Yesterday I visited a first grade transitional bilingual education program and I was really impressed with the high level of biliteracy development that was occurring in the classroom! The room environment was extremely print rich, and clearly demonstrated that first grade students are learning how to read, write and listen/speak in both languages at very high levels. I wanted to post some of the pictures because there is sometimes a myth out there in the general public that transitional bilingual education programs are of a lower caliber than Dual Immersion programs. In fact, this transitional bilingual program was of a higher caliber than some of the Dual Immersion programs that I have had the opportunity to visit!

Here is one picture of the teacher’s focus wall in Spanish. I know that the picture is a little blurry, but you will notice that she has included many different components of literacy, including reading strategies, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, phonics, grammar, and spelling:

The teacher was focusing on sequencing in reading comprehension, which she also tied to sequencing in narrative writing:

Here is a sample of a student’s writing in Spanish that she had on her wall:

In addition, they were studying the reading and writing strategy of compare and contrast. You will notice that in addition to the venn diagram, that she also included some vocabulary associated with the language function of compare and contrast. On the right of the venn diagram she had posted signal words that students can use to enhance their writing in Spanish:

The teacher also had an English language development (ELD) wall which also included various components of literacy such as reading, writing, phonics, grammar, and other components:

They had been studying compare and contrast in Spanish, so it made perfect sense to also study the language function of compare and contrast in English. Notice that the teacher also included vocabulary associated with the language function of compare and contrast, such as “are similar”, “both”, “different”, “on the other hand”. This is a great example of how teachers can teach specialized academic vocabulary:

In addition, the teacher chose to teach the short u phonics pattern, choosing words that are associated with the theme of weather that they were studying:

Students also were exposed to academic vocabulary and literacy through the use of songs and chants. To the right of the chant you can see that students were also studying grammar and sentence structure through a sentence patterning chart, a GLAD strategy:

Students also practiced writing, revising and editing through the use of the cooperative strip paragraph, another GLAD strategy that is used to teach metacognition and the writing process:

There were also really great writing samples in English in the room, which prove that with great instruction students can write well in both languages in bilingual programs  as early as first grade:

Do you have great pictures of how you (or another teacher) are building biliteracy in your classroom? We would love to showcase them and other teachers would love to learn from you! Please send your pictures to multilingualmania(at)yahoo(dot)com and please make sure that you include your grade level!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Mayra Ferrer August 1, 2010 at 2:18 pm

I am so intrigued by your wonderful bulletin board and work and I have to ask where and what grade do you teach. is GLAD the strategy you have used to build it?? Pass on your teaching tips..I would love to post you on my website!

Mayra Ferrer

multilingualmania August 4, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Hi Mayra! I love your website!!

I am actually a school administrator of bilingual programs, and I provide staff development in the area of English language development and dual language education.

I am a glad trainer, so a lot of what I teach is related to project glad, as you asked. I’m beginning to create some teacher resources for dual immersion teachers that I will be adding to the blog, that I hope is useful to dual language educators.

I am looking forward to getting to know you more, and thanks for stopping by!! By the way, if you have a picture or pictures that you would like us to feature, please let me know! Many teachers have expressed that they are really interested in seeing additional pictures from other teachers! It’s my goal that people send us their pictures so that we can show them to teachers who read the blog, as well as parents!

Stephanie Brown June 21, 2011 at 10:44 pm

I am so grateful to have come across your website. I am Spanish student who is taking Spanish 3 for the third time. I love the language but am having a hard time with the tenses. I’m constantly searching the internet looking new styles and techniques of verb charts etc. It’s unfortunate that I’m still looking on you tube for a better way. Side note: Some teachers really need to admit that some their antiquated ways are NOT working..sigh lol

multilingualmania June 21, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Point well taken!! Have you been finding anything useful for verb tenses?

Elisa August 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I love the pictures! Is there any way that you can post/list other thematic units that this teacher teaches? What does she teach in English and what does she teach in Spanish? This is my second year teaching dual language and am looking for a more balanced approach to teaching both languages (literacy and content). Please post or email any further information you have. Thank you!

multilingualmania August 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Most definitely! We will definitely be adding some thematic resources and scopes and sequences soon!

Alexis Juusola December 22, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I love the pictures, just wish I could get a closer look of the spanish reading wall.

Sandy Gomez March 1, 2012 at 10:59 am

I am an EL coach at my school and would like to know if you have a sample of a
GLAD sentence patterning chart in Spanish. If a picture is not available, perhaps you could let me know the sequence of the elements of the sentence in Spanish as used by your trainers.

Thank you,
Sandy Gómez

multilingualmania March 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Hi! We don’t have a picture yet but we can put one up soon! Basically, you can have the same type of sentence patterning chart, but you change the location of the noun and adjective with putting the noun first and adjective second. Some people put “article” (un, el, etc) before the noun on their charts. I’ve heard some people chant it to farmer in the dell or chant it to la cucaracha! Give us about a week and we will make sure that we blog about it! Check back soon!

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