Including Language Objectives with Content-area Objectives

If you looked at last week’s resource link for writing learning-objectives (http://ell.nwresd.org/sites/ell.nwresd.org/files/u6/Objective_Signal_Words.pdf), you may have noticed that, in part, it had to do with writing language objectives. Naturally, it would seem that language objectives were meant for language teachers. And while that is true, they were actually meant for all teachers, and especially for teachers who regularly and explicitly share their learning-objectives with their students.

Of necessity, all content-area instruction involves some type of language and/or mode of communication. In that this is so, the above referenced language objectives resource might certainly serve as a stepping-off point for constructing your content-area objectives. However, it is also, and primarily, intended for creating a second learning-objective (i.e., a language objective) that supports and facilitates the principal learning you intend for students to do.

The practice of providing students with a language objective, in addition to a content-area objective, is a mainstay of sheltered instruction models wherein the learning support needs of ELLs are addressed during regular content-area instruction, by content area teachers.

Whether you decide to include language objectives in your lessons on a regular basis, from time-to-time, or not at all, is up to you. But if you do periodically include a language objective along with your content-area objective, you may well find that the language clarification you provide translates to better performance by all of your students. By extension, if you do so regularly and explicitly, as has already been implied, it should enhance their performance even more.

Bill

Postscript comedy: Weird Al Yankovic’s “Word Crimes”

(Note: while amusing and cleverly done, its various innuendos would indicate that any viewing should be on your own time & internet).

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