Language & Literacy Development for Academic Growth

Posted by Heather Gorgas at 10/5/2016

Language and Literacy Development for Academic Growth

Dr. Serena Tyra & Dr. Annela Teemant

This morning during our professional development session our teachers were asked to consider the complexities of language and literacy development in their classrooms. They were introduced to the standard of Language and Literacy Development (LLD). Dalton (1998) listed the characteristics of LLD:

• Students talk, read, and write in authentic ways.

• The teacher assists language development through for example modeling, questioning, rephrasing, and clarifying in purposeful reading, writing, and speaking activities.

• The teacher specifically connects student language with academic language.

• Students frequently talk and interact with other students in academic settings.

• Language is taught and used in the classroom.

• Teachers can purposefully designing activities for language and literacy development for all students and in all content areas.

Every activity in the classroom requires language and literacy experience. Our teachers are asked to consider the “invisible” nature of language and literacy development. In each lesson, teachers provide implicit and explicit clues as to how a language and literacy task is to be completed. Students who understand the unspoken rules of a classroom task or have prior knowledge of the language and literacy necessary to do the task have an advantage over those students without the required knowledge. All teachers work and consider themselves language and literacy teachers rather than only content area teachers. They are teaching the vocabulary, sentence structures, and discourse patterns of their content areas.. No teacher can afford to ignore the complexities of language and literacy in their subject areas.

This session spent our time engaging teachers in the analysis of their spoken and unspoken expectations when it comes to understanding and using language.  Again, thank you for the time we receive on our one hour delays for professional development.