ENGL 539: Second Language Acquisition Spring 2007
Instructor: Mark J. Connelly, Ph.D.
Office Hours: by appointment only
Course Overview and Objectives
This course examines the process of second language acquisition as understood according to the insights and methods of linguistics, sociolinguistics, and cognitive science. These perspectives are presented and evaluated in order to draw out relevant pedagogical and practical implications for the second language classroom and the content-area classroom in rural schools where English language learners (ELLs) are present. The objectives of the course are presented here:
(1) To examine and evaluate research-based models of first language acquisition and second language learning, in order to recognize the similarities and differences in these two processes.
(2) To become aware of the linguistic and extra-linguistic factors which affect the learning of a second language.
(3) To connect theory, research, and teaching in second language learning.
(4) To equip candidates with the knowledge and tools to develop effective and valid second language assessments, materials, and pedagogy.
(5) To allow candidates to engage in constructive, needs-based activities and projects which are relevant to their needs and goals as teachers.
(6) To allow candidates to build on their own experiences, and those of other candidates, and connect these to the insights and perspectives of contemporary research and practice.
Gleason, Jean Burko. (2005). The Development of Language, 6th ed. Pearson Education. ISBN 0-205-39414-0.
Goldstein, Brian. (2000). Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Guide for Speech-Language Pathologists. Thomson Learning. ISBN 0-7693-0031-6
Owens, Robert E. (2005). Language Development: An Introduction, 6th edition. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon. ISBN 0-205-43318-9
Omaggio-Hadley, Alice (2001). Teaching Language in Context, 3rd edition. Heinle & Heinle. ISBN 0-8384-1705-1
Ehrman, Madeline E. (1996). Understanding Second Language Learning Difficulties. Sage Publications. ISBN 0-7619-0190-6
The candidate is responsible for attending every session of this course, barring emergencies or cancellation due to inclement weather. This responsibility is all the more pressing because of the compressed delivery of the course. In-class participation is a part of the course requirements (see below).
Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Statement
All written work in this course including but not limited to the formal assignments such as research papers are in support of the University’s Writing Across the Curriculum Program.
Academic Dishonesty/Plagiarism Policy
The English department at Salisbury University and the ACE Program take plagiarism, the unacknowledged use of others’ writing and ideas, very seriously. As outlined in the Student Handbook under the “Policy on Student Academic Integrity,” plagiarism may result in either a failure on a paper, in a course, or both. Since a research paper is a requirement of this course (see below), please note that any of the following constitutes plagiarism:
(1) Turning in as your own work a paper or part of a paper that anyone other than you wrote. This includes but is not limited to work taken from another student, a published author, or an Internet contributor.
(2) Turning in a paper that includes unquoted or undocumented passages written by someone else.
(3) Including in a paper someone else’s original ideas, opinions, or research results without attribution.
(4) Paraphrasing without attribution.
Please note that a few changes in wording do not make a passage your property. When in doubt, cite the source. The proper format for citing sources will be discussed in class. Candidates are encouraged to consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th edition, ISBN 1-55798-790-4 or the most recent edition of the style sheet of the Modern Language Association.
Special Needs: Any students with documented disabilities or other special needs who may need accommodations or adjustments in this course, are invited to share these requests with the instructor as soon as possible.
FOR STUDENTS SEEKING CERTIFICATION IN ESOL/TESOL: NCATE STANDARDS
Please refer to Domain 1 on pp. 25-30 in the document: http://www.ncate.org/standard/new%20program%20standards/tesol.pdf
Standard 1.b. Language Acquisition and Development: “Candidates understand and apply concepts, theories, research and practice to facilitate the acquisition of a primary and a new language in and out of classroom settings” (p.24).
