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How to factor dialect into Reading Assessment & Intervention © Wheeler 2011 Rebecca S. How to factor dialect into Reading Assessment & Intervention © Wheeler 2011 Rebecca S. Wheeler, Ph. D [email protected] edu 1

Anchor: a true story A teacher reads dialectally diverse literature ‘Twas the night before Anchor: a true story A teacher reads dialectally diverse literature ‘Twas the night before Christmas An’ all t’ru de house Dey don’t a t’ing pass Not even a mouse. (The Cajun Night Before Christmas. Rice, 2001) © Wheeler 2011 2

Anchor: a true story A teacher reads dialectally diverse literature ‘Twas the night before Anchor: a true story A teacher reads dialectally diverse literature ‘Twas the night before Christmas An’ all t’ru de house Dey don’t a t’ing pass Not even a mouse. ‘Twas the night before Christmas And all through the house They don’t anything pass Not even a mouse. 19 words; 5 errors Accuracy score: 14/19 (73. 68%) © Wheeler 2011 3

Reading A Cajun Night before Christmas Teacher’s Accuracy score: 14/19 (73. 68%) Does this Reading A Cajun Night before Christmas Teacher’s Accuracy score: 14/19 (73. 68%) Does this mean the teacher… Ø Is a struggling reader? Ø Is failing reader? Ø Needs phonics instruction? Of course not! © Wheeler 2011 4

Reading A Cajun Night before Christmas Interpreting the Teacher’s Accuracy score: 14/19 (73. 68%) Reading A Cajun Night before Christmas Interpreting the Teacher’s Accuracy score: 14/19 (73. 68%) The reader is unfamiliar with Ø Cajun Pronunciation (an, t’ru, dey, a’ting) © Wheeler 2011 5

Expect language transfer with unfamiliar grammar De chirren been nezzle Good snug on de Expect language transfer with unfamiliar grammar De chirren been nezzle Good snug on de flo’ An’ Mama pass de pepper T’ru de crack on de do’ The children were nestled Good snug on the floor And Mama passed the pepper Through the crack on the door Unfamiliar vocabulary: chirren Unfamiliar grammar: been nezzle, pass Unfamiliar pronunciation: de, flo’, an, t’ru, © Wheeler 2011 6

Our home dialect influences our reading performance © Wheeler 2011 7 Our home dialect influences our reading performance © Wheeler 2011 7

Shift our focus… …Reading assessment in schools By 2050, current majority minority With cultural Shift our focus… …Reading assessment in schools By 2050, current majority minority With cultural diversity comes Linguistic diversity © Wheeler 2011 8

HOW can home dialect influence a child’s reading performance? © Wheeler 2011 9 HOW can home dialect influence a child’s reading performance? © Wheeler 2011 9

Ø Pronunciation Ø Vocabulary Ø Grammar Count as dialect influence © Wheeler 2011 10 Ø Pronunciation Ø Vocabulary Ø Grammar Count as dialect influence © Wheeler 2011 10

Features from a child’s first language or dialect transfer into his/her reading © Wheeler Features from a child’s first language or dialect transfer into his/her reading © Wheeler 2011 11

Language transfer Definition: Language transfer occurs … …when the patterns of one’s first language Language transfer Definition: Language transfer occurs … …when the patterns of one’s first language or dialect transfer into reading and writing. © Wheeler 2011 12

How do we assess achievement of our linguistically diverse readers? Note: What we consider How do we assess achievement of our linguistically diverse readers? Note: What we consider reading performance inextricably reflects instruments of reading assessment. Wheeler, Cartwright, Swords & Savage (2010) “Factoring Dialect into Reading Assessment and Intervention, ” Reading in Virginia © Wheeler 2011 13

Look at the effect Assessing Vernacular speakers ØWith Standard English instrument ØBut without awareness Look at the effect Assessing Vernacular speakers ØWith Standard English instrument ØBut without awareness of dialect © Wheeler 2010 14

The case of Brandon (composite) Ø 4 th grade student, Tidewater, VA ØSeptember reading The case of Brandon (composite) Ø 4 th grade student, Tidewater, VA ØSeptember reading level: ØDRA 2 38 ØLevel 38: grade 3, month 8 © Wheeler 2011 15

The case of Brandon Ø The school year passes… ØIn April, time for reading The case of Brandon Ø The school year passes… ØIn April, time for reading assessment Ø Teacher administered Level 40 (on-grade) ² Accuracy Score: 21 miscues; 184/205 (89. 76%) Teacher stopped test © Wheeler 2011 16

The case of Brandon ØApril reading assessment: Ø Next, teacher administered Level 38 text The case of Brandon ØApril reading assessment: Ø Next, teacher administered Level 38 text ²Accuracy Score: 23 miscues; 204/227 (89. 86%) Teacher stopped test © Wheeler 2011 17

