About the Columbus North Literacy Project
The rapid growth of the Columbus North High School ESL population, from 38 students in 2002 to 138 students in 2007, has rapidly changed the face of diversity in our school. For these students, language acquisition in core content areas is very difficult to achieve within the traditional timeframe provided, especially considering the scope and rigor of today's high school curriculum.
Therefore, to assist our ESL learners with bridging this gap between content knowledge and the vocabulary needed to explicitly know the required content knowledge, we created this project. This project is a collaborative effort among fourth and fifth year foreign language teachers and students, department chairs and teachers in content areas of English, Math, Social Studies, and Science and students and personnel in the ESL program. Language and technology literacy is the focus, using project-based instruction and technology tools.
The goals of this project are described below.
+ESL students will benefit from listening to the tutorials (used in acquiring key concepts and terms for core classes) and will also develop metacognition skills as they assist upper-level foreign language students in the writing and editing of the tutorials themselves.
+Fourth and fifth year language students will create useful projects with real vocabulary applications in native and foreign language, develop new technology skills, and build relationships with new English learners as they compose their tutorials.
+Teachers will learn new technology skills and project-based learning theory and practice. Core content departments will clarify learning expectations and flow and sequence by examining the gbig ideash they want each student to know as they choose the key content vocabulary in their core classes.
+The culture for all North High School residents will be impacted by inviting students to learn key content vocabulary in multiple languages while also developing a broader definition of what literacy is and how it is shaped by cultural and social forces.
The project can be divided up into a number of steps summarized below.
I. Securing Funding for the Project
II. Creation of Content Area Vocabulary Lists
III. Teacher Training in Project-Based Instruction and in the use of technology like podcasts and Audacity.
IV. Creation of Student Materials
V. Introduction of Project to Students
VI. Creation of Tutorials (the vocabulary pod casts)
VII. Presentation of Tutorials
VIII. Collection of Student and Teacher Feedback
IX. Assessment of Impact and Improvement on ELLs