Thursday, April 19, 2012

Do Your ELLs Need To Master Academic Vocabulary? If Yes, Read On!

One issue that ELLs often struggle with is building a grade level academic vocabulary base. Textbooks do not provide enough support here. Students need more.

To support teachers in this area, I have two great websites:

WORDSIFT This site is from Stanford University. The link will take you directly to the video which explains how to use the site. One of the activities here is a program that once you paste a piece of academic writing in it, the program pull out the academic language present and present the words in various sizes from large to small ( from most common to least common). Further, teachers can click on any word after the sift is done and see images/photos representing those words. Since visuals are a must in any content class with ELLs, this site should be within easy access for students working on analyzing text. There is also a visual thesaurus. Here students can find synonyms for vocabulary as they come across it. There is so much more. See the video link to get the full picture.

QUIZMEONLINE Once you have identified the words, why not try this link. You will create "vocabulary flash cards" online specific to your subject area. Students can work alone testing themselves on key vocabulary before a major test. You could also have them create their own virtual flash cards. Though not all ELLs have access to computers, many do have smart phones and this app can be accessed there as well.



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