The case of Brandon ØApril reading assessment: Ø Next, teacher administered Level 34 text The case of Brandon ØApril reading assessment: Ø Next, teacher administered Level 34 text ²Accuracy Score: 14 miscues; 199/213 (93. 42%) © Wheeler 2011 18

The case of Brandon September level: April level: DRA 2 38 DRA 2 34 The case of Brandon September level: April level: DRA 2 38 DRA 2 34 ØDRA 2 assessment indicated Brandon Ø Had made no progress in year of instruction Ø Had regressed 4 months in reading © Wheeler 2011 19

The case of Brandon Something’s not right! Ø Level 38 in September, Ø A The case of Brandon Something’s not right! Ø Level 38 in September, Ø A year of instruction, Ø Level 34 in Spring? Dialect was NOT factored into reading assessment © Wheeler 2011 20

The case of Brandon: Redux September level: Revisit April: DRA 2 38 DRA 2 The case of Brandon: Redux September level: Revisit April: DRA 2 38 DRA 2 Level 40 Factor dialect into reading assessment Ø Result? Of 205 words, Brandon scored Ø 92. 2% accuracy (16 errors) Ø not 89. 5% (21 errors) Recognizing 5 dialect transfers: Brandon was an ON-GRADE reader! © Wheeler 2011 21

The case of Brandon: Redux September level: DRA 2 38 Revisit April: DRA 2 The case of Brandon: Redux September level: DRA 2 38 Revisit April: DRA 2 Level 38 Factor dialect into reading assessment Ø Result? Of 227 words, Brandon scored Ø 91. 6% accuracy (19 errors) Ø not 89. 8% (23 errors) Recognizing 4 dialect transfers Brandon succeeded at level 38! © Wheeler 2011 22

The case of Brandon: Redux September level: DRA 2 38 Revisit April: DRA 2 The case of Brandon: Redux September level: DRA 2 38 Revisit April: DRA 2 Level 34 Factor dialect into reading assessment Ø Result? Of 213 words, Brandon scored Ø 93. 89% accuracy (13 errors) Ø not 93. 42% (14 errors) Brandon succeeded at level 34 © Wheeler 2011 23

What dialect influences? ØSound contrasts ü [f] for [v]: “Woof” for “wolves” ü [ar] What dialect influences? ØSound contrasts ü [f] for [v]: “Woof” for “wolves” ü [ar] for [ere]: “Thar” for ‘there”, “shard” for “shared” “Dogs and humans shared a common home” ØGrammar contrasts ü Verb “be”: “That why” for “that’s why” ü Past time”: “Look” for “looked”; “walk” for “walked”; “start for “started” ü Plurals: “nose” for “noses”; “sound” for “sounds” (“They have very good noses”) © Wheeler 2011 24

Factoring dialect … … into reading assessment Allows us to correctly assess Students’ reading Factoring dialect … … into reading assessment Allows us to correctly assess Students’ reading performance Ø Discuss with your neighbor? Ø Notice? Ø Wonder? © Wheeler 2011 25

Not factoring dialect into reading assessment Depicts low, low frustration level reader © Wheeler Not factoring dialect into reading assessment Depicts low, low frustration level reader © Wheeler 2011 26

The case of Rajid Not factoring dialect into reading assessment © Wheeler 2011 27 The case of Rajid Not factoring dialect into reading assessment © Wheeler 2011 27

Factor dialect into reading assessment © Wheeler 2011 28 Factor dialect into reading assessment © Wheeler 2011 28

The case of Rajid: Not factoring dialect into assessment Ø Result? Of 161 words, The case of Rajid: Not factoring dialect into assessment Ø Result? Of 161 words, Rajid scored Ø 25 errors: 136/161 = 84% accuracy Factoring dialect into assessment Ø Result? Of 161 words, Rajid scored Ø 16 errors: 145/161 = 90% accuracy Recognizing dialect allows us To recognize a successful reader © Wheeler 2011 29

What dialect influences? ØGrammar contrasts: VERBS ü Was/were (2 instances) ü Past time: The What dialect influences? ØGrammar contrasts: VERBS ü Was/were (2 instances) ü Past time: The pines post guards ü Other verb: ü Have + past participle: Had took ü Have + bare verb: Had hide ØGrammar contrasts: NOUNS ü Plurals: The guard. . . ; their place (2 instances) ü Pronouns: theirselves (2 instances) © Wheeler 2011 30

What is the effect of factoring dialect into reading assessment? We see an on-grade What is the effect of factoring dialect into reading assessment? We see an on-grade reader © Wheeler 2011 31

PALS (Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening) manual clearly states that PALS (Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening) manual clearly states that "[d]ialect substitutions are NOT counted as errors. It is not an error, for example if a student says "ax" for "ask" and you know that the student normally says "ax" for "ask" in his or her oral language. " (Invernizzi, Meier & Juel, 2004, p. 21). © Wheeler 2011 32

