What email address or phone number would you like to use to sign in to Docs.com?
If you already have an account that you use with Office or other Microsoft services, enter it here.
Or sign in with:
Signing in allows you to download and like content, and it provides the authors analytical data about your interactions with their content.
Embed code for: Tips to wrok with EL Students
Select a size
Tips to work with EL Students
1. Make it Visual
“Avoid giving instructions in the air,” says
http://melissaeddington.com/Melissa Eddington, an Ohio-based ESL teacher. “ELL kids have a harder time processing spoken language.” So instructions – even basic directions for classroom procedures – should be written on the board whenever possible. Challenging concepts should be diagrammed or supported with pictures. And modeling the steps of a process or showing students what a finished product should look like can go a long way toward helping students understand. “Sometimes showing our students what to do is all they need in order to do it,” Eddington says. Not only will this kind of
http://cultofpedagogy.com/nonlinguistic-representation/nonlinguistic representation improve comprehension for ELL students, it will help all of your students grasp concepts better.
2. Build in more group work.
“Kids aren’t just empty glasses that we pour stuff into and then at the end of the day they dump it back onto a test,” That means less teacher-led, whole-class instruction, and more small groups, where students can practice language with their peers in a more personal, lower-risk setting. And if ELL students attend your class with a resource teacher, make use of that person: In most cases the resource teacher doesn’t have to work exclusively with the ESL students; they can work with smaller groups that happen to contain these students, helping to improve the teacher-student ratio and give kids more time to practice.
3. Communicate with the ESL teacher.
Mary Yurkosky, a former ESL teacher in Massachusetts, credits much of her students’ success to the strong relationship she had with the regular classroom teachers. “The classroom teachers were always talking to me about what they were doing in their classes,” she says. “They made it so easy for me to support them: If a teacher was going to be doing a unit on plants, I could make sure we used some of that same vocabulary in the ESL class.”
Ideally, this could be systematized, where ESL teachers could regularly get copies of lesson plans or collaborate with regular classroom teachers to build solid back-and-forth support, but “it doesn’t have to be that much work,” Yurkosky insists. “Just talk to each other. Talk about what’s going on in your classrooms, invite each other to special presentations, share what your students are learning, and the words will naturally find their way into the ESL class.”
4. Honor the “silent period.”
Many new language learners go through a
http://www.everythingesl.net/inservices/pre_producti_silent_period_93415.phpsilent period, during which they will speak very little, if at all. “Don’t force them to talk if they don’t want to,” says Eddington, “A lot of students who come from cultures outside of America want to be perfect when they speak, so they will not share until they feel they are at a point where they’re perfect.” Just knowing that this is a normal stage in second language acquisition should help relieve any pressure you feel to move them toward talking too quickly.
5. Allow some scaffolding with the native language.
Although it has been a hotly debated topic in the language-learning community, allowing students some use of their first language (L1) in second-language (L2) classrooms is
https://isabelavillasboas.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/l1-in-the-l2-classroom-from-a-sin-to-a-possibility/https:/isabelavillasboas.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/l1-in-the-l2-classroom-from-a-sin-to-a-possibility/gaining acceptance. When a student is still very new to a language, it’s okay to pair him with other students who speak his native language. “Some students are afraid to open their mouths at all for fear of sounding stupid or just not knowing the words to use,” Yurkosky says. “Letting them explain things or ask questions in their first language gets them to relax and feel like a part of the class.”
And this doesn’t only apply to spoken language. If you give students a written assignment, but the ELL student doesn’t yet have the proficiency to handle writing his response in English, “Don’t make them just sit there and do nothing,” Eddington says. “Allow them to write in their first language if they’re able. This allows them to still participate in journal writing or a math extended response, even if you can’t read what they write.” There has even been some evidence that allowing second-language learners to pre-write and brainstorm in L1 results in higher-quality writing in L2 in later stages of the writing process (Yigsaw, 2012).
6. Look out for culturally unique vocabulary.
“For most of these kids, their background knowledge is lacking, especially with things that are unique to American or westernized culture,” says Eddington. It’s important to directly teach certain vocabulary words: “Show them videos of what it looks like to toss pizza dough, show pictures of a juke box or a clothing rack – things that are not common in their own language.”
One way to
http://cultofpedagogy.com/starter-kit-differentiated-instruction/differentiate for ELL students is to consider the whole list of terms you’re going to teach for a unit, and if you think an ELL student may be overwhelmed by such a long list, omit those that are not essential to understanding the larger topic at hand.
7. Use sentence frames to give students practice with academic language.
All students, not just English language learners, need practice with academic conversations. Sentence frames – partially completed sentences like “I disagree with what _________ said because…” – show students how to structure language in a formal way. Keep these posted in a highly visible spot in your classroom and require students to refer to them during discussions and while they write.
