Seven Steps to Separating Difference from Disability

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Catherine Collier

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    Acknowledgments

    Corwin gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the following reviewers:

    • Joyce Bergin
    • Professor and Assistant Dean
    • College of Education
    • Armstrong Atlantic State University
    • Savannah, GA
    • Margarete Couture
    • Principal
    • South Seneca Central School District
    • Interlaken, NY
    • Dawne Dragonetti
    • Special Education Teacher and
    • Instructional Coach
    • Nashoba Regional School District
    • Stow, MA
    • Kay Kuenzl-Stenerson
    • Literacy Coach
    • Merrill Middle School
    • Oshkosh, WI
    • Karen Kozy-Landress
    • Speech/Language Pathologist
    • Brevard County Schools
    • Merritt Island, FL
    • Jacie Maslyk
    • Principal
    • Crafton Elementary School
    • Pittsburgh, PA
    • Judith A. Rogers
    • K–5 Mathematics Specialist
    • Tucson Unified School District
    • Tucson, AZ
    • Rachel L. Skinkis
    • Current Grade 6 Teacher/Former ELL Teacher
    • School District of New Holstein
    • Little Chute, WI

    About the Author

    Catherine Collier has more than 45 years of experience in equity, cross-cultural, bilingual, and special education, beginning with voter registration in 1964. She completed her PhD with research into the referral of Latino/Hispanic students to special education programs. For eight years, she was a classroom teacher, resource room teacher, and diagnostician for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Arizona and Alaska. She established and directed the Chinle Valley School, Dine Bitsiis Baa Aha Yaa, serving special needs clients and their families for the Navajo Nation. She was the director of a teacher-training program for the University of Alaska for seven years, preparing Yup'ik Eskimo, Ikayurikiit Unatet, paraprofessionals for certification as bilingual preschool, elementary, and special educators. For eight years, Dr. Collier worked with the BUENO Center for Multicultural Education, Research, and Evaluation at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she created and directed the Bilingual Special Education Curriculum/Training project (BISECT), a nationally recognized effort. She was the Director of Resource and Program Development for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, as well as being a Sequoyah Fellow.

    Photograph by George C. Andwson

    Dr. Collier is the author of several books and articles on cross-cultural and multilingual special education. She is active in social justice activities for culturally and linguistically diverse learners and families. She works extensively with school districts on professional and program development for at-risk diverse learners. Dr. Collier provides technical assistance to university, local, and state departments of education regarding programs that serve at-risk cognitively, culturally, and linguistically diverse learners.

    She is the director of the national professional development project Curriculum Integration for Responsive, CrossCultural, Language-Based Education (CIRCLE) at Western Washington University. She is the principal developer of the screening and software program “Acculturation Quick Screen” and many assessment and intervention instruments and materials. Her most recent publications include a chapter on acculturation in the Multicultural Handbook for School Psychologists, a book titled Response to Intervention for Diverse Learners, and this text, Seven Steps to Separating Difference From Disability.

  • Conclusion

    Building and sustaining the most effective elements of problem solving with progress monitoring programs across all levels of instruction is vital to improving the education of culturally and linguistically diverse learners, including those with exceptionalities. Current U.S. federal law now requires teachers and other educational staff to balance the disability and language needs of CLD and CLDE students; however, there are many obstacles to fully meeting those standards. A lack of adequate funds, teacher preparation programs, and qualified professionals trained to work with CLD and CLDE students makes it challenging to comply with legislative requirements.

    As a response to this situation, the author proposes the PRISIM model and its seven-step process for separating difference from disability. By incorporating RTI/RTII methodology into instruction and interventions for culturally and linguistically diverse learners, the model provides steps to assure that CLD students receive the free and appropriate education (FAPE) guaranteed to them by current legislation. It also reduces the number of CLD students who are disproportionately identified (either under or over) for special services. Developing and consistently implementing a model such as PRISIM and/or RTI/RTII that includes continuous problem solving with progress monitoring and dynamic instruction and instructional intervention across all levels of instruction holds much promise of rectifying the educational and service inequities currently present in U.S. American schools for culturally and linguistically diverse learners.