Also please refer to the Rubric for Standard 1b. under section 1.b.1-1.b.13., which is very relevant for this course (pp.24-30) at the following web site: http://www.ncate.org/standard/new%20program%20standards/tesol.pdf
Another extremely useful site is:
MSDE/NCATE Technology Requirements: All students seeking TESOL certification in this class must establish an electronic portfolio, and include at least one project/paper from this course in this portfolio. Detailed hypermedia presentations done for this course can be included in this electronic portfolio. When including your portfolio selection be sure to include:
a). Approaches the specific Standard
b). Meets the specific Standard
c). Exceeds the specific standard
For further details on electronic portfolios, please consult the following web page: http://trc.salisbury.edu/portfolio/Portfolio.htm
Structure and Requirements of the Course
In the interests of students seeking state certification, and who need to fulfill their field observation requirements, as well as other NCATE requirements, the following schedule of weighted assignments will apply:
(1) Field Observation Report (30%)
(2) Action-Research Project (final paper) (30%)
(3) Oral Presentation on Action-Research Project (20%)
(4) In-Class Participation (20%)
1. FIELD OBSERVATION:
In order to expose students to the applications of the content area of second language learning to education, students will be required to do a minimum of ten hours of field observation in any K-12 educational setting in the course content area in which the student is seeking certification (i.e., ESOL). For students not seeking certification, this assessment is away to examine theoretical principles at work. For non-certification students, any ESOL classK-12 or adult literacy is fine. At the end of this observation, you are required to turn in a field observation report consisting of three parts:
Practical conditions (i.e. for most teachers who only have planning time available for observation), necessitate that the hours need not be consecutive. However, it may be harder to write up a unified report for three different days--you may have to organize it as three separate sections—or try and maintain the uniformity by observing a consecutively organized thematic session rather than an interrupted session.
For teachers who do not have access to ESOL students:
Since the aim of this course is to see SLA principles at work, I would recommend that you pick a content area where you would probably see these principles at work—sign language teaching; foreign language(s) or any close area, and when writing your observation report in the section under "detailed evaluation of strengths and weaknesses" you can include two little sections on: rural esol needs:
1. To what extent would the class have to be modified for any ESOL students present?
2. What aspects of the class could be maintained even if ESOL students were present?
The key point I want all of you to observe is the SLA principles if any, at work. The eventual aim of this is to make you question your praxis, increase your confidence if a second language learner were in your class, and make you acutely aware of key SLA principles to consider.
To permit flexibility of options, please contact a school closest to you. If you need help in this area, please let me know. Your observation report is due on the date indicated on the syllabus. Due to time constraints, you are strongly encouraged to begin on this project immediately.
ADMINISTRATIVE PROTOCOLS: To ensure exposure to school protocol, it is your responsibility to follow the necessary routes of contact, and chains of administrative command: i.e., contacting the district office in the area, contacting a principal, securing permission, following proper classroom protocol as established by the school and maintaining professional etiquette in any teacher’s classroom. Please check with the necessary office as to what protocol already exists so that you don’t violate any rules. Remember, that you represent Salisbury University, so do your best to ensure that your successors have as equal an opportunity for such an educational endeavor.
Working Electronic Portfolio:
One project for this class will be the first part of your working professional portfolio covering course content and NCATE-TESOL standards. You will submit this electronic portfolio in the form of an electronic disk to include the following key elements:
1. Introduction: Provide a short introduction to this part of your portfolio, and provide a short summary of its contents (the motivation for the choice of the artifact(s) you have chosen).
1. Explain HOW you would integrate relevant content learned from the courses (as evidenced by your artifact(s)) into your present or future classroom teaching. Provide detailed examples from your content area.
2. Next, explain WHY you think the content of these artifacts is important to include in your present or future teaching.
3. Rationale: Demonstrate using examples from the artifacts contained in your portfolio HOW you have gained knowledge or understanding of course content, and the extent to which your /artifacts meet the designated standards.
4. Reflection: Refer to the NCATE-TESOL professional standard 1.b.: Language Acquisition and development (see appendix 2 or listed website).
