understandings |Student centered | | | | |Shared information amongst |Student chosen recording of | | | | |pairs within the task |knowledge | |Technological Support |Frequent demonstrations and |Technology is used to aid in|Increased vocabulary |Addressing multiple modalities | | |supplemental materials to |the understanding of |Increased spelling |Addressing multiple languages | | |elicit both content and |concepts or tasks while |Increased awareness of |Accommodate multiple levels | | |language development. |building skills. |vocabulary |Individual | | | | |Increased awareness of | | | | | |academic language | | | | | |Notetaking increases | | | | | |.
Translanguaging | | |Role Playing |Role playing and |Comprehension is displayed |Increased use of vocabulary |Students need to understand and | | |dramatization allows |by translating topics or |Personalization with content|interpret the text in order to | | |students to act out key |concepts into a verbal and |Identification with content |personally take on a role | | |concepts and personally |visual concept through |Use of academic language |.
Students need to translate | | |identify with them in order |personal identification. |Improved pronounciation |language of the task into their | | |to facilitate comprehension. | |Increased awareness of |language and the language of | | | | |audience |their peers. | | | | |Identifying language |Students may work in groups to co| | | | |variation in texts |construct meanings of the text.
| | | | |Increased motivation |Students engage in languaging | | | | | |when they present to ensure the | | | | | |audience comprehension | | | | | |Awareness of audience and | | | | | |critical voice | |Think Aloud |The thinking process is |Strategy where the teacher |Improved pronounciation |Student is able to comprehend and| | |modeled for students about a|explains step by step the |Self correction for |translate from LWC to AAL | | |problem so they can see |thinking process out loud |pronounciation |Student can explain their | | |every step and where they |modeling for students how to|Increased vocabulary |thinking in AAL | | |might have gone wrong. |problem solve.
|Improved comprehension |Student languages during Think | | | | |Awareness of multi step |aloud for comprehension | | | | |problem solving | | |AIKA format |Scaffolds for students how |The student analyzes Regents|Student is able to chunk |Translanguaing | | |to break down questions on |based questions and |questions |.
Students able to translate | | |high stakes tests and allow |identifies: what the |Increased vocabulary |questions to AAL from LWC | | |multiple pathways towards |questions is Asking, what |Decreased frustration |Improved accountable talk | | |answering questions to aid |Information the question |Improved comprehension of |Students | | |in comprehension and problem|provided, what they Know |Regents based questions | | | |solving skills. |about the question and what |Improved reading | | | | |the correct Answer is. |comprehension | | | | | |Co constructed meanings when| | | | | |in groups | |.
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