The Speaking And Listening Skills Promoted By Paideia Seminars Essay

The Speaking And Listening Skills Promoted By Paideia Seminars Essay

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As I read this week’s articles, I was struck by Billings and Roberts’ assertion that, “The speaking and listening skills promoted by Paideia seminars are the key to engaging students in more rigorous reading, writing, and thinking” (p. 68). Prior to reading their article, I had never been exposed to the Paideia Seminar. My understanding of the goal of this approach is for students to learn to read, think, and write independently about complex topics (Billings & Roberts, 2012).
Throughout their article, Billings and Roberts continually reference the Common Core initiative and how Paideia Seminars support the anchor standards. Although we do not follow the Common Core in Texas, our state does require Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) testing. TEA designed the TELPAS to assess the progress that limited English proficient (LEP) students make in learning the English language and address four domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Each student in our district, who is classified as LEP, has a progress-monitoring folder. Every six weeks, the teacher must rate the student in their listening, speaking, reading, and writing abilities. With that thought in mind, I feel the Paideia Seminars are an interesting way to provide students with discussions that enable them to reach a deeper understanding. Billings and Roberts state, “Almost always, the result is more authentic writing and better academic performance” (p. 69). I strongly feel that Paideia Seminars would help strengthen these skills among our English Language Learners (ELLs). Perhaps we would see an increase in student performance on TELPAS if they were asked to regularly engage in seminar discussions. Although my job involves coachi...


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...playing and communicating content objective statements. Now we just need to expand their capacity to develop and effectively communicate language objectives. Moreover, integration and alignment of the four domains as an embedded part of daily instruction is more important than having a stated learning goal (Timperley & Parr, 2009). Students must understand and be able to articulate the objective in order for them to truly be able to experience mastery. This will only come when activities are tightly aligned to the objective and students are provided constant feedback on their progress. While our campus is moving in the right direction by requiring teachers to complete PLD folders on each of their LEP students, if this information is not used to drive instruction, nor is it used to develop feedback for students, then it does not serve its true intended purpose.

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