Tuesday, June 12, 2012


With the coming new year school year,  teachers from all disciplines will need to have at their immediate disposal a powerful collection of instructional and language tools/activities for their ELLs.  With the COMMON CORE STANDARDS, teachers will need to find ways to actively engage ELLs in all areas of instruction.  In effect, every teacher will be delivering instruction in both language and content.

How can this be done?  What resources are out there to support teachers?  How can a teacher assist colleagues when they come to ask for ideas on working with these students?  This link from the New Teacher Center of the University of California at Santa Cruz is just what the doctor ordered.

SIX KEY TEACHING STRATEGIES TO USE WITH ELLS offers a great deal of details, but not in a professorial manner.  The information is delivered in a format that is easily accessible in that it is very direct and not overwhelming wordy in its delivery.  The BULLET layout assists in guiding teachers to crucial areas of instruction. 

Key points:

VOCABULARY AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT (dictionaries don't work here)

GUIDED INTERACTION (small group arrangements must be ones that make content accessible for ELLs)

METACOGNITION AND AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT  (teaching reading skills that they can use to make themselves smarter)

EXPLICIT DIRECT INSTRUCTION (teaching grade level content while delivering academic language instruction)

MEANING BASED CONTEXT AND UNIVERSAL THEMES (link instruction to prior experiences ---build instruction based on a student's prior knowledge---make connections)

MODELING, GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS, AND VISUALS (model, model, model and use graphic organizers to assist in helping kids to fully remember key points of lessons).

Each section above is divided into 4 parts:  content instruction, academic language instruction, sample activities, and activities a teacher might use to teach concepts using those 6 points.

If you know teachers who are new to ELLs, share this and your expertise.  Sometimes teachers new to ELLs suffer in silence.  It falls upon those teachers who are good at it to make a concerted effort to support those teachers.  If nothing happens, ELLs will give up and their teachers will feel like failures when they aren't.



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