• Bringing Twygs to life: PACE based lessons in an adult ESL classroom

      Harris, Erica; Martelle, Wendy; Siekmann, Sabine; Stewart, Kimberly Aragon (2017-12)
      English grammar is a daunting subject for language learners and teachers alike. Traditionally, grammar is taught in an explicit manner in a teacher-fronted classroom. Rules are given and explained to students, who then practice with drills and example problems. As an alternative approach to teaching grammar, this project incorporates the PACE model (Presentation, Attention, Co-Construction, Extension) and task-based language teaching (TBLT). This method of teaching is a departure from traditional explicit-style teaching, and focuses more on the learner's role in the classroom than on the teacher's role. The PACE model uses stories to teach grammar, in this case English prepositions. Over the course of three weeks, a series of story-based lessons along with mini tasks were administered to a small academic writing class of adult ESL students. In addition to focusing on prepositions, the lessons were designed to allow practice for several other grammatical features appropriate to an academic writing class. The incorporation of PACE and task based activities showed that learners were able to understand the prepositions and use them appropriately in an original writing task.
    • Teaching English language learners in Alaska: a study of translanguaging choices

      Crace-Murray, Jacquelyn A.; Siekmann, Sabine; Parker-Webster, Joan; Marlow, Patrick; John, Theresa (2018-08)
      The number of English Language Learners continues to rise in U.S. schools. However, general classroom teachers are not equipped with English language acquisition methodologies and strategies to teach their increasingly diverse student populations. Because of the deficit views regarding bilingual students, and the monolingual ideologies present in today's public school system, these attitudes and perspectives impact teacher practices in the classroom. They negatively affect student language learning by neglecting to utilize the vast linguistic repertoires bilinguals bring with them to the classroom as resources. They also lead to the over-referral of English language learners for special education services and to teacher burn-out. Being drawn to the concept and utility of translanguaging, I conducted research on my own teaching practices as an English Language Learner Specialist in Alaska. From an autoethnographic stance, I focused on how I encouraged or discouraged translanguaging, what factors impacted my own attitudes and expectations towards translanguaging, and how those attitudes and expectations changed over the course of the action research. This occurred within the context of language moments and critical incidents with my students where I collected field notes, audio files, and reflexive journaling as data instruments. Using constructivist grounded theory for the analytic framework, I developed an informed awareness of my teaching, and how I can utilize translanguaging in the classroom to create meaning, invoke learning, and maximize communication. I found that I encouraged translanguaging with my students for 14 reasons/purposes. I categorized these reasons/purposes into three action-based categories: 1) Demonstrating Unity, 2) Working in Multiple Languages, and 3) Using Good Teaching Practices. The factors that impacted these practices included academic material and time constraint management, teacher/student language proficiencies, student dynamics, and school/classroom climate. Over the course of the study, my own attitudes and expectations towards translanguaging changed from an umbrella term for linguistic practices such as code-switching, code-mixing, and codemeshing to a strategic, purposeful, and intentional process along the language acquisition continuum. This change impacted how I use my languages in the classroom, and how I teach.
    • Translanguaging in linguistically diverse classrooms: theory to practice

      Visser, Madison N.; Hogan, Maureen P.; Green, Carrie J.; Martelle, Wendy M. (2017-12)
      A new model for second-language learning, translanguaging, is emerging in recent years as an antithesis to the immersion model of language education. Translanguaging views language as a system and encourages the use of all of students' languages and language learning resources in the classroom. Translanguaging stands in stark contrast to the language-separation underpinning of the immersion model of language education. While there exists a growing quantity of research on the theoretical foundations of translanguaging, there is a very limited amount of published application of translanguaging principles to curriculum, especially in the linguistically diverse classroom. This project investigates translanguaging inside these classrooms where multiple different languages are spoken and where the teacher does not speak the same second language as the students. As an application product, eight translanguaging strategies are provided and applied to a pre-established language arts curriculum, with a specific focus on the linguistically diverse classroom. While the strategies are crafted specifically for fifth- and sixth-grade language arts, they are easily adaptable to fit a wide variety of grade levels and content areas.
    • Visualizing second language learning: a microgenetic case study using pantomime comics for adult ESL students

      Darrow, Daniel J. (2012-08)
      Comics are regularly used in language classrooms. Most language teachers and researchers in applied linguistics justify the use of comics through individual characteristics such as motivation, humor, and aiding comprehension. Some studies use comics in social settings, but do not consider the images as a significant factor in language development. This study investigates the effectiveness of instruction using pantomime comics on both language acquisition and language development for adult English as second language (ESL) students. A mixed methods approach is employed to investigate individual acquisition and language development during a collaborative task. Analyses of written tests, transcriptions, and audio/video data using analytical foci, deixis, and transcription conventions following conversation analysis ascertains how comic images affect individual learners and contribute to language development between learners. Results suggest that comics can benefit the language learner individually and act as a powerful, mediational tool for language development and co-construction of knowledge between peers.