Apr 122014
 

Assessment for Learning Practices

Wiliam (2011) states that professional development should focus on formative assessment, as a regular assessment-teacher-action cycle produces substantial increases in student learning. Teacher learning should include

  •          understanding base knowledge of assessment practices.
  •          planning for implementation of strategies to respond to the assessment; and
  •          discussing instructional changes made and results on student learning.

Mathematics concepts build by concept over time. While the focus for many provinces, school divisions, and schools is to increase student achievement in mathematics, that requires increased opportunities for students to be able to engage in grade level mathematics. This can only occur through opportunities to fill gaps in skills and understanding, which begins with identification of those gaps.

Gap Filling

Diagnostic Assessments

The first step in providing the opportunity for students to engage in grade-level mathematics is to identify which essential skills students are proficient at and which skills are barriers to engagement. A grade-level Pre-Assessment built on Essential Learning Outcomes is a tool that can help inform students, teachers, and parents.  A Pre-Assessment can be administered in its entirety at the beginning of the school year, or broken apart into concepts needed as pre-skills for each unit of study in the new year.

The structure of a continuum of Pre-Assessment Diagnostics is

Diagnostic Design

The questions in a Grade 3 Pre-Assessment are identical to those questions in the Grade 3 Post-Assessment. In addition to those core questions, concepts from Grade 3 are added. A suggestion is that the Post-Assessment would be administered in early May to allow for reteaching and redirection in order to best prepare students for the next grade level.

Not all concepts are included in these diagnostic assessments. Only those concepts that are skill based are included. For instance, the concept of Area is not included, as a student can understand the concept of area as an application of multiplication. Multiplication appears in the PreAssessment, but knowing the area of a rectangle does not.

These assessments are meant to be formative only. They are not meant to be a part of a reporting document, as they do not fully test conceptual understanding in the depth that curriculum requires. These are only a tool to know which preskills students are struggling with, and which preskills students are proficient with.

The DRAFT diagnostics below were created by a working group from our Mathematics Community, including: Dulcie Puobi, Victoria MacMillan, Jennifer Brokofsky, Michelle Naidu, Lisa Bryden, Sharon Harvey, Terry Johanson.

Grade 3 Pre-Assessment Grade 3 Post-Assessment
Grade 4 Pre-Assessment Grade 4 Post-Assessment
Grade 5 Pre-Assessment Grade 5 Post-Assessment
Grade 6 Pre-Assessment Grade 6 Post-Assessment
Grade 7 Pre-Assessment Grade 7 Post-Assessment
Grade 8 Pre-Assessment Grade 8 Post-Assessment
Grade 9 Pre-Assessment Grade 9 Post-Assessment
Grade 10 Pre-Assessment

The DRAFT Kindergarten to grade 2 diagnostics below were created by a working group from our Primary Mathematics Community including: Rhonda Wacker, Rosemary Vinet, Kelly Massier-Anderson, Elizabeth Phipps, Tracy Schnell-Persson, Wendy Macleod, Jennifer Hamon-Adair, Jodie Wachs, Dulcie Puobi, Jennifer Brokofsky, Cassandra Neufeld

Post K/Pre-Gr1 Diagnostic with Task cards Post-Gr1 to Pre-Gr2 Diagnostic
Post-Gr2 to Pre-Gr3 Diagnostic  Post-Gr1 to Pre-Gr3 Task Cards

 

Apr 102014
 

I was at a meeting today where a group of teachers were considering what Culturally Responsive instruction looks like in the classroom. We had just finished watch a video (It’s Not Opinion, It’s a Fact) of true by depressing statistics that made me want to think about what I could do to help First Nations and Métis students. We were considering a common definition of Cultural Responsiveness, but we each started with our own. Here is my first attempt:

Culturally responsive education places the student at the center. Students construct meaning for themselves or in groups, and the teacher recognizes more than one way of viewing or understanding the world. These can be simple things, like allowing students a variety of choices about how to show their learning, or more complex things like accepting an explanation (or way of doing things) that is not like the dominant culture. It also means the teacher is supportive through pre-assessing, and starts from strengths. It is about being in relationship with the student who is not the same as you and caring genuinely about that student’s success.