    Glossary

    • accommodation. Adapting language (spoken or written) to make it more understandable to second language learners. In assessment, accommodations may be made to the presentation, response method, setting, or timing/scheduling of the assessment.
    • acculturation. Acculturation is the process of adaptation to changes in our social, cultural, and linguistic environments.
    • active processing strategy. When applying the active processing strategy, students work through problems or tasks using a sequence of self-monitoring questions. Start by having the students in your class speak out loud with one another in small groups about the content and process of lessons they are learning following the steps in active processing.
    • acquisition (versus learning). Krashen states that acquisition amounts to a functional mastery of some aspect of a language, such as a word or grammar structure that you don't have to translate from your first language because you “just know it.” To some extent acquisition is ‘subconscious’ or covert and learning is conscious or overt. Learning is a conscious process whereby we store information about a language in our minds, access it and use it consciously to translate to or from the target language. Language learners in typical settings perform both acquisition and learning simultaneously.
    • additive bilingualism. One of two contextual concepts which explain the possible outcomes of second language learning. Additive bilingualism occurs in an environment in which the addition of a second language and culture does not replace the first language and culture; rather, the first language/culture are promoted and developed, such as in dual language programs or developmental bilingual education programs. Additive bilingualism is linked to high self-esteem, increased cognitive flexibility, and higher levels of proficiency in L2. The opposite of subtractive bilingualism.
    • additive model/common underlying proficiency. Theory that both acquisition of first and second languages can contribute to underlying language proficiency. Experiences with both languages, according to Cummins, promote the development of the proficiency underlying both languages, given adequate motivation and exposure to both, within school or the wider environment. SUP (Separate Underlying Proficiency) approach indicates that no such relationship/synergy exists between L1 and L2 language acquisition.
    • adjustment/recovery. At this stage of acculturation, basic needs are met and a routine has been established. There is a noticeable improvement in transition language skills and cross-cultural interactions.
    • advanced fluency. Your student can understand and perform at grade level in both languages and dialects. He or she functions on academic level with peers and maintains two-way conversation. He or she has a vocabulary beyond 12,000 words and demonstrates decontextualized comprehension. Uses enriched vocabulary
    • advanced intermediate fluency. Your student can communicate thoughts and engage in and produce connected narrative. He or she shows good comprehension and uses expanded vocabulary. They may make complex grammatical errors and functions somewhat on an academic level. They have about a 12,000 receptive & active word vocabulary.
    • affective filter. Associated with Krashen's Monitor Model of second language learning, the affective filter is a metaphor that describes a learner's attitudes that affect the relative success of second language acquisition. Negative feelings such as lack of motivation, lack of self-confidence and learning anxiety act as filters that hinder and obstruct language learning. Krashen has opined that the best acquisition will occur in environments where anxiety is low and defensiveness absent, i.e. in contexts where the “affective filter” is low. Optimal input occurs when the “affective filter” is low. The affective filter is a screen of emotion that can block language acquisition or learning if it keeps the users from being too self-conscious or too embarrassed to take risks during communicative exchanges.
    • analogy strategy. Analogy strategies are a useful means of enhancing acquisition and retention of new materials. In analogy, the learner recalls previously experienced patterns, which are similar to the new items. Analogy is also a very effective elaboration of schema (prior knowledge) especially for culturally and linguistically different students. Teachers can encourage minority students to find analogies between new concepts, materials, experiences, or concepts the students have from their home culture or nation of origin. This is a good technique for language development and language transition as well. This use of analogy can be as simple as identifying similar sounds, similar words or cognates, or as complex as discussing similarities and differences in perceptions, values, or abstract concepts.
    • anxiety. One of the manifestations of culture shock is increased or heightened anxiety. This may be manifested by increased worry, concern, or nervousness in anticipation of new, unknown interactions or events.
    • assimilation. Assimilation is one type of adaptive, acculturative response to changes in our sociocultural environment. It usually occurs over time and over multiple generations. It is manifested by a complete substitution of the new culture and language for the existing culture and language and the elimination of all aspects of the previous culture and language.
    • attachment. This refers to an instructional strategy where the teacher intentionally and overtly connects new learning or new topics to what has already been learned at home and in previous schooling. Always connect learning to prior lessons and knowledge. Make connections between the new content or activity and things that are familiar to the learner, making meaningful attachments through analogies and illustrations between the known and the unknown. This may involve lessons highlighting similarities and differences between the new and the known or compare and contrast activities.
    • audio-lingual approach. Non-communicative approach that involves heavy use of mimicry, imitation and drill. Speech and not writing is emphasized. It is perhaps unfair to associate this approach with B.F. Skinner whose theories would in no way preclude a communicative approach to second language acquisition instruction. A behaviorist approach to language learning, which stems from the belief that the ability to make a sound or use correct grammar is an automatic, unconscious act. Instruction is teacher-centered and makes use of drills and dialogue. Vocabulary and sentence patterns are carefully graded and introduced in a sequence, skills of listening and speaking are introduced before reading and writing, and emphasis is placed on accuracy of pronunciation and grammar. The aim is for the learner to gain an automatic, accurate control of basic sentence structures, sounds, and vocabulary. The approach was very popular in the 1950s and 60s, but its use has declined in favor of the communicative approach
