Fostering Academic Conversations in Linguistically Diverse Classes with Jeff Zwiers
How do we move the needle from an over-scaffolded, over-scripted dialogue to a student-generated conversation that leverages academic language? What does a math-based conversation look like in a linguistically and culturally diverse classroom? Why is it so important for teachers to come together to talk about communication in the classroom and how it fosters learning?
We discuss these questions and much more with Jeff Zwiers. Jeff is a senior researcher at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and the director of professional development for Understanding Language, a research and professional learning effort focused on improving instruction and assessment of English learners and other diverse students. He consults for national and international teacher development projects that promote language, literacy, lesson design, and formative assessment practices. Jeff’s research focuses on developing classroom instruction that fosters high-quality oral language and constructive conversations across disciplines. This is our second episode with Jeff Zwiers.
Many listeners will be familiar with his book “Academic Conversations”, which provides Clear ways to support students in developing authentic, meaningful classroom conversation skills. Zwiers' research and work has impacted tens of thousands of classrooms across the country in providing equitable access to grade-level content for all learners, reflective of college-and-career readiness standards.”
During our conversation, we referenced the following books, websites, and resources.
- Jeff Zwiers's website
- Academic Conversations, by Jeff Zwiers
- Classroom Discourse: The Language of Teaching and Learning, by Courtney Cazden
- Comprehension Through Conversation, by Maria Nichols
- Distracted: Reclaiming Our Focus in a World of Lost Attention, by Maggie Jackson
- The work of Neil Mercer
- The work of Chinn and Anderson
- The work of Gordon Wells
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