What dialect influences? ØGrammar contrasts: VERBS ü Was/were (2 instances) ü Past time: The What dialect influences? ØGrammar contrasts: VERBS ü Was/were (2 instances) ü Past time: The pines post guards üOther verb: üHave + past participle: Had took ü Have + bare verb: Had hide ØGrammar contrasts: NOUNS ü Plurals: The guard. . . ; their place (2 instances) ü Pronouns: theirselves (2 instances) These dialect substitutions SHOULD NOT be counted as reading errors © Wheeler 2011 33

Now what? How to teach the Standard English Expected in school? © Wheeler 2011 Now what? How to teach the Standard English Expected in school? © Wheeler 2011 34

Identify dialect influence: pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar Use linguistically informed insights and strategies to teach Identify dialect influence: pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar Use linguistically informed insights and strategies to teach Standard English © Wheeler 2011 35

Linguistically informed response … Wheeler/Swords 2006 NCTE Wheeler/Swords 2010, A First. Hand Curriculum Imprint, Linguistically informed response … Wheeler/Swords 2006 NCTE Wheeler/Swords 2010, A First. Hand Curriculum Imprint, Heinemann 36

One linguistic insight… When students write or say… “Mama walk to the store” or One linguistic insight… When students write or say… “Mama walk to the store” or “I want to play on Derrick team, ” etc. They are not Making mistakes inside Standard English Instead, they are CORRECTLY following grammar patterns of the community language variety © Wheeler 2011 37

That one linguistic insight… transforms classroom practice Build on student’s existing knowledge of their That one linguistic insight… transforms classroom practice Build on student’s existing knowledge of their own community grammar patterns To add new knowledge of Standard English “My goldfish name is Scaley” © Wheeler 2011 So students are empowered to make grammatical choices “My goldfish’s name is Scaley” 38

Code-switching Transforms teaching & learning © Wheeler 2011 39 Code-switching Transforms teaching & learning © Wheeler 2011 39

Code-switching: Choosing the (language) style to fit the setting (time, place, audience, communicative purpose) Code-switching: Choosing the (language) style to fit the setting (time, place, audience, communicative purpose) © Wheeler 2011 40

A new approach to teaching © Wheeler 2011 41 A new approach to teaching © Wheeler 2011 41

Wheeler & Swords (2010) Heinemann, First. Hand Curriculum Series © Wheeler 2011 42 Wheeler & Swords (2010) Heinemann, First. Hand Curriculum Series © Wheeler 2011 42

From “error” to pattern © Wheeler 2011 43 From “error” to pattern © Wheeler 2011 43

Code-Switching Charts Discovering AAVE is patterned… © Wheeler 2011 44 Code-Switching Charts Discovering AAVE is patterned… © Wheeler 2011 44

Seeing student writing as data © Wheeler 2011 45 Seeing student writing as data © Wheeler 2011 45

Scientific Method Gold Standard of Respect 46 Scientific Method Gold Standard of Respect 46

Top 10 Grammar Patterns 47 Top 10 Grammar Patterns 47

Seeing students’ strengths. Modeling additive approach. © Wheeler 2011 48 Seeing students’ strengths. Modeling additive approach. © Wheeler 2011 48

Modelinguistic ways of talking … © Wheeler 2011 49 Modelinguistic ways of talking … © Wheeler 2011 49

Modelinguistic ways of working … © Wheeler 2011 Unseating the correction impulse 50 Modelinguistic ways of working … © Wheeler 2011 Unseating the correction impulse 50

From an African American college student: “Before, I was ashamed. I felt shame for From an African American college student: “Before, I was ashamed. I felt shame for the language we spoke at home. And I felt that by switching I was betraying my family. ” “I never knew there were rules to my language. ” “Now with code-switching, I can lay down my shame, feel good about myself, my home, and switch up my language to suit the setting. ” 51

Transforming teacher practice, … through pattern discovery © Wheeler 2011 52 Transforming teacher practice, … through pattern discovery © Wheeler 2011 52

Unseating grammar blindness, … seeing the student as writer © Wheeler 2011 53 Unseating grammar blindness, … seeing the student as writer © Wheeler 2011 53

Chat with your neighbor? Ø Ø © Wheeler 2011 What do you notice? What Chat with your neighbor? Ø Ø © Wheeler 2011 What do you notice? What do you wonder? 54

Building on to existing knowledge add new knowledge Code-switching Choosing the language to fit Building on to existing knowledge add new knowledge Code-switching Choosing the language to fit the setting ØVernacular? In Narrative? Ø Standard? In analytic essay? © Wheeler 2011 55

We must factor dialect Into Reading Assessment & Intervention For an accurate picture of We must factor dialect Into Reading Assessment & Intervention For an accurate picture of our children’s abilities 56

Thank you! Rebecca S. Wheeler, Ph. D rwheeler@cnu. edu © Wheeler 2011 57 Thank you! Rebecca S. Wheeler, Ph. D [email protected] edu © Wheeler 2011 57