The group added other elements:

  • Value identity
  • Make a safe, caring place
  • Intervene before failure and focus on success
  • Learn and explore together – everyone in a learner including the teacher
  • Be open to what is best for the student rather than what is comfortable for the teacher. Learn new things
  • Free of prejudice, not just tokenism
  • Engages indigenous knowledge, and helps learners see themselves in what they study and the building
  • Community is in the center with the student
  • Recognize the dominant culture and understand the inequality of different roles. Deliberately place yourself “beside” as opposed to using positional authority and focus on listening
  • Using the staff and student cultural continuum in the classroom
  • Use elders and attend cultural events
  • Use formative assessment
  • High expectations, mixed with love “bossy Aunties”
  • Be aware of the stories of the students

This is a pretty long, diverse list, and really daunting for some teachers, but I just learned something that I think can help.  Cultural Responsiveness (sometimes called “culturally responsive pedagogy of relations” by our New Zealand friends) starts with agentic thinking. Essentially that means knowing I can make a difference  and focusing on what is in my control as a teacher. After that, I found a helpful distinction between Culturally Appropriate Instruction and Cultural Responsive Instruction so can remember how to do both.

Cultural Responsiveness is about many of the things we are already working in in Collegiate Renewal: being student centered, co-constructing rather than telling, starting in the learner’s zone of proximal development, allowing for multiple ways of thinking about something and choice. Some instructional approaches that help:

Cultural appropriateness is about helping First Nations and Métis students see themselves in school, without telling them who they are. It means adding stories of various first peoples and their perspectives. It means cultural activities, language and icons that help students feel as welcome at school as students who are members of the dominant culture (not sure why this is important? Check out this post). These things should all be a part of the regular classroom instruction as renewed curricula requires, not just addressing FNIM content or perspectives as special events.  Some resources to help:

Trying to understand Cultural Responsiveness has left me with three big ideas as a teacher. First, it is important to believe it is your job to make a difference for FNIM students, and you have the power to do it. Next, it is about moving your classroom to make it student-centered and balance out the power. Finally, it is about ensuring all students see their own identities as important in school.

 

 

 

Mar 272014
 

Integration of Career Development Concepts into Other Subject Areas

• Does career development engage young people in their schooling and help keep them attending school?
• Does career development positively impact on young people’s academic achievement?
• Does career development assist young people in making successful transitions to college or the labour market?
• Does career development have a positive effect on people’s career and life success?

SPS Career Educators and Career Facilitators know the answer is YES to all these questions! But if you want some solid, research-based evidence, especially when those around you may question your passion about the importance of career development for ALL students, in ALL subjects, you must read an excellent study found in the BLOG section of Career Cruising. The paper is called “Fostering College and Career Readiness: How career development activities in schools impact on graduation rates and students’ life success”, by Tristram Hooley, John Marriott and James P. Sampson Jr.  The paper goes deep into the impacts of career development in relation to those four specific questions listed above, with explicit evidence to support why we ARE so committed to and passionate about helping our students discover who they are and where and how to actively pursue their dreams to lead them to a productive, successful, happy and fulfilling life! This is a must-read for all career educators and ALL educators in general – just click on the link below to access the complete report:

http://public.careercruising.com/pdfs/CareerDevelopmentImpacts.pdf

Mar 182014
 

Language Retraining

Teaching a second language in a minority context is a challenging task. The classroom teachers’ level of language proficiency is paramount since learners are often exposed to a limited number of language models and their ability to learn and acquire the language accurately is dependent on the quality of the language presented by the teacher. Those who speak multiple languages are often aware that the general improvement and maintenance of language skills is an unending process.

In 1995, the American Association of Teachers of French published Susan Colville-Hall’s article Regaining Language Loss: An Immersion Experience for French Language Teachers (See The French Review, Vol. 68 No. 6 (May, 1995) pp. 990-1002 also available from Jstor.org). The author explores language loss and states that it may stem from the following:

  • Absence from the language classroom;
  • Teaching another subject area or language;
  • Teaching at a beginning or introductory level without the opportunity to fully use or interact with the language;
  • Lack of experience travelling to a region where target language immersion is possible.

Teachers who experience language loss or feel that they have not acquired a suitable level of language, are at risk of experiencing low levels of professional confidence and may experience a decrease in enthusiasm for the job, according to Colville-Hall. These teachers may experience the following:

  • Have inadequate preparation in the functional use of language (studying in a majority language context);
  • Lack practical, functional vocabulary;
  • Struggle to meet expectations to conduct class in target language and to interact with colleagues of higher language or native speakers;
  • Experience varying levels of language attrition patterns depending on their ability. (The ability to speak a language is rapidly impacted by limited use whereas listening and skills related to auditory comprehension are not.)