1. Provide a brief synthesis of the extent to which you feel that your four selections meet any of the relevant 13 sub-standards under 1.b in the above cited NCATE/TESOL standards. Evaluate the extent to which they meet any of the three benchmark descriptors cited below and WHY. Provide sufficient evidence using the descriptors provided in the standards as to how and why your artifact either:
a) Approaches the specific standard or
b) Meets the specific standard or
c) Exceeds the specific standard
b. Evaluate the extent to which you feel you have as a professional met any of these sub –standards under Domain 1 and explain WHY. Use examples from your artifact(s).
c. Feel free to highlight areas where sub-standards could not be met and reasons why (e.g., course work still in progress; a lack of access to gifted or talented students/ special education students or any other reasons).
5. Conclusion: Conclude by examining which aspect of this working portfolio was the most rewarding for your professional career so far and WHY.
Evaluation Criteria: FINAL PROJECT (Working Portfolio and Reflective Essay)
1. Organization: (of the overall portfolio/clear tabs/buttons and divisions/links; organization and coherence of the reflective essay).
2. Critical insight (as evidenced in artifacts chosen; also embedded in the Reflective Essay: see above).
3. Artifacts: selected choices, and with relevant links to the specific sub-standards in 1.b. (sub standards 1-13).
4. ncate-tesol standards linkages: (artifact(s) to address any of the sub-standards)
5. Creativity/innovation: (of the entire portfolio/reflective essay).
SAMPLE Essay by one of the students (from Principles of Linguistics)
This portion of my portfolio represents the class work and field components of Principles of Linguistics. Each portion contains artifacts and reflections from the course. There are four main artifacts included from Principles of Linguistics. The artifacts included all demonstrate proficiency in Standard 1.a. which states that students “will demonstrate an understanding of language as a system and demonstrate a high level of competence in helping ESOL students acquire and use English in listening, speaking, reading and writing for social and academic purposes. The artifacts include a field observation of an ESOL instructor, a word etymology power point, a research activity regarding using literature as content for providing cultural awareness, as well as four separate homework exercises demonstrating proficiency in the fields of morphology, syntax, phonology and semantics.
Teaching Science in the 7th grade, I find that I will have many opportunities to integrate the principles of linguistics into my class to help my ELL become proficient in my content in English. As seen in my field observation, journaling was a main portion of grasping basic English writing skills. In my science class, I have my ELL student copy the daily objective into his journal so that he can see the sentence structure and I model correct syntax and semantics. Also after completing a laboratory investigation, I have my students write a formal lab report. This allows the student to express his science knowledge in formal science lab format. I follow the same guidelines as the ESOL instructor that I observed, by allowing my student to think in their native language and then to translate their thoughts into English. I concentrate more on content first, and then help the student make corrections to their sentence structures. I also use this as an opportunity to direct their attention to the parts of speech and explain the theory behind the corrections that need to be made. The latter example can be seen in the artifacts in the homework section regarding morphology, syntax, phonology, and semantics.
I used the word etymology exercise to devise a strategy of coupling content words in English and Spanish. For example, I use photosynthesis and fotosíntesis, objective and objetivo, cell and célula to show my ELL student as well as the whole class that there are words that are familiar in both languages so that my student can use his Spanish decoding skills in reading to read his science text book. In my research project, I used literature as a tool to create cultural awareness. In my class, it is difficult to incorporate literature in a science classroom. However, I have had my ELL student share what he had learned in science in Mexico versus what we are learning in science at the present time. My student explains processes we are studying in class in his native language to the class; they in turn help him translate it into English. We work cooperatively to help the ELL student acquire the vocabulary he needs to become a proficient reader and speaker of the English language. In turn, this activity helps my ELL student share his culture with the class. The class also learns the science vocabulary in Spanish, which is an excellent extension activity.
