What is a language objective? Well, teachers are familiar with lesson objectives. They are what we want our students to learn. A language objective is the language the student needs to be able to use in order to complete that task. Not everyone is used to thinking about the language demands of what they are teaching. But, for ELLs, knowing how language is used in a particular content area is essential in order for teachers to convey information (orally or through text) and for students to use and apply that information (through class reading, writing, and discussion activities). (Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2013)
Perhaps one way to introduce the idea of including language objectives into your lesson planning is to see one in action. Terri Johnson, an ELL teacher at Rousseau Elementary, offered to let us take a peek into how she’s using language objectives to give her first grade students access to academic language and comprehension strategies. Watch Terri’s group here. If you are having difficulty accessing the video, try switching your browser to Firefox or Safari.
To hear more about Language Objectives, contact your ELL Instructional Coach. We would love to work on developing these with you!
Reference: Echevarria, J, Vogt, M., & Short, D. (2013) Making content comprehensible for English language learners–the SIOP model. New York: Pearson.