In this interactive workshop we will explore a pedagogical approach that apprentices multilingual learners into writing in various academic genres. Specifically, we’ll look at examples of this in science and consider how this approach develops multilingual learners’ writing skills and their awareness about how writing works. This will allow them to become effective and informed writers not only in science but across content areas.
As teachers we want to empower multilingual writers, not only to produce successful academic writing, but, more importantly, to communicate effectively to a variety of audiences. We want students to know how to leverage writing as a powerful tool to understand the world, express themselves effectively, learn from one another, and argue for the things they believe in. This vision requires intentional, language-focused instruction and is strengthened when it occurs through authentic writing tasks in the content areas.
In this workshop, we will explore how to:
- build content area background knowledge with the whole class so that students are equipped to write knowledgeably about the topic
- unpack, or deconstruct, mentor texts with students in order to demonstrate highly valued ways of using language in a specific genre
- jointly write, or co-construct, a text with students based on what was learned from those mentor texts
- support students as they apply their learning about language choices in a target genre to their independent writing task
Tools and resources in this workshop can easily be adapted for various content areas and grade levels.