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    Tool 4: Designing Tasks To Integrate Content and Language Objectives

Developing language awareness in subject classes under development

Tool 1  -  Tool 2  -  Tool 3  -  Tool 4  -  Tool 5

Tool 4: Designing tasks to integrate content and language objectives

This tool, which is based on a formula developed by Dr. Tara Fortune at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, demonstrates a simple but effective way to transform content objectives into language objectives. Teachers are asked to reflect on the linguistic characteristics, the function, and the vocabulary necessary for students to understand or express the content objective. Here, linguistic characteristics can mean the verb tense or other grammatical constructions that we expect students to use, function is the action they must engage in (e.g., to describe), and vocabulary can include both academic terms (e.g., chloroform, constitution) and discourse terms (e.g., however, in that case, as a result).

This tool allows teachers to plan for more explicit language instruction, whether they use it only for themselves or give it to their students prior to the teaching unit.

STEP 1: Identify what students should be able to do

STEP 2: Identify a core concept from your topic

STEP 3: Identify the language objectives

STEP 4: Write the task integrating content and language objectives

HISTORY

Content objectives

KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS: The student is able to recount the conquests of Alexander in writing

CONCEPTS: Conqueror and conquests

Cognitive operation

The student has to select information, classify information, link information, infer cause and effect based on evidence

Language objectives

Function

To recount

General linguistic characteristics: 3rd person sing., use of present tense

Vocabulary

Conquer/acquire, territory,

conqueror

Conquest …

TASK: recount the conquests of Alexander while using the present tense and 3rd person singular and the verb conquer, the word conqueror, conquest, territories and empire

 


MATHEMATICS

Content objectives

KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS: The student is able to assess whether the solution is reasonable and meaningful

CONCEPTS: scale, linear relationship

Cognitive operation

The student has to process the data given, evaluate the procedures needed to solve the problem, work out the answer and justify it

Language objectives

Function

To explain the steps that have been taken to solve the problem

General linguistic characteristics:

use of present tense 1st person, subject specific words and concepts

Vocabulary

Times (3*40), is equal to(=), temperature scale, linear, degrees, constant, value …

TASK: explain while using the present tense 1st person and the verbs be (is equal to), convert, find the words Times (3*40), temperature scale, linear, degrees, constant, value etc. the steps that have been taken to solve the problem.