MinneTESOL/WITESOL Journal, Volume 29 (2012)

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Now showing 1 - 14 of 14
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    Collaboration and co-teaching, by Andrea Honigsfeld and Maria G. Dove (Review)
    (Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2012) Heinz, Kristin
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    What a world reading and listening (Second edition); Amazing stories from around the world, by Milada Broukal (Review)
    (Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2012) Tweto, Ruth
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    Aha! Measuring pre-service teachers' learning of content-based instruction
    (Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2012) Reynolds, Kate Mastruserio; Jiao, Jingjing
    This research study investigated the effect of Content-Based Instruction (CBI) and its influence on pre-service teachers' (PSTs) perceptions of their existing knowledge and capabilities for teaching English language learners (ELs). Our goal was to examine the PSTs’ development in content-based instruction during a 16-week CBI course and their insights and changes resulting from the experience. The researchers hoped to determine what aspects of CBI methodology were new, noteworthy and important for PSTs in order to identify what they were not receiving in their general education teacher preparation courses. Over the course of three semesters, 49 participants took pre- and post-course surveys comprised of open-ended questions and five Likert scale close-ended questions to measure their insights and changes. Findings revealed substantial changes to pedagogical philosophy, instructional practices, curricular and materials development, awareness of ELs’ needs, and stance toward advocacy.
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    Developing habits of mind for numeracy in a low-literacy classroom: a focus on attitudes
    (Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2012) Johnson, Rachel
    Many of today’s adults, both native and non-native speakers of English, do not have the necessary math skills to be considered numerate in the world around them. Their lack of skill may lead to serious anxiety about mathematical concepts or a negative attitude towards learning new concepts. Simple tasks, such as the “Math Problem of the Day,” when used deliberately to develop key “Habits of Mind,” can help students develop positive attitudes towards mathematical knowledge. This will ultimately result in a more successful mathematical experience in academics and the world around them.
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    Transforming ESL/bilingual teachers through action research and teamwork
    (Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2012) Anderson, Sarah; Durst, Anne; Schneider, Melanie L.; Calkins, Amy; Johnson, Kari; West, Joyce
    In many professional development efforts, the experts are the outsiders who are called in to share research findings produced far away from the school or district involved. Charged with developing a grant-funded program to provide support to English as a second language and bilingual teachers in Wisconsin, we wanted to offer teachers an opportunity to build on and share their expertise to meet the educational needs of increasing numbers of English Language Learners throughout our state. Working first as individuals and later in professional teams, participating teachers developed action research projects, which served both as entry points for the program mentor into the teachers’ classrooms and as tools for understanding how to more effectively support teachers’ growth as professionals. Through active mentoring and professional teamwork, the participants realized the potential for action research projects and professional teamwork to enhance their understanding and critique of their own practice.
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    Professional development for LESSLA teachers: a status report
    (Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2012) Vinogradov, Patsy
    Teachers of low-literate adult ESL learners work in challenging contexts. Their learners are unique; they are new to English and also new to print literacy. Teachers of this level must be both language teachers and reading specialists, and they often have not had many opportunities for professional development that focus on their learners. Workshops and conferences often assume literacy in learners, and it can be difficult to apply the ideas and resources shared to low-literate adult ESL classrooms. Where can teachers of such learners go to grow professionally and connect with colleagues? This report outlines current efforts in professional development for these underserved practitioners and presents an argument for nurturing a growing format of PD for LESLLA: study circles.
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    Personal narrative: from story to science
    (Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2012) Thorson, Dena
    This study explores how writing personal narratives helps ESL students demonstrate their understanding of science vocabulary and concepts. Key influences include: the funds of knowledge students bring to the classroom (Moll, Amanti, Neff, & Gonzalez, 1992), academic English (Zwiers, 2008) vocabulary instruction (McKeown & Beck, 2004), and scientific literacy (Lee, 2005 and Lemke, 1990). The research method consisted of five cycles of action research with 11 eighth-grade ESL students in an ESL classroom which supported what was concurrently being taught in the mainstream science class. Collected data included observations and written personal narratives. The main findings were: 1) students can demonstrate understanding of both science vocabulary and concepts as wells as academic language functions common to science through personal narrative writing, 2) students can apply science vocabulary when writing about their life experiences, and 3) intentional and thoughtful planning and preteaching of vocabulary helps students access and engage in science content.
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    Two delivery models of inclusive practices for ELLs in a Midwest school district
    (Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2012) Lin, Yishu
    The study examined how the instructional delivery models in inclusion programs were specifically implemented for Grades 1-3 English Language Learners (ELLs) at 2 elementary schools in a large Midwest inner-city school district. The nature of the 2 delivery models was diagramed and explained respectively. Interview, observation data, and relevant documents were analyzed through the use of a comparative matrix. Themes and trends were developed: (a) collaboration between the classroom teachers and resource teachers; (b) scheduling; (c) reading instruction, curricular, and instruction time; (d) workload for classroom teachers and the resource teachers; (e) use of paraprofessionals; (f) assessment of students’ ongoing progress; and (g) strengths and challenges of the implemented models as described by the teachers. The findings indicated that the participating teachers were very positive about their inclusion models even though the two models were distinctively different. The results signify that inclusion can work for ELLs, but it is difficult for one classroom teacher to accomplish the job. Collaboration is the key to the success of inclusive practices.
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    Diversity within Islam: its intersections with Muslim immigrant identities
    (Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2012) Smidt, Esther
    This article investigates the multiple identities of four Muslim immigrant students, the intersections of these identities, and the students’ understandings of the systems of oppression examined in the multicultural developmental ESL writing course they attended as college freshmen. The research question is “What are Muslim immigrant students’ understandings of their own identities in terms of race, class, and gender as seen through the lens of their religious identity while taking a multicultural college writing class focusing on race, class, and gender?” The four participants of this qualitative multiple case study were chosen on the basis of religion, race, and gender. Data sources consisted of observation fieldnotes, a mapping exercise, interviews, in-class discussions, and documents. Data were coded inductively according to arising themes. Key findings reveal that there are diversity and complex identity intersections within what the general public perceives as a homogeneous group, and that primary intersections are those of religion and race, religion and sexuality, religion and gender, and religion, race, and gender.
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    Graphic device interpretation by low-literate adult ELLs: do they get the picture?
    (Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2012) Bruski, Dan
    Teachers of low-literate adult English language learners often use visual materials to teach content, but it is not clear how these visuals are interpreted by their intended audience. This research focuses on the concept of visual literacy, specifically, on the ability of low-literate adult ESL learners to identify the functions of graphic devices used in educational materials. A semiotic framework provides a basis to describe how education and cultural background can influence visual literacy. Through think-aloud interview sessions, Somali participants of varying L1 literacy levels interpreted illustrations from ESL materials. Results show lower than expected ability to interpret images and little difference in visual literacy between L1 literate and L1 non-literate participants. The author suggests that visual literacy is more dependent on experiential factors than on L1 education. Other findings include participants' tendency to bring real-world contexts to visuals and to interpret symbolic images as non-symbolic.
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    Learn! Advocate!
    (Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2012) Hadas, Deborah
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    Crones & Codgers & MinneTESOL
    (Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2012) Kramer, Deirdre Bird
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    A+ authentic, accessible academic language books
    (Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2012) Swierzbin, Bonnie
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    From the Editors
    (Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2012) Johnson, Kimberly A.; Dahlman, Anne; Pergament, Adam; Jones-Katz, Laura