How to Use the SIOP Model for Practice and Application

This blog post is part of a series where we unpack each of the eight components of the SIOP Model. In this blog post, we will focus on the practice and application of the SIOP Model in teaching and learning for student success.

The SIOP Model

SIOP Model (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) Model (CREDE, 1996) is a research-based framework for instruction that has been shown to be effective for student success with second language learners. It can be used for unit planning and lesson planning, with the goal of providing students with the skills they need for academic success. The model is also intended to help students strengthen their academic language and literacy skills.

SIOP Model as a best practice provides teachers with guidance on how to plan and deliver high-level and effective content-based lessons that promote a higher-level learning experience with language development. This model, and instructional framework, has been validated as an effective means of enhancing student learning, particularly for those whose teachers make use of its instructional strategies and practices. By engaging both the mother tongue and the target language during each lesson, students are better able to develop their skills in the new language.

The SIOP Model includes eight components:

  1. Lesson Preparation
  2. Building Background
  3. Comprehensible Input
  4. Strategies
  5. Interaction
  6. Practice & Application
  7. Lesson Delivery
  8. Review & Assessment

Practice and Application Stage of The SIOP Model

Practice and Application of The SIOP Model is where students are practicing and applying the content and language of the lesson. Teachers provide directions for how the students should be doing the lesson activities and allow them enough time to complete the lesson to meet the learning outcomes.

In this stage, students practice their new knowledge and skills during a communicative activity/ game. Students are given a task to accomplish and they find the solution by talking to each other. Teachers use a variety of teaching strategies to encourage students to communicate with each other, and the lesson content, in multiple ways.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

During the lessons and the learning process, students review and internalize the learned material while applying it in various contexts within the learning environment. Integrating real-world examples in each lesson is critical in a language acquisition framework as it helps build an environment that makes the language learner feel more confident and successful by drawing on previous knowledge to apply in new situations. The use of repeated exposure to the target language and relevant vocabulary, along with the use of thoughtful and relevant feedback creates a learning experience that can help increase the retention of the learned material.

Managing Time

The teacher puts time limits on the students’ responses, while their goal is to encourage them to speak, read, write, and listen in each activity. This allows students to revise and consolidate what they have learned through the communicative activities. Formative assessments at the end of each lesson will provide valuable feedback about the students’ comprehension during each lesson.

Class time distributions for language skills, the foundational skills and content taught in the classroom depend on your school. In reality, many language classes are conducted for longer or shorter periods of time than any of the planned 40, 55 or 70-minute periods. Teachers need to adjust accordingly for each lesson.

Creative Activities

Hands-on activities are encouraged for students to use meaningful and memorable ways to apply their newly gained knowledge and skills. Integration of the four language domains: reading, writing, speaking, and listening is encouraged in this stage in order to provide students to practice the lesson’s and language’s cultural nuances.

These three examples of instructional methods address this component:

  • Create a situation in which students must interview someone, write up the results and present them orally to the class. 
  • Use information gaps that often require the use of all four skills to complete them successfully. When lecturing, give students a listening task and have them write down and share it with their peers in writing and orally.
  • Use information gaps that often require the use of all four skills to complete them successfully. When lecturing, give students a listening task and have them write down and share it with their peers in writing and orally.

Teaching Tips

Teachers often divide their time as they stop to help individual students with needed language or content. Student work is collected on a daily basis and the teacher will give feedback while they are collecting the work. Teachers need to realize that they have time to collect and not evaluate each piece of work at this time.

However, teachers also give students opportunities to share what they have learned with their classmates for feedback. This is an important part of the lesson – students need to practice and apply what they have learned in order to transfer their learning. This helps to balance the time for what the teacher does and what the students do to complete each lesson.

Lesson Examples

Integrating the four domains of language ‘allows students to use strengths to develop new ones, gives everyone a chance to shine at something, and recycles the content and language by using different skills leads to ownership’ (TESOL, 2021). 

A teacher is teaching a lesson on the topic of “what are the Olympics?” Students will learn about the history of the Olympics through a listening guide activity where they watch a video, discuss guided questions with their peers, complete a reading activity, and then present their favorite sport to the class.

Here is a sample lesson plan:

Critical Thinking

Students’ ability to critically think about a topic helps to set them up for all subject areas and life. Teachers can teach critical thinking strategies during lessons. Although the outcomes are many, here are three examples of how The SIOP Model helps with teaching students creative thinking:

  • Students become more aware of the need to use information-processing skills when they are asked to process information while sitting quietly and working in groups.
  • Students can reinforce their ability to use all four skills by practicing them during class discussions.
  • Show teachers that the ability to use the four basic information-processing skills is a necessary prerequisite for understanding bilingual texts.

Encouraging Critical Thinking in Lessons

I teach writing to grades 10, 11, and 12 English language learners. While teaching what my students call their ‘least favourite English subject’, I have found that if you can’t get a class excited about writing, don’t ask them to write. Ask them to learn about writing, or better yet, ask them to learn how to learn about writing. They will get excited about the challenge, and in the process, they will become critical thinkers and readers.

To achieve this, I pick interesting texts with creative writing stories from peers their age in a high school in Canada, poetry (Chinese and English), and popular songs. We view each of the texts through a lens, designed to encourage critical thinking about grammar, sentence structure, identifying context, and metaphors. Then, I ask my students to write. It works.

Here are some outcomes of critical thinking I have found with using my methods to encourage using all four domains of English, including writing:

  • Identify the four skills and show how they are used in responding to reading and listening material.
  • Help students understand that the four skills of effective listening are closely related to the four skills of reading.
  • Help students develop skills in using the four skills effectively in a variety of situations, including those that are not classroom-based.
  • Expect students to use the four skills in a variety of situations, including those that are not classroom-based.

Formative Assessments

Predictors of success include a series of questions, assessments, and learning outcomes through each lesson. At the end of each lesson, it is important to include a specific formative assessment to measure students’ success with the learning outcomes of the lesson.

Common Formative Assessments

  • True/false
  • Matching
  • Multiple Choice
  • Short Answer

Exit Slips (Tickets)

Another type of formative assessment called an exit slip or an exit ticket can be used to assess all of the students’ understanding of a lesson. These assessments are designed to allow students to demonstrate what they know and what they don’t know. An exit slip is a quick assessment that helps the teacher decide how to reteach certain concepts. Exit slips generally take 2-3 minutes to complete and are provided to students at the end of each lesson.

Creative Formative Assessments

There are a variety of creative ways to use formative assessment for your lessons to assess all four domains of language. These are three examples:

  • Presentation Skills: The students will be able to use visual aids, presentations, and other equipment effectively for their delivery.
  • Self-evaluation: The students will be able to evaluate their own performance, and identify areas of improvement.
  • Assessment and Evaluation: The students will be able to evaluate their peers’ performance, and identify areas of strength, which gives teachers insight into the areas for improvement.

Summary

The SIOP Model stresses the importance of consistency in the language presented using similar words, expressions, and grammatical structures, which will help students to develop the art of understanding and applying the target language.

Through the entire process, students are given opportunities to practice their new language as well as to develop it. In terms of learning and practicing, the environment for the students is friendly and encouraging; an effective way to enhance their language development.

Providing meaningful and memorable language learning experiences is an important part of the framework. These experiences are called “authentic language experiences” (ALEs)

The SIOP Model

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Teaching with The SIOP Model

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