    • basic interpersonal communication skills. Basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS) are those that are cognitively-undemanding and include known ideas, vocabulary and syntax. They are the aspects of communication that are used daily in routine communicative exchanges (e.g., while dressing, eating, bathing, playing, etc.). BICS skills represent the informal aspects of social talk as well as skills that do not require a high degree of cognition (e.g., naming objects and actions, referring to non-existence, disappearance, rejection, and negation, and so forth). Students demonstrating BICS might recognize new combinations of known words or phrases and produce single words or short phrases. When students begin to acquire a second language, they are typically able to develop BICS within 2–3 years. Most importantly, Cummins cautioned that students should not be placed in learning situations in which a second language (L2) is used just because they have adequate L2 BICS. Your student can use the language or dialect in informal or social interpersonal conversations. Acronym for Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills, part of a theory of language proficiency developed by Jim Cummins in 1984, which distinguishes BICS from CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency). BICS is often referred to as “playground English” or “survival English.” It is the basic language ability required for face-to-face communication where linguistic interactions are embedded in a situational context (see context-embedded language). This language, which is highly contextualized and often accompanied by gestures, is relatively undemanding cognitively and relies on the context to aid understanding. BICS is much more easily and quickly acquired than CALP, but is not sufficient to meet the cognitive and linguistic demands of an academic classroom.
    • bilingualism. Put simply, bilingualism is the ability to use two languages. However, defining bilingualism is problematic since individuals with varying bilingual characteristics may be classified as bilingual. There may exist distinctions between ability and use of a language; variation in proficiency across the four language dimensions (listening, speaking, reading and writing); differences in proficiency between the two languages; variation in proficiency due to the use of each language for different functions and purposes; and variation in language proficiency over time. People may become bilingual either by acquiring two languages at the same time in childhood or by learning a second language sometime after acquiring their first language.
    • bilingual social and academic fluency. Your student can perform at grade level in both languages and dialects.
    • cloze. A language assessment technique where you blank out every 5th or so word and have the student replace it while reading. Cloze has been used as a language assessment tool for a long time. It has been touted as a valid integrative test of language proficiency, and holds both problems and promises. You may wish to try it as one of your assessment techniques. Cloze was an early language application of Information Theory.
    • code-switching. One of the manifestations of culture shock and a stage in second language acquisition is code switching. This is apparent as an insertion or substitution of sounds, words, syntax, grammar or phrases from existing language or communication process into new, emerging language or communication process. The term used to describe any switch among languages in the course of a conversation, whether at the level of words, sentences or blocks of speech. Code-switching most often occurs when bilinguals are in the presence of other bilinguals who speak the same languages.
    • cognitive academic language learning approach (CALLA). Instructional approach that provides explicit teaching of learning strategies within academic subject areas. Strategies are divided into three major categories: (1) Metacognitive (planning, self-monitoring, classifying, etc.); (2) Cognitive (note taking, summarizing, making inferences, self-reflection, etc.) and (3) Social-affective (Asking questions, cooperative learning, peer tutoring, etc.).
    • cognitive/academic language proficiency. Cognitive academic language proficiency, or CALP takes much longer that BICS to develop; usually about 5–7 years. CALP skills are those that are necessary for literacy obtainment and academic success. CALP enables students to have academic, analytical conversation and to independently acquire factual information. CALP is used to use information acquired to find relationship, make inferences, and draw conclusions. Your student has acquired enough competence in the language or dialect to solve problems or discuss the content of lessons at some length. CALP is the language ability required for academic achievement in a context-reduced environment. Examples of context-reduced environments include classroom lectures and textbook reading assignments. CALP is distinguished from basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS).
    • common underlying proficiency. Theory that both acquisition of first and second languages can contribute to underlying language proficiency. Experiences with both languages, according to Cummins, promote the development of the proficiency underlying both languages, given adequate motivation and exposure to both, within school or the wider environment. SUP (separate underlying proficiency) approach indicates that no such relationship/synergy exists between L1 and L2 language acquisition.
    • communicative approaches. Teaching approach where negotiation for meaning is critical. The teacher becomes a facilitator. Collaborative learning and peer interaction is important. Students and teacher select and organize curriculum contents.
    • communicative competence. Input + 1/Zone of Proximal Development-Input/instruction that is just above the student's abilities. Instruction that is embedded in a meaningful context, modified (paraphrasing, repetition), collaborative/ interactive and multimodal. You have acquired a level of enough competence in the culture, language, and social interaction of your audience that you can exchange information and instruction comfortably. The ability to interact appropriately with others by knowing what to say, to whom, when, where, and how.
    • comprehensible input. An explanation of language learning, proposed by Krashen, that language acquisition is a result of learners being exposed to language constructs and vocabulary that are slightly beyond their current level. This “input” is made comprehensible to students by creating a context that supports its meaning. Krashen has opined that language acquisition occurs when instruction is provided at a level that is comprehensible to the learner. This can be achieved by modeling, demonstration, physical and visual examples, guided practice, and other strategic instructional practices.
    • concurrent translation. A bilingual teaching approach in which the teacher uses two languages interchangeably during instruction. When not carefully planned, this approach may lead to pedagogically random code-switching which may not meet instructional objectives. In addition, students often learn to tune out the language they do not understand and wait for the information in the language they do understand. A more effective approach, new concurrent approach (NCA), developed by Rodolfo Jacobson, is an approach to bilingual instruction that suggests using a structured form of code-switching for delivery of content instruction. Language switches are carefully planned to meet instructional purposes and concepts are reinforced by being considered and processed in both languages. In addition, all four language abilities (listening, speaking, reading and writing) should be addressed in both languages.
    • confusion in locus of control. Locus of control is one of the manifestations of culture shock. Locus of control may be either internal or external and refers to how the individual ascribes control or responsibility for events. Stating “I failed the test because I did not study hard enough,” is an example of internal locus of control. “I failed the test because the teacher or the fates were against me,” is an example of external locus of control. Under the stress of culture shock, established patterns of control and responsibility can become confused and the separation of internal and external circumstances no longer clear.
