EAL Teaching – April Newsletter

Head of Village News May 2016
29th April 2016
Synthetic versus Analytical Phonics: Which is best for my EAL students?
11th May 2016
Show all

EAL Teaching – April Newsletter

 
Communication Across Cultures
EAL Teaching – April Newsletter
Should I teach my EAL learners phonics? If so, how?
Including 9 essentials for the creation of a Whole Language environment in an EAL classroom
See full article
Next EAL ‘Train the Trainer’ course – 13th-15th July, 2016 Early bird rate ends 29th April!
Communication Across CulturesShould I teach my EAL learners phonics? If so, how? As educational pedagogies continue to move cyclically, with new strategies moving in and out of favour, the battle of reading approaches continues to rage on between the 3 main approaches: Synthetic Phonics, Analytical Phonics and Whole Language methods. They are often viewed on a continuum, with the Whole Language approach (Top Down method) being the least skills based and the Synthetic Phonics approach (Bottom Up method) being the most. Communication Across Cultures Click image to enlarge Synthetic Phonics is an approach that is implemented by practitioners in Early Years. It is a method of teaching reading and spelling through decoding and encoding with a systematic approach. It relies upon teaching the individual sounds of the 44 phonemes in the English language sequentially and the letters that correspond to them (Ehri et al., 2001). Once learners know some sounds, they read words via decoding, or write words via encoding. Programmes such as Letters and Sounds, Jolly Phonics and Read, Write Inc are examples of this approach. Analytical Phonics, often referred to as the Whole Word approach, relies upon children learning to recognise words instantaneously, without requiring to ‘sound them out’ (Gunning, 2000).  Many teachers utilise this approach through the learning of sight words and it is used particularly in the reading and writing of non-decodable words or ‘tricky’ words.  The Whole Language method is highly constructivist and constantly exposes children to text with the intent that through this, the child will eventually learn to read and write through a method akin to osmosis, taking meaning from language contextually, without focussing on structural reading skills such as decoding (Piper, 2003). There is a plethora of contradicting research into all 3 approaches, but unfortunately, almost all research has been undertaken with first language learners in mind, leaving EAL teachers floundering. Over this newsletter and the next, we will be considering the relevance of each for EAL students, beginning today with the Whole Language approach. The arguments for using this approach are many, but easily refuted. The invalidity of the Whole Language approach was proven by a study by Turner, Chapman and Prochnow, (2006), who found that 40% of adults who were taught via the Whole Language method alone faced problems with written text in everyday life.  It is supported by those who believe that due to the irregularity of the English language, it is very difficult to learn to read it phonetically (McDonald, Badger & White, 2001). However, considering points made by Bowey (2006), who stated that 80% of the English language is regular, it can be contended that the irregularity of the English language is not a valid argument in support of the Whole Language approach. Bowey (2006) also argues that over reliance of this approach can be detrimental to readers as it prevents focus on printed text, if children are concentrating solely on the meaning of the text, they may not focus on how the text is formed. Wray (2002) supports the Whole Language method by arguing that only this approach allows learners to read contextually and employ higher level thinking skills such as comprehension. However, a study by Nicholson (1991) showed that children who read words in context, find it more difficult to decipher them as opposed to reading them as stand alone words or in list form. It is certainly true that such an immersion strategy is beneficial in understanding the meaning of text and acquisition of a second language, and after all, what is the point in decoding skills if a child does not understand what they are decoding? Nation and Waring (1997) estimate that first language children aged 5 will understand approximately 4000- 5000 words. Therefore second language learners are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to reading and comprehension.  The most common argument for its use, centres around the organic way that children learn to speak. If children can learn to converse through exposure to speech, can the same not be said for learning to read through exposure to text? However, humans are biologically programmed to use speech but the same cannot be said for reading and writing. Gough and Hillinger (1980) go as far as to say that reading and writing are actually ‘unnatural acts’. After considering these points, the majority of experts now accept that a careful balance of Whole Language aspects and Synthetic Phonics programmes should be used in complementary conjunction to provide the optimum learning environment for both first language and EAL students, as is shown in the study by Denton (2004). Therefore, we suggest using a systematic phonics programme to teach reading skills, as it is highly unlikely that they will learn to decode organically without one, but in a Whole Language based classroom environment.  The next question must be, should that systematic phonics programme by Analytical or Synthetic, and how do EAL children fair with them? From this research, Colette Forrest, used the outcomes of her research to apply her findings to the practicalities of the classroom: To consider 9 essentials for the creation of a whole language environment in an EAL Classroom. Click here! Article: Colette Forrest This research was undertaken as part of a Masters in Education and Professional Practice at Glasgow University. Colette is currently working at an international school in Qatar. References: Piper, T. (2003). Language and Learning: The Home and School Years third edition. New Jersey: Merrill Prentice Hall. Ehri, L.C., Nunes, S.R., Stahl, S.A., and Willows, D.M. (2001). ‘Systematic Phonics Instruction Helps Students Learn to Read: Evidence from the National Reading Panel’s Meta- Analysis’. Review of Educational research, 71(3), P.393-447. Gunning, T.G. (2000). Teaching Phonics, Sight Words, and Syllabic Awareness: Creating Literacy Instruction for All Children. 3rd Edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, P. 81- 146. Nation, P., and Waring, R. (1997). ‘Vocabulary size, text coverage and word lists’. In N Schmitt, and M. McCarthy (Eds.), Vocabulary Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy P.6-19, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  Denton, C.A., Anthony, J.L., Parker, R., and Hasbrouck, J.E. (2004). ‘Effects of Two Tutoring programs on the English Reading Development of Spanish- English Bilingual Students’. The Elementary Journal, 104(4), P.289- 305. Communication Across Cultures Update Communication Across Cultures Director, Caroline Scott, will be part of the judging panel for the ESU Awards. Communication Across Cultures The ESU is a unique global educational charity and membership organisation that brings together and empowers people of different languages and cultures. By building skills and confidence in communication, we give people the opportunity to realise their full potential. These ESU awards aim to celebrate innovation and good practice in the field of ELT, with a particular focus on resources which seek to improve oracy skills. Competition entries are now open for applications. For more information, click here! Upcoming exhibitions: IPC Communication Across Cultures We will be exhibiting at the IPC Regional Conference 2016 – London, 20th April 2016. For more information click here!
Best wishes, The Communication Across Cultures Team Contact Us: Telephone: +44 (0) 118 335 0035 Fax: +44 (0) 118 335 0036 Mail us here
Credits: Colette Forrest (Article) Editor: Caroline Scott
Find us on Facebook: Communication Across Cultures on Facebook Find us on Twitter: Communication Across Cultures on Twitter
Communication Across Cultures
EAL Courses
EAL Resources
2016 EAL Courses Dates
  • EAL ‘Train the Trainer’ course, Reading (near Heathrow), 13th-15th July, 2016 (3 days) Early bird rate ends 29th April 2016.
  • Why not host: -EAL ‘Train the Trainer’ course? -EAL teaching through the Learning Village course?

