Sunday, November 11, 2012

Curtain and Dahlberg, Ch 10: p. 280-307

Curtain and Dahlberg, Ch 10: "Connecting Content with Language and Culture," p. 280-307

     This chapter was about delivering content instruction in the the target language. Content instruction in the L2 gives students a large amount of comprehensible input and requires meaningful communication. The language being used has real, authentic communicative intent. That means that the teacher is trying to convey a message that the students need to be able to understand by negotiating its meaning. It also helps the classroom teacher at the elementary school level feel like the language instructor is working towards the same instructional goals. The downside of teaching content is that the content objectives need to be fairly concrete and straightforward.
     Page 291 illustrates the types of activities that are more or less cognitively demanding and more or less contextually embedded. For example, simple games, TPR demonstrations, conversations, and listing vocabulary items are all activities that are contextually embedded as well as cognitively undemanding. On the other hand, explanations of abstract concepts, math word problems, and subject content explanations have reduced context and are more cognitively demanding.
    Some math activities that can be more easily taught in the L2 are: measurement, estimating measurement, reading and constructing graphs, telling time, and simple arithmetic. Geography and map reading are good areas of social studies content to focus on (284).

     I am thinking about doing a lesson on Christopher Columbus. I am struggling right now to think about a good way to assess student understanding. I want my lesson to have a narrative structure; however, I would also like the lesson to be in Spanish. Am I more interested in assessing their comprehension of the Spanish vocabulary or their content knowledge?

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