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English Language Learners & Inclusive Classrooms

This presentations aims to discuss the importance of an inclusive classroom when it comes to working with English Language Learners. In addition, it will provide practical strategies to incorporate in the class to ensure students are successful.

Erica Otaguro

on 8 March 2014

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Transcript of English Language Learners & Inclusive Classrooms

English Language Learners
Inclusive Classrooms

Created By:
Amanda Caltagirone
Madison Colbeck
Brent Freeman
Xenia Kambulow
Erica Otaguro
What is an English Language Learner?
ELLs are "students in English-language schools whose first language is other than English or is a variety of English that is significantly different from the variety used in Ontario’s schools, and who may initially require educational interventions to assist them in attaining English language proficiency". (48)

They may be Canadian-born or newly arrived from other countries. They come from diverse backgrounds and school experiences, and have a variety of needs. (48)

Source: Many Roots, Many Voices (2005)
What is an Inclusive Classroom?
Generally Speaking
More Specifically
An Inclusive Classroom originally referred to a "mainstream" classroom that included students with exceptionalities and students without exceptionalities. For more information, check out http://www.edu.uwo.ca/inclusive_education/inclusion.asp
Today, "Inclusion" is often used inter-changeably with "Collaborative," "Cooperative," and "Student-Centered" learning environments
For Our Educational Round
We are focusing more on how teachers can facilitate classroom environments that are student-centered and diverse... classrooms that are accepting of ALL students, regardless of culture, language, exceptionalities, abilities, etc.
Course Content:
Module 1
Module 3
Module 2
For students to really learn, they must be "motivated, confident, and demonstrate low anxiety" (Krashen & Cummins)
According to Vygotsky's Social Constructivism theory, "learning takes place through interaction with people and the environment. It is social." In inclusive environments, our students collaborate and work together towards a common goal
To facilitate an accepting, diverse environment, teachers should encourage our ELL's to use their L1, which helps them with further language acquisition and promotes inclusion
If students are part of an inclusive learning environment, students will showcase confidence and be engaged and motivated to continue their second language acquisition process
As educators of ELL's, we must take time to explain our Canadian education system and types of activities, so that students from different cultures gain understanding of how they will be learning
Teachers should try to incorporate activities from the "Aboriginal Perspectives: A Guide to the Teacher's Toolkit" in order to promote inclusion through understanding Aboriginal culture and perspectives
It is imperative that we learn about our students' background, culture and their former schooling so we can better understand their individual needs
In collaborative learning environments, students feel important and valued as their individual input is integral to group success
Cooperative learning improves students' motivation, self esteem and social skills
Culturally Responsive classrooms: as educators, we understand that cultural tensions can exist between students so we must strive for belonging
We should use multicultural literature and resources in our classes so our students feel like they "identify" with what they are learning
Students should have specific roles within groups and should "actively pursue learning opportunities" through peer and self evaluations
Real World Application:
Case Study of Joe Kim
Ministry Guidelines and Content
Many Roots,
Many Voices (2005)
Ontario College
of Teachers
Ministry Documents
For the purpose of this educational round, we have created a case to study successful strategies for promoting an inclusive classroom for ESL/ELL students.

Joe Kim is a 16 year old student who has emigrated from Korea. The entire family is anxious to learn English and the Canadian way of life. Joe’s family is very proud of their heritage and cultural traditions. They have decided to learn English at school and work, but speak Korean at home. Joe’s family is very concerned with good grades and hopes their son will attend a good post-secondary institution. He is extremely shy and does not like to participate in activities. As a result, he does not socialize with the other students. He enjoys science and he is quite skilled with using technology.
Here are our guiding questions:

•Who is the student and what is their background information?
•What strategies/activities work best within the classroom to promote inclusivity?
•How does the inclusive classrooms affect our student? (focusing on ELLs and student centered learning/collaboration)
•What are the unique needs of the student?
•What are some resources and activities that reflect cultural diversity and provide comfort to various cultural groups?
•What are ways to involve immigrant parents to the classroom environment?
•Can techniques like scaffolding and grouping arrangements affect success in the classroom?
•How can we measure and assess the student's progress throughout the course?"
Canada's diversity can be one of its greatest assets
Many countries, such as Canada, rely on immigrants for population growth and to maintain a skilled workforce
However, many immigrants face literacy related barriers to success in education

We as teachers need to be aware of and celebrate the individual differences, both personal and cultural, within our classrooms
Diversity: The presence of a wide range of human qualities and attributes within a group, organization, or society. The dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to, ancestry, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language, physical and intellectual ability, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.

