H1 – Honor student diversity and development. This program standard emphasizes planning learner centered curricula that engages students in a variety of strategies. The evidence presented is a picture of the document provided to an ELL learner during a science lesson. Students are required to complete experiments and use key terminology to record their observations. Key vocabulary for this lesson was given through direct instruction and visually represented with sentence strips. I know that for many ELL learners vocabulary acquisition is a difficult task. Likewise, I knew that many of English words have similar spelling as the Spanish words or known as cognates. Cognates are words in two languages that share a similar meaning, spelling, and pronunciation. Research has shown that using cognates is an effective approach for ELL students in language acquisition.
The evidence shows the key vocabulary word and the Spanish cognate, key vocabulary translated into Spanish (non-cognates), and images for a visual component. This was used as a tool to help the student follow along during the direct instructional time. As I watched the student read over I was unsure what type of impact this would have on her learning.Through the students written work, I was able to see the student start understanding the key concepts of the lesson. The student was incorporating the key vocabulary words in the observational portion of the lesson. Providing cognates is especially beneficial for ELL students as they help build confidence, understanding, and language acquisition. Information presented using different instructional strategies geared towards the student’s diverse and developmental needs will be beneficial for students to grasp the material. This is especially important as all learners learn in unique and individualized ways.
In the future, I can continue to plan and develop leaner centered instruction that will engage all students in my classroom. This would help ensure that all students are given the opportunity to succeed in the class, regardless of their learning capabilities. As I continue to student teach in such a diverse classroom, I hope to continue to develop leaner centered strategies especially strategies specifically for ELL students. I will also seek the support of the schools ELL specialist in order to further my knowledge of effective strategies working with ELL students.