Implementation of effective home language practices into NYS 8th grade social studies curriculum for ELLs.
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SubjectConversation analysis.; Social sciences -- Study and teaching (Elementary).; English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers.
Over the past years the population of English language learners within United States’ schools has increased (Castañeda & Misco, 2009). This increase has led to challenges for all teachers, but especially content area teachers at the secondary level. ELLs struggle in content area classes, especially social studies, due to several reasons, including, their English language proficiency, the de-contextualized format of social studies text, enormous amount of vocabulary which is linguistically complex and abstract, and a lack of visuals within social studies text, among other issues (Brown, 2007; Cho & Reich, 2008; Lindahl & Watkins, 2010). One approach to improving ELLs' success in the secondary social studies classroom is through the use of home language practices. Many teachers are afraid to utilize the home language for many reasons. Through research these fears have been rebutted. With the belief that home language use is beneficial to ELLs in the social studies classroom, a curriculum was created around the NYS social studies framework and the American Journey textbook, for eighth grade ELLs a middle school with a high population of Spanish-speaking ELLs. This curriculum aims to assist teachers with having more success in educating their ELLs and supporting ELLs in attaining the necessary content area material in a more comprehensible manner. This curriculum includes 45 lesson plans that incorporate home language practices, along with home language materials, in order to teach three chapters of the American Journey textbook.
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