Equity: A condition or state of fair, inclusive, and respectful treatment of all people. Equity does not mean treating people that same without regard for individual differences.

Inclusive Education: Education that is based on the principles of acceptance and inclusion of all students. Students see themselves reflected in their curriculum, their physical surroundings, and the broader environment, in which diversity is honoured and all individuals are respected.

Source: Equity and Inclusive Education in Ontario Schools:
Guidelines for Policy Development and Implementation (2009)
The Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession are: commitment to students and student learning, professional knowledge, professional practice, leadership in learning communities, and ongoing professional learning.

As members of OCT, we are dedicated in the care and commitment to students. We must treat students equitably and with respect. In addition, we need to be sensitive to factors that influence individual student learning, such as, learning English and the Canadian culture.

This presentation provides information for incorporating inclusive classroom strategies to promote student learning and success. It is evident that strategies that will benefit ELLs will also benefit all students.

Source: OCT Guidelines (2012)
The Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession are: care, respect, trust, and integrity.
These values need to be instilled in our teaching every day, especially, when we are working with ELLs. We need to model empathy and respect for cultural values in our schools and communities. Also, we need to embody fairness, openness, and honesty, since professional relationships with students, colleagues, parents, and the public are based on trust. (OCT, 2012)
The Standards for the
Teaching Profession
English Language Learners/ ESL and ELD Programs and Services: Policies and Procedures for Ontario Elementary and Secondary Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12 (2007)

Supporting English Language Learners with Limited Prior Schooling: A Practical Guide for Ontario Educators Grades 3 to 12 (2008)

Equity and Inclusive Education in Ontario Schools: Guidelines for Policy Development and Implementation (2009)
Interaction with English-speaking peers supports the English language learner’s overall adjustment to the Ontario school system

Encourages student engagement, provides appropriate role models, enables students to build on their existing knowledge and skills, and enhances opportunities for English language acquisition

(English Language Learners/ ESL
and ELD Programs and Services, 2007)
Strategies for supporting English language learners with limited prior schooling:
Create an inclusive, thoughtful school...
Ensure that the school recognizes students in its environment, activities, and messaging
Build an inclusive learning environment, with expectation of equitable outcomes
Design integrated activities, with recognition of good citizenship and school contributions
Establish timetables that provide flexibility, support, and integration at appropriate times and in appropriate settings during the school day
Develop pathways to success for these learners (eg. Expanded cooperative education, school-centered programs, online courses, dual credit programs)

(Supporting English Language Learners with Limited Prior Schooling, 2008)
We envision an equitable and inclusive education system in Ontario in which:
All students, parents, and other members of the school community are welcomed and respected
Every student is supported and inspired to succeed in a culture of high expectations for learning

Providing a high quality education for all is a key means of fostering social cohesion, based on an inclusive society where diversity is affirmed within a framework of common values that promote the well-being of all citizens (5)

Equity and inclusive education aims to understand, identify, address, and eliminate the biases, barriers, and power dynamics that limit students’ prospects for learning, growing, and fully contributing to society (6)
Barriers may be refer to gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, socio-economic background, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, or other factors (6)

Equity and inclusive education policies and practices will support positive learning environments so that all students feel engaged in and empowered by what they are learning, supported by the teachers and staff from whom they are learning, and welcome in the environment in which they are learning (6)

Students, teachers, and staff learn and work in an environment that is respectful, supportive, and welcoming to all (6)

(Equity and Inclusive Education in Ontario Schools, 2009)
Creating a welcoming and inclusive school environment for English language learners and their families is a whole school activity, requiring the commitment of the principal and the vice principal, teachers, support staff, and other leaders within the school community (36)

Peer partnerships can be an effective way to provide English language learners with opportunities for classroom talk (22)

By partnering them with a supportive peer, you can ease their integration into the class, help them get to know their classmates, and give them a chance to use English in a non-threatening environment (22)

Cooperative learning groups are recommended by many experts as an excellent way to provide English language learners with opportunities to practice their oral skills in English and to receive the kind of feedback that promotes language acquisition (22)

Cooperative learning gives all students opportunities to deepen their understanding and to develop their problem-solving skills through purposeful talk, to work effectively with others, to develop friendships that otherwise may not happen, and to experience the satisfaction that comes from helping others (22)
Case Study Analysis
and Suggestions

