Plan of Action and Execution of Lessons
Apart from students receiving instruction from their classroom teacher, children at the Language Academy receive instruction from a second language teacher. In order for the objectives of this unit to work, language and classroom teachers must arrange to meet weekly to discuss any important information concerning coordination of resources and the scheduling of certain activities. Auxiliary support staff such as music, art, and gym teachers also have a critical role in incorporating skills that they normally teach their students with that of program objectives. To bring about these far reaching objectives, it is crucial that all teachers work together to achieve open lines of communication in order that the mutual goals of content instruction, second language acquisition, and social integration be achieved.
The lessons about the Aztecs are divided into two or more segments. This allows for the objectives of content mastery and second language acquisition to be met during separate time periods and under appropriate conditions. A background information section to be read by both language and classroom teacher is supplied in order that teachers have the knowledge that they will need to confidently teach the lessons about the Aztecs at their fingertips. By reading the background section, and referring to the bibliography of materials, and additional activities section supplied in each lesson activity, teachers can customize their presentation of the Aztec unit or any other unit in the curriculum.
The teaching of these lessons as a way to enhance second language instruction precludes that the Wang wage teacher prepare his or her students to function in a second language cross-grouping situation. He or she will accomplish this end by teaching towards the vocabulary and basic language structures that are demanded for the specific lesson to be taught. The successful cross-grouping of students and demonstration of cooperative group behavior during the presentation of lessons also preclude that the classroom teacher include in his or her daily repertoire of classroom activities opportunities for cooperative behavior to be learned i.e. “teach your neighbor” time.
Children will be grouped for instruction in two different ways. For part one of the lessons, students will remain with their classroom teacher and homeroom group for the purposes of mastering new knowledge in their native language. In this part of the lesson, children are challenged to begin to acquire the informational content of the topic being presented during an information packed session. This period is essential for giving the student a context for learning related information that will later be presented in the second language. Successful transmission of information to the student in this part of the lesson, will make easier the transfer of knowledge that will take place in the second language portion of the lesson.
In part two of the lesson children are grouped heterogeneously (bilingual and monolingual classrooms are cross-grouped) and taught by the second language teacher who speaks entirely in Spanish or English during the lesson. Through the use of cooperative learning techniques students in these cross-grouping situations are made into active participants of the learning process. The role of the students whose native language is the same as that of the lesson being presented are given the role of “language buddies” for those who are receiving the lesson in a second language. The methods that the language teacher uses aim at developing the students second language as a primary goal. The secondary goal is to complement and enhance the knowledge that the learner acquired in his first language.