Friday, September 7, 2012

Four New Features in the Strands of MPIs

Recently I pointed out some of the similarities and differences present in the 2012 amplification of the ELD Standards.  Today I would like to share a little more with you about some of the new features in the Model Performance Indicator strands.  For additional background information on MPIs, click here. 

If you have flipped through the 2012 Amplification, you have likely noticed that the strands of MPIs look different.  There are more components and there is more information included with each strand.  Specifically, I am talking about:

  1. Connection (to content standards)
  2. Example Context for Language Use
  3. Cognitive Function
  4. Topic-Related Language

The Connection area lists a state standard that has been pulled from one of the Consortium member’s state standards.  Many of them are from the Common Core State Standards or National Standards.  In the example above, the standard is from the National Health Education Standards.  However, you will also find standards listed in this section that come from Consortium members who have chosen to keep their own rigorous state standards and not adopt the Common Core (eg. Alaska, Minnesota and Virginia). 

The Example Context for Language Use area is where you will find a brief explanation of a lesson activity or classroom situation that could be used to implement this strand of MPIs.  In the example above, it reads “Students weigh options depicted in role plays (e.g. videos, performances, or text read aloud) in order to make healthy choices.” In other words, this area gives you a peek into the lesson plan that a teacher would be using to teach this health standard to ELLs. 

The Cognitive Function applies to all students at all levels of English language proficiency.  In the example above, it states “Students at all levels of English language proficiency EVALUATE different habits to decide if they are healthy or not.”  The cognitive function grounds your lesson, in a sense.  You want to be sure that all of the ELLs are evaluating different habits though they may express themselves using different levels of academic English.

The Topic-Related Language area lists examples of the types of words, phrases and expressions that would typically be embedded in a lesson or unit of study on this topic.  This is typically specific and technical language of that particular content area for that particular grade level.  It is important that all ELLs be exposed to and interact with topic-related language through the use of appropriate supports and scaffolding techniques.  In the example above, this would include terms like: healthy/unhealthy choices, behavior, consequences. 

If you would like to read more about these new parts, take a look at the Overview (pages 3-16) in the 2012 Amplification document. 

Written by: Tammy King
2012 Image:
Strand of MPIs Image: WIDA Consortium

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