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Language Objectives: More Than Just Vocabulary

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Abstract

This article presents results of a study examining the effects of workshops presented to a small group of elementary student teaching interns with English learners mainstreamed in their classes. The focus of the workshops was to provide the interns with training in strategies to support their English learners including instruction on teaching language objectives according to the SIOP model. Results show that the interns' teaching of language objectives was limited to teaching vocabulary by creating context and using visual supports. Discussion suggests that although the teaching of key vocabulary is an important component of the SIOP model, language objectives cannot be limited to teaching word meaning. Teachers who are not trained to think linguistically may not be able to design language objectives beyond vocabulary. In order for teachers to take full advantage of the strategies presented in the SIOP model, they must be trained to think linguistically and to see themselves as experts of the language of their content.

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