Colville-Hall indicates that the last language learned is the first to be forgotten, especially when it is used in isolation and for limited amounts of time. Of significance, the level of language acquired during learning determines how easily it will be lost. The incomplete mastery of language structure or skills are most easily lost or forgotten- even by language teachers.

According to the research, teachers who themselves decide to retrain in language often experience unintended positive consequences. Those who do retrain report the following:

  • Experience more resilient language gains that are less vulnerable to attrition;
  • Often apply additional effort to maintain their language skills and are successful in doing so;
  • Reacquire lost language skills or improve base skills thanks to language training exposure or doses of language immersion.

According to Colville-Hall, the intensity of the immersion experience is stressed to be as significant as the longevity. Nevertheless, short immersion exposure allows 

for rapid language recovery of a teacher’s original language competence.

In Colville-Hall’s research findings, language retraining results in the following:

  • Increases the language proficiency of teachers;
  • Exposes teachers to effective techniques for more effective use of culturally authentic materials;
  • Creates a sense of capability to adapt diverse language instruction tools for personal teaching use;
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude towards maintaining language proficiency.
Feb 212014
 

OntarioAs a division, Saskatoon Public Schools believes that all students can achieve, given enough time and the appropriate supports. We strive to create a love of reading and to grow a culture of literacy in all our students. We are left with the following question: what are the research-proven supports that ensure that all students achieve in French Immersion?

In my previous post, I reviewed highlights from Fred Genessee’s research and 2013 presentation at the Canadian Association of Immersion Teachers’ National Conference in Calgary. The information strongly supported the early identification of and activation of early interventions for at-risk readers in French Immersion. You may want to read the first entry here: http://tinyurl.com/Shouldtheystay

In this post, I would like to continue exploring these topics but expand the research base. The April 2009 What Works? Research into Practice article from the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat of the Government of Ontario entitled Early Identification and Intervention for At-Risk Readers in French Immersion asks: How can early French Immersion teachers prevent struggling readers from experiencing persistent reading problems?

The Ontario research article emphasizes that learner confidence is key in taking risks and that ultimately that success begets success. Struggling students lack the confidence to overcome their difficulties and need support to be successful. Reading difficulties are said to be the most important factor influencing student transfer out of French Immersion. Students who do struggle in reading will most often transfer from French Immersion prior to the end of grade 3. Historically, assessments for potential reading problems occur late, often once students have acquired listening and speaking skills in French. Researchers refer to this as a wait to fail approach.

“[T]he more frustration these children experience, the more disinterested they become in reading.” (Wise N., Chen X., 2009)

In contrast to this past practice, Wise and Chen, researchers from OISE/University of Toronto suggest a new approach. Students should be given a phonological awareness test, which will help predict future reading ability. The challenge in administering a phonological test to French Immersion students is that they do not yet have the language ability to complete the assessment. Wise and Chen assert that an English phonological awareness test will identify potential weak readers in French and in English and should be administered at the beginning of the school year.

“Our young readers in French Immersion programs need early reading instruction as much as our young readers in English language programs.” (Wise N., Chen X., 2009)

As per the advice the researchers, once identified, interventions should be initiated while the gap in ability is small among students. Students identified will benefit from systematic and explicit phonological instruction and that a specific sequence should be taken:

  • Begin instruction at the word level and increase difficulty by targeting syllable and phoneme level
  • Increase awareness that:
    • sentences are made of words
    • words are made of a syllable or multiple syllables
    • syllables are made of phonemes
    •  Target instruction on segmenting and blending to develop early reading skills

Improving our practice and process in supporting at-risk readers in French Immersion will decrease the gap between strong and weak students and will ultimately lead to the increase in the proportion of bilingual secondary school graduate—the goals of the federal government’s Action Plan for Official Languages.

Jan 092014
 

It is “finals” time in secondary schools throughout Saskatchewan.  It is a stressful time for some teachers who are trying to finish up and for others who are trying to plan a valid final evaluation for their students. Changes in the required number of school days have meant teachers throughout Saskatoon are seeing changed exam schedules and considering the most effective ways to use the time. One of the questions that plagues many teachers is “What is the best kind of final assessment, a project or an exam?”  A colleague recently sent me a copy of Grant Wiggins’ blog post on the subject, which has a far better explanation than anything I might generate.

