Module 4: Literacy Development and Engagement

  1. Portfolio 

    1. Select two or three learning artifacts found in Module 4 and prepare a paragraph for each artifact that 

    1. [1] From Josue Granilo: Gordon Ramsay: Shark Bait Documentary  

    2. I selected this artifact because many who celebrate Chinese culture are being informed about the practises of illegal shark finning, where the shark is definned while alive, and then being dumped overboard. This is important because many ELLs who also happen to be Chinese would be hooked to this issue. 

                  1. As Mark notes, we want to have both sides of an issue, rather than a propaganda campaign for one cause. We are not saying eating shark fin soup is evil, but we may be fishing in unsustainable manner if we continue to dine as we are accustomed to. 

                  2. [2] Samantha Elliott; APP Critique of ChineseSkill 

                  3. “The competition aspect of the app helps create a more engaging and interesting way of learning a complicated and overwhelming language.” 

                  4. Although I would use apps that involve competition as a review or without instructional purpose, it is interesting that Samantha found the language training app allowed an engaging way to learn a more complex language. This tells me that there is no clear cut about how helpful a tool is, and I may be surprised if I try several apps for my students. 


Jennifer Demjen: ELLs vs native [on L2 writing instruction]



ELLs and Native English speakers

Native English speakers

Academic vocabulary needs to be simple 

Should be taught prewriting exercises

Understand social vocabulary

May not understand some social vocabulary 

Probability of learning retention will remain the same 

Understand academic vocabulary 

More likely to miss read the text

Should practice writing exercises

More likely to read the text accurately 

Often  comprehension of what they have read is lower

Graphic organizers should be taught and utiliezed

-Comprehension of what they read is more advances

Less is often more 


Students should be encouraged to have a love of reading 


Thinking and writing in English comes naturally

Words are often translated directly from ELLs first language that create sentence my students use often such as “Ms. I don’t love it” and “your hair is tall”


Reading should be broken into smaller parts such as beginning, middle and end. 



Spelling and vocabulary abilities are greater from years of practice and observance



vocabulary and spelling is limited 


A variety of writing texts should be explored



Can write down what they are thinking more easily as they think and process information in English naturally.



Might be intimidated by putting their thoughts into writing. 


Should write about topics that are of interest to them. 


Should have more one-on-one assistance, review, help and editing




I appreciated Jennifer’s post because it reminds us that ELLs often require more and more specific needs to be able to do well in class. For example, academic/social vocabulary may need to be explicitly taught, where the native student would have done so without trouble. When working with ELLs, it may help to develop my own checklist of ideas or strategies, so I can respond closer to a student-by-student basis.