    • content-based ESL. This approach to teaching English as a second language makes use of instructional materials, learning tasks, and classroom techniques from academic content areas as the vehicle for developing language, content, cognitive and study skills. English is used as the medium of instruction.
    • context-embedded language. Communication occurring in a context that offers help to comprehension (e.g. visual clues, gestures, expressions, specific location). Language where there are plenty of shared understandings and where meaning is relatively obvious due to help from the physical or social nature of the conversation.
    • context-reduced language. Language where there are few clues as to the meaning of the communication apart from the words themselves. The language is likely to be abstract. Examples: textbook reading, classroom lecture.
    • coping strategy. This is a problem-solving strategy. The advantage of the coping strategy is that it can be used to assist students from different cultural or linguistic backgrounds to deal with non-academic as well as academic aspects of the learning situation. In addition, this strategy has been found to be effective in cross-cultural situations. The students are taught to confront the problem substantively and not emotionally; engage and initiate action; conceive of a possible solution; request and use assistance; implement their solution; persist in confronting the problem; attempt alternative solutions if the first does not work; and, achieve an outcome.
    • critical biliteracy. Critical biliteracy refers to the ability to read and understand academic or cognitively demanding texts in each language.
    • cultural adaptation/culture shock cycle. Model of what happens when a person is introduced into a new culture and then must return to their home culture. Stages include: (1) pre-departure anxiety; (2) arrival honeymoon; (3) initial culture shock; (4) surface adjustment; (5) mental isolation; (6) return anxiety and (8) re-cell culture shock.
    • culture shock. Culture shock is the common name given to a set of psychological conditions that accompany the process of acculturation. These are normal, typical, temporary side effects of the acculturation process and not manifestations of innate, chronic psychological states. The conditions often reoccur in a cyclical manner, gradually decreasing in intensity over time. Access to intensive transition and adaptation assistance in the school environment can decrease the effects of culture shock for students. The effects may recycle in intensity when the adapting individual is moving frequently among unfamiliar groups of people.
    • Cummin's classification of language and content activities. Divided activities/modes of instruction and learning along two continuums (context embedded/reduced and academic and cognitively demanding/undemanding). Instruction should progress from context embedded/academically non-demanding to context reduced/academically demanding. Teacher should be aware of where his instruction falls and how it is relating to the needs of his students who may be in various stages of language acquisition and development.
    • deculturation. Deculturation is one type of adaptive, acculturative response to changes in our sociocultural environment. Research shows that this psychological response has the most negative long term consequences of adaptive responses. It usually occurs when the individual is removed or isolated from interaction with his or her existing family, community, or cultural group and not provided with adequate transition assistance into the new, unfamiliar environment. Indications of alienation, isolation, and marginalization from home and community are signs that a student is at risk for deculturation particularly when there is limited access to intensive transition and adaptation assistance in the school environment. These students can end up with very maladaptive behavior patterns, substance abuse problems, gang affiliations, and other extremely hazardous learning and behavior profiles.
    • developmental bilingual education. A program that teaches content through two languages and develops both languages with the goal of bilingualism and biliteracy. See also late-exit bilingual education.
    • dialogue journal. A type of writing in which students make entries in a notebook on topics of their choice, to which the teacher responds, modeling effective language but not overtly correcting the student's language.
    • dictation. Dictation has been used as a language assessment tool for a long time. It has been touted as a valid integrative test of language proficiency, and holds both problems and promises. You may wish to try it as one of your assessment techniques
    • direct method (Berlitz). Non-communicative method that involves exclusive use of target/L2 language, uses a step by step progression of material and considers correct translation to be very important.
    • disenchantment. This is the stage of acculturation that occurs as the newcomer encounters problems with being accepted, and with participating in the new environment. The individual becomes overwhelmed with the differences facing him or her and the difficulties of adapting.
    • distractibility. Distractibility is one of the manifestations of culture shock. It can easily be confused with attention deficit disorder or other neurological attention problems. However, the attention and focus problems can be addressed with intensive transition and adaptation assistance in the school environment.
    • dual language program/dual immersion. Also known as two-way immersion or two-way bilingual education, these programs are designed to serve both language minority and language majority students concurrently. Two language groups are put together and instruction is delivered through both languages. For example, in the US, native English-speakers might learn Spanish as a foreign language while continuing to develop their English literacy skills and Spanish-speaking ELLs learn English while developing literacy in Spanish. The goals of the program are for both groups to become biliterate, succeed academically, and develop cross-cultural understanding.
    • dynamic indicators of basic early literacy skills (DIBELS) DIBELS are a set of standardized, individually administered measures of early literacy development. They are designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of pre-reading and early reading skills.
    • early-exit bilingual education. A form of transitional bilingual education (TBE) in which children move from bilingual education programs to English-only classes in the first or second year of schooling.
    • early production. Limited social fluency. Your student can speak informally in social settings using basic words, phrases and sentences in the language or dialect. He or she depends heavily on context and produces words in isolation. Verbalizes key words and responds with one/two word answer or short phrases. He or she points, draws, or uses gesture responses and may have mispronunciation and grammar errors.
    • embedding. This refers to a strategy where all instruction in implemented using context rich activities. Embed instruction in concrete, explicit structure or a model, making sure that concrete context is used. This may involve using real objects, models and demonstrations or the use of specific cues and guide structures.
    • enculturation. This begins upon our birth and is where we learn how to interpret the world. It is a process which begins as soon as a caregiver interacts with us at the moment of birth, and includes beliefs, tastes, humor, language, behavior expectations, etc. This diversity makes our mainstream standardized educational processes challenging, as language and culture issues compound the range of diverse abilities we must accommodate within our schools.
