ELL and ESOL Accommodations

Jefferson Davis School Counseling Department

So you have a student in your class that doesn't speak English well or at all...

Don't sweat it!

This article is meant to help you as a teacher to be able to not only teach these students, but help them adjust to a new country and feel welcomed as well! Imagine how difficult it would be to learn at school when you don't know the language and you can't communicate how you're feeling and what you're needs are, on top of all the normal middle school awkwardness. Pretty difficult right? So what can we do as teachers?

Get to Know Your Non-English Speaking Students

Where are they from? What language do they speak? The School Counselors are always willing to help get you any background information you may need to start working with these students. Do they speak Spanish? Google some basic Spanish words to teach the class so when they see the student around the halls they can say hello!

Also, some cultures have different customs that we don't in the US. A lot of Asian cultures find it disrespectful to look you in the eye when speaking. Giving a "thumbs up" signal means the same as giving someone the middle finger in the Middle East, Latin America, Western Africa, Russia and Greece.

Classroom Instruction

Keep An Open Mind and An Open Heart

In an article that interviews ESOL teachers, they say the most important thing to keep in mind is that these kids are brilliant. They just don't know how to communicate their knowledge in English. Therefore, remember to be patient and kind. Who knows how much of a difference a smile can make on a student who has been struggling all day.

Links to More Resources

School Counseling Department

Ms. Bloomfield


ext. 118

Mrs. Tenholder


ext. 215