Connecting Language and Literacy to Content: A Swedish Application of Australian and American Research

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This workshop will focus on a promising and practical example of how content teachers and language teachers collaboratively can improve language learning and literacy development, at the same time as the students learn the content subjects. Since school success is closely linked and related to the students’ abilities to read, comprehend, write and express themselves in the language of schooling – regardless if it’s the students’ first or second languages – it’s vital to connect the literacy development instruction to the content subjects. Without this connection there is a great risk that the students won’t develop their language and literacy enough, nor will they understand or learn the content subjects to their full potential. I will point out the Australian research carried out by Jim Martin, David Rose and John Polias and I will show how I have applied their research in my work as a teacher and how I have combined their findings with the features of lesson design pointed out by the SIOP Model (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol Model), which was elaborated by researchers (Short, Echevarría and Vogt) at Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington D.C. In this workshop I will share the model with the audience. The model which I will present has shown to be very effective in multicultural groups. It has given the teachers a tool to make their subjects comprehensible, as well as it has motivated the students to work harder to develop their language. The model is not complicated, but yet very powerful. It has the potential of providing school success and empowerment among students in diversity. The objective of this presentation is to give the audience an effective and practical model of what teachers can do in their classrooms to close the achievement gap among students in multicultural schools. The main target group for this workshop is teachers. The presentation will be in the format of a workshop and audiovisual equipment will be used. There will also be opportunities for interaction and questions. Handouts will be distributed, as well as suggestions for practical applications of the model.

Keywords: Literacy, Language Aquisition, Learning, Teaching, Second Language Learning
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Ann-Christin Lövstedt

The Department of Swedish as a Second Language, Vilunda Upper Secondary School
Upplands Väsby, Stockholm, Sweden

I work as a teacher of Swedish as a Second Languge, English and Spanish at an upper secondary school in Upplands Väsby, Stockholm. I started teaching 18 years ago. My professional goals are to strive and work for a development and improvement of the education of our children and youth. I want to influence and change the current situation, so that all students, regardless of sex, ethnicity and social class, are offered an equivalent education in democratic schools, in order to give all members of society the opportunity to influence the development of society. I want to see to it that nobody has less power than other members of society due to insufficient education. I am specifically engaged in the education of second language learners, since my experience is that schools – at least in Sweden – have not been able to offer this group the same opportunities of an optimal and equal education and development. During the last ten years I have worked for an educational change in the community where the school where I’m working is situated. Due to the injuste situation where second language learners are not given the same opportunities as the students of a Swedish origin, I have tried to improve these students’ chances of success by developing my own teaching methods as well as trying to developand change the organization of schools. Apart from being a teacher, I have also worked as an assitant principal and the leader of a teachers' team. Furthermore, I am involved in teacher training courses about literacy devlopment for first and second language learners. A year ago I was responsible for organizing the international conference "Education, Diversity and Excellence" which was held in Upplands Väsby in January 2007. I also produce teaching materials at the publishing company LIBER.

Ref: D08P0131