Communication Across Cultures
EAL Teaching through the Learning Village
Learning Village – What’s New? What’s Different? -The newest addition to the Learning Village includes the multiplayer feature. This features will be coming to the Learning Village in the next few weeks. It will allow learners to play language learning games against their class friends or other learners using the Learning Village from other schools. Communication Across Cultures -The next 1000 high frequency words (we already have the first 1000!). Did you know that “With a vocabulary size of 2,000 words, a learner knows 80% of words in text… ” Nation & Waring, 1997 -Rainforest: Animals and layers of the rainforest -Word classes: classifying nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs Coming soon: -Common prefixes and suffixes e.g. -ion, -er, -able, pre-, im-, un- -Examples for all high frequency words
Communication Across Cultures 12 April International Day of Human Space Flight 22 April International Mother Earth Day 23 April World Book and Copyright Day 23 April English Language Day 24 – 30 April World Immunisation Week 25 April World Malaria Day 26 April World Intellectual Property Day 28 April World Day for Safety and Health at Work 29 April Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare 30 April International Jazz Day 3 May World Press Freedom Day 8-9 May Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War 9-10 May World Migratory Bird Day 15 May International Day of Families 17 May World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 20 May “Vesak”, the Day of the Full Moon 21 May World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 22 May International Day for Biological Diversity 23 May International Day to End Obstetric Fistula 29 May International Day of UN Peacekeepers 31 May World No-Tobacco Day 1 June Global Day of Parents 4 June International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression 5 June World Environment Day 6 June Russian Language Day at the UN  (in Russian) 8 June World Oceans Day 12 June World Day Against Child Labour 13 June International Albinism Awareness Day 14 June World Blood Donor Day 15 June World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 17 June World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 19 June International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict 20 June World Refugee Day 21 June International Day of Yoga 23 June United Nations Public Service Day 23 June International Widows’ Day 25 June Day of the Seafarer 26 June International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 26 June United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture More…
Communication Across Cultures Learning Village
www.communicationacrosscultures.com | info@communicationacrosscultures.com +44 (0) 118 335 0035
Communication Across Cultures on Twitter Communication Across Cultures on Facebook
Copyright © 2016
   

Comments are closed.