    • English as a foreign language (EFL). English as a foreign language (EFL) refers to situations where English is taught to persons living in countries where English is not the medium of instruction in the schools or to international students in the US who intend to return to their home countries. In EFL classes, English is taught as a subject, and exposure to English is typically limited to the classroom setting (e.g., English in Japan).
    • English language development (ELD). English language development (ELD) means instruction designed specifically for English language learners to develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in English. This type of instruction is also known as “English as a second language” (ESL), “teaching English to speakers of other languages” (TESOL), or “English for speakers of other languages” (ESOL). ELD, ESL, TESOL or ESOL standards are a version of English language arts standards that have been crafted to address the specific developmental stages of students learning English. ELD classes (ala the Freemans) are designed for students with lower levels of English proficiency and less primary language academic development. In ELD classes, the focus is on learning English through content instruction suited to the level of the students’ academic background. For this reason, teachers provide first language support whenever possible, especially to help students with key ideas and concepts.
    • English language learner. English Language Learners (ELLs) are students whose first language is not English and who are in the process of learning English. Also see LEP.
    • English-only. An umbrella term that is used to refer to different federal and state legislative initiatives and various national, state, and local organizations, all of which involve the effort to make English the official language of the United States. The initiatives and organizations vary in the degree to which they promote the suppression of non-English languages. The official English movement is spearheaded by two national organizations: U.S. English and English First.
    • English plus. A movement based on the belief that all U.S. residents should have the opportunity to become proficient in English plus one or more other languages.
    • English as a second language (ESL). English as a second language (ESL) is an educational approach in which English language learners are instructed in the use of the English language. Their instruction is based on a special curriculum that typically involves little or no use of the native language, focuses on language (as opposed to content) and is usually taught during specific school periods. For the rest of the school day, students may be placed in mainstream classrooms, an immersion program, or a bilingual education program. Every bilingual education program has an ESL component.
    • cell criteria. A set of criteria for designation of students as English language learners and placement in bilingual education, ESL, or other language support services. Criteria usually include a home language survey and performance on an English language proficiency test.
    • evaluation strategy. Students must learn to evaluate the learning situation to get better at identifying and using appropriate strategies. The skills necessary for an evaluative cognitive learning strategy are: predicting, checking, monitoring, reality testing and coordination, and control of deliberate attempts to study, learn, or solve problems.
    • exit criteria. A set of criteria for ending special services for English language learners and placing them in mainstream English only classes as fluent English speakers. This is usually based on a combination of performance on an English language proficiency test and grades, standardized test scores, or teacher recommendations. In some cases, this redesignation of students may be based on the amount of time they have been in special programs.
    • exiting rate. The rate at which students are moved from programs in which they receive special services as English language learners to mainstream English-only programs. See redesignation rate.
    • fascination. Fascination is sometimes referred to as the “honeymoon” period and refers to the stage of acculturation where the newcomer or beginner finds the new environment or situation interesting and exciting.
    • functional approach. This approach to teaching English as a second language (also referred to as the communicative-based ESL approach or communicative approach) is based on the theory that language is acquired through exposure to meaningful and comprehensible messages, rather than being learned through the formal study of grammar and vocabulary. The goal of communicative-based ESL is communicative competence.
    • functional literacy. You have acquired enough reading and writing ability to accomplish your primary goals and no more.
    • gradual exit program. A bilingual education program in which students gradually transition from native language classes to classes in English. At first, the native language is used for all subjects (except ESL and art, music and physical education). At a later stage, the first language is used for those subjects that are difficult to make comprehensible for those limited in English (social studies and language arts), while English is used in those subjects that are easier to contextualize (math, science). Finally, English is used for all subjects.
    • grammar. A theory or hypothesis, about the organization of language in the mind of speakers of that language—the underlying knowledge that permits understanding and production of language.
    • grammar-translation approach. This is a non-communicative approach that relies heavily on reading and translation, mastery of grammatical rules and accurate writing. The historically dominant method of second language teaching in school. Students were expected to memorize vocabulary and verb declensions, learn rules of grammar and their exceptions, take dictation, and translate written passages. The emphasis was on literacy development rather than the acquisition of oral/aural skills.
    • graphic organizers. Teacher or assistant uses a graph, chart, physical or visual model as a preview/view/review structure for all lesson content, outlining key issues, rehearsing vocabulary, and reviewing related prior knowledge.
    • guided practice. Teacher, student peer or specialist demonstrates what to do to complete a task or how to act or speak in a given situation. The situation is explained in home and community language when possible, and each stage is modeled. Someone who is familiar to the learners comes in and leads them through the situation. This can involve actually physically guiding the learner through the actions required. Students then practice each stage of the interaction with these familiar participants until comfortable with the interaction.
    • heritage language. The language a person regards as their native, home, and/or ancestral language. This covers indigenous languages (e.g. Navajo) and immigrant languages (e.g. Spanish in the U.S.)
    • high-stakes assessment. Any assessment that is used to make a critical decision about a student, such as whether or not a student will move on to the next grade or receive a diploma. School officials using such tests must ensure that students are tested on a curriculum they have had a fair opportunity to learn, so that certain subgroups of students, such as racial and ethnic minority students or students with a disability or limited English proficiency, are not systematically excluded or disadvantaged by the test or the test-taking conditions. Furthermore, high-stakes decisions should not be made on the basis of a single test score, because a single test can only provide a “snapshot” of student achievement and may not accurately reflect an entire year's worth of student progress and achievement.