Wiggins calls the question a false dichotomy – essentially saying it is not about the type of summative assessment, but rather what the assessment is focused on that is so critical for creating a valid final evaluation.  His main contention is that the final summative assessment must focus on something beyond content mastery to actually demonstrate true understanding.  He describes the types of things a student can do if he or she understands:

  • justify a claim
  • connect discrete facts on their own
  • apply their learning in new contexts
  • adapt to new circumstances, purposes or audiences
  • criticize arguments made by others
  • explain how and why something is the case, etc.

Wiggins argues that a final evaluation which asks students to demonstrate these skills in relation to the requires curricular outcomes is the most effective type of summative assessment.

The whole blog post is clear and powerful, and well worth a close read. However, the most practical part of the blog are guiding questions (he calls them audits) to use is assessing your final “whatever” (exam, project or something else). His first two questions are the hardest ones, and I found them very helpful in revising one of my most recent finals. His second set are a great quick check if you know your exam, performance, or project is well focused on your course goals and at the correct level in Bloom’s taxonomy:

  • Could a student do poorly on this exam/project, in good faith, but still understand and have provided other evidence of meeting my goals?

  • Could a student do well on this exam/project with no real understanding of the course key content?

  • Could a student gain a low score on the exam/project, but you know from other evidence that this score does not reflect their understanding and growth?

  • Could a student have a high score on the exam/project merely by cramming or by just following teacher directions, with limited understanding of the subject (as perhaps reflected in other evidence)?

In the end, a final assessment of any type is only as good as the depth of learning it is testing. In the end, the most valid form of a final assessment is one focused on having student do tasks like justifying and explaining why. A student still needs to know the content of the course, but must understand it deeply enough to be able to use it after the course is done.

 

 

 

Jan 072014
 

Thomas Guskey says that the best teachers don’t just know what their learners know, they have a plan a variety of ways to respond when learners don’t get it. He doesn’t like the word re-teaching though, because he says re-doing it over the same way is never enough.  Guskey notes real re-teaching is about directly addressing student confusion using a new method.

What re-teaching isn’t:

  • Saying it again, more slowly and/or loudly
  • Teaching everything over to everyone
  • Telling student the answers
  • Having students keep practicing until they finally understand

What re-teaching is:

  • Using a new instructional strategy from a new category of strategies.  For example, if you used something from the indirect instruction family like concept attainment, try something from the interactive instruction family, like role play.
  • Just reteaching the part the student is confused about.  For example, using a formative assessment quick check to find the problems some students are facing, then grouping students for instruction on each of the issues while the students who got it the first time move on.
  • Supporting students to be sure they understand before a big summative assessment through the gradual release of responsibility from teacher to student

Common Questions:

Q: Shouldn’t students practice more if they don’t understand?

A: Only perfect practice makes perfect. If students don’t understand, instruction should clear up the confusion so it doesn’t get rehearsed into the brain.  If a student is doing something essentially correctly but too slowly or with too many supports, then more practice is exactly the right thing to do.

Q: How are you supposed to think up all these activities when you realize some students don’t get it?

A: It is hard to think them up on the spot, but the ways students get confused become easier to predict in classes you have taught more than once. A good way to prepare is to think about the hardest things you are asking students to do, and plan a couple ways to teach it.  Be careful that both methods aren’t essential the same – I explain it to you, you read it in a book and you watch the video are all basically the same type of direct instruction.

Q: How do you know exactly what students misunderstand?

A: It is easiest to tell when you use a method of formative assessment where you can see everyone’s response. Things like hinge questions, mind maps you can walk around and look at, or mini-white boards where everyone holds up their response are best. Remember you want to know during the lesson, so you can fix it right away. Avoid teaching, giving an assignment and then finding out students did not learn well. By that time students are practicing errors rather than quickly resolving them, and it will get much harder to unlearn misconceptions.

Q: Isn’t all this unfair? I want my strongest students to do best.

A: Our strongest students continue to do well, even when we help the others. If a student can learn it reading a book, he doesn’t really need a teacher.  The student who struggles really does, and re-teaching is about wanting all students to learn and believing that teaching is important.