8. Pre-teach whenever possible.
If you’re going to be reading a certain article next week, give ESL students a copy of it now. If you plan to show a YouTube video tomorrow, send a link to your ESL students today. Any chance you can give these students to preview material will increase the odds that they’ll understand it on the day you present it to everyone else. “That kind of thing is wonderful,” Yurkosky says. “The kids feel so empowered if they’ve had a chance to look at the material ahead of time.”
9. Learn about the cultural background of your students…
Our second-language populations grow more diverse every year. Taking the time to learn the basics of where a child comes from — exactly, not ‘somewhere in the Middle East/South America/Asia/Africa’ — tells the student that you respect her enough to bother. Not taking the time to at least correctly identify a child’s country of origin, much like not bothering to pronounce their name correctly, is a kind of
http://cultofpedagogy.com/gift-of-pronunciation/microaggression, a small, subtle insult that communicates hostility toward people of color. Make a commitment to be someone who bothers to get it right.
Once you have the country straight, take things up a notch by learning about students’ religious and cultural practices. If he is a practicing Muslim, he should be told if one of the pizzas you ordered for the class party has sausage on it. If she comes from a culture where eye contact with adults is viewed as disrespectful, you’ll know not to force her to look you in the eye when she’s talking.
10. Show them how to take themselves less seriously…
By modeling the risk-taking that’s required to learn a new language, you help students develop the courage to take their own risks, and to have a sense of humor about it. “I tried to say the word ‘paint’ (pinta) in Portuguese and instead I said the word for ‘penis’ (pinto). They all roared with laughter while I stood there with a What?? look on my face,” Yurkosky says. “When they explained what I’d said, I laughed so hard! I told them that laughing was fine because sometimes mistakes are really funny, but ridicule is never okay.”
12. …but always take them seriously.
One of Kim’s pet peeves about how teachers interact with English language learners is the way they often see students’ efforts as ‘cute,’ missing the whole point of what the student is trying to say. “A student will be desperate to communicate, and the teacher will get distracted by the delivery and miss the message,” she says. “That’s painful for me to watch.” It bothers her when teachers mistake a lack of language for a lack of intelligence or maturity. When a child can’t express themselves as well as they would in their native language, it’s far too easy to assume the concepts just aren’t in their heads.
Strategies for Teaching Mathematics to LEP Students
For LEP students who are still acquiring academic English, it is essential that teachers integrate the study of academic vocabulary and grammatical structures while simultaneously building mathematical concepts.
It is critical to integrate language and content instruction because:
students learn a second language more successfully when instruction focuses on academic content rather than linguistic form (Crandall, 1987).
studying English in isolation without also learning grade-level concepts can delay a LEP student’s academic progress.
language acquisition occurs when input is meaningful and understandable (Krashen, 1981; Krashen, 1982).
lessons that use concrete objects, graphics, manipulatives, and hands-on activities clarify and reinforce new concepts (Crandall, 1987).
To increase comprehension and make mathematics more accessible to LEP students, teachers may want to use a variety of strategies:
A. Classroom Management Strategies
Create predictable classroom routines (starting class, collecting homework, working in groups) so that LEP students will know what to expect. By knowing the predictable routines, LEP students will not have to exert energy understanding classroom behavior. Instead, they can focus their energy on learning the content.
Use consistent formats for assignments, worksheets, and tests.
Seat LEP students purposefully (near the teacher or next to a buddy).
Foster an appreciation of and respect for cultural diversity among the students in the class. Give LEP students opportunities to share stories about their country and culture and teach words from their native language. Decorate the classroom with items from their cultures.
Write legibly and in print. Some LEP students may not be familiar with cursive and/or the Roman alphabet.
Give directions step-by-step (orally and in writing) before assigning students to do independent, pair, or group work. Ask a student to repeat the directions aloud for the rest of the class to assess whether all the students understand the assignment.
Give LEP students more time to process questions and formulate an answer. They have to think about the question in their native language and then work to find the English words to produce an answer in English. A LEP student’s hesitance to raise his/her hand to answer a question should not be misinterpreted as shyness. LEP students often have the ability to reason and understand concepts at a much deeper level than they have the vocabulary to express.
To reduce the pressure on LEP students, let them discuss a question in pairs for a minute before calling on a student to give an answer. This strategy gives everyone in the class more time to think about the question and form an answer. It also increases comprehension and gives all students more opportunities to participate in class discussions.
Allow LEP students to talk to a peer in their native language when necessary to clarify understanding and clear up misunderstandings.
Keep picture dictionaries in the class and allow LEP students to use bilingual dictionaries.