-We must encourage Joe to collaborate with his peers (and work on his shyness), albeit through a slow progression (i.e., beginning with one partner during group activities)
-To showcase his technological skills, Joe could be given the choice to complete an assignment in a more creative/digital format
-A few days a week, time could be scheduled for students to share aspects in regards to their individual heritage (e.g., specific style of dress, favourite food items, holidays, etc.), so everyone can learn and understand differing cultural traditions
-If Joe can slowly work his way into more collaborative situations and feels comfortable enough to open up about his Korean cultural traditions, he will hopefully understand that he is indeed an important member of a class that both includes and values everyone
What strategies/activities work best within the classroom to promote inclusivity?
Important Ideas:

Without an inclusive environment, our ESL students can feel frustrated, disinterested, and become more anxious during class, which will only hinder their second language acquisition process (Monitory Theory)

Differentiated Instruction is critical

When we meet the needs of all learners and consider what challenges they may be facing, we can tailor our teaching strategies/activities to incorporate every student, further maintaining an inclusive environment

With multiple activities (independent work, think-pair-sharing, creating mind-maps, etc.) and different options to choose from for preparing a final product (brochure, poster, PowerPoint/Prezi, etc.), students will understand how valued they are as their strengths/needs are important factors for their teacher to consider
Culturally-Responsive Teaching:

Culturally-responsive teaching strategies encourage students to reflect and share details regarding their background and culture

Utilizing a variety of activities is key

Students can share prior experiences/knowledge/expertise in order for their culture to be incorporated into the learning process

Culturally-responsive teaching promotes an inclusive, positive, and safe environment for students, where they feel welcome and connected
What we can consider:

ESL students need to have an understanding of the culture they are now immersed in, in order to function as both students and citizens. Some strategies include:

Incorporating the student’s cultural background with our Canadian culture and discussing ethnic heritage (e.g., differing ethnic dress, holidays, daily routines in different countries, etc.)

Describing and analyzing cultural icons in the literature that is read, including fables or ‘heroes’ to understand what they mean within English culture

Discussing how gender bias can exist and how gender norms vary around the world (asking what stereotypes may exist and why they can be negative)
Source: Johnson, M. and Chang, D. (2012). “Balancing Act: Addressing Culture and Gender in ESL Classrooms”.
What is the importance and the benefits of an inclusive classroom, specifically for ELLs?
Key Concepts:

Collaborative learning refers to an instruction method in which students at various performance levels work together in small groups toward a common goal (effective with ELL students)
For example: The success of one student helps other students to be successful
Collaboration plays a key role in inclusive classrooms
Students are taught and encouraged to work together and support one another
Inclusive classrooms create opportunities where all student can at one point or another be given the role of a leader or supporter
Adesope, Lavin, Thompson and Ungerleider (2011) found that collaborative reading produced the largest effect of all the reading strategies on students’ literacy ability.
According to Vygotsky (1978), students are capable of performing at higher intellectual levels when asked to work in collaborative situations than when asked to work individually.
Group diversity in terms of knowledge and experience contribute positively to the learning process
This should be considered when forming group activities in the classroom
i.e. ELL students have a lot to contribute in a group environment, even if they have difficulty expressing themselves
Benefits of an Inclusive Classroom:
Greater academic outcomes
Respect for all people
Meaningful friendships
Increased understanding and acceptance of diversity
Increased appreciation and acceptance of individual differences
Prepares all students for adult life in an inclusive society
Opportunities to master activities by practicing and teaching others
All students' needs are better met, greater resources for everyone
(Source: Daniel Pink's Drive, 2011)
What to consider...

