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Language Learning - CALLA - Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (CALLA)

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

CALLA - Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (CALLA)

Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (CALLA) was created specifically for students that spoke and wrote limited English. Anna Uhl Chamot and J. Michael O’Malley should be credited for the program. CALLA enables students to become more proficient so that they are able to take part in content directed instructions.

The cognitive model of learning is used to help students to comprehend and retain language skills and concepts of the content being taught.

There are three modules of CALLA, which include learning strategies, development of academic language and a related curriculum. Many public schools incorporate this into their ESL programs.

It specifically assists students that are forced to learn English as a second language in order to survive in the American public school systems.

The method involves an instructional model that helps teachers know how to implement learning strategies so that students can grasp the concepts much easier and faster.

The goal and focus of CALLA is to afford students the opportunity to learn a new language independently and to become self-regulated as learners by consistently dominating the various strategies of learning in a classroom setting.

The Main Goal

The main objective and goal of the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (CALLA) for the student is to be more effective in the learning process is:

• To place value on what the student previously knew as well as the experiences of their culture, and using this knowledge in their academic learning of a new language.
• To develop an awareness for the language that they are learning
• To learn the content and skills necessary to be successful in their future academic pursuits
• Choosing an appropriate strategy of learning that also can enhance both their study skills and academic knowledge
• To develop the ability to work in a group setting successfully.
• Using specific tasks that require hands-on instructions to learn
• To develop motivation for academic studies and the confidence to complete a successful academic program.
• Doing a self evaluation of their learning progress and making plans on how they can become more efficient.
• Be capable of independent learning

It needs to be noted that CALLA is used in about 30 district schools in the United States and also in other countries.

Conclusion
Teachers using CALLA must first prepare the students for learning using this strategy and to do so they must find out more about their background and take a look at how students previously approached an academic task.

The teachers will then incorporate the right learning strategies for a specific task. Students will then practice the strategies on those tasks. The teachers will then evaluate how well they worked, encourage more practice and add the use of other strategies to nonverbal tasks.