READ 180 Professional Development: Filling in the Gaps for English Language Learners
READ 180 Community Newsletter – Winter 2008
3–5, 6–8, 9–12
READ 180 works. No other intervention program offers the combination of differentiated instruction and immediate feedback that's proven to help struggling readers succeed. However, many teachers are now experiencing a new challenge to this success: the growing number of English language learners (ELLs) with lower language proficiency.
The READ 180 rBook is specially designed for struggling readers with Language Proficiency Levels 3-4. But as we all know, students who struggle with language also struggle with reading. So how can you connect with ELLs who are at lower proficiency levels? The answer is the READ 180 LBook, a new tool to complement the way you teach and the way your students learn.
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What is the LBook?
The LBook provides added support for your READ 180 students especially, your English language learners by making sure that every student has access to the academic language, word learning strategies, and grammar that are required to follow the rBook instruction. Since ELLs may enter your READ 180 class with varying proficiency levels, the instruction is differentiated on every page for beginning through early advanced English language learners.
The LBook is based on best practices for English language learners and is co-authored by Dr. Kate Kinsella and Tonya Ward Singer, two of the nation's leading ELL researchers. If you attended this past summer's READ 180 National Summer Institute, you may have heard these expert authors explain their three-part theory on how the LBook connects to the rBook.
How can a student improve his or her reading without having basic language skills? That's the difficulty many ELLs face. The LBook helps you prepare students for rBook instruction with academic and oral language development, comprehension, writing, and grammar skills. The best part is that the skills you help develop are directly connected to the rBook, and students can apply them immediately.
English language learners may lack basic skills in the English language, but that doesn't mean they're lacking language skills altogether. With the LBook, you can tap into students' existing knowledge by addressing skills that are transferable from their primary language to English. This includes grammar, sound spellings, and the use of cognates.
The LBook enhances rBook instruction by scaffolding English language learners' access to text through multiple readings and additional opportunities to practice and apply new vocabulary and comprehension skills. If there's one thing that READ 180 is known for, it's that practice and repetition work. The LBook takes that strategy a big step further to help ELLs build skills - and confidence.
Prepare students for today's learning - and tomorrow's opportunities
According to Dr. Kate Kinsella, many ELLs enter school with "profound gaps in their experiential knowledge of our culture and curriculum and [are at] very early stages of language acquisition." The LBook helps you fill in those language gaps by building background skills and enhancing the discussions around the topics found in the rBook. As a result, you'll be better equipped to teach your students high-utility vocabulary words, develop oral communication skills and frontload the rBook exercises for a more effective overall learning experience.
Tonya Ward Singer adds that the LBook gives students "the language they need to be successful not only with the rBook, but also with what they need in their other content areas and what they're going to need beyond READ 180. It's a long-term vision of what kids are going to need to have equal opportunities for their education and careers."
Here are a few examples of how the LBook can complement the regular READ 180 instruction:
For English language learners, rBook anchor videos come at them quickly; while they get the images, they may not understand the words. The LBook provides multiple views and structured note-taking to guide students through the video. Dr. Kate Kinsella's unique "Give 1, Get 1" structured activity challenges kids to verbally interact with one another to share key themes and messages found in the anchor video.
- LBook lessons identify the two most important words in every rBook reading. English language learners can't always connect related forms of a word. Therefore, the LBook not only focuses on high-utility words, but also provides students with the opportunity to recognize word families using multiple forms of the same word. By learning the noun and verb forms of a word, students gain an understanding of what a word means and how it's used. That prepares them for writing exercises.
- Present tense subject/verb agreement can be a challenge for ELLs. An LBook lesson focuses on that skill by having students write an expository paragraph. In addition, the lesson offers kids key words that they can use, such as synonyms for adjectives.
- Through targeted use of cognates (especially with native Spanish speakers), students can build upon existing language skills, which helps with comprehension and retention. Workshops also drill down on rBook word challenges with exercises on prefixes and suffixes, multiple meaning words, idioms and other parts of English language.
- By frontloading skills such as "main idea" and "details," you'll help students build critical language and understand concepts that will appear in the rBook lessons. The difference is that while the rBook may challenge students to identify the main idea from multiple paragraphs of text, the LBook focuses the skill with a graphic organizer tool and just a single paragraph of text. This important feature helps prevent the need for "damage control" - that all too familiar situation when you realize in the middle of a lesson that a student is missing fundamental skills.
Fits Seamlessly into the READ 180 Model
To build the LBook into the 90-minute model, it's recommended that you begin the first day of the week with the rBook lesson, and then follow that with the LBook and the rBook on alternate days. The LBook is specifically designed for whole and/or small group instruction where you can really focus on specific skills and there are opportunities for oral communication between the students. You'll find that the LBook instructional practices are very similar to the rBook routines. The idea is that the predictability of the routine allows students to dedicate their mental energy to learning - not adjusting to a varied routine. This also makes lessons easier for the teacher.
Helps teachers help students
You probably have your READ 180 classroom running like a well-oiled machine. So how are you supposed to add something new to the mix? Teaching guides are often complicated and difficult to navigate. The LBook makes it easy.
The comprehensive LBook Teaching Guide leads you through each routine and highlights opportunities for differentiated instruction. It even shows you how each activity connects to the rBook. A simple system of icons quickly categorizes each type of activity (e.g., teach/model, guided practice, discussion, structured partnering, etc.) so you know, at-a-glance, how to approach each session. Furthermore, the Teaching Guide includes a tutorial DVD featuring Dr. Kate Kinsella and Tonya Ward Singer as they model each and every LBook lesson. By seeing the lessons at work, you can really study the approach and pick up the routines with ease.
The all-new LBook really makes a difference for English language learners by giving them the missing skills to make the most of READ 180 instruction. The goal is to get your students cognitively and linguistically engaged in every rBook lesson, 100% of the time. The impact is significant. As Tonya Ward Singer says, "When you see your students producing high-caliber work and you notice them using academic language, you know something is working."
To learn more about the LBook or to order them for your school, visit the READ 180 Community. Go Now!