Assessing and Monitoring the Writing Development of Deaf Learners
Presented on Tuesday 28 October 2008
Connie Mayer's Writing Assessment Tool
York University Toronto Canada
How the tool was developed
Over the past 6 years Connie has worked with teachers of deaf children
in New Zealand about writing skills.
The tool was developed jointly with teachers.
Why monitor writing?
- To help your planning as a teacher.
- To prepare more focused writing targets.
- To evaluate the effect of your teaching.
What are the risks?
- Danger of losing the important focus of creativity in teaching writing.
- It can skew our appreciation of pupils' work.
- We may subconsciously pass on an error mentality to our pupils.
The writing tool is:
- Not designed to be shown to learners;
- Not designed to be a checklist for what to teach deaf learners about writing.
Remember your creative impulse!
But also use the tool as a check on your teaching and an aid for your planning.
Collecting suitable texts
- You want as much writing as possible
- Written with as little help with redrafting as possible
- Note down the stimulus for the task
- And any help the pupil has received
- Analyse one text every few months
Prompt / motivation
The class is planning a Christmas fair and Tanya is producing a poster. She's had a talk with her partner about what to put in it.
References, support provided
Tanya and partner have notes answering 5 questions: What? Where? When? How much? Who? There are other posters for events on the wall.
Layout and Organisation
In her first draft Tanya used an illustration and large font for the key information. Capitals mixed with lower case.
Tanya's poster was understandable by her classmate, but not by someone who didn't know what was going to happen. Missing information eg; time.
I was born in a thatched hut.
She finally gets out of the house and rushed to the Police Station.
Amsterdam, 2nd World War
Otto Frank - her father
Peter van Daan - friend in hiding
Random or illogical sequence
eg; incorrect time sequence
eg; correct time order
Cause - effect relationships
I can't go to away match because of my wheelchair.
Relationship made between events and characters
He has tried talked to someone help him about his car. He have decided phone A&A car, suddenlty they have came here and checked his car, this is damage and he has have been explain to them. They have picked up his car for car fixing. He has went to home, he has crazy and upset, he couldn't sleep in the nightmare.
Schaum's quick guide to writing great short stories (1999) Lucke, M. New York: McGraw
Motivation of characters clear
However until his finished work, he has tired now he has getting in the car again and he has thinker about his new idea. He has patient and long day. He felt quiet in the day while.
|Description||eg; Science observations: making fresh water from salt water.|
|Opinion||eg; Letter to newspaper: Should young people be able to buy alcohol?|
|Direction||eg; maps / instructions|
|Explanation||eg; History: Why did people leave the Highlands 150 years ago?|
|Argument||eg; In pairs discuss you different views on X, then write a For and Against poster for others to read.|
|Persuasion||eg; Write an advert to sell your house.|
Background details - information to help the reader eg;
Gordon used a title: Letter to the Editor and referred to last week’s paper by date in the first sentence.
Mean Length of Utterance
Aisha and Joshua came downstairs to wake Matthew up but Matthew’s bed was empty. Matthew has left the note, Joshua read and told his wife what Matthew had wrote that Matthew love her but Joshua felt happy that he was left already, he got mixed emotion felt for his wife!
Mayer says use the student's sentence boundaries.
|Fragment||He tired fine|
|Simple||A van escaped away.|
|Compound||After a few minute later, he was sudden a smashed the car and run van speeds away.|
|Complex||if you know any thinig about the van driver Please call 0800 016819.|
|Not many friends can do what we did, but thank God we are still in touch after all these long years.|
|He explains that your mind is very important because it helps you have more survival time and pretects your life in dangerous places.|
Explains and practises compound/complex sentences
|The van smashed the car.|
|Interrogative||“Why do you think I am bully my lovely niece?”|
|Imperative||Twist the elastic band to wind it up.|
Write all the verbs - especially for beginners
has, have, left, see, smashed,
driven, looked, feel, break, waited,
coming, known, seen, though(t)
Describing words. Can fill this sentence
I feel very _____. It is very ______.
eg; happy, tired, creative, dry, boring…
Tell you more about the verb, or comment on the whole sentence. Some end in -ly.
