What the Front-Load?: Learning Language Through Complex Tasks

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University of Calgary
How do we engage new Canadians / English Language Learners in complex tasks? For the last 20 years English Language Learning pedagogy has emphasized the development of basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS) through “front loading” with low level, prescribed, rote activities. At Connaught School we know that our students, regardless of their English language proficiency, are capable of successfully developing interpersonal and academic language through complex tasks. We discuss a classroom project that exemplifies a deep exploration of curriculum through robotics to support the language development of a diverse population of English Language Learners and new Canadians.
English Language Learners, Complex Tasks, Elementary, Language Acquistion
Jaques, S., Traxler, R., & Rae, E. (2016, May). What the Front-Load?: Learning Language Through Complex Tasks. In M. Takeuchi, A.P. Preciado Babb, & J. Lock. IDEAS 2016: Designing for Innovation Selected Proceedings. Paper presented at IDEAS 2016: Designing for Innovation, Calgary, Canada (pg 134-140). Calgary, Canada: Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary.