Glossary of Terms to Promote a Common Language


Language Experience Approach:
An approach to literacy development based on the idea that students can write by dictating to the teacher what they already know and can express verbally. Students can then read that which has been written.Hence, the students' first reading materials come from their own repertoire of language.

language impairment:
The inability to use the symbols of language through (1) proper use of words and their meanings, (2) appropriate grammatical patterns, and (3)proper use of speech sounds.

language maintenance:
The protection and promotion of the first or native language in an individual or within a speech community.

language milestones:
A significant point in language development such as saying one's first word or beginning to combine words.

language minority:
In the U.S., individuals living in households in which a language other than English is spoken. A language minority child may be bilingual, limited-English proficient, or English monolingual (a student who only speaks English while the other members of the household speak another language as a primary means of communication).

LAU vs. Nichols:
Suit filed by Chinese parents in San Francisco in 1974 that led to Supreme Court ruling that identical education does not constitute equal education under the Civil Rights Act. School districts must take "affirmative steps" to overcome educational barriers faced by non-English speakers.

LAU Remedies:
Policy guidelines for the education of limited English proficient students, based on the ruling in the Lau vs. Nichols suit, for school districts' compliance with the civil rights requirements of Title VI.

L1: Primary or native language

L2: Secondary language (ESL).

L + 1: Krashen refers to this as input, which is just a little above the learner's current level of second language proficiency and functioning.

learning centers:
Learning centers are a means of organizing a classroom in such a way that students can concentrate on an area of interest at a specific site dedicated to that pursuit. For example, in a primary classroom one might find centers roughly corresponding to school subjects (sometimes called stations) scattered about the room. An arts center might include materials and space for drawing, painting,sculpting, etc. A reading center might have a bookshelf full of good books and magazines, a carpet, and a couple of comfortable chairs where children can go to read. A science center may consist of a table with gadgets, science books, a place to experiment, etc. Learning centers are most commonly associated with child centered approaches to the curriculum. The student learns as much as is reasonably possible on the basis of personal choice, and the teacher's role is that of facilitator and mediator of learning as well as organizer of the learning environment.

learning disability (also known as specific learning disability):
A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written. This disorder may manifest itself in imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations.

learning styles:
(1) Characteristic cognitive, affective, and physiological behaviors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how individual learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment. (2)Field dependent/field independent, abstract/concrete, and visual/auditory/kin esthetic/tactile are just a few of the styles purposed to have been identified. Each of these styles has implications for how students should be taught. (3) Learning styles represent the consistent pattern of behaviors that can be associated with each individual as he/she approaches, interprets, and acts on a learning experience. The basic research of this area is found in brain research and personality types. Individuals such as Anthony Gregorc, Rita and Kenneth Dunn, Marie Carbo, and Herman Witkin have proposed a number of models of learning styles.

treeLearning Tree:
Danbury's Learning Tree is a graphic depiction of the exit standards that students are expected to demonstrate. They articulate what students will know, be able to do and deeply understand in each content area. The Learning Tree also articulates the Universal/Life-Long Learning Skills that students are expected to master in order to become independent learners. Lastly, the roots of the Learning Tree illustrate the attitudes and aspects of character that promote the development of a healthy and contributing citizen. There are three versions of the Learning Tree, which reflect the elementary, middle, and high school developmental levels of our students.

LEP (Limited English Proficient):
LEP is the term used by the federal government, most states and local school districts to identify those students who have insufficient English to succeed in English-only classrooms.

leveled texts:
Books used in guided reading activities that are arranged on a continuum based on text characteristics including difficulty, content,length, format, and illustrations.

limited-english proficiency:
The 1988 Bilingual Education Act describes a limited English proficient student as one who (1) meets one or more of the following conditions: (a) the student was born outside of the United States or whose native language is not English;(b) the student comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; or (c) the student is American Indian or Alaskan where a language other than English has had a significant impact on his/her level of English language proficiency; and (2) the student has sufficient difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language to be denied the opportunity to learn successfully in English-only classrooms.

linguistically and culturally diverse:
Used to identify individuals from homes and communities where English is not the primary language of communication.

Literacy is generally meant to describe a level of reading, writing,and communication abilities that permits an individual to learn through print modalities as well as through electronic means. Primarily, a person can be considered literate in a functional sense if he/she can complete an application form, read a newspaper, do the level of calculations needed to keep a checkbook, etc. For children and secondary students, the same idea pertains, but it is merely scaled down against norms for the given age level. Functional literacy can be thought of as "entry level" literacy. At a higher level, one is considered literate in a more subjective sense; however, the measure would be taken in terms of how well read someone might be or how well informed or how able to carry out complex tasks that demands the basic tools of literacy.Sometimes the term numeracy is used to indicate how mathematically"literate" someone is.

local educational agency:
A local educational agency(LEA) is a local level administrative unit that exists primarily to operate public schools or to contract for public school services.

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