Hattie et al (2009) describe the traits common in expert teachers, and many of the traits are related to reteaching. They include:

  • Improvising or changing instruction in response to context or the learning in the classroom
  • Anticipating and planning for difficulties students are likely to encounter with new concepts
  • Deeply understanding why individual students succeed or fail on a given task
  • Improvises when things do not go smoothly
  • Accurately predicting causes on student confusion
  • Knowing why to pick a particular instructional strategy so that instruction is far more innovative and flexible

Teachers who can re-teach are much more successful in helping all students succeed, which is why learning to reteach well is very important.

Dec 202013
 

Recently, Dance educators gathered to enhance our understanding of what it means to think like a dancer or  Think Like An Artist

We looked at the Creative Productive outcomes in the Arts Education curricula for the Dance strand and considered what knowledge, understanding and skills students would need to have in order to successfully meet that outcome.  We determined that students could construct this learning if guided through a supporting structure that allowed for the layering of meaning and the experience of creating. 

Our collaboratively constructed list of steps involved in building a dance is summarazed below.

  1. Set the Stage
    • create a safe learning environment where students support each other and are encouraged to take creative risks.
    • include a short movement warm-up that provides an opportunity to focus on one particular element of dance.
    • this also allows for the assessment of prior knowledge & need for differentiated instruction.
  2. Get Inspired
    • explore, interpret, brainstorm based on curricular themes through a story, poem, film, painting, photo, or current events or personal experience, etc.
    • experiment and observe  creative movements that respond to the subject matter and mood
  3. Define the Purpose
    • co-construct criteria to bring student awareness to the learning target
      • encourage variety of expression, student choice & student voice
    • clarify the purpose for creating this dance expression
  4. Find a Rythm
    • Movement Instruction
      • scaffold the learning into small movements that build into movement phrases
      • imitate, model, show & tell, experiment
      • include a range of creative movement options
      • count it out or use a beat
    • use dance vocabulary and action words
  5. Create a Dance Story
    • explore, experiment, rehearse, collaborate & construct movement phrases to define a beginning, middle and end to the dance
    • access to resources: dance templates, dance cards, action word lists, instrumental music
    • self-assess progress; respond to feedback from peers and teacher
  6. Perform for an audience
    • use an audience of peers to share the learning and refine performance through feedback and further self-assessment
    • allow time for revisions and application of feedback
    • inviting an outside audience may occur occasionally when students feel that they have had time to learn and refine and benefit from formative assessment.
    • summative assessment based on co-constructed criteria

By working through this we learned that this is not a linear process and that we can be responsive to student needs by re-visiting the steps above in the order that students need them.  

 Building a dance allows students to learn how to think like a dancer.

Dec 092013
 

With so many challenges facing students and educators, it is becoming more critical to stay true to the goal and avoid being distracted by the many perceived obstacles that get in our way. What is it that we really expect or want our students to walk away with when they graduate from a Saskatoon Public high school? The challenge to narrow the focus seems daunting at times for teachers but can you imagine how many of our students are feeling even more overwhelmed with the plethora of choices for them to consider? How do we create relevant opportunities for them to develop the necessary skills to work through or simply begin the journey of career development when in fact some adults will readily admit that “They are still work in progress” and are still trying to find their true purpose in life?  For educators, are we willing to share our own experiences and the challenges we faced as a starting point in creating honest and meaningful conversations with students who are just beginning their journey? How can we best support students to own their future? The path to self-discovery is a life long learning adventure for many of us, and it just happens to be a cornerstone of Collegiate Renewal. Providing students with the skills and opportunities to use and create knowledge for themselves and others needs to be a part of any curricula.  Staying true to two of our key goals of making learning relevant and engaging for all stakeholders seems to be a nice comfortable fit with career education, yet career infusion is a challenge that needs to include all educators in any given building. Sharing successes and a wealth of varied experiences allows young learners to ask pertinent questions to find out more about their own learning. Getting students authentically involved in learning means they are able to make career connections from the classroom curriculum to the boardroom, the construction site, the emergency ward or to wherever a student can make the personal connection for him/herself. So what should we be emphasizing in our career education developmental plans?

