CAL Presentation

Developing Awareness of Similarities and Differences Between Spanish and English

April 28, 2021 1:10 – 2:00pm


Presented at: NABE
April 27 – 29, 2021 | Hybrid

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Language and literacy researchers have found that the act of engaging in comparing and contrasting different linguistic systems promotes language transfer and contributes to the development of metalinguistic awareness. Participants attending this session will expand their knowledge of how to teach for biliteracy by developing their students’ awareness of morphology and semantics as they engage with authentic text in Spanish and English.

Language and literacy researchers have found that students, in particular multilingual learners who are constantly juggling two or more languages, benefit from metalinguistic awareness, “the understanding of how language works and how it changes and adapts in different circumstances”  (Beeman & Urow, 2013:4). The act of engaging in comparing and contrasting different linguistic systems promotes the transference of language and literacy skills from one language to another and contributes to the development of metalinguistic awareness  (Koda & Zehler, 2008). Furthermore, there is evidence that instruction that focuses on the acquisition of metalinguistic awareness can have a positive effect on students’ language and literacy development (Cloud, Genesee, & Hamayan, 2009). 

Participants attending this session will expand their knowledge of how to teach for biliteracy by developing their students’ awareness of the similarities and differences between Spanish and English as it pertains to morphology (word parts) and semantics (word meanings). Throughout the session participants will have the opportunity to engage in sample instructional activities that promote morphological and semantic awareness by comparing and contrasting authentic text in Spanish and English.

References

Beeman, K. & Urow, C. (2013). Teaching for biliteracy: Strengthening bridges between languages. Philadelphia, PA: Calson Publishing.

Cloud, N., Genesee, F. & Hamayan, E. (2009). Literacy  instruction for English language learners. Portsmouth, NH: Heinle & Heinle.

Koda, K. & Zehler, A. (Eds.). (2008). Learning to read across languages: Cross-linguistic relationships in first- and second-language literacy development. New York, NY: Routledge.