Graphic organizers are excellent visual tools for organizing information to facilitate students' understanding of content. They can use them to review and study for upcoming quizzes and tests. When it comes to any kind of handout, less is more for ELLs because it helps them focus on the essential information on the page without unnecessary distractions. He will also gradually feel more confident as his new friend assists him in learning English. They're written at a lower reading level and often have key concepts and vocabulary highlighted or color coded. Don't place too much emphasis on grammar and spelling at first—remember that writing is usually the last of the language domains to develop (after listening, speaking, and reading). Many ELL students are very shy, because they're afraid to make mistakes when speaking. Field trips. Create a presentation of each vocabulary word you introduce. By asking the latter students usually will default to "yes we understand". Provide short instructions, preferably starting with action verbs, ex: "Write 5 adjectives to describe … Provide short instructions, preferably starting with action verbs, ex: "Write 5 adjectives to describe the main character". Be sure to use visuals as a regular part of your lessons to help your students understand the concepts you teach. Along with speaking more slowly and clearly, just as important is that you not over-saturate your English learners with auditory input. Ask students to complete only a portion of worksheets you assign. 8. After you pose a question, allow sufficient wait time for your ELLs to process the question and to formulate a response. Have a clear process for transitions, such as when going to the library or to lunch. Show your students how to use these materials to help them with classwork and assessments. Be patient with your English learners but also with yourself as you become accustomed to applying some of these tips. Whether you teach a class composed of all English language learners or a mainstream class in which you have a mix of ELLs and non-ELLs, keep in mind that many of these strategies will assist not just your English learners, but your other students as well, including slower processors and special needs students. Keep classroom materials and supplies such as pencils, paper, and glue in the same location, such as on a table in the corner of the room. If there's a word bank, the words are enclosed in a box. For writing assignments, ask students to produce one sentence instead of one paragraph, or one paragraph rather than three. As you fill them in, allow your students to fill in their own copies to help them make sense of what they’re learning. This will pump them up to learn new material! By practicing these strategies, you're sure to see a gradual, notable improvement in your ELLs’ level of involvement and academic success in your classroom. Use actions and gestures to accompany your words as much as possible, such as when you explain the process for class routines. Dr. Spencer Kagan's book, Kagan Cooperative Learning, is an excellent resource for implement a variety of cooperative learning activities. By doing this you will see that students will start answering together and even explaining tasks/concepts to their classmates. Make sure you enunciate clearly and if you're a fast talker, slow down! Textbooks in elementary school tend to be very student-friendly so they often work fine for ELLs. This means you need to allow sufficient wait time after you pose a question. Avoid idiomatic expressions and/or sarcasm: These expressions can be confusing for ELL students to understand, because the meaning behind them is figurative as opposed to literal. Less is more, so speak in chunks. This piece was originally submitted to our community forums by a reader. ELLs need more time to process what they hear in English, so allow sufficient wait time after you ask a question. Check for student understanding frequently: Do not ask "do you understand/is that clear?" Use graphic organizers to help your ELLs make sense of new information. If you need copies, talk to your school ESL department and school library, as they should have some available for classroom use. Creating a welcoming classroom environment is invaluable in helping your ELLs succeed academically. Use the pause time to write the information on the board in case a student has misheard a word or a sentence. As their English skills develop, you can gradually ask them to complete more sections on the worksheets. Use body language and gestures to express appropriate words: Don't be afraid to do this! Use realia, videos and images to help build background knowledge for your ELLs and to help them understand new content. This adds a whole new dimension to the stress they're experiencing. She holds an MEd and has taught English language learners for over ten years. Write key vocabulary on a word wall: The space will create a safe environment for ELL students to ask questions about unfamiliar vocabulary and as a result build their confidence in speaking and practicing their oral communication in the classroom. When students have finished pair-sharing after each question, call on volunteers to share their responses with the whole class. Do not correct with negative expressions: For example, "No the verb seen is incorrect." Because many non-ELL students also lack vocabulary skills, they too can benefit from classroom vocabulary instruction! Create a welcoming classroom environment. This allows ELLs to hear correct English modeled to them and to practice their English in a less intimidating setting within the classroom. Ask partner "A" to tell his partner his answer, allow sufficient time, and then ask partner "B" to do the same. It also helps them learn important social skills such as getting along with students who may be very different from them. Not only do English learners need more time to process what they hear in English, they also need more time to formulate a response in English when asked a question. When you make connections between what your students already know and new concepts you present, lessons are more relevant and meaningful to them. These approaches can be used in classes composed of only ELLs and in mainstream classes composed of ELLs and non-ELLs. Introducing your ELLs to language resources will help reduce their anxiety as they learn English and try to catch up academically with their grade level peers. This support will give your newer student a sense of reassurance and belonging in your classroom. Be intentional about using effective strategies in class to help your English language learners succeed. Class helpers: please hand out the posters." 7. Visuals are invaluable in helping ELLs make sense of new content. Modeling is a critical part of the teaching process, and is especially important for English language learners. Field trips have always been a favorite part of any child’s school year and the practical … Say what you need to say as concisely as possible, using just the words necessary to convey your message. Nobody else needs to know. Some resources to introduce to your ELLs: Pairing a new English learner with a buddy is a significant way to boost her confidence. (word count: 21), "Today you'll work on your advertisement posters. Since English isn't their first language, ELLs need more time to process what they hear in English in order to make sense of it. A significant way you can help alleviate some of that stress is by assigning each of your newer or less proficient ELLs a buddy. This "I do it, we do it, you do it" approach gives students confidence as it enables them to really grasp the concept you're teaching. When your ELLs know you’re offering everybody in the class extended wait time, they’ll feel more at ease raising their hand to volunteer a verbal response. Ensure that the layout for all classwork and assessments is straighforward so that your ELLs can focus on showing you what they've learned rather than on trying to make sense of what they're being asked to do. Establishing a regular routine and structure in the classroom helps reduce their anxiety as it provides them with a predictable and consistent environment. With the increasing number of English learners entering our classrooms comes a pressing need for teachers to use strategies to support them academically. (word count: 27), "What is a good way to get your readers' attention when you begin your story?" However, routine and structure in the classroom especially help English learners because of the many changes they are already going through in their personal lives. Students engaged in a cooperative learning activity in class. Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on August 06, 2016: I used your five strategies for ELL when I was teaching EFL in Thailand. We have statements, we have questions, and we have exclamations." Many ELLs are also survivors of trauma which they experienced in their home country prior to immigrating or in the process of coming to the U.S. If you are teaching English Language Learners, here are some tips and strategies that you can practice in the classroom to create a safe environment and support the students throughout their learning process: 1. The faster you talk, the harder it is for them to process and make sense of what you say. The layout makes sense and facilitates understanding of the content. ", "Why...? According to the National Education Association, English language learners represent the fastest growing student population group in the U.S. short video clips (the internet is loaded with short, educational videos), Concept maps: diagrams that shows the relationship between concepts, Flow chart: diagrams that shows the sequence between actions or functions involved in an activity, Venn diagrams: diagrams that display the similarities and differences between two or more concepts.