Since I have my undergraduate and master’s degree in Biology and Science Education, respectively, all the material that was presented in Principles of Linguistics was newly learned material. From my Field Observation, I was able to see how an ESOL tutor worked with different aged ELL students. I was able to critically reflect on how I would of done things a little differently had I had the opportunity to be in her position. I was able to analyze the speech patterns of three different ELL students as well as analyze their processing skills in a second language. The word etymology exercise allowed me to research words that are used in the English language but borrowed from different cultures. I was able to see how the words evolved and their literal meaning versus how we use them in the American English language. I explored how to use Literature as Content to express cultural awareness of ELL students. I learned how to embrace other cultures instead of stripping the student of their heritage to make them “Americanized.” Throughout all of the homework assignments, I was afforded the opportunity to practice various exercises on morphology, syntax, phonology as well as semantics. Various parts of speech were dissected by making word tree.
Sub-standard 1.a.1 states that candidates apply knowledge of phonology to help ESOL students develop oral, reading, and writing skills in English. I feel that I have meet this standard through in class practices using Praxis materials to apply knowledge of developmental and contrastive phonology to identify difficult aspects of English pronunciation of the taped individuals. From these exercises as well as the at home exercises, I was able to take this knowledge into the classroom to assist my ELL student develop phonemic awareness as well as other reading skills by reading from the 7th grade Science text.
Sub-standard 1.a.2 states that candidates apply knowledge of morphology to assist ESOL students’ development of oral and literacy skills in English. I feel my work in linguistics have exceeded this standard. Through my word etymology research, I have gained new strategies to learn new words, as well as their history. Through this I have been able to carry this into my science classroom where I have experimented with new strategies to help my ELL student acquire new content vocabulary and to apply his knowledge to his English lexicon. Through my field observation, I was able to see practicing strategies for building vocabulary through reading in context. I also incorporated these strategies in my classroom. Also, to help meet this standard, a series of home practice was completed in the area of phonology.
Sub-standard 1.a.3 states that candidates will apply knowledge of syntax to assist ESOL students in developing written and spoken English and sub-standard 1.a.4 states that candidates will apply understanding of semantics to assist ESOL students in acquiring and productively using a wide range of vocabulary in English. These two sub-standards were met through the field observation activity as well as at home practice exercises. During the field observation, ELL students were directed to write a creative story. The ESOL tutor instructed the students to verbalize the story then to put their thoughts into words. The students phonetically spelled at first, then to be corrected by the tutor after the thoughts were captured on paper. The knowledge that was gained from these two experiences, I was able to convert the knowledge into practice and guide my ELL student through the research process and completing a Science Fair project. The student successfully researched his project in English and initially wrote his project in Spanish, then with my guidance, translated it into English.
Sub-standard 1.a.7. states that candidates demonstrate ability to help ESOL students acquire a range of genres, rhetorical and discourse structures, and writing conventions in English. During the course of Principles of Linguistics, I researched the topic of using Literature as Content to instruct ELL students the importance of using literary text to study dialog and conversation structure. From this ELL students will be able to see what type of dialog is appropriate in certain situations. My research also showed that ELL students could use literature as springboard for writing. Students can use what they have read to journal, as expressive writing or analytical writing. They can also revisit the text to validate their ideas when writing. The knowledge gained from this project exceeds the state sub-standard 1.a.7.
Sub-standard 1.a.9 states candidates will locate and use linguistic resources to learn about the structure of English and of students’ home languages. Two of the projects from Principles of Linguistics exceed this standard. The first research project, Literature as Content, gave me the opportunity to investigate various linguistic resources on-line as well as in print. These resources varied from syntactic structure to using literature as a tool for cultural awareness. I was able to sift through professional journals addressing my research topics. The word etymology exercise afforded me the opportunity to investigate resources that dealt with word history as well as morphological and phonemic structures of borrowed words.
The last sub-standard address in Principle of Linguistics was 1.a.10, which states candidates will demonstrate proficiency in English and serve as a good language model for ESOL students. I feel the field observations allowed me to exceed this standard. Working with three different ELL students in the elementary school, allowed me to model my proficiency in the English language. I also carry this into my class where I model the appropriate English speaking and writing skills for my ELL student. From modeling, I have been able to see a large difference in my student’s ability to carry on a conversation with his peers. Also, since I make a concerted effort to converse with the student, where other teachers do not, he is speaking English in my class where he is reserved and non-responsive in his other classes.
