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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

AMAZING TOOL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO ACADEMIC LANGUAGE FOR ELLS AND EOS ALIKE


As content teachers see the number of English language learners increase in their classes, they will be faced with the double duty of delivering access to academically challenging vocabulary along with building English language proficiency.  For many, addressing such language demands may be relatively new and therefore a bit overwhelming.  However, thanks to the work of Kenji Hakuta and Greg Wientjes of Stanford, delivering comprehensible academic language to ELLs can be done with ease.

ABOUT WORDSIFT  -- here is a detailed overview of the many features the site offers for free.  Basically, a teacher (or student) either types a passage into the box or does a copy and paste.  To sift out academic words, click on SIFT.  A word cloud appears with varying sizes of words in the passage.  Large print indicates rare while small print equals common.  Other options for sifting are common to rare, rare to common, academic word language, English, science, math, social studies, and custom. 

There is far more to this site than sifting however.  Once the key words appear, the teacher can find google images in the site to clarify word meanings for students.  Since a picture says a thousand words, teachers will be able to supply comprehensible meaning for every word selected.  Further, there is visual thesaurus where teachers can expand vocabulary for students with just a few clicks.

WORD SIFT Click here to enter the site.  Teachers only need to find passages from their content areas to copy and paste here.  Click on SIFT and find those academic words with ease.  These are the words ELLs will find difficult to decipher if left to reading on their own.  If teachers display the results on their screens or whiteboard via LCD projects, they can engage the entire class in discussing unfamiliar vocabulary via the visuals.  Such activities engage all students with ease.

TOUR THROUGH WORD SIFT
For a complete tour of the many rich features of the site, click here.   Teachers should have no problem exploring the site and designing many ways to weave it into their classes. 

DEMO LESSON WITH WORD SIFT
How would the site be used as a teaching tool?  This link takes the visitor through all the features of a a complete lesson.  This is a wonderful starting point for any teacher considering using this site in a lesson.  If there is some free time over the winter break, teachers may like spending some time playing with it.

Denise

ELL TEACHER PROS

Pacon Blank Flash Card Dispenser Boxes, 2w x 3h, Assorted, 1000/Pack (Google Affiliate Ad)
Boardwalk Butcher Paper, 15 x 900', White (Google Affiliate Ad)
Crayola Original Markers - Broad Line, Classic Colors, 10 ct. (Google Affiliate Ad)

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