English Language Learners

Educating and Empowering English Language Learners

Addressing the Needs of ELL

One motto that I have often stressed and will continue to emphasize during my teaching career is that all students can learn. I believe that this motto will best be exemplified when working with students whose primary home language is not English, also known as English Language Learners. ELL (short for English Language Learners) students are also identified as not yet being fluent in using the English language. Moreover, in my future classroom, I will best educate my ELL students by employing strategies that put an emphasis on having visuals, using clear and precise language, and keeping information organized. I also believe that these strategies will prove to be beneficial to my class as a whole. Below you will find some examples.

Strategies to Employ when Working with English Language Learners

  • Read Alouds/ Audiobooks/ Shared Reading
  • Lots of Images
  • Explicit Vocabulary Instruction Using the Frayer Model
  • Learning Stations
  • Graphic Organizers

Why and How these Strategies will be Helpful

Why these Strategies:

• Read Alouds/ Audiobooks/ Shared Reading-

First, considering that ELL students are learning a new language, I will often model for them how to read and speak in English. In other words, my ELL students will have the opportunity to listen to a story and read along to develop their command of the English language.

• Lots of Images—

Visual images will help my ELL students make connections between what they are learning in English and what they know from their native language.

• Explicit Vocabulary Instruction Using the Frayer Model—

In order for students to learn a new language, they must be repeated exposures to the new vocabulary words in multiple contexts. The Frayer Model will provide my ELL students with multiple opportunities to use new vocabulary terms in a variety of contexts. The Frayer Model requires students to define the vocabulary terms, come up with examples (synonyms) and non-examples (antonyms) of the word, as well as illustrate the vocabulary term.

• Learning Stations—

The Learning Stations will also be beneficial to my ELL students. At different spots throughout the classroom, students will work on different task based upon their needs. Thus, if there is a concept that an ELL student is struggling with, this will be the ideal time for them to get extra practice on this skill. Moreover, while the class is simultaneously completing different activities, I will use this Learning Station time to create my own small group, in which I will provide extra instruction to ELL students and more.

• Graphic Organizer—

Finally, to aid my ELL students as they are mastering the English Language, I will often use graphic organizers. This will make it easy to see the relationship among key concepts, so that ELL students can focus their energy on translating the English terms and ideas to their native tongue.

Meeting Curriculum and Personal Goals:

The strategies above will also emphasize the Indiana state standards in English Language Arts. For one, vocabulary is a key component of my curriculum, and the Frayer Model in which students are interacting with vocabulary terms through a variety of methods will aid my students in acquiring and using a diverse set of words and phrases (at the college and career readiness level). Next, when it comes to writing an essay, many students often struggle when organizing their ideas; however, with continual exposure to graphic organizers, they will begin to see the value in having their writing flow. Lastly, in order for my students to fully grasp the concepts on my curriculum map—they need plenty of practice with these ideas. Thus, learning stations will offer my students with the space to review key skills.

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Please see the video below for more information on teaching English Language Learners.

English Language Learners