Spend time making observations in at least one Title I classroom setting that involves ELLs.
Use any remaining field experience hours to assist the mentor teacher in providing instruction and support to the class.
Create an engaging vocabulary game to be used to teach key vocabulary words to ELLs in your selected content area. Your vocabulary words should address Tier One, Tier Two, and Three Tier words from your required reading which include:
Common words, which most children acquire in daily conversations in their first language;
Content specific technical words, which may be commonly used or rarely used; and
Words that define written text which are generally more sophisticated and precise than words used in conversation or academic vocabulary from academic texts.
Your submission should include:
A list of all of the Tier One, Tier Two and Tier Three key vocabulary words.
A detailed description of the game rules, number of players, and how the game is played.
The students’ grade level, core content area, and ELP level on your submission document.
Utilize this game during your practicum experience within one of your classrooms for ELLs.
Additionally, write a 250-word reflection regarding whether the game was beneficial to your students, whether there were any problems that occurred while playing the game, and any changes that you would make to the game based on your observations.
Students’ grade level : Intermediate (Grade 4 to Grade 7)
Core content area : English language
ELP level : Level 3 (Listening and speaking performance at level 3)
The game focuses on words chosen by the instructor. The words must be categorized as Tier One, Tier Two, and Tier Three. The words below are only meant to illustrate how the game works so an instructor can choose any set of words as may be considered appropriate for any session (of the game).
Tie One Words
Tier Two Words
Tie Three Words
For the Tier One Words, an assumption is made that students are familiar with them so no definition is given. Tier Two and Tie Three words can be defined for the students as it is likely that they have not come across most or some of them.
Split the students into groups of about 8 or 9, depending on the size of the class. Let the groups choose a representative who shall step forward and sit on a ‘hot seat’ in front of them. In turns, let each of the representatives randomly pick one word from Tier One, Tier Two, or Tier Three category and speak it out aloud. If the word is in the Tier One bracket, the other representatives should step forward to the blackboard and write down in not more than one 30 seconds three other words that in one way or another relate to the chosen word. For instance, if ‘walk’ is the chosen word, words that students can possibly write down should relate to body movements such as crawl, run, jog. The representative who finishes first wins the round, so his or her group wins. If the word is in the Tier Two or Tier Three category, the other representatives should step forward and write the word vertically on the board. Each representative then chooses any member from his/her group to come and write a word that starts with each letter of the vertical word, all in not more than one minute. This could be made tougher by requiring that the word being written down be related to the parent word. The first one to finish wins the round so the group wins.
- Players must observe time as detailed. Any word written after the set time has elapsed shall not count.
- Seated group members should not shout as in to give hints to their representative. Doing so would mean the group automatically loses the round.
Having used this game to teach vocabulary, I am certain it was beneficial to the students because it not only introduced them to new words (that they probably had never heard before) but also increased their thinking capacity particularly in regards to words that could be related in one way or another. Explaining the meaning of the Tier Two and Tier Three words to the students and letting them later on engage in activities as in the game was quite engaging, the latter aspect having a powerful memory effect. By and large, the game added fun to the learning (and teaching) experience, giving an opportunity to the students to engage with new words in a nonthreatening manner. While there were no problems encountered when playing the game, it would be more optimal if an adjustment could be made to the aspect of time so that students could have more time to think and come up with words related to the Tier Two and Tier Three acronyms. A new aspect could also be introduced in the game whereby representatives choose peers from their groups who then recount personal experiences integrating the terms therein. Additionally, it would be better if after the game, the instructor invites the students to point out the terms they consider difficult so that in a discussion involving the whole class the instructor can go over crucial aspects thereby increasing students’ understanding (Gruss, 2016). As Sheridan and Markslag (2017) agree, concentration of all students cannot be guaranteed so choosing alternative games remains an option as far as the current core content area is concerned. Overall, it was a good teaching experience.
Gruss, J. (2016). Games as a tool for teaching English vocabulary to young learners. World Scientific News, 53(2): 67-109.
Sheridan, R., & Markslag, L. (2017). Effective Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary: An Introduction to Engaging Cooperative Vocabulary Card Activities. PASAA,53 (9): 214-229