Language Links

ELL Newsletter February 2016

Spotlight on: Academic Vocabulary

One strategy you can use to support English Learners' (ELs) vocabulary development is to give them multiple opportunities to practice new words in meaningful contexts throughout the week and/or unit of study. Many of the strategies and resources you'll find here can be used with all of your students...not just ELs! Here are some recommendations from Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to Learners in Elementary and Middle School from the What Works Clearinghouse:

"Teach a set of academic vocabulary words intensively across several days using a variety of instructional activities.

  • Choose a brief, engaging piece of informational text that includes academic vocabulary as a platform for intensive academic vocabulary instruction.
  • Choose a small set of academic vocabulary for in-depth instruction.
  • Teach academic vocabulary in depth using multiple modalities (writing, speaking, listening).
  • Teach word-learning strategies to help students independently figure out the meaning of words."

Robert Marzano has a Six-Step Process to Teaching Academic Vocabulary. This link has tons of great ideas and activities, lots of extra links, and some graphic organizers.

Here are a few activities you might find useful:

For Further Reading

Something Extra...

Sentence frames are a great tool for scaffolding students' writing and can be used for all levels of ELs from beginning to advanced. Here's a quick video with ideas:
Using Sentence Frames to Jumpstart Writing
Have a great week!