Category Archives: How I Fit In: Teaching for Biliteracy as a Monolingual English Teacher

Literacy Improvement Series: The Myth of the Literacy Block

Does this look familiar?   This is the sample schedule from a typical monolingual schedule. The content (math, science, social studies) and language (English Language Arts) blocks are independent from each other. The time allotted to each subject is either school- or district-mandated, and teachers are expected to spend the given amounts of time on each subject. I have spent the last four months sharing with you some of the most effective literacy strategies I use in my Two-Way Immersion kindergarten and Read More...

Literacy Improvement Series: LEA in the Kindergarten Classroom

Have you thought of how you can use the Language Experience Approach (LEA) with your students? I promised in last month's blog to share how I use LEA with my kindergarten class. If you missed that blog, check it out here for a review on what LEA is and why I love it so much! Also feel free to check out my other blogs in this Literacy Improvement Series, which explain how I, the English teacher in a Two-Way Immersion program, Read More...

Literacy Improvement Series: Language Experience Approach

I hope this blog finds you well! This is the fourth installment of my Literacy Improvement Series as related to the English side of a Two-Way Immersion Program. However, I hope you know that these strategies can be adapted for teaching and learning in any language – or in a monolingual English class as well! See my past blogs on Oracy Development, Vocabulary, and Phonics for more ideas. I’m so excited to share one of my favorite strategies with you Read More...

Literacy Improvement Series: Phonics – Dictado

Welcome to part three of my Literacy Improvement Mini-Series, with examples from the English side of my kindergarten and first grade TWI classes (In our 50/50 model, I teach first grade in the morning while kindergarten is in Spanish, then we switch. Read more about the program in which I teach and who I am here.). If you'd like to see the previous posts in this series, check out the Oracy Development blog as well as the Vocabulary: When and How blog. This contribution: Phonics: Dictado Me: Read More...

Literacy Improvement Series~ Vocabulary: When and How

  Welcome back! Or just welcome! This is the second installment of my Literacy Improvement Blog Mini-series. (That sounds so official, like it will be airing on Netflix or something. I’m just hoping it is helpful.) Today’s topic: Vocabulary: When and How   Remember a few years ago when frontloading was the buzzword? We would talk about important vocabulary words before reading a book. Or we would have our EL teacher pull students before beginning a unit and have her work with the kids Read More...

Literacy Improvement Series: Oracy Development

LITERACY. It doesn’t mean just reading. Or writing. It also includes listening and speaking. Did I mention that it is an essential piece to ALL content areas? And human interaction in general? Plus it is what separates us from other life forms! The capacity for literacy is what makes humans unique, and – quite frankly – naturally brilliant.     So what about BILITERACY? Is it different? Is it even more special? Does it encompass more? It is. It does. And as Read More...

The Shift

The Shift – How I Went from Teaching English to Teaching for Biliteracy   I have a tendency to be pretty passionate about most things I get into. As I began my teaching career, I developed into a teacher who loved teaching English and literacy to children, helping them gain independence and giving them tools to be successful citizens down the road. Maybe your story is similar? I remember counting seven different home languages other than English among the students in my first Read More...

How I Fit In

How I Fit In… Hola.  I feel like singing, “One of these things is not like the other!  One of these things just doesn’t belong….”  See, I am a non-bilingual (is that a word??) contributor to an organization focusing on and educating about bilingual education.  So, really, what do I have to offer? Well, I’m hoping a lot.    Full disclosure.  I’m not completely monolingual.  I have a couple of years of exposure to Spanish through my high school and college education, Read More...