By now it’s a given: if we’re to help our ELLs and SELs access the rigorous demands of today’s content standards, we must cultivate the “code” that drives school success: academic language. Look no further for assistance than this much-anticipated series from Ivannia Soto, in which she invites field authorities Jeff Zwiers, David and Yvonne Freeman, Margarita Calderon, and Noma LeMoine to share every teacher’s need-to-know strategies on the four essential components of academic language. The subject of this volume is conversational discourse. Here, Jeff Zwiers reveals the power of academic conversation in helping students develop language, clarify concepts, comprehend complex texts, and fortify thinking and relational skills. With this book as your roadmap, you’ll learn how to: • Foster the skills and language students must develop for productive interactions • Implement strategies for scaffolding paired conversations • Assess student’s oral language development as you go It’s imperative that our ELLs and SELs practice academic language in rich conversations with others in school, especially when our classrooms may be their only opportunities to receive modeling, scaffolding, and feedback focused on effective discourse. This book, in concert with the other three volumes in the series, can provide both a foundation and a framework for accelerating the learning of diverse students across grade levels and disciplines.
Chapter Four: Learning From Classroom Examples of Conversational Discourse
Learning From Classroom Examples of Conversational Discourse
In true conversation, the sparks fly as two ideas meet for the first time.
There is a vast range of conversations that can and do happen in K–12 classrooms. Just think of the difference between a first-grade conversation about a character in a story, a fifth-grade conversation about why gravity is different on the moon than on Earth, and a tenth-grade conversation about the main effects of World War I. Even in the same room at the same moment, students can have a wide variety of conversations about the same topic. So in the examples that follow, keep this in mind. They are not meant to be perfect models. Rather, they are ...