Summer 2013

Building and Assessing Oral Language of Science

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Savanah Ballentine is a teacher in a 9th grade sheltered English language Science class in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her students' WIDA English Language Proficiency (ELP) levels include Emerging (Level 2) and Developing (Level 3). They have a wide range of backgrounds and abilities. In this lesson, students are focused on defining specific and technical Science vocabulary words by rearranging sentence strips with a partner and practicing oral questioning and answering. In this way, they are learning vocabulary but also practicing constructing coherent sentences using the reading, listening, and speaking domains. It would be simple to differentiate the vocabulary and sentence structures that students are working on for a classroom with a wider range of language proficiency levels by intentionally pairing students and adding more phrase strips. In her reflection, Ms. Ballentine explains her approach to modeling and supporting classroom instructions for language learners.