So it was really helpful to be challenged with this question today at our second MIT teachers gathering today at Spark Headquarters; What will success look like for you at the end of this inquiry?
For me, it boils down to three things:
- Accelerated achievement outcomes for the students in my target group in literacy.
- A collection of lessons and resources that any other monolingual teacher can pick up and use or adapt.
- Students who are gaining fluency and confidence - and finding value in - speaking two (or more) languages.
So the next steps for me now are:
- Planning, implementing and evaluating lessons.
- Capturing videos of students and their whanau talking about their experiences this year and what success is to them, and if this approach is responsive to their needs.
I have a good basis for measuring accelerated shifts with data, including e-asttle learning pathways and running records.
I read an interesting article today, written by people who I have been fortunate to learn from during my TESSOL studies. It stated:
"...that bilingual children have academic success when connections are made:
- between literacies and children’s identities
- between children’s first language (L1) and their second language (L2)
- with children’s L1 & L2 basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP)
- between pedagogical practice and children’s prior knowledge, allowing children to voice their languages in class rather than hiding them
- with use of collaborative empowerment models to voice parents’ aspirations and expectations
- for genuine ‘shared vision’ partnerships between the powerful and powerless, instead of tokenism. (See Aukuso, 1999; Cummins, 1981, 1987,1996, 2000; Esera, 2001; Hunkin-Tuiletufuga, 2001; Lambert, 1977; May, 2001 & 2002; May, Hill and Tiakiwai, 2004; McCaffery, 2000; McCaffery & Fuatai, 2002; McCaffery, Tuafuti et al. 2003; McCaffery & Tagilau McFall-McCaffery, 2010; Spolsky, 1989; Tuafuti & McCaffery, 2005; and Tuafuti, 2000, & 2010). "
These six things are basically what I am trying to implement in my classroom (and beyond) through my inquiry with the support and time gifted to me through this Manaiakalani Innovative Teachers initiative and Spark. If I can achieve these six things or at least start dialogues about them, and use them as a basis for resources to share across the cluster, AND achieve accelerated outcomes, my inquiry will be successful.