The following sub-standards were not achieved in this particular class due to material that was not covered in Principles of Linguistics. The standards not achieved were 1.a.5, candidates will apply knowledge of pragmatics to help ESOL students communicate effectively and use English appropriately for a variety of purposes in spoken and written language, and in formal and informal settings, 1.a.6, candidates will demonstrate ability to help ESOL students develop social and academic language skills in English, and sub-standard 1.a.8, candidates demonstrate understanding of the nature and value of World Englishes and dialect variation. And build on the language that ESOL students bring in order to extend their linguistic repertoire. The last sub-standard, 1.a.9, was not addressed in this class. This standard states candidates will locate and use linguistic resources to learn about the structure of English and of student’s home language.
Thus far, after taking only one class, I feel the one portion of this class that was most rewarding for my professional career was the field observation. I was alerted to the fact of how many ELL students are in the elementary school that feeds into my middle school. I was able to find out the personal lives of each of the ELL students and understand the outside strains that are put on these children, other than trying to acquire a new language. I was made aware of how these children are not getting a fair education like all the other children in the United States. As an educator, I was angered by how these children are being swept under the rug. I am appalled at the fact that only “highly qualified” teachers can teach American children in the content fields, yet ESOL teachers do not even have to be certified in their field. How can a teacher be effective if they do not have the arsenal to fight the war? This experience not only opened my eyes but also ignited a flame and started a burning desire to give all children a fair and quality education. I was more intrigued by the stories behind the children in the ESOL program. The conclusion that I formulated was that learning English should be the least of their worries. Ninety percent of these students have very stressful lives where school takes a back seat to survival.
2. LONGITUDINAL (ACTION) RESEARCH PROJECT REQUIREMENTS:
GENERALIZING RESEARCH TO THE GROUP:
Your claim in this project has to be argumentative. Purely informative papers will NOT be accepted. The length of this project is dependent on you. However, innovative thinking, depth, insight and creativity of ideas will be the key performance measures. Most projects could be completed within a range of 10-20 pages (double-spaced).
Data Driven Research: Pursuing triangualtion Models of Research
Using the four options provided by Bailey (2001) you could utilize your language learning observations to corroborate a data-driven hypothesis using one of the following routes:
Hypothesis driven research: Action Research
Utilize this class opportunity to pursue the resolution of a pressing “problem” in second language learning that you know of. Use your observations to serve as your case study. Proceed in your research via an actual Action Plan which walks readers through all four stages:
Please see me if you need more guidance on formulating Action Research.
4. Oral Presentation: presenting second language acquisition research
Your final oral presentation will be on your longitudinal research project. To ensure the equitable distribution of options, a lottery system will be used to generate a priority number that will give you access to the sign up sheet. Due to time constraints, missed oral presentations can not be made up.
ORAL PRESENTATION: GUIDELINES
Please note that the format and style of your presentation should reflect your own creativity. Here are a few pointers to guide you in the organization of your presentation. Please aim for a presentation of a maximum of 30 minutes (10 minutes will be set aside for questions). You are urged to be as organized as possible (Please use Power-Point to do a quick review of extra material/ or use handouts wisely).
1) Outline a clear and specific objective/claim at the outset of your talk.
2) Specify the Motivation for the presentation i.e., what got you started on the idea in the first place.
3) Emphasize why the project is of concern/importance. You could give an outline of your intended plan.
4) Draw a clear distinction between a theoretical and practical side to your presentation.
5) In the theoretical part, you can concern yourself with actual theoretical explanations of the phenomena you are dealing with --i.e., the theoretical underpinnings of your paper.
6) In the practical part of your talk, you will give a synopsis of your case study using data generated from your language learning case studies. Show the extent to which your specific case study either corroborates or refutes your research claim.
7) Try and have a creative way of dealing with the linguistic topic—hyper media presentations are strongly encouraged. Please utilize audiovisual exponents of language that may be of relevance to your presentation such as your audio-visual tapes and video-recordings).
8) Provide a clear conclusion to your project.
