ELLs and Academic Conversations
Oakland Unified School District, the Teaching Channel, and Stanford University’s Understanding Language Group have collaborated in this three-part series on English language learners (ELLs) and academic conversations. Teachers create classroom structures that encourage students to talk to and learn from each other.
Academic conversations (Zwiers & Crawford, 2011) have the following characteristics:
Purposeful and sustained conversations about content
Anchored in grade-level texts and tasks
Students work together to co-construct knowledge and negotiate meaning
Students use “talk moves,” such as asking for clarification, paraphrasing, and building on or disagreeing with a previous idea
The videos were filmed in three secondary classrooms where ELLs are engaged in academic conversations. Each part of the series describes different aspects of academic conversations:
Part 1: Engaging ELLs in Academic Language
Part 2: Why are Academic Discussions so Important for our ELLs?
Part 3: Key Strategies for Developing Oral Language