    • home language survey (HLS). Form completed by parents/guardians that gives information about a student's language background. Must be on file for every LEP student.
    • humanistic approach. Communicative approach that focuses on the whole learner, starts with the individual then expands to group and includes music, art and physical activity.
    • immersion approach. Bilingual program similar to double or two-way program. Sometimes also used to describe a program where L1 students are given academic instruction in a non-native language for enrichment. Approach to teaching language in which the target language is used exclusively to provide all instruction.
    • input +1. Optimal input must be at a level slightly above that of the learner. Krashen labeled this concept “input + 1.” To explain this principle, Krashen uses an analogy of an English speaker trying to comprehend Spanish from a radio program. Those of us who have a beginner's ability to speak Spanish and who have listened to a Spanish radio broadcast know how frustrating (and incomprehensible) it can be to try to attend to input that is just too complex and that lacks a visible context from which we can deduce clues.
    • integration. Integration is one type of adaptive, acculturative response to changes in our sociocultural environment. It is characterized by a blending and combining of the known, familiar, language and culture of the family and community with the new language and culture. Some researchers call this bi-cognitive adaptation.
    • interdisciplinary approach. An instructional model where all content areas are combined in thematic units of learning, e.g. The Rainforest, included science, math, reading, writing, art, music, literature, geography, social studies, etc.
    • intermediate fluency. Your student can speak effectively in social settings and can understand and perform many academic tasks in the language or dialect. He or she uses simple but whole sentences and makes some pronunciation & basic grammatical errors but is understood. He or she responds orally and in written form with a limited vocabulary. She or he initiates conversation and questions and shows good comprehension and uses up to 7000 receptive word vocabulary.
    • instructional conversations. Discussion-based lessons geared toward creating opportunities for students’ conceptual and linguistic development. They focus on an idea or a student. The teacher encourages expression of students’ own ideas, builds upon information students provide and experiences they have had, and guides students to increasingly sophisticated levels of understanding.
    • jigsaw. A specific instructional strategy where a task is broken up into pieces and different parts are given to different groups of students. After completing their portion of the lesson or task, the groups come back together and share their information. In a jigsaw, the whole is only revealed after sharing each part.
    • L1. Primary or heritage language.
    • L2. Secondary language.
    • lag time. The length of time it takes a second language learner to process the information or question directed at them and to form an appropriate response. This lag time may be a considerable span of time.
    • language acquisition theory (Krashen and others).Acquisition and learning are two separate processes. Learning is knowing about a language (formal knowledge). Acquisition is the unconscious process that occurs when language is used in real conversation. Language acquisition theory embodies the following hypotheses: Natural Order: Natural progression/order of language development exhibited by infants/young children and/or second language learners (child or adult). Monitor: Learning (as opposed to acquisition) serves to develop a monitor- an error detecting mechanism that scans utterances for accuracy in order to make corrections. As a corollary to the monitor hypothesis, language acquisition instruction should avoid emphasis on error correction and grammar. Such an emphasis might inhibit language acquisition, particularly at the early stages of language development. Input: Input needs to be comprehensible. Affective Filter
    • language experience approach. An approach to literacy development based on the idea that students can learn to write by dictating to the teacher what they already know and can express verbally, and that they can then read that which has been written. Hence, the students’ first reading materials come from their own repertoire of language (Richard-Amato, 1996). The language experience approach involves direct transcription of a story or dialog from the students and then using that written language to practice reading. This approach creates authentic text that is at the students’ ability level and helps them to make connections between the oral language and the written code.
    • language proficiency. To be proficient in a second language means to effectively communicate or understand thoughts or ideas through the language's grammatical system and its vocabulary, using its sounds or written symbols. Language proficiency is composed of oral (listening and speaking) and written (reading and writing) components as well as academic and non-academic language.
    • late-exit bilingual education. Late-exit programs provide bilingual instruction for three or more years of schooling. Late-exit programs may be transitional or developmental bilingual programs, depending on the goal of the program.
    • latency. The space of time between the end of one person's utterance and the beginning of another speaker's utterance. This length of time is culturally determined and means different things within different cultures and languages/dialects.
    • Lau versus Nichols. Supreme Court case where the Court ruled that, “There is no equality of treatment merely by providing students the same facilities, textbooks, teachers and curriculum, for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education.” Also: Lau remedies.
    • limited English proficient (LEP). Limited English proficient (LEP) is the term used by the federal government, most states and local school districts to identify those students who have insufficient English to succeed in English-only classrooms. Increasingly, English language learner (ELL) or English learner (EL) are used in place of LEP.
    • maintenance bilingual program. Bilingual program whose goal is to maintain English learner's native language and culture. Students are encouraged to be proficient in English and their native tongue.
    • manipulatives. Using actual objects or models of objects or items in a lesson in such a way that students handle them and use them as part of learning.
    • mental isolation. This is the stage of acculturation where newcomers experience a kind of “home-sickness.” They miss their “home” culture and feel more like an outsider in the new one. They may withdraw from interactions with members of the new sociocultural community.
    • metalinguistic skills. The ability to talk about language, analyze it, think about it, separate it from context, and judge it. Metalinguistic skills, such as phonemic awareness and sound-to-symbol correspondence are regarded as key factors in the development of reading in young children and they may be prerequisite to later language acquisition in reading and writing. Research shows that balanced bilinguals have increased metalinguistic awareness in their abilities to analyze language and their control of internal language processing.
    • monolingual. Your student commonly uses only one language or dialect.
