1. Q: Literacy is an important focus in my school. How will effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections help me contribute to my school objectives?
A: In order for effective literacy practices to have the most impact on student learning, they should be embedded in all content areas. Integrating a literacy focus in French as a Second language constitutes added value for students' overall education. Pearson's new resource, effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections, provides French as Second Language teachers with the language they need to identify and describe their contribution to the literacy goals in a school or district. This resource helps FSL teachers explain to other teachers, administrators and parents the seamless integration of literacy and French as a second language instruction.
2. Q: What are some literacy concepts I'll learn about?
A: "Effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections breaks new ground in highlighting how FSL teachers can help students harness the conceptual knowledge and literacy strategies they already possess in first or additional languages for purposes of expanding their knowledge of French…The five Big Ideas that form the foundation of effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections explain how to engage and motivate students and how to integrate oral and written language so that one modality reinforces the other. Concrete strategies are also provided on how to assess for learning and to differentiate instruction to address the needs of all learners." (Source: Foreword, pp. 8, 10)
3. Q: Isn't oral language the focus of FSL programming?
A: Absolutely! Effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections recognizes that oral language, or more importantly, purposeful oral language, gives students an opportunity to feel successful with their second language skills. Purposeful oral language is also at the very centre of literacy teaching and learning because it immediately and dynamically activates the strategies students use to anticipate, personalize, engage in and reflect on concepts being presented.
4. Q: There is a lot of information in effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections; what is the timeframe for implementation?
A: The enduring impact of the professional learning in effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections is not meant to be accomplished in any given timeframe. Sustained professional learning in which teachers focus on the direct improvement of teaching and on understanding how students learn derives from a personal commitment based on readiness and time. Since each section of effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections ends with a Professional Learning Survey, there is an opportunity for you to reflect on your understanding of the concepts presented and to determine your readiness to continue on with new concepts.
Another factor in determining the timeframe is the way you will use effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections: in a professional learning community, in self-directed learning or as an action-research project. Each of these is explained on pages 12-15 of the resource.
5. Q: Can I use effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections with my existing FSL resources?
A: Since effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections is a professional learning resource, its aim is to provide the foundation from which you can program for effective literacy practices in an FSL setting. A variety of chosen texts, be they written, aural, visual, or electronic will motivate students to explore the connections between French and other content areas. The important question when choosing text is not "What will I use?" but rather "How will I use it?" The answer lies in how you will encourage students to connect to the literacy tools and strategies they use in FSL and other content areas.
6. Q: How can my students benefit from using literacy tools and strategies in FSL?
A: Connecting to students' prior knowledge of literacy strategies from English and/or other languages is a key element to engaging and motivating students to speak French. The higher the level of student engagement and motivation, the more likely it is they will not only retain what has been taught but they will also take risks with the language in situations that require higher level thinking skills. Given students' limited vocabulary base and the time constraints in which FSL is generally taught it becomes even more important to activate literacy strategies in order to maximize the students' French experience.
7. Q: The biggest challenge I face in my class is assessment and reporting. How can effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections help me with this?
A: Time constraints and students' limited vocabulary may make assessment for learning and differentiation seem like daunting tasks. What you'll discover in effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections are practical planning suggestions in the before, during and after stages of text exploration that help you meet the diverse needs of your students yet provide setting consistent goals for all learners.
8. Q: I hear so much about shared and guided practice; is this addressed in effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections?
A: Shared and guided practice are two important steps in the Gradual Release of Responsibility framework. They scaffold the bridge between modelled practice in which the students watch and listen to the teacher and independent practice in which the students work independently to adapt the teacher's model. The Gradual Release of Responsibility is represented in the following model, taken from effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections: [FAQ_Fig6_pg38.jpg]
9. Q: My school has a large ESL population; how will effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections help these students in FSL?
A: Research indicates that 24% of students in Canada do not speak English or French as a first language. Students whose first language is not English often have an advantage learning French because they have had to rely of literacy strategies such as asking questions, monitoring and repairing comprehension, making connections to prior knowledge, etc. Callie Mady reports that ESL students are often more motivated to speak French than their English counterparts. See more about motivating and engaging students in Big Idea 1 of effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections.
10. Q: How will effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections help me participate in a Professional Learning Community with other FSL teachers?
A: Professional learning communities can exist in a variety of settings within a school, board or content area group. FSL teachers who work together using effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections will be able to plan, deliver, and reflect on their practice in order to continuously consider ways to advance and enhance student learning. To help facilitate the discussion, the Glossary of the Professional Resource Book provides teachers with literacy terms in both English and French. To help teachers contextualize and become familiar the literacy terms, the Professional e-Book DVD provides a pop-up definition of literacy terms within the body of the text as well as an audio version of both the English and French literacy terms in the Glossary.
11. Q: Why do I need the Professional e-Book DVD-ROM if I have the Professional Resource Book?
A: While the Professional Resource Book offers you current research, practical suggestions and opportunities to reflect upon your teaching, the Professional e-Book DVD provides even more:
12. Q: What is Pearson developing to support the literacy concepts and strategies found in effective literacy practices in FSL: making connections?
A: Effective professional learning that activates research is only part of the picture. Although sustained professional learning will help to bring about a change in practice, quality resources that provide a focus on effective practice around literacy tools and strategies are also necessary to put theory into action. Pearson is publishing engaging supplementary literacy resources designed specifically for French as a Second language that will be age-appropriate, varied and respond to your needs to differentiate for and assess your students. It's important to consider how supplementary resources will support literacy goals and to examine choices for supplementary resources with this in mind. Pearson's resources are worth the wait because they will offer a direct link to effective literacy practices in FSL.
13. Q: What are the system requirements for the e-book DVD?
A: Operating Systems
Windows: Windows 2000, Windows XP
Mac OS: Mac OS X 10.4 or higher
*Note: This product may run on computers that don't meet the recommended requirements, but performance may be slow or unstable.
14. Q: What kind of technical support do you have?
A: If you have questions or need technical assistance, please visit Pearson Customer Technical Support, email, or call 1-800-677-6337. The Product Support Department phone hours are: Monday-Friday 8:00am-8:00pm and Sunday 5:00pm-12:00am.(EST).
Our technical support staff will need certain details about your system to effectively assist you. If possible, you should be at your computer when you call for support. You should have the following information ready: