ESL Instructional News

February 2018

8 Key Practices to Support English Learners in Any JCPS Classroom

We live in an information rich age. Type the phrase "supporting English learners" into Google and you will get "about 1,150,000 results" (in .56 seconds).


More than a million results is overwhelming, to say the least. In Implementing Effective Instruction for English Language Learners by Suzanne Wagner and Tamara King (2012), the authors advocate for the importance of having district-wide shared goals and common language when talking about support for English Learners. So, the ESL Instructional team set out to identify a set of common practices that support English Learners in any JCPS Classroom, in order to provide "a common focus, a common language, and shared goals for collaborative teams." (Wagner & King, 2012, p. 1)


Eight Key Practices to Support English Learners in any JCPS Classroom


  1. Create a safe classroom environment that values risk-taking.
  2. Use big ideas to plan instruction.
  3. Develop learning targets that include the language function and content stem, along with sensory, interactive, and/or graphic supports.
  4. Incorporate visuals and organizers.
  5. Build background knowledge and/or link instruction to prior knowledge and life experience.
  6. Provide interaction opportunities.
  7. Provide scaffolds for student responses.
  8. Teach and model metacogntivie strategies.


Each of these eