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Wednesday, May 14 • 11:30am - 12:30pm
Smart Virtual Word Walls: Moving Away from the Traditional into the Digital

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Research has indicated that English Language Learners (ELLs) need to be intentionally taught vocabulary using strategies such as glosses, word-focused activities and bilingual dictionaries (Kern, 1989; Lomicka, 1998; Laufer, 2003; Knight, 1994; Gunderson, 2009). Word walls can be used as a possible strategy to teach content area vocabulary to ELLs. Traditionally, word walls are described as a “designated section of a classroom wall that is devoted to the display and study of words” (Pinnell and Fountas, 1998, p. 38). The traditional word wall is referred to as being “interactive.” However, as the child is not able to touch or manipulate the words on the word wall physically, this limits the interactivity. This session focuses on a graduating paper inquiry, which proposes an alternative to the traditional word wall by using technology (SMART boards) to create a virtual word wall.

It is argued that technology should be used as a tool by educators, students and policy makers (Warshcauer, 2002). SMART boards are a technology-based learning tool which is actively being used in the K-12 classroom. Research has indicated positive gains for both limited proficient students in English and learning disabled students when using a SMART board (Wuerzer 2008; Mechling et al., 2007). Using a variety of modes (i.e., visuals, sounds and text), SMART virtual word walls provide an interactive multimodal learning experience for students to learn content area vocabulary. SMART virtual word walls have been implemented across several Calgary-area classrooms and this will be discussed.

Of Interest to: K-12 educators, Educational technologists

avatar for Melanie Wong

Melanie Wong

PhD Student, Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia

Wednesday May 14, 2014 11:30am - 12:30pm PDT
Campus Activity Centre, CAC 346 900 McGill Road, Kamloops, BC, Canada V2C 0C8

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