The English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards provide prerequisite linguistic skills for all English Language Learners (ELL) in Arizona, to gain academic success not only in the language but also other academic subjects like math, science, and social studies. The standards are set to help students without proficiency in English language gain language skills. Arizonas English language rules are structured by the Arizona Department of education and build on the progression of competencies that have been learned from kindergarten upwards. The content of English language development instruction contains pronunciation, word-building techniques, word order, and the vocabulary of English language, which is all significant for learning domains such as reading, writing, listening and speaking (Elenbaas, 2003).
Before learning begins, Arizona English Language Assessment body (AZELLA), measures the English proficiency for learners with linguistic knowledge other than English language and builds their profile under categories of Pre-Emergent, Emergent, Basic, Intermediate, Proficient. In Pre-emergent proficiency level, the learners do not understand English well enough to perform. The emergent category includes learners who can understand and utter few isolated English words. The Basic level proficiency includes students who may comprehend slower speech, read, write simple words and phrases but often make mistakes (Elenbaas, 2003). These categories form the parameters for measuring scientific development in reading, writing, listening and speaking in the English language. There are possible objective-oriented learning activities which can assist basic level students to achieve the general proficiency whenever they hear and speak, read or write.
Listening and Speaking: The basic English learners are expected to understand a limited standard, but a small number of common words and simple phrases in conversations held on topics of self-relevance such as basic greetings and courtesies when spoken slowly and with great rephrasing, repetitions, and contextual clues. They should also listen attentively to acquire knowledge (Roa, 2012).
They can listen to stories from a radio lesson, or stories being read aloud. The teacher can ensure students keenness by giving them simple questions that are meant to be answered after the stories. The teacher can use this platform to make students conscious of elements of oral skills like intonation, stress, and rhythm (Mohr & Mohr, 2007). The instructor can introduce note-making and summarize to complement writing skills.
The speaking domain is a very interactive and active session for basic level English learners. The performance conditions dictate that the learners should only comprehend and follow simple routine instructions for classroom activities dependent on gestures and other contextual clues and directives like Lets form a group for discussion. The language acquisition principle from listening and speaking is based on the ability of the learners to pay attention, provide the response, and express themselves in public, in the target language (Roa, 2012).
Reading: This skill involves allowing students to read an interesting story or comprehension in the target language. Learners are given similar materials to read, and the first round includes reading without correction for the wrongly pronounced words or phrases. The next phase involves reading aloud with the help of the instructor and correcting learners. The focus is put on commonly misspelled or confused words. Reading can also be a regular learning activity only meant to be read and enjoyed by the learners given raising confidence (Mohr & Mohr, 2007). The teacher is responsible for creating a conducive and encouraging environment for students to participate without fear of ridicule. It is important to let students know it is alright to make a mistake. The significant language acquisition principle is based on pronunciation and mastery of basic oral skills
Writing: An activity like giving primary level students objects from the classroom set-up, such as the pen, pencil, book among others and telling them to write an acrostic poem from each word can aid in developing writing interest and skills. Such poems form English words using the first letters from each classroom word given (Roa, 2012). For example, from the word pen they can get Paint elephant new. Another writing activity is peer writing, here, the students are grouped in twos and given each pair a sheet of paper with two columns of sentences about a young couple who met years ago, for them to match. The teacher instructs them to match words from first with the second column (Mohr & Mohr, 2007). Theres no wrong or write answers. For example, Mark and Sue met when Susan was 23. They had twins and got married. This activity can allow basic level learners learn about past tense in writing. The written poems and stories are read aloud to the class, and the best are selected by the teacher. The language acquisition principle relevant here is the ability of the learner to utilize word formation, the formation of sentences and able to be creative with words.
These are early production strategies rather than the preproduction. The preproduction affective encounter with the English language in children involves the use of native language to build affiliations, liking, and confidence while interacting with a new language. Children in early production stage are responsive to commands in the English language, they babble, invent words, and insert English words spontaneously in their discourses.
Elenbaas, C. T. (2003). Putting Language Acquisition Theory to Practice in the Classroom. Print
Mohr, K., & Mohr, E. (2007). Extending English-Language Learners' Classroom Interactions Using the Response Protocol. The Reading Teacher, 60(5), 440-450. http://dx.doi.org/10.1598/rt.60.5.4
Roa, M. (2012). English language learners in Arizona public schools: Challenges and opportunities for achieving quality language development. Print
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