B. Instructional Strategies that Increase Comprehension
Integrate language and content
Teach mathematical vocabulary (i.e., estimate, measure) and language structures daily.
Teach students strategies to learn and study new vocabulary (i.e., vocabulary section in mathematics notebooks, class word wall, student-made bilingual dictionaries, and/or flashcards on spiralbound index cards with definition, examples, word used in a sentence, picture/diagram, or a native language translation).
real world use
Integrate the four language modes (listening, speaking, reading, writing) into mathematics class.
Model the process. Talk aloud while solving problems on the overhead or chalkboard to show the thinking process and common errors.
Have students explain their thinking process aloud to a classmate while solving a problem.
Integrate reading and writing through the use of journals, learning logs, poems, literature, etc.
Give explicit instruction and practice in reading and writing word problems. Teach students to identify key words in word problems that indicate a certain mathematical operation.
Begin class with warm-up activities using mathematical language to give students practice in sentence construction.
Write a cloze exercise (a short paragraph with key words missing) or sentence starters (i.e., Perimeter is the…) on the board for students to copy and complete when they enter class.
Give students a computation problem to solve, and then have them write the steps they used to solve it in complete sentences.
Post labels and vocabulary cards around the classroom on completed word problems, number lines, rulers, fraction diagrams, and/or objects in the class.
Have students paraphrase and write complex concepts in their own words (individually, pairs, or whole class).
Review mathematical vocabulary and concepts using games such as TIC TAC TOE, BINGO, Concentration, Charades, etc.
Use a variety of modes of instruction
Design multi-sensory lessons (visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic).
Use visuals whenever possible to reinforce auditory instruction (i.e., charts, graphs, manipulatives, diagrams, models, real objects).
Use graphic organizers to visually represent mathematical concepts.
Design hands-on activities.
Vary groupings throughout the lesson (i.e., independent work, pair work, small groups, whole class).
Use real-life problem-solving situations to teach new concepts.
Make interdisciplinary connections whenever possible.
Tap prior knowledge
Connect students’ prior knowledge and experiences to new learning. Find out what students already know about a topic by making a semantic web on the board. Write the topic in the center of a circle and record students’ knowledge around it.
Integrate LEP students’ culture into lessons whenever possible. Give students opportunities to share examples from schools in their country and different ways of learning mathematics.
Begin a unit of study by eliciting students’ own questions about a topic.
Enunciate clearly and slowly without speaking louder.
Pause between sentences or thought groups.
Use gestures and visuals to help clarify the message.
Avoid using idioms and slang words.
Use key words frequently.
Repeat, rephrase, and paraphrase.
Simplify the language used rather than the mathematical concepts taught (use known vocabulary and simple sentence constructions).
When LEP students speak, focus on their message rather than their grammatical skills and accuracy. Respond using the proper grammatical form rather than overtly correcting their mistakes.
Encourage active learning and verbal interaction
Design meaningful and authentic collaborative activities to increase verbal interaction between students.
Assign roles to students in collaborative activities. Discover the strengths of LEP students and assign appropriate roles.
Initiate discussions that are based on real-world mathematical situations.
Teach organizational skills
Demonstrate how to read a mathematics textbook.
Point out key sections and resources in the textbook.
Teach students how to organize notebooks and binders and record homework assignments.
Teach mnemonic devices that assist memorizing content.
Teach study and test-taking skills.
Teach note-taking skills. For beginner LEP students, copying notes is an effective way to begin learning writing conventions.
C. Assessment Strategies
Use daily warm-up activities to assess mastery of concepts from the previous day’s lesson.
Assess LEP students’ knowledge before beginning a unit of study to learn where students have gaps in their learning and avoid unnecessary re-teaching of concepts. Some good techniques are semantic webbing and recording students’ comments on a KWL chart. Listed below is an example of a KWL chart.
What Do You Know
What Do You Want to Know
What Did You Learn
Use a variety of assessment methods to measure English comprehension and mastery of concepts (drawings, charts, demonstrations, diagrams).
Do quick checks for understanding every day (i.e., thumbs up/down, write answers on wipe boards at desks, hold up manipulatives).
Observe and record LEP students’ participation in small group activities.
Find alternate ways other than written tests for LEP students to show their comprehension (i.e., oral tests, diagrams, drawings, demonstrations).
Give LEP students (especially beginners) alternate ways to participate in whole-class discussions and respond to questions (think/pair/share, flashcards to raise over head, hand and/or body movements, individual chalkboards for solving computations).
Assess whether LEP students have mastered mathematical concepts rather than their English grammar and fluency. Design multi-sensory lessons (visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic).
Teach study and test-taking s