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Learning Spotlight – Secondary SPELL

Meet our Secondary SPELL team! What is our SPELL program? SPELL stands for St. Paul English Language Learning and was established in the initial opening years. The program’s mission is to foster English language development so students can engage in the critical thinking skills necessary to excel at St. Paul Hanoi. Students learn through meaningful and authentic interactions, which are socially and culturally dependent. Language development is crucial for academic success, which is why the program was started and continues to grow to fit the needs of our families. See some examples of what’s happening in SPELL classes below! 

Mrs. Blaire’s Classes – MS SPELL 1

Students in MS SPELL 1 have been evaluating writing samples and How-To video examples to determine what makes them effective. They have learned that using a variety of sentence types helps them express more complex ideas and makes their writing more interesting to read. They are using what they’ve learned to create their own How-To video about a topic they’ve chosen.

Mr. Justin’s Classes – MS SPELL 2

MS SPELL 2 students have been focusing on speaking or writing as a daily task in our class. Group work is also an important part of our learning. Students often give feedback to one another based on the different language objectives emphasized in the drill. Students have also started to develop their own independent language learning skills. This means students are learning how they prefer to learn and are producing writing or speaking recordings based on their interests. Students have also enjoyed our reading buddy program where we read with 1st and 2nd graders in the library.

Mr. Kevin’s Classes – MS SPELL 3 

Students in MS SPELL 3 are on a mission to be better this month than they were last month.  Last month, they performed a series of tasks to find out: How many words can you write in 5 minutes? How long can you speak about a simple question? How many new vocabulary words can you learn in one week? How many grammar mistakes do you make in a 50-word paragraph? This month they are practicing strategies to improve their outcomes and show growth.

Ms. Sophie’s Classes – HS SPELL 2

Currently in HS SPELL 2 students are engaging in independent and small group work based on topics they have selected as a class.  The topics include representation in cinema, the effects of video games, the benefits of sports, the impact of money in our lives, and how we view art.  Each week students have independent goals to develop a specific skill and these are based on individual levels.  Last week we listened to podcasts, videos, and speeches.  Next week we will begin to develop various writing skills.  At the end of each week, students have been engaging in a discussion in front of the class.  They are developing complex thoughts and using academic language to agree, disagree, and add on to the opinions of other students!

Mr. Ethan’s Classes – HS SPELL 3

HS SPELL 3 students have spent a lot of this year focused on becoming independent language learners. In addition to simply practicing language skills, they have also developed the ability to create and justify their own learning plan and assess themselves. More recently, they are learning how to design language practice tasks to meet language standards, an ability that closely mirrors the skills they will need after graduating from school!

REMINDER: Students in Secondary SPELL Classes will be taking the WIDA Model April 13-23.  We use the data to measure language growth and to provide differentiated instruction that supports our students and their English language acquisition.

Thanks, 

Secondary SPELL Team