Training for All Teachers

Spring 2005 E27.2275 Syllabus

Revised Syllabus
Language and Literacy Acquisition in the Middle School
Spring Semester 2005
Thursdays 4:30 - 6:10 PM

Course Objectives
This course will build on the "Teaching Second Languages across Content Areas" offered in Fall 2004 and serve as an introduction to the issues of language acquisition and literacy as they pertain to English language learners (ELLs) in middle school. It will examine instructional philosophies and perspectives involved in listening, speaking, reading, and writing across the academic curriculum in order to better understand a "balanced literacy approach to teaching and learning."

General Objectives Include:
· Development of an understanding of the cognitive processes of reading and writing
· Development of an understanding of the cultural aspects of reading and writing
· Development of an awareness of the discourse of different content areas
· Development of strategies for teaching literacy and content simultaneously
· Demonstrated ability to incorporate techniques introduced in class into teaching, and to teach those techniques to others.
· Development of an understanding of Action Research

Required Textbooks:
· Johnson, Andrew P. A Short Guide to Action Research. Allyn and Bacon: Boston. 2002.
· Peregoy, Suzanne F. and Owen F. Boyle. Reading, Writing, and Learning in ESL: A Resource Book for K-12 Teachers. Allyn and Bacon. 2004.

Course Activities/Expectations:

  • Participants are expected to attend all classes and to participate actively in them. Readings for discussion and in-class activities are to be prepared before class.
  • Students will demonstrate a mini-lesson based on one or more strategies for teaching literacy.
  • Students will carry out an Action Research project, and will present the project at a mini-conference to be held at NYU in June.
  • Students will meet in study groups with their respective coach teachers twice a month for 40 minutes each session.
  • Students will visit their respective coach teacher's classes for observation twice during the semester, and will observe peers twice as well. The coach teacher will observe students' classes as well.

Please note that some of the classes in the following schedule are double periods, meaning they will meet for two periods in one evening; they have been compensated for elsewhere in the schedule. The schedule may be subject to change, as it reflects an integrated approach to instruction in order to provide participants with exposure to a variety of expertise ranging from theory to practice in fields relevant to the objectives of the course. Any changes will be announced as far in advance as circumstances permit.

Class 1, Thursday, February 10.
Instructor: Will Smathers.
Topics: (1) TFAT Clarifications. Inter-visitations, Dates, Double Sessions, etc.
(2) What do we mean by "language"? How is L1 acquired? How is L2 acquired?
Reading(s): Handouts. Excerpts from
Solms, Mark and Turnbull, Oliver. The Brain and the Inner World. Other Press. New York City, 2002.
Fromkin, Victoria, Rodman, Robert, and Hyams, Nina. An Introduction to Language, 7th Ed.,
Thomson, Heinle: Boston, 2003.
Chomsky, Noam. New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. 3rd Printing. 2002.

Class 2, Thursday, February 17.
Instructor: Frank Tang
Topic: Action Research Project; Project-Based Learning.

Class 3, Thursday, March 3.
Instructor: Will Smathers
Topic: Language Acquisition continued.
Reading(s): Handouts of 02/10/2005 and Peregoy and Boyle, Chapter 2, pp. 33-72.

Class 4, Thursday, March 10.
Instructor: Nilda Soto-Ruiz
Topic: Bilingual and Cultural Aspects of Literacy. Also included in discussion: constraints participants face in providing services to the students.

Thursday, March 17.
No class due to double period on March 24.

Classes 5 and 6, Thursday, March 24. 4:30-7:50 PM

Note: this is a double class. It will begin at 4:30 and end at 8:00 PM.
Instructor: Tzong-Jin Lee

Reading Assigned: "Chapter 5: Emergent Literacy: English Learners Beginning to Write and Read," Reading, Writing, and Learning in ESL. Peregoy and Boyle, pp. 156-205.

Class 5: 4:30PM-6:10 PM
Topic: Emergent reading and writing abilities in children and adolescents
· Research findings on early literacy development and its implications for beginning readers and writers
· Strategies to support ELLs who are emergent readers and writers

Class 6 Thursday, March 24. 6:10PM-7:50 PM
Topic: Literacy in the content areas

  • Research findings on "Why is content area reading difficult?", and its implications for English Language Learners (ELLs)
  • Supporting English Language Learners (ELLs) in learning the language of Mathematics
  • Strategies for Improving Learning for English Language Learners

Class 7, Thursday, March 31.
Instructor: Daniel Shanahan
Topic: Methods of Teaching Reading: Phonetics/Whole Language

Class 8, Thursday, April 7

Instructor: Frank Tang
Reading Assigned: Chapters 7 and 8 in Reading, Writing, and Learning in ESL.
Additional Preparation: (1) Bring "wall vocabulary lists" and other materials from respective classrooms to review in class. (2) Submit a one-page summary of current status of Action Research project.

Topic: Developing vocabulary skills. Focus will be on wall vocabulary lists and other vocabulary materials that teachers are currently using in their classrooms.

Class 9, Thursday, April 14.
Instructor: Daniel Shanahan
Topic: Methods of Teaching Reading: Balanced Literacy Approach

Class 10, Thursday, April 21.
Instructor: Daniel Shanahan
Topic: Mini-Lesson demonstrating strategy for teaching reading.

Class 11, Thursday, May 5.
Instructor: Tomasz Grabski
Topic: Writing Process/Creating Opportunities for Writing

Class 12, Thursday, May 12.
Instructor: Tomasz Grabski
Topic: Using Student Writing to Tailor Curriculum

Class 13, Thursday, May 19.
Instructor: Tomasz Grabski
Topic: Mini-lesson demonstrating strategy for teaching writing.

[Note: There will be no class on May 26 as the Region 10 Conference Room will be used for Test Correcting, nor will there be a regular class on June 2 as the June 4 Mini-conference will count as a double class. This will provide participants time to complete projects and other requirements as necessary for the TFAT program.]

Classes 14 and 15 Saturday, June 4. Spring Mini-Conference at New York University. Presentation of Action Research projects.