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Hover to see how factors connect to Primary Language. Then click connected factors to explore strategies related to multiple factors.
Primary Language is the language a person has been exposed to from birth. Being bi- or multilingual has cognitive advantages. However, when measured with assessments normed for monolinguals, students learning multiple languages can appear to experience slower acquisition of Vocabulary and Syntax knowledge in each language since these are spread across two or more languages. Students who attend schools that teach in a language other than their Primary Language can also have unique challenges learning to read due to entering school with fewer oral language and early literacy skills in the school language. Bilingual learners typically follow a similar writing development pattern to native English speakers.
There are many terms for students in the United States whose native language is not English (e.g., Dual Language Learners, English Language Learners). For our work, we use the terms bilingual and multilingual.
The number of students who are learning more than one language is growing rapidly every year. Bilingual/multilingual students can experience different language acquisition patterns:
Since they are mastering more than one complex language system, bilingual/multilingual children often learn each language more slowly than monolingual peers. However, it should be noted that other factors, such as SES, can lead to different trajectories that are sustained over time. Nonetheless, students' Primary Language, and accompanying cultural knowledge, can be considered Background Knowledge that can support their academic learning. Providing bilingual and multilingual students with educational support to learn the school-based language helps them achieve the same language and literacy skills as monolingual students.
Teachers can support language development by using and providing syntax that is appropriately leveled (e.g.
Teachers support language development by using and providing Vocabulary that is appropriately leveled (e.g., using word wall words).
Creating and acting out texts or original narratives can enhance literacy for young learners, solidifying their comprehension and building Narrative Skills.
Advance graphic organizers link prior knowledge to upcoming learning to help students anticipate and understand the structure of new information.
Audiobooks allow students to hear fluent reading and to experience books above their reading skills.
Developing empathy in educators and in learners is an iterative process that requires taking the time to understand and honor others' perspectives.
When peers work cooperatively to practice writing letters, words, and eventually longer sentences, their Foundational Writing Skills, including spelling and writing quality, improve.
Students activate more cognitive processes by exploring and representing their understandings in visual form.
Daily review strengthens previous learning and can lead to fluent recall.
With this interactive technique, teachers help students become storytellers by listening and questioning.
When teachers provide explicit instruction in comprehension strategies and model when to use them, students learn how to flexibly apply them to make meaning of texts.
As students are learning to read, they benefit from explicit, systematic phonics instruction.
Seeing and using new words repeatedly and in many contexts is critical for Vocabulary acquisition.
Learners' awareness of race and differences starts at a young age.
When young children draw and are encouraged to explain their drawings, they are sharpening the cognitive and motor skills involved in conventional writing.
When students explain their thinking process aloud, they recognize the strategies they use and solidify their understanding.
Explicit instruction in handwriting, including letter formation, can help Handwriting Skills become more automatic, freeing up Working Memory to focus on Foundational Writing Skills.
Explicit spelling instruction helps to improve not only students' spelling, a key part of Foundational Writing Skills, but also supports reading skills development.
Visiting places connected to classroom learning provides opportunities to deepen understanding through firsthand experiences.
Free choice supports learner interests and allows more complex social interactions to develop.
As students walk through stations working in small groups, the social and physical nature of the learning supports deeper understanding.
Visualizing how ideas fit together helps students construct meaning and strengthen recall.
In guided inquiry, teachers help students use their own language for constructing knowledge by active listening and questioning.
Spending time on literacy practices with assistance from a teacher helps to move new content, concepts, and ideas into Long-term Memory.
Easy access to high frequency words promotes sight word recognition as students see the words repeatedly.
Imagining allows students to step back from a problem or task and think about it from multiple angles.
Learning about students' cultures and connecting them to instructional practices helps foster a sense of belonging and mitigate Stereotype Threat.
Independent reading promotes reading development by emphasizing student choice with teacher support in selecting books, as well as by making time for free reading.
Practicing until achieving several error-free attempts is critical for retention.
As students work with and process information by discussing, organizing, and sharing it together, they deepen their understanding.
Rhyming, alliteration, and other sound devices reinforce language development by activating the mental processes that promote memory.
Literacy centers with reading games, manipulatives, and activities support learner interests and promote the development of more complex reading skills and social interactions.
Providing physical representations of concepts helps activate mental processes.
By talking through their thinking at each step of a process, teachers can model what learning looks like.
Teachers sharing text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections models this schema building.
Instruction in multiple formats allows students to activate different cognitive skills to understand and remember the steps they are to take in their reading work.
Connecting information to music and dance moves enhances Short-term and Long-term Memory by drawing on auditory processes and the cognitive benefits of physical activity.
A parent evening meeting about how to support literacy at home with one follow-up meeting with each family has shown strong results for students' reading development.
Reading aloud allows students to hear and practice reading and fluency skills.
Visuals help students recognize relationships within words and sentences to develop reading skills.
Playful activities, including pretending, games, and other child-led activities, can support the development of learners' Metacognition and also inspire their narratives and writing.
Talking with students about what they know about the topic of upcoming work helps activate their Background Knowledge or reveals gaps.
Reading aloud regularly exposes students to new and familiar vocabulary and texts.
Reading aloud books about skills children are learning provides another model for their development.
When students explain to others, they deepen their understanding and gain confidence in their learning.
Students build their confidence and skills by reading and rereading books.
Response devices boost engagement by encouraging all students to answer every question.
Books for vision differences support reading development for learners with visual needs.
Books of varying complexity and reading levels are necessary for all students to experience reading success.
With rhyming and creative word use, poetry is a genre that supports the development of early literacy skills in particular.
Students who have had little exposure to the school's language can benefit from having books in their Primary Language in their classroom.
Books with SEL topics, such as developing friendships and identifying emotions, help teach these skills.
Selecting culturally responsive reading materials, including multicultural and diverse texts, is critical for supporting all students.
Providing a story map ahead of time or having students create a map during or after reading helps learners understand and practice Narrative Skills.
A strengths-based approach is one where educators intentionally identify, communicate, and harness students' assets, across many aspects of the whole child, in order to empower them to flourish.
Providing tools so learners can choose to listen to a text supports individual strengths and needs.
Students develop reading skills by listening to and speaking with others in informal ways.
Having students verbally repeat information such as instructions ensures they have heard and supports remembering.
Providing visuals to introduce, support, or review instruction activates more cognitive processes to support learning.
Videos developed with discussion guides can teach students about SEL skills.
Wait time, or think time, of three or more seconds after posing a question increases how many students volunteer and the length and accuracy of their responses.
Word sorts are multisensory activities that help learners identify patterns and group words based on different categories.
A word wall helps build Vocabulary for reading fluidity and support Foundational Writing Skills such as spelling.
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On this page, using your heatmap, you will be asked to select factors to further explore, and then select new strategies you might incorporate into upcoming instruction. Once done, click “Show Summary" to view your Design Summary Report.
On this page, using your heatmap, you will be asked to select factors to further explore, and then select new strategies you might incorporate into upcoming instruction. Once done, click “Show Report” to view your Design Summary Report.
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