Adesope, Lavin, Thompson and Ungerleider (2011) found that collaborative reading produced the largest effect of all the reading strategies on students’ literacy ability
Inclusive classrooms produced a greater effect for increased literacy skills among ESL students than when students were part of a pull-out program
Collaborative reading interventions, in which peers engaged in oral interaction and cooperatively negotiate meaning and a shared understanding of texts, produced larger effects than systematic phonics instruction and multi-media assisted reading interventions
According to Astin (1993), "research shows that students who participate in successful group projects, collaborative learning and cooperative learning exhibit a higher level of academic achievement, better critical thinking skills, a deeper understanding of learned material, and more positive and supportive relationships with peers."
It is important to encourage partnerships and cooperative learning to provide ELLs with opportunities to practice their oral skills in English and to receive the kind of feedback that promotes language acquisition (Many Roots p.22)
Cooperative learning gives all students opportunities to deepen their understanding and to develop their problem solving skills through purposeful talk and to work effectively with others
Source: Adesope, Lavin, Thompson, and Ungerleider. (2011). “Pedagogical strategies for teaching literacy to ESL immigrant students: A meta-analysis”.
It is important to keep Joe in an inclusive classroom because it allows him to feel more comfortable in his environment and he would get familiar with his classmates.
Simple cooperative strategies, such as dyad reading or collaborative integrated reading and composition, would encourage Joe to interact with his peers (even if it is just one other person) and share his ideas in a comfortable setting
Not only would it benefit Joe academically by sharing his ideas and talking with a classmate, but it would also help develop his social skills
He could use his technological skills and incorporate some aspect of technology into a group project
Joe’s contribution would benefit the group as a whole but it would also build Joe’s confidence and make him feel valued
Reflecting Cultural Diversity and Providing Comfort to Various Cultural Groups
Relating the Article to Course Material:
To learn language there must be comprehensible input (meaning is primary). To learn, the learner must be motivated, confident and demonstrate low anxiety
The attitudes and beliefs that are shared with the home group influence communication
Teachers may assume that group work is common in a more collaborative culture. However, the type of small group collaboration common in one culture may not be common in another
Use visuals, and encourage students to look at the visuals in their textbooks.
Allow the students to use L1 for clarification with each other
Connections to Our Case Study:
Joe brings his own experiences and background to our classroom and, as educators, we need to use this to our advantage
We have to be sensitive with his likes and prior knowledge to create an atmosphere that allows him to be comfortable
We have to use multi modes of teaching to find out what type of instruction works best with Joe
Finally, we should create a relationship with Joe’s family to allow to get the people in his life involved in his studies
Important Ideas:
Inclusion is a holistic approach that understands that students are coming from different cultures that bring specific knowledge’s to the school
ESL students learn more from multimodal than linguistic learning
It is important to include the whole family in the education process
Teachers are more likely to comment about students perceived culture than their own
Students valued material that was tied to their culture and their likes
Language is the strongest support structure of ethnic identity- thus, language often can lead to exclusion
Lived experience has a lot to do with being a successful ESL teacher- having the same culture as students or having been through learning a 2nd language can be very beneficial to running a successful program
Source: Rowsell, J., Sztainbok, V., & Blaney, J. (2007). "Losing Strangeness: Using Culture to Mediate ESL Teaching. Language, Culture and Curriculum" 20(2).
Source: "Educating for Inclusion: Community Building Through Mentorship and Citizenship." Karen Roland. The Journal of Educational Thought. Spring 2008: 42.1. ProQuest Educational Journals. 53-68.
Important Info:
Connections to Case Study
Classroom Strategies
Community Building in Our Classrooms
Tribes Learning Communities
Building a sense of inclusivity and community within the classroom contributes to a greater sense of social awareness and empowerment for our students
To prepare students to participate and contribute as global citizens, schools should consider community building as a critical element in the socialization process
School systems should explore the processes of character education, focusing on principles of honesty, integrity, empathy and compassion
Focus on an holistic approach to teaching students- this nurtures their intellectual, emotional and spiritual development and helps to create a community-like environment
It is imperative that a welcoming environment is facilitated for minorities, marginalized students and non-traditional learners. Through peer mentorship, these students are supported by allowing their voices to be heard and valued through sharing their experiences with others
Collaborative classroom efforts such as peer mentoring and tutoring, and multilingual workshops that included both students and parents were methods that acted as "cultural brokers", mediating the cultural differences between school and home
Educators who reached out to parents helped these parents develop positive attitudes towards the school system
Joe's parents speak Korean, but they are trying to learn English... teachers can employ small gestures such as learning a few key phrases in Korean in an effort to make his parents feel comfortable and valued
Further, Joe's teacher (or even the school) could host a workshop for any parents of ELL's to help them learn some applicable English phrases that will help them communicate with their children about school work- this will also help parents and teachers communicate with each other
Joe's teacher can "partner" him with another student who speaks Korean so they have a shared L1
What is a Tribes
In Relation to Our
Case Study
Classroom Strategies
Source: Gibbs, Jeanne and Teri Ushijima. "Engaging All by Creating High School Learning Communities." CentreSource Systems LLC
Check out http://tribes.com for more information!
There are FOUR Tribes Agreements that everyone in the class must agree to 1) Be an Attentive Listener 2) Appreciate Others/No Put Downs 3) Have Mutual Respect 4) You Have the Right to Pass
In a Collaborative classroom setting, students are in small home-groups called "tribes." Creating an Inclusive Tribes classroom is a long-term commitment that focuses on the WHOLE student
Students achieve at high levels because they are feel appreciated by their peers and teachers. Differences are respected in this positive, student-centered environment. Students become actively involved in their own learning, are more motivated and develop cooperative skills
Grouping Arrangements

