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Literacy Scaffolding

For Science

Challenges for the Science teacher when teaching ELLs

Material is covered very fast

Directions often multi-step and difficult

Visuals confusing and difficult to understand

Changes of State

Too many concepts on each page of science text books

Sentence structure is complex

Example from Year 7 text: When a liquid loses energy, the vibration of particles lessens and the bonds between the particles are again strong enough to keep them in fixed positions.

Texts explicitly

introduce science vocabulary

Introducing the EAL teacher to the Science class

Whats Your Story?

Turn, pair, share

Literacy Scaffolding (LS)

Why Provides safety and security for students

What Who

Text needs to be age appropriate, linguistically rich

- Its a programme that is high challenge and high support Both ELL and subject teacher

Students need to make connections between their own knowledge and new information.

The ELL Student

Just because students are learning a new language, doesnt mean they lose content language and knowledge.
They can do both! They need to be


Help! Techniques for teaching vocabulary to ELLs


Scaffold,Scaffold and Scaffold !

Front-load vocabulary so ELLs can learn the concept behind the lesson. Everyone will be happier with less time reteaching and re-explaining.

Building field knowledge

CONCEPT: Changes of State


Pick and Choose

Words and concepts for the lesson May need to lower affective filter Reinforce the structure of words metamorphosis meta(large), morph (change), osis (process) Connect with context

Use Vocabulary Routines

Set routines cut down on transition times and lessons move faster as students know what is expected. Examples: 4-Corner Vocabulary, Word Maps, Wordfind, Change it! Digital Glossaries, Clozure Activities

Science Teachers need help with ELL students

Working with Science Teachers Science is content heavy

Huge amounts of content is covered quickly. Time is limited to make language accessible for ELL student

For example: Help! Please

Concept: Solidification The reverse of melting is solidification or freezing. When a liquid loses energy, the vibration of particles lessens and the bonds between the particles are again strong enough to keep them in fixed positions.

Quick lets move on..

Assumptions of understanding (including ELL students)

Students will Be familiar with explanation texts Write using explanation genre for their assignments Automatically use passive voice, nominalisations and abstract language without explicitly being taught.



Exposure to explanation texts is critical for ALL STUDENTS Is essential for ELLs to increase their cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP).

Change of direction
The scaffolding literacy approach reverses the order of a traditional science lesson

Traditional Approach
1.Recall knowledge 2. Read 3. Write 4. Experiment 5.Questions/conclusion

LS Approach
1. Explicitly teach vocabulary 2. Build field knowledge 3.Text orientation 4. Experiment 5. Read 6. Write

Text Orientation

Familiarises students with the content before reading.

The Text Orientation Approach

Changes the way in which Science is

Uses concrete objects and visuals. Shifts focus to language in context.

Familiarisation with genre

Subheadings Pictures Technical language Passive voice

Read the Text only after

Explicit teaching of vocabulary (front-load).

Field knowledge is built

Example: The Text

Changes of State

Experiment - Solid Gas

Aim: To observe a solid (ice) change into a liquid (water). The watch a liquid (water) turn into a gas.


Changes of State

When the orientation is complete the teacher would read the two pages of text to the students.

Models reading

Text Orientation Provides

A set purpose for reading. Ask yourself Why you are reading this particular text ? Overview of the text i.e. headings, illustrations. Examine titles, headings, and subheadings, and scan for words that stand out.

Examine each illustration and

Can you help? How would you filter these sentences for an ELL student.
Concept: Liquid solid The reverse of melting is solidification or freezing. When a liquid loses energy, the vibration of particles lessens and the bonds between the particles are again strong enough to keep them in fixed positions.

Visuals and Graphic Organisers

Support auditory info with visual

Graphics help ELLs organise thoughts, learn new vocabulary. ELLs can learn and they are smart!

They just cant express it yet!

Provide scaffolding tools which can be used in other content based classrooms and assessment work.

Increasing student engagement

Active Learners

Students should be active in developing their understanding of words and ways to learn them.

Gives an opportunity to.

Look at how language is used to achieve purpose.

Students field knowledge has been built through visuals and concrete examples.

Workshop Sequence
Introduce ourselves as EAL, Science teachers Introduce the challenges- show the conflict Whats your story? Scaffolding for Success Explicitly teaching vocabulary to ELLs Vocabulary Activity- Constructing a language frame Literacy Scaffolding Using textbooks (grammatical features)

2 minutes 5 minutes 5 minutes 5 minutes 15 minutes 15 minutes 20 minutes

Activity breakdown

Slides 3-10 Slide 11

Slide 12 Slide 17 Slide 18-19 Slied 20-21 Slide 22-30 Introduce text type- build the field (candle) (Report-deconstruct) Conclusion 3 minutes (Sharing) Slide 31-33 Questions

Activity ELL- Affective Filter Active Learner Conclusion

10 minutes 10 minutes 10 minutes

Adjust teacher speech

Speed Speak in chunks with planned pauses. Repetition, paraphrasing, restating key vocabulary

Language framing- sentences short and sweet

Promote students dialogue