IG Giveway Hop--10 Tips for Teaching English-Language Learners

I'm super excited to announce that Anne Rozell reached 700 followers on her Teachers Pay Teachers Store! Join in the fun to help her celebrate. This Instagram Blog Hop has 2 $70 gift cards to Teachers pay Teachers.



Paige Bessick from Our Elementary Lives has some great reading and phonics products, stop by and check them out.


Over the last couple of years, I have these activities are easier to embed in bust classrooms and very easy to do throughout the day.


1. Know your students
Increase your understanding of who your students are, their backgrounds and educational experiences.Get to know educational needs and ways to support them.

2. Be aware of their social and emotional needs
Understanding more about the students' families and their needs is key. Are student's possibly live with extended family members or have jobs to help support their families, completing homework assignments will not take priority.

3. Increase your understanding of first and second language acquisition
Although courses about second language acquisition are not required as part of teacher education programs, understanding the theories about language acquisition and the variables that contribute to language learning.

4. Student need to SWRL every day in every class
The domains of language acquisition, Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening need to be equally exercised across content areas daily. Assuring that students are using all domains of language acquisition to support their English language development is essential.

5. Increase your understanding of English language proficiency
Social English language proficiency and academic English language proficiency are very different. A student may be more proficient in one vs. the other. A student's level of academic English may be masked by a higher level of Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) compared to their Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP). For example, a student may be able to orally recall the main events from their favorite movie but struggle to recall the main events that led up to the Civil War.

6. Know the language of your content
English has a number of polysemous words. Once a student learns and understands one meaning of a word, other meaning may not be apparent. Review the vocabulary of your content area often and check in with students to assure they know the words and possibly the multiple meanings associated with the words. For example, a "plot" of land in geography class versus the "plot" in a literature class. A "table" we sit at versus a multiplication "table."

7. Understand language assessments
Language proficiency assessments in your district may vary. Find out when and how a student's English language proficiency is assessed and the results of those assessments. Using the results of formal and informal assessments can provide a wealth of information to aid in planning lessons that support language acquisition and content knowledge simultaneously. For me, student's just finished year three of the WIDA. It's taken in January but still don't get the information back util August. (ugh!)

8. Use authentic visuals and manipulatives
These can be over- or under-utilized. Implement the use of authentic resources for example; menus, bus schedules, post-cards, photographs and video clips can enhance student comprehension of complex content concepts.

9. Strategies that match language proficiency
Knowing the level of English language proficiency at which your students are functioning academically is vital in order to be able to scaffold appropriately. Not all strategies are appropriate for all levels of language learners. Knowing which scaffolds are most appropriate takes time but will support language learning more effectively.

10. Collaborate to celebrate
Seek support from other teachers who may teach student's. Other educators, novice and veteran, may have suggestions and resources that support English language development and content concepts. Creating and sustaining professional learning communities that support students are vital for student success.

I hope these suggestions help you build stronger Second Language Learners in your classrooms. To continue on this hop visit Lisa's Instagram.


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About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I'm Ms. Whiteley. I teach in the beautiful Mile High state--Colorado. This is my 13th year teaching in an rural K-6 Elementary school as a Exceptional Needs Teachers. As Exceptional Needs National Board Certified Teacher, I believe that ALL students can learn and be successful. When I'm not in school, I love to take my two Italian Greyhounds hiking 14ers and reaching for the stars. Thanks for Hopping By.
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