    • morphology. The study of the meaning units in a language (morphemes)
    • multiple intelligences. Theory by Howard Gardner that learners have many ways of learning, e.g. through music, art, thinking, reading, feeling, etc.
    • native-language instruction. The use of a child's home language (generally by a classroom teacher) to provide lessons in academic subjects or to teach reading and other language arts.
    • natural approach. Developed by linguist Stephen Krashen and teacher Tracy Terrell in 1983, the Natural Approach is a methodology for fostering second language acquisition which focuses on teaching communicative skills, both oral and written, and is based on Krashen's theory of language acquisition which assumes that speech emerges in four stages: (1) preproduction (listening and gestures), (2) early production (short phrases), (3) speech emergence (long phrases and sentences), and (4) intermediate fluency (conversation).
    • newcomer program. A program that addresses the specific needs of recent immigrant students, most often at the middle and high school level, especially those with limited or interrupted schooling in their home countries. Major goals of newcomer programs are to acquire beginning English language skills along with core academic skills and to acculturate to the U.S. school system. Some newcomer programs also include primary language development and an orientation to the student's new community.
    • one-way program. Bilingual program where native English speakers do not receive instruction in the native language of the English learners.
    • organization strategy. Recall and retrieval can be enhanced by the use of grouping or cluster strategies. Learning to group or cluster items is an application of the cognitive learning strategy “organization.” In organization strategies, students are instructed to follow these steps: Sort the words, items, or information to be recalled into groups sharing some common characteristics; Give these groups distinctive names or labels; Study the items by group, rehearsing the individual and group names; Self-test for recall by group; and, Retrieve item identifications by group.
    • phase or stage. Periods of development that are typically used in discussion of language ability instead of ages to refer to a child's process.
    • phonology. The study of the sound patterns of a language.
    • pragmatics. The general study of how context affects the user's interpretation of language.
    • pre-production. Receptive comprehension. Your student can understand when spoken to, depends on context and has minimal receptive vocabulary. He or she comprehends key words only and points, draws, or uses gesture responses, but may not produce speech. She or he has a 0–500 receptive word vocabulary and may still be adjusting to US/Canadian culture.
    • primary Language. The language of most benefit in learning new and difficult information.
    • pull-out ESL. A program in which LEP students are “pulled out” of regular, mainstream classrooms for special instruction in English as a second language.
    • push-in ESL. In contrast with pull-out ESL instruction, the ESL teacher goes into the regular classrooms to work with English language learners.
    • ratcheting. This refers to a strategy where instruction in implemented expansions and extensions. Extend and build upon what is learned like cogs in a gear mechanism Enrich and expand upon learning. Use skills in L1 to strengthen L2 learning, use skills in L2 to strengthen L1, etc. This may involve teaching specific generalization techniques or using transfer and application strategies.
    • realia. This refers to actual objects or demonstrations of objects or actions. It is an instructional technique for employing manipulatives, pictures of objects, etc. in instruction.
    • redesignation. Generally, the process of changing the English proficiency status of a student from limited English proficient (LEP) to fluent English proficient (FEP). However, within NCLB, such students must be monitored for two years. If they do not continue to make progress in the English-speaking classroom, they can be redesignated back to SEI classes or others providing home language support. Developmental progress of LEP students is reviewed annually. FEP (Fluent English Proficiency) redesignation will occur based on the following criteria: 1) Teacher recommendation 2) SOLOM 3) Oral English Fluency (LAS-O and other assessment tests) 4) Reading/Writing (LAS R/W and other assessment tests) 5) Student writing sample 6) CTBS score of 36 percentile or greater in reading, language and math)
    • redesignation rate. The percentage of students who are reclassified from limited English proficient (LEP) to fluent English proficient each year. The redesignation rate is often used as part of the accountability system for a school or district, although it does not provide valid data on program effectiveness.
    • rehearsal strategy. Rehearsal and other review and retention strategies have been shown to be effective cognitive learning strategies. In rehearsal, students are instructed to practice saying each item aloud and by groups of items. Visual cues and visual imagery also have been shown to enhance retention whether in conjunction with verbal rehearsal or as a form of rehearsal themselves.
    • rejection. Rejection is one type of adaptive, acculturative response to changes in our sociocultural environment. The individual experiencing acculturation may make an intentional choice to reject his or her home language and culture and attempt to use only the new modes of interaction. Rejection can also occur the other direction, i.e. the individual rejects the new language and culture and attempts to only interact within their home language and culture community.
    • response fatigue. One of the manifestations of culture shock is a pattern of response fatigue. The individual is expending a great deal of energy attending to all that is going on, sights, sounds, movements, objects, etc. Without a filter to identify important and critical stimuli from unimportant, the individual must attend to all. This can be exhausting and overwhelming. Response fatigue is often cyclical, i.e. the individual becomes overwhelmed with continual interaction with their environment and ‘shuts down’ periodically to recover and regain control.
    • rubrics. A structure for organizing criteria; facilitates the monitoring and measuring the completion of a task or lesson or goal.
    • scaffolding. Providing contextual supports for meaning during instruction or assessment, such as visual displays, classified lists, or tables or graphs. Supporting structures or activities that assist a language learner in comprehending and interacting with new information or vocabulary.
    • semantics. The study of meanings of individual words and or larger units such as phrases and sentences.
    • sheltered English. An instructional approach used to make academic instruction in English understandable to English language learners to help them acquire proficiency in English while at the same time achieving in content areas. Sheltered English instruction differs from ESL in that English is not taught as a language with a focus on learning the language. Rather, content knowledge and skills are the goals. In the sheltered classroom, teachers use simplified language, physical activities, visual aids, and the environment to teach vocabulary for concept development in mathematics, science, social studies and other subjects.
    • sheltered instruction observation protocol (SIOP). SIOP is a program for structuring instruction for ELL students. It includes specific steps for teachers to follow in preparing and implementing their lessons.