From NATCON 2006, the focus suggests the need for considerable supports for students to allow them to begin a lifelong journey of developing and learning career management competencies that will create more resiliency in our students; this includes making healthier choices, thus, creating the capacity to find the work they love in a world of constant change. This is done alongside with the challenge of maintaining a positive life- work balance as well. Wow! This is an admirable vision but how do we narrow the plan into a workable four year graduation plan as is being currently touted by the Ministry of Learning in Regina? The self-exploration piece is critical, focusing on ” Who are you?” and ” What can you be now?” Inventories of all kinds, personality, multiple intelligences, career focused and learning styles to name a few, are critical and cannot be underestimated in value as they are safe activities inviting further growth and deeper thought. This should naturally lead to the next puzzle piece of self-examination, “What are your assets – special skills, abilities, talents or gifts?” This focus is followed by two more pieces of inquiry that guide the student to look ahead to outside factors, ” Who needs what you love to do?” and finally to the biggest challenge of all, ” What will success look/feel like?”

How do we make this happen in our high schools? The idea of in-depth career counselling is clearly the best way to initiate one on one facilitation for students but with the many other duties that our dedicated career facilitators manage everyday, this seems to be unreasonable because there just is not enough time to manage all the expectations we have created for them. This model of intense career counselling has been in place at Nutana for many years and has been very successful meeting the needs of the very diverse student population that makes up Nutana Collegiate. Having been part of the career facilitation team at Nutana Collegiate for my last two years of teaching, I have seen the incredible, positive impact this designated time had on students. Students received the one on one time they needed to focus planning and make informed decisions about their future. Furthermore, data collected from a career survey I did with the career facilitator from Marion Graham supports the trend that students really need more career planning time while in high school, whether that may be post secondary planning or gaining some competency in financial literacy. The need is clearly there and the requests are constant, yet this needs to be a shared commitment from all staff in the building if we are to make this work.  The plan is in motion, and we await word from the Ministry for specifics about the Grade Nine Graduation Plan. Again, this leads to the age old question, “Remind me again, what is it that really matters?“ As always your feedback is welcome!

 

Nov 292013
 

Should They StayToday I saw an old friend from my days at Lakeview who used to support struggling learners in a specialized capacity. She was in the new staff development office taking a quick peek. In discussion, she shared her recent experience supporting a new colleague in the division who would be working in her past capacity. The new employee was unsure of what to recommend for programming when students struggled as French Immersion learners. During our conversation, we discussed academic programming needs, specifically in French Immersion, for students who are considered at-risk. It was a great conversation and it just so happened to be the theme of Fred Genesee’s presentation at the Canadian Association of Immersion Teachers national conference in Calgary this past October. Fred is a professor at McGill University and the author of such recent publications as Literacy Instruction for English Learners.

From my presentation notes and my recollections of the conversation I wanted to create a brief questionnaire to test our assumptions of the academic programming needs of at-risk French Immersion students. For the sake of the questionnaire, assume you hold a specific role such as a classroom teacher, resource teacher, or a principal. You need to offer a suggestion about whether the given student should or should not continue in a French Immersion program. Please keep track of your responses so that you may review them later.

• A student with a disadvantaged socio-economic background Yes or No
• A student with a low academic ability Yes or No
• A student who is at-risk for language impairment Yes or No
• A student with a language impairment Yes or No
• A student with a reading impairment Yes or No

During his presentation, Genesee showcased a large body of evidence, from a range of research, including his own. He offered his answers to the above-listed questions. In his opinion, drawing from research, it turns out that the answer to each of the questions could be yes. He did caution that all children are different and each child’s performance should be considered individually.

According to Genesee, there is no evidence that students at-risk for academic performance are at greater risk in immersion than in English-only programs. Regardless of the measured impact of a disadvantaged socio-economic background or low academic ability, these Immersion students achieved as well as non-Immersion students in English-only programs. The same is true of students with language impairments- they learned within the limits of their impairments and in the end, because of their enrolment in French Immersion, they become bilingual.

If we believe that all students can learn given the right supports, and we know that to be successful, students with impairments need additional supports, then the focus needs to be on the quality of the support and how quickly it is applied. Genesee and others have stressed that the earlier the intervention, the better the outcome. Ultimately, waiting to apply supports intensifies the difficulties. He believes that at-risk students can become bilingual and achieve academic ability that is closely equivalent to their first language level within the impact of their learning challenge. This is a belief that I have heard challenged previously in my career and that for a long time I was unsure of. When offering suggestions to families about who should be in Immersion, the assumption that learning a second or an additional language is too great a challenge for some learners turns out to be false according to research.

Looking back on your answers, do your beliefs and answers match Genesee’s research summary?

Two books an interested person might read to find out more about this topic are:
Dual Language Development & Disorders by Paradis, Genesee and Crago
Struggling Learners & Language Immersion Education by Fortune and Menke