We work with outstanding educators. Read their thoughts about using MALP®.
“I have relied on major points from this paradigm in order to meet the needs of my students with limited or interrupted formal education. This application has not been strictly limited to the “SLIFE” students in my classroom. I have found points from MALP® useful in my instructional repertoire with all English language learners in my class. Oral planning and immediate relevance are the foundations of most projects completed within my classroom. In my planning and execution of lessons, I think of MALP® the same way a chef thinks of ‘deconstructed gastronomy.’ All pieces of schema are deconstructed: linguistic, content and formal and then reassembled on one plate to make a complete dish!”
Third Grade Classroom Teacher of English Language Learners
“MALP® helped me plan lessons relevant to my students’ lives and actively engaged them in their learning while building language and content knowledge. In their American History project, my students had to compare their lives to young adults who had fought in a war. They found a lot of similarities between their lives and those of those at the front, such as how they passed the time when not in battle. By incorporating the elements of MALP® in the classroom, I saw more confidence in my students and they were encouraged to take responsibility for and to be proud of their work and what they achieved.”
High School ESL and Social Studies Teacher
Drs. Marshall and DeCapua provided a year-long series of workshops on MALP® and Project Based Learning for the Boston Public Schools’ Office of Educational Options. Students who attend programs that fall under this umbrella are middle and high school students who are typically behind in terms of literacy and numeracy; some have dropped out and returned to school and others are struggling to remain in school despite great learning gaps. This professional development series enabled participating teachers to implement project-based learning in their classrooms using the MALP® framework. They found it to be extremely helpful in their practice, as it empowered them to engage and involve students in ways that maximized their potential. The strategies and techniques that are inherent to MALP® are not only useful for English learners and/or SLIFE — they are highly effective for native English speakers who are disengaged or who require non-traditional means to showcase their strengths and build on their challenges.
Dr. Esta Montano
Senior Director Program Design, Instructional Delivery & Assessment, Office of Educational Options at Boston Public Schools
“I began implementing MALP® four years ago when I was assigned to a caseload that included a struggling 9-year-old with limited formal education. Using the paradigm, I moved away from a deficit mentality and tapped into her true potential. When we began, she was not reading at all and still copying modeled letters to practice her writing. By the end of the school year, she was reading at a DRA Level 3 and writing sentences independently with inventive spelling. With guidance, she was also doing very thoughtful journalling, writing in full paragraphs. I recently ran into her, and she is a happy middle school student now.”
Elementary ESL Teacher
“My 9th grade math class was a disaster. Some came late, if they were on time they didn’t bring a pencil, the majority didn’t do homework, and I couldn’t get them to listen to me regarding their behavior. How could I help them be successful if the basics were not there? Then I discovered MALP® and was trained to incorporate its principals and implement it using project-based learning. For each new concept, I gave each pair an example to solve and explain on their poster, and they would present it in their unique way for the class to share. This is my now favorite class to teach – we really have a good time and they actually get it! For SLIFE who were failing, I can see real progress; they still take longer than the other ELLs to catch on, but they are trying and succeeding over time. I now have a 60% pass rate in that class, up from only 20% before. Using MALP® made the difference.”
High School ESL Math Teacher
“It was my first time teaching adult SLIFE students in a community-based organization. I didn’t know where to begin. MALP® allowed my students to guide my instruction, with a very student centered approach. Using relevant, personal subject matter helped me to build positive relationships with my students and created a safe environment with increased participation from all. As word got out around the community, my class size increased. Students showed up to class with stories, pictures, and personal experiences that served as the foundation for the topics of each lesson. By the end of the summer, students were responding to questions and engaged in activities that demonstrated to me that they were slowly bridging the gap between informal and formal ways of learning.”
Elementary ESOL and Adult ESL Literacy Teacher
“When I was new to teaching low-literacy adults, I couldn’t figure out how to create a learner-centered environment in a multi-level classroom. After MALP® training I was able to use students’ knowledge and skills as resources and develop lesson plans based on learners’ interests and needs. Using the MALP Teacher Planning Checklist helped me see how to modify what I was already doing to be more effective in the classroom.
Until I was trained in MALP®, I didn’t know about the cultural differences that create obstacles for learners unfamiliar with formal education in the U.S. Understanding the different expectations and priorities that adult students have has transformed my approach to teaching, reduced my anxiety and helped me create a positive classroom environment. Watching how students have become enthusiastic learners as I’ve implemented MALP® has reinvigorated my passion for teaching. I’ve learned how to be flexible in multi-level classrooms and adjust lesson plans in response to learners’ interests and needs. MALP® training has made me a more effective, confident and engaging instructor.”
Adult ESL Teacher, Community-Based Organization