    • silence stage. This is a common stage in second language acquisition and is also one of the manifestations of culture shock. The individual is spending a lot of energy listening and observing, processing what is occurring before feeling comfortable responding to a situation or interaction.
    • silent way. Communicative approach that makes learner responsible for own learning and makes extensive use of Cuisenaire rods, color-coding and other manipulatives.
    • SOLOM (Student Oral Language Observation Matrix). Rating form with clear rubrics designed to help teachers assess oral language skills of students.
    • specially-designed academic instruction in English (SDAIE). SDAIE classes (ala the Freemans) are for students with intermediate to advanced levels of English proficiency and grade-level academic development in their primary language. SDAIE classes are content classes taught using special techniques to make instruction comprehensible. SDAIE differs from ELD in that the focus is on academic content, not on language development. Students must deal with the content and textbooks that mainstream classes use and SDAIE classes are content classes taught using special techniques to make the instruction comprehensible. In addition, teachers pay special attention to helping students deal with academic texts in English.
    • speech emergence. Intermediate social fluency, and limited academic fluency. Your student uses short phrases and makes many mistakes in grammar. She or he generally responds orally and hears smaller elements of speech. A he or she function on a social level and uses a limited vocabulary (between 1000–6000 receptive vocabulary).
    • submersion. Sink or swim approach to ELD instruction. L2 students are placed in the same classes as L1 students and required to learn as much as they can.
    • subtractive bilingualism. When learning a second language interferes with the learning of a first language. The second language replaces the first language. This is commonly found in children who emigrate to a foreign country when they are young, especially in cases of orphans who are deprived of their first language input. This can be contrasted to additive bilingualism.
    • Suggestopedia. Communicative approach that uses baroque music (in the session phase of a lesson) and stresses a welcoming atmosphere and natural settings. A Suggestopedia lesson may have three phases: (1) presession; (2) session and (3) postsession.
    • syntax. The study of the sentence patterns of a language and rules that govern the correctness of a sentence.
    • thematic instruction approach. See interdisciplinary approach
    • threshold theory. Research on thinking and bilingualism suggests two “thresholds,” each a level of language competence in the first or second language that must be passed to reach the next level of competence. The three levels are: limited bilingual, less balanced bilingual (age-appropriate competence in one language) and balanced bilingual (age-appropriate competence in both languages). The Threshold theory, developed by linguist Jim Cummins, helps to explain why language minority children taught only through the second language may fail in school and why children educated in developmental bilingual programs may have a cognitive advantage over monolingual students.
    • total physical response (TPR). Communicative approach where students respond with actions, not words first. Instruction is concrete and can be introductory to reading/writing experiences. A popular and effective way of teaching language developed by James Asher that actively involves the students and focuses on understanding the language rather than speaking it. TPR method asks the students to demonstrate that they understand the new language by responding to a command with an action. At first, the teacher gives the commands and does the actions along with the student. As the student understands the vocabulary, the teacher stops doing the action and has the student do the action alone. Later, the student can give commands to other students or to the teacher.
    • transition. Bilingual program whose goal is to help English learners ultimately adjust to an all- English educational program. May be early-exit (2nd grade) or late-exit (6th grade).
    • transfer. One of the fundamentals of bilingual education is that knowledge and skills learned in the native language may be transferred to English. This holds true for content knowledge and concepts as well as language skills, such as orthography and reading strategies. The transfer of skills shortens the developmental progression of these skills in the second language. Language skills that are not used in the first language may need to be explicitly taught in the course of second language development, but content area knowledge does not need to be explicitly retaught as long as the relevant English vocabulary is made available.
    • two-way program. Bilingual program where L2 learners receive L1 instruction and L1 students receive L2 instruction. To be effective program must: a) Allow for development of CALP b) Optimal input in both languages c) Focus on academic subjects d) Integrate the curriculum e) Allow for monolingual instruction for sustained periods f) Have home-school collaboration g) Empower students as active learners. H) Make sufficient use of minority language.
    • visualization strategy. A basic description of the visualization strategy is that students learn to stop and review what they are reading or doing periodically. There are five specific questions that guide them through the application of the steps involved in visualization. An example of visualization that I have used is having my students put small red stop signs at the end of sentences in an assigned reading. As they read through the passage, they stop at each sign and answer questions at each stage of their reading. They create visual images of each stage and connect these images to explain the meaning of what they are reading in words and pictures as they are reading it.
    • wait time. The period of silence that a speaker needs to leave after asking a question or making a comment to a second language learner, to give the new speaker a change to process their response.
    • whole language. Whole language is an overall philosophy to learning, which views language as something that should be taught in its entirety, not broken up into small pieces to be decoded. Some common practices include: project-based learning, language experiences, writing using inventive spelling, and little attention paid to errors.
    • withdrawal. This is a common stage in second language acquisition and is also one of the manifestations of culture shock. The individual is not yet comfortable interacting or responding and withdraws from situations where a response is expected of them.
    • zone of proximal development. A level of development attained when children engage in social behavior. Often abbreviated ZPD, is the difference between what a learner can do without help and what he or she can do with help. It is a concept developed by the Soviet psychologist and social constructivist Lev Vygotsky (1896—1934). Vygotsky stated that a child follows an adult's example and gradually develops the ability to do certain tasks without help or assistance. Vygotsky's often-quoted definition of zone of proximal development presents it as the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers. Vygotsky among other educational professionals believes the role of education to be to provide children with experiences which are in their ZPD, thereby encouraging and advancing their individual learning. Full development of the ZPD depends upon full social interaction. The range of skill that can be developed with adult guidance or peer collaboration exceeds what can be attained alone.

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