Integrating Language Skills, Practices, and Content in Equitable TESOL Lesson Planning

Integrating Language Skills, Practices, and Content in Equitable TESOL Lesson Planning

Esther S. Gross (The Center for Educational Technology, Israel) and Jenifer A. Crawford (University of Southern California, USA)
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8093-6.ch001
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Teachers and students in TESOL confront persistent racial, linguistic, economic, and social inequities in English language education. Many universities are striving to enact inclusive teaching that serves their diverse student body. This chapter offers a balanced approach that synthesizes language teaching research, theories, and practices to offer equitable strategies and tools for planning TESOL lessons and an exemplar university English as a Foreign Language lesson. These strategies, tools, and examples provide support for teachers to plan to explore inequities in the sociopolitical and raciolinguistic conditions of language and language learning with their students through lessons that integrate language skills, practices, and content. There is significant research on critical approaches to language education, but this chapter contributes to critical praxis in TESOL by providing detailed guidance for teachers on integrated lesson planning for adult EFL classes.
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Integration Of Language Skills And Practices

Developing multiple language proficiencies and sociopolitical competencies and practices inclusive of all learners, including minoritized learners, requires a comprehensive critical approach. To address persistent inequities in adult language education, we have built on and synthesized current work in social and critical theories and pedagogies in language education. Based on this work we name three orientations, or philosophies of teaching and learning and language instruction in particular: traditional (teacher-centered), progressive (student-centered), and critical (power and society-centered) (Au, 1998; Peterson, 2003; Stillman, Anderson, Arellano, Wong, Berta-Avila, Alfaro, & Struthers, 2013). Regardless of one’s educational orientation, language educators agree on the centrality of the language skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing to language development. Based on one’s orientation researchers and educators question which skills are more important to teach, whether to teach these skills together, if teachers should develop only these skills or focus on authentic use of language practices. Next, we discuss these questions from each of the three orientations: traditional, progressive, and critical.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Minoritized Learners: Minoritized Learners are students whose families belong to racially, linguistically, and economically non-dominant groups.

Integration: Combining language skills, practices, and content in language teaching that is often done to support communication, critical analysis, and social action through language.

Elicit Performance: Teacher encourages students to practice new information and produce language output. Ideally, this output will integrate language skills, practices, and content based on what students recently learned.

Interactive Scenarios: Interactive scenarios engage students in working together to solve a problem or negotiate meaning.

Teacher Reflection: Teachers think about student learning and their practices to support target objectives and goals. This reflection can include a critical interrogation of who was and who was not served by the learning experiences and strategies across student demographic subgroups and ways to further adapt one’s lesson planning and instruction to address all students’ learning needs more equitably.

Languaging: “Languaging” or “doing language” is a collaborative dialogic activity or a process of making meaning and building knowledge through language to solve complex problems.

Solidarity Work: Unlike service-learning work where the giver decides what marginalized people need and how to provide it to them, solidarity work means that the economic and socially privileged stand in solidarity with those who need access to the systems and benefits of the dominant culture.

Information Gap Activity: An information gap activity is an activity where students are required to talk to each other to find out the missing information they need to complete a task.

Critical Awareness: Critical thinking about power by connecting students and target-language communities through oral and/or written negotiation of meaning through an analysis of oppression in the broader community by identifying one's identity and naming their role in oppression.

Flipped Instruction: One of several models of online and in person blended instruction where the teacher presents new target knowledge before class and then practices the related skills, practices, and content during the synchronous online or in person class session.

Student Reflection: Students think about what they have learned and how they have learned it. In this process students should identify gains and gaps in language knowledge, skills, and practices in relation to lesson and unit outcomes as well as broader learning goals and practices outside of the classroom.

Translanaguging: Translanguaging is a pedagogical practice of using both languages in an integrated and coherent way to mediate content learning, in contrast with unplanned and reactive code-switching, which may leave learners with a partial or fragmented understanding of the content.

Sociopolitical Context: Sociopolitical context shapes and is shaped by the social conditions of language and language learning.

Social action: Teachers and students engaging in individual and collective social action towards more just practices and policies that result from language learning and critical analysis.

Activate Prior Knowledge: Input such as a trigger (video clip, visual, text) connects to the lesson objective to gain attention and support students to draw on their experiential knowledge, linguistic repertoires, sociopolitical as well as specific technical skills and target academic language. Solicit questions from students about the new topic.

Raciolinguistic Context: Raciolinguistic context presumes that race and language are inextricably intersectional.

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