9) Specify any implications/ potential problems/areas for further research etc.
10) Your presentation will be evaluated on:
1. Creativity of topic/phenomenon
2. Clear organization
3. Ability to link field research to library research
4. Clarity of Explanations and Grasp of Material/Research done
5. Originality of Presentation
You do not have to follow this format. These are just some guidelines on the evaluation criteria.
**** You are required to turn in handouts containing a Bibliography/Reference Sheet as well as any material that will guide your audience in the comprehension of your project. Please be sure to include your name and the title of the presentation on any handouts that are distributed.
Syllabus/Class Outline, Second Language Acquisition, ENGL 539 Spring 2007
Saturday, March 17
Introductions and Overview of Course
Needs Analysis: What are educators dealing with in districts?
Background and Review: Owens, ch.1 (The Territory)
Review of Chapter 1 and discussion, continued
Owens, ch. 2 (Language Development Models) Review and discussion
Reading Assignment for Saturday, March 24: Owens, ch. 3, 4 (Child development & Neurology), Goldstein, ch. 1. (Core Knowledge), and Gleason chapters 1-3. For the week of March 20: Arrange for in-class observations. Start as soon as possible.
Syllabus/Class Outline, Second Language Acquisition, ENGL 539 Spring 2007
Saturday, March 24
Reporting from the lab: what did teachers arrange for class observation? Discussion of observation protocols and expectations.
Review and discussion of Owens, ch. 3 (Child Development)
Review and discussion of Goldstein, ch. 1 (Core Knowledge). Do the assumptions in the two authors correlate so far?
Review and discussion of Owens, ch. 4 (Neurology) and Gleason. Do the assumptions and conclusions of the author match current linguistic theory?
Preparation for next chapters in Owens (ch. 5, 6, 7, 8): Video: Review of previous materials.
Reading time (start section two ‘Procedures’ in Goldstein
Review of above
Reading Assignment for Saturday, March 31: Goldstein, Procedures, Owens cc 5-8, Gleason cc 6-8.
Syllabus/Class Outline, Second Language Acquisition, ENGL 539 Spring 2007
Saturday, March 31
Review and discussion of Owens, chapters 5-8. (Sidebar discussion: my paper topic?)
Review and discussion, Gleason chapters 6-8.
Review and discussion, Goldstein, Procedures.
Language learning styles and issues: from child to adolescent to adult.
Quiet time: read and prepare Ehrman (handout).
Brainstorming: profiling my own language learning style. How you learned can affect how you teach (and expect others to learn).
Exercise: determining personality types and learning/speaking styles.
Reading Assignment for Saturday, April 14: Read Owens, chapters 9-13, and Gleason 10-11.
Syllabus/Class Outline, Second Language Acquisition, ENGL 539 Spring 2007
Saturday, April 14
Review and discussion of Owens, chapters 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.
Discussion of Gleason.
How do my observations in class correspond to what has been presented so far? What works? What seems to be missing? What is needed?
Continuation of above discussion.
Revisiting the research day: roundtable discussion on topics and progress. Be prepared to share with the class what you have been investigating (complete and final conclusions not required!) Consider this a warm-up for next week’s presentations.
Library time if needed.
Continuation of above. Students may rewrite lessons if new insights have occurred!
Prepare your presentations according to guidelines above.
Syllabus/Class Outline, Second Language Acquisition, ENGL 539 Spring 2007
Saturday, April 21 (in-class presentations). Each student has 30 minutes!
Presenters 1, 2.
Presenters 3, 4.
Presenters 5, 6.
Presenters 7, 8.
Presenters 9, 10.
Spill-over time (sometimes thirty minutes just isn’t enough) and recap. Papers due.
 The following standards are taken directly from the document “TESOL/NCATE Standards for the Accreditation of Initial programs in P-12 ESL Teacher Education”, (2002)-Draft prepared by the TESOL task force on ESL standards” TESOL Inc. Please refer to the following web-site: http://www.ncate.org/standard/new%20program%20standards/tesol.pdf