The Voice of Differentiation

To master subject matter content, one thing must occur: the content message must be comprehensible (Krashen, 1982). This session is created to lead teachers through effective and engaging pedagogy that is designed to increase both comprehensible input and output in the classroom. As a whole group, attendees will view and read the passage “A Mardsan Giberter for Farfie.” Written in a gibberish language, this passage is difficult for all learners to read as it is not a real language. Following the reading of this passage, attendees will be divided into small groups of four and will answer five simple questions about the passage. Surprisingly, they will be able to answer the questions, even though the content is unknown. This activity highlights that attendees have the literacy skills to read the passage, but the lack of comprehensible input impedes them from understanding it. (This activity mimics a traditional reading lesson, with assessment.) Finally, the presenter will translate the passage into English, and reveal the content topic. Then, attendees will be guided through five simple strategies that would have created more comprehensible input for linguistically and culturally diverse learners. Examples will include how the presenter could have built background through visual representations, language and literacy strategies, activating prior knowledge prior to reading, cultural differentiation, and linguistic differentiations for comprehensible output when writing and speaking. These strategies can immediately be applied to classrooms for students of all ages or shared with student-teachers at the college level who will be working with English learners.

Comprehensible Input Differentiation

Pedagogy and Curriculum

Workshop Presentation

  • Dr. Holly Arnold
    • Doctorate, Teacher Education, United States GA, United States
    • Dr. Arnold teaches undergraduate and graduate teacher education courses in the field of TESOL. She has worked in teacher training and professional development in both the public school system and at the college level. Prior to her work at Kennesaw State University, Dr. Arnold taught middle grades ESOL and literacy courses through multiple delivery models. Her interests include teacher education, support, and preparedness in culturally responsive pedagogy for linguistically and culturally diverse students, the achievement and experiences of English learners in the online learning environment, and English learners in innovative delivery models and classrooms. Dr. Arnold resides in Blairsville, Georgia with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
  • Robert Weber
    • Consultant, Honda Corporation, United States United States