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This paper focuses on helping social studies teachers discover ways to help second language students comprehend, use, and learn language as well as content in the classroom. Activities conducive to this purpose include: providing contextual support such as pictures, globes, videotapes, diagrams, body and facial gestures, pantomime and role playing; helping students activate or construct background knowledge through class elections, field trips and simulations; use of historical fiction, diaries and group discussion with Americans and students from other cultures; reading from textbooks that provide support that builds authentic mental images; teacher assistance in helping students construct relevant background knowledge and contrast concepts in their culture and in American culture; presenting students with definitions of difficult textbook words; semantic maps that introduce key words and a visual scheme to represent relationships among important events, people, or other historical facts; use of the Experience-Text-Relationship approach; teacher observation of classroom tasks to analyze the discourse, interaction, and the language demands of tasks; teacher development and use of reading guides that help students simplify difficult material; and formal writing assignments. Another goal of language-sensitive social studies classes is to make the class conducive to language development through increased opportunities for language production and the development of the skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Finally, it is important for social studies and other content teachers to collaborate in ensuring continued language and literacy development of language minority students. (Contains 49 references.) (CK)

Descriptors: Audiovisual Aids, Classroom Environment, Classroom Observation Techniques, Cooperation, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Background, Cultural Literacy, Elementary Secondary Education, Instructional Materials, Integrated Curriculum, Learning Strategies, Minority Groups, Relevance (Education), Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Social Studies, Teaching Methods, Textbook Content

Autor: Kang, Hee-Won; LeSourd, Sandra J.


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