Source: “Using Scaffolding Instruction to Optimize Learning,” by Martha Larkin
Source: “Effective Room Arrangement” by Dr. Fred Jones
Scaffolding is the process of supporting a student until he/she can apply skills and strategies independently
A progression from teacher dependence to confident self-dependence
A tool in a teacher’s hands to assist the student to adapt to his/her surroundings
Examples of Scaffolding
•The teacher teaches the student to ride a bicycle by attaching training wheels to the back wheel, then assists the student to balance while pushing the bicycle forward affording the student support while he learns to balance himself on it
•A Graphic Designer – the teacher models it in front of the class, students work together to share knowledge, they discuss it as a class, then the ELL works independently to master it and repeats the task at will
Classroom Arrangements
Encourages the ELL to participate more fully in the lesson because he/she can clearly see the inter-action of both teacher and students becoming more involved
Rearranging seating every few weeks allows students to interact with different students in the classroom helping them to learn to create new friendships as in the real world
•Affords the teacher proximity to her students in a moment’s notice
•Supports classroom management avoiding prolonged distractions and off task activities
Examples of Classroom Arrangements
•Horseshoe formation allows students and teacher to see each other clearly and is conducive to interaction
•Four desks facing each other encourages peer learning through discussion and modeling of work
•Other arrangements such as several desks side-by-side encourages peer learning and a clear line of site to the teacher at the front of the class
•Each arrangement has its advantages and disadvantages but in all cases they should afford the teacher easy access to all students in the classroom most importantly the ELL
Relating to Our Case Study
•Seating Joe with a mature English speaking Canadian or culturally different student, who would help him to become more familiar with his classmates without being too closely involved with them
•Utilizing a computer program to assist him in learning English on his own could build his confidence with the language in an individual setting and encourage his love of technology and science
•Contacting his parents to find an older Korean student to tutor him will give him a positive example of someone who has integrated into the new culture, and will assist his learning of the new language
Allow him to chose the students he would feel most comfortable to work with as he adjusts to the culture of the classroom avoiding anxiety and isolation
Set-Up is everything: arrange the desks in small groups starting on the first day of school... commit to your ELL's sitting in their Tribes throughout the whole year
Differentiate Instruction: as you would in any successful classroom, respect the Multiple Intelligences of your ELL's by giving them various choices
Break-the-Ice: spend a significant amount of time at the beginning of the school year having students participate in "get-to-know-you" activities, and reinforce these activities throughout the year... ELL's who respect and value each others' differences will be be successful in a Tribes environment
Teachers should MODEL the four Tribes agreements. For instance, discuss with students what constitutes being a good listener means and model being an attentive listener when students are participating
The teacher could group Joe in a Tribe with another Korean student and other students from different backgrounds... encouraging a Tribes environment from the beginning of the school year and explaining its many benefits could alleviate some of Joe's shyness
The teacher should encourage Joe to utilize his strengths, especially in engaging with technology on projects that allow for choice, and should use technology as a teaching-tool whenever possible
The teacher should try to incorporate some elements of Korean culture and/or language whenever possible
How can we help Joe?
How can we help Joe?
Johnson, M. and Chang, D. (2012). “Balancing Act: Addressing Culture and Gender in ESL Classrooms”. Journal of Adult Education, 41.1.
Adesope, Lavin, Thompson and Ungerleider. (2011). “Pedagogical strategies for teaching literacy to ESL immigrant students: A meta-analysis”. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 81 (629-653).
Larkin, M. (2002). “Using Scaffolded Instruction to Optimize Learning". ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education Arlington.
Rowsell, J., Sztainbok, V., & Blaney, J. (2007). Losing Strangeness: Using Culture to Mediate ESL Teaching. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 20(2). Retrieved February 20, 2013, from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2167/lcc331.0
Roland, K. (2007). "Educating for Inclusion: Community Building Through Mentorship and Citizenship." The Journal of Educational Thought. Spring 2008: 42.1. ProQuest Educational Journals. 53-68.
Jones, F. (2007). "Effective Room Arrangement” from the book "Tools for Teaching".
English Language Learners/ ESL and ELD Programs and Services: Policies and Procedures for Ontario Elementary and Secondary Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12 (2007)
Supporting English Language Learners with Limited Prior Schooling: A Practical Guide for Ontario Educators Grades 3 to 12 (2008)
Many Roots, Many Voices: Supporting English Language Learners in Every Classroom (2005)
OCT Guidelines and Ethical Standards. (2012). (Source: www.oct.ca)
Pink, D. (2011). "Drive". Riverhead books, New York.
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