While at The George Washington University working on my Master’s Degree, I got the privilege to take a course with Dr. Anna Uhl Chamot. After learning about her passing, I wanted to contribute one of my podcast episodes to her magnificent work.
Dr. Chamot, along with Dr. O’Malley, created the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (CALLA) based on her extensive research with second language learners. I got the honor of learning about her approach to teaching language learning strategies within her course. CALLA is very powerful within the language learning classroom because it promotes using learning strategies in order to support word learning strategies. The CALLA also promotes building word consciousness as Dr. Chamot herself claimed, “language skills will be most meaningful when students perceive that they are needed in order to accomplish a communicative or academic task (p. 26)”. Hence, student perception is the natural hook for increasing word consciousness since the student will perceive his or her own need for language learning.
In this podcast episode, I will use one of the many tools that are provided in the CALLA Handbook. The Teaching Strategies Checklist is a fantastic way to assess how engaging the lesson was and how well content area language was modeled. After teaching my lesson, I will use it to assess how engaging I made my lesson. I encourage you to record one of your lessons and use this checklist for self-evaluation.
Chamot, A. U. (2009). The CALLA handbook: Implementing the cognitive academic language learning approach. White Plains (N.Y.: Pearson Education.)