New Teacher Advocate KDP New Teacher Advocate Winter 2015 : Page 3

www.kdp.org Overall Purpose sentences found in a science text: 1. Cellular respiration is the process that releases energy by breaking down food molecules in the presence of oxygen. 2. Lactic acid is produced in your muscles during rapid exercise when the body cannot supply enough oxygen to the tissues. (Miller & Levine, 2003, pp. 222 & 225) Create for your students the grammatical frames that contain the discipline-specific words in these sentences: • Sentence 1: __________ is the process that __________ by_______ in ____________. • Sentence 2: ___________ is produced in _________ during _________ when ________. Student difficulties with comprehension and writing tasks often stem from their lack of knowledge of how words are combined in meaningful ways. The following strategy can help: Set aside 8 to 10 minutes a few times a week to take students through a guided exploration of a carefully selected, complex sentence. This practice, called sentence dissection (Dove & Honigsfeld, 2013), or s entence cross-examination (Dodge & Honigsfeld, 2014), works best if the excerpt comes directly from a text being used for literacy or content-based instruction. Text-Level Features Text-level work takes into account the way in which sentences are organized to create cohesive paragraphs. Read the following excerpt taken from a biology textbook: Although the energy yield from glycolysis is small, the process is so fast that cells can produce thou-sands of ATP molecules in just a few millisec-onds . Besides speed , another advantage is that glycolysis itself does not require oxygen. (Miller & Levine, 2003, p. 223) Examine the use of linguistic markers (in boldface)—signal words, synonyms, and transition words—to reveal the internal organization of this paragraph: • Although is a transition word connecting this paragraph to the previous one. • So fast, in just a few milliseconds, and besides speed are all connected as synonyms or ex-amples of the same idea. To conduct text-level work, use a four-step Figure 1. Text Analysis Grid Key Words and Phrases Grammatical Forms Genre or Text Type approach and a practical tool such as a graphic orga-nizer adapted from Gottlieb (2011; see Figure 1): (1) Have students identify the overall purpose of the text; (2) highlight the key words and phrases that give the main idea of the selection or are essential for under-standing the author’s message; (3) focus on a few, select sentence-level grammatical forms, such as verb tense or active-passive voice; and (4) examine the overall characteristics of the text with special attention to transitional words or other linguistic markers that help identify the genre or text type. All content teachers need to be teachers of academic English and attend to the language of their disciplines with their students. Finding the time to incorporate literacy instruction into content lessons is a challenge. Yet, it is critical to find ways to support language and literacy instruction in all of your classes to enable your students to be suc-cessful throughout their education. References Dodge, J., & Honigsfeld, A. (2014). Core instructional routines: Go-to structures for effective literacy teaching, K–5. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Dove, M., & Honigsfeld, A. (2013). Common core for the not-so-common learner: English language arts strate-gies, grades K–5. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Gottlieb, M. (2011, November). From academic language to academic success. Workshop presented at the Iowa Culture & Language Conference, Coralville, IA. Marzano, R., & Simms, J. (2013). Vocabulary for the common core. Bloomington, IN: Marzano Research Laboratory. Miller, K., & Levine, J. (2003). Prentice-Hall biology. Upper Saddle River; NJ: Prentice Hall. Dr. Honigsfeld is Associate Dean and Director of the Doc-toral Program in Educational Leadership for Diverse Learn-ing Communities at Molloy College. She has taught Eng-lish as a Second Language to all ages. A Fulbright Scholar and sought-after national presenter, Dr. Honigsfeld is the coauthor or coeditor of more than 15 books on education and numerous chapters and articles related to the needs of ELLs. Dr. Dove is Associate Profes-sor and Coordinator of TESOL Programs in the Division of Education at Molloy College, where she teaches courses on best practices for developing effective programs for English learners. She worked more than 30 years as an English as a Second Language teach-er. She and Dr. Honigsfeld coauthored Collaboration and Co-Teaching: Strategies for English Learners (2010) and Common Core for the Not-So-Common Learner: Grades K-5 (2013). KDP New Teacher Advocate • Winter 2015 • 3

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