Thursday, May 10, 2018

Teaching Content for Improving English Proficiency: Is it possible?
By: Amin Davoodi
Luis (pseudonym) is an English Language Learner (ELL) in Texas. As a Spanish native speaker, he has little proficiency in English. Although he is great at math and science, lack of English proficiency prevents him from doing well in those subjects. How can content teachers help such ELLs while teaching both ELLs and non-ELLs in the same class?
SIOP® Model (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) can act as a bridge between ELLs and non-ELLs in content classes. It is an approach for teaching grade-level academic content to English learners in strategic ways that make the subject matter concepts comprehensible while promoting the students’ English language development.
This model includes 8 major components and 30 features for teaching grade-level content while developing students’ English language skills. Developed by the author team of Dr. Jana Echevarría, Dr. MaryEllen Vogt, and Dr. Deborah Short, the SIOP® Model helps teachers develop students’ academic language skills.
SIOP models components are:
· Lesson Preparation
· Building Background
· Comprehensible Input
· Strategies
· Interaction
· Practice/Application
· Lesson Delivery
· Review & Assessment
Research shows that when teachers fully implement the SIOP Model, English learners' academic performance improves. In addition, teachers report that SIOP-based teaching benefits all students, not just those who are learning English as an additional language. SIOP instruction also benefits students learning content through the second language.
One of the features of the SIOP model is that the classes are student-centered and welcoming as ELLs can benefit from using language in authentic situations, collaborating with peers around concepts and information and practicing and applying the material to meet the lesson’s objectives.  SIOP provides teachers with a coherent approach for planning and delivering relevant, meaningful lessons that provide ample opportunities for students to interact with one around content concepts aligned to the Common Core and state standards.  While doing so, students develop academic English skills across the four domains–reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
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Echevarria, J., Richards-Tutor, C., Canges, R., & Francis, D. (2011). Using the SIOP model to promote the acquisition of language and science concepts with English learners. Bilingual Research Journal, 34, 334–351. doi:10.1080/15235882.2011.623600
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Short, D., Fidelman, C., & Louguit, M. (2010). Developing academic language in English language learners through the SIOP Model. Manuscript submitted for publication.010). Developing academic language in English
Polat, N., & Cepik, S. (2016). An exploratory factor analysis of the sheltered instruction observation protocol as an evaluation tool to measure teaching effectiveness. TESOL language learners through the SIOP Model.

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