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Building on the Sound System of Spanish

ELL - Helman (2004)
by

Jennifer Valenti

on 6 April 2013

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Transcript of Building on the Sound System of Spanish

Author: Lori A. Helman (2004) Building on the Sound Systems of Spanish: Insights from the Alphabetic Spellings of ELLs Article Overview Helping Students Build
on Similarities Helman's article examines how a Spanish language background
can effect a student's progress while learning English. The study
focuses on the sound system of Spanish and its influence on
pronunciation and the beginning writing behaviors of ELLs. a) Similarities & Differences in Consonant Sounds - The Sound Systems of English & Spanish The Sound Systems of English & Spanish continued... Commonalities - Neither language limits sounds that can start a word.

Distinctions - Most English consonants can end words but only 5 can end Spanish words. The reverse is true of vowels. Most Spanish vowels can end a word but in English there are 5 that cannot.

Possible Areas of Difficulty for Spanish speakers learning English - The consonants that can end a word in English that are NOT allowed to end a word in Spanish can lead to pronunciation problems. (Table 5) The Sound Systems of English & Spanish continued... Last thought from the author, Helman, the more an ELL knows about the similarities and differences between Spanish and English, the more that can be done to help aid their language development. Presented by: Jennifer Valenti The Importance of Sound Literacy learning is a development of understandings about written language. b) How More Complex Vowel System of English Can
Cause Confusion for ELLs c) Positions for the Consonant Sounds & Clusters, and
Vowels in each Language Article focuses on "General American Spanish
(heard on TV/radio in SW US, Mexico, & Urban Central & SA) English & Spanish share many of the same phonemes but do contain sounds NOT recognized as distinct in other language. Commonalities - good place to start when teaching EBs letter sounds in English (graphic)

Distinctions - Many consonant sounds that do NOT occur in Spanish. (Table 1)

Areas of Difficulty for Spanish speakers learning English - Phonemes and blends
NOT present in Spanish

Consonant Blends - English has MORE consonant blends than Spanish. The -s blends are
most difficult for Spanish speakers. (Table 2) Connections from Herrera et al., chapter 2
that may explain some results from
Jimenez, Garcia, & Pearson findings English language has nearly DOUBLE the vowels of Spanish. Commonalities - Sounds are similar in both languages but can be spelled with different letters, causing possible confusion. (Table 3)

Distinctions - Spanish does NOT have 4 short vowels of English.

Possible Areas of Difficulty for Spanish speakers learning English - If L1 does not have existing vowel sound, ELL may substitute the closest sounding vowel in its place, creating errors. (Table 4) Permissible sound combinations and placements vary between the two languages; however, they do share some commonalities but also have distinct rules about positions. Implications for the Instruction of
English to Spanish speakers 1. Begin with commonalities.*
*Cummins (1981, 2000) as cited in Herrera, et al., chapter 2
- interdependence theory: CLD student's acquisition of L1 and L2 is intertwined
- transfer theory suggests that "academic proficiency transfers across
languages such that students who have developed literacy in their first
language will tend to make stronger progress in acquiring literacy in their
second language"
2. Use knowledge of Spanish to understand students' developmental reading and writing.
3. Identify areas of distinction and provide explicit support.
4. Use developmental spelling tasks to assess students' learning and plan follow up
phonics lessons.
5. Ensure that students understand foundational concepts.
6. Include students in think-aloud processes comparing Spanish and English. Their
thoughts give great insight to their thinking. Links: Jimenez, Garcia, & Pearson article focuses on "bilingualism as a potential strength which might facilitate literacy development."
The same article also cites several theorist who support the idea of bilingualism as an added cognitive benefit, rather than a deficit...
Hosenfeld (1978)- L2 learner can bring greater awareness of the cognitive processes
Vygotsky (1962)- cognitive differences may exist between bilingual and monolingual
children in awareness of language (not a negative)
Carrell (1989)- what an L2 reader knows about reading affects reading behavior The "more proficient a CLD student is at reading in the native language, the faster he or she will acquire English, because existing native-language reading skills support second-language reading ability" (Collier & Thomas, 1992; Escamilla, 1987; Rodriguez, 1988).

Clay (1993) also found that "the least complicated starting point for literacy learning with CLD students is to use what the student already knows from the native language to boost English language acquisition." Big Question:
Can't an article like this be
available for every language?
I found it very helpful!
Full transcript