Use Cobuild dictionary to check.
eg; really, very, quite, suddenly, slowly, yesterday, here, now
What you count as unusual will depend on the level of the learner.
|Misused vocabulary||I used to be interesting sign language but the teacher didn't improved and told us to stopped signing and talk properly.|
Use the comments box to comment on features in nearby sentences such as:
Synonyms eg; lorry - truck
Antonyms eg; rich - poor
Hypernym (eg; animal) and Hyponym (eg; dog)
Worth noting because their use often shows developing understanding of cohesion.
|Unusual word attempted but misspelled||measuem|
|Full stop as abbreviation||eg; No. = number|
|Commas for joining independent clauses||so and but are co-ordinating conjunctions:
Paul hates computers, so he never turns his computer on.
|Commas for separating dependent clauses||If you want to learn BSL, you need to mix with Deaf people.
Maggie, who is over 60 now, is backpacking this year.
- Rules for articles a/the are complex
- Last to be acquired by people learning English as an additional language
- Omission or addition of articles could be noted rather than if they are used correctly
- What's the best way to learn how to use them?
|after||although / though||as||as soon as|
- Divide into 3 teams
- Each team member searches for 2 clause cards
- Put the clauses into a sentence
- Decide: Is it compound or complex? Is there a dependent clause? Is there a subordinating or co-ordinating conjunction?
- Add commas if needed
- Trade clauses between groups
- Present your results to the class
- This is an area of great difficulty for deaf learners
- Some particles are closely connected to verbs rather than being prepositions eg; close in on, get by, run over
- A preposition of manner = How? in ink, in a hurry, with a smile, in a low voice
Note: Discuss how to treat phrasal verbs. Look in Cobuild.
Pronouns: substitute for nouns
Types of pronoun
- Ask a question
- With a question mark
Who said that?
Where is she?
- Introduce a relative clause
I know who you are.
He told me where they live.
There are many ways of marking future time, which we should record:
- I will go and see that as well.
- We are going to Russia to St Petersburg.
- We may be on television (never know).
Where should we record it?
Useful website: http://tinyurl.com/5hme7c
What is the perfect?
- The auxiliary (helping) verb HAVE
- Plus the 5th form of the verb:
Eat, eats, eating, ate, eaten
Walk, walks, walking, walked, walked
- Meaning: action in recent past or a
past time linked to now
I have met so many people who are
positive about their deafness.
What is a modal verb?
- It is an auxiliary verb
- Its form doesn't change
- It changes the meaning of the verb phrase to show attitude: possibility, probability, necessity, past time habit, logical deduction, politeness
- Get into your teams again.
- You will see a sentence. As a team decide on the tense.
- Is there an auxiliary verb?
- Is there a modal auxiliary? What meaning does it add?
- See how many your team can get right.
Subject Verb Agreement
- Coffee cost too much in Starbucks.
We can change coffee to it.
- The children likes half term.
- He know sign language.
Rule: he/she/it take -s on present tense verb
Comments box on verbs
- Auxiliary verbs are often a difficult area for deaf and EAL learners.
- Note success or failure with auxiliaries eg; DO, HAVE,
Did the interview go well?
Have you heard how to do this before?
She was told that only the girls in the
family have the deaf gene.
- Usual patterns of clauses in English:
- Subject Verb Object: She hit the ball.
- Subject Verb Adverbial:
He has gone to Spain.
- Subject Verb Complement:
I am hungry.
This game is about SVO SVA and SVC
Dependent clauses have already been noted under complex sentences and punctuation.
This time we are focusing on word or clause order in a dependent clause.
If you get involved in the wrong place in the wrong time, it could cost you your life.
Placement of adjectives
The cat black
? The old, valuable gold ring
Adverbs - often quite mobile words
- The very hungry caterpillar
- Actually, I didn't go.
- I'll see him tomorrow.
- ? It's late really.
Using the assessment tool
- Choose a text
- Work with a partner
- Record the features
- Swap with another pair
- Talk in a group of four to comment on your recording
Matching targets to creative approaches
Take a target card.
Find a teaching approach card.
Explain how you get from target to better
- Using the second text, set some writing targets.
- What is most urgent? Not too many targets.
- Discuss how to introduce these in an IMAGINATIVE way.
- Take your recommendations back to the meeting and discuss.
Keeping in touch
- Swap email addresses?
- WebCT site?
- Colleagues in Canada and New Zealand?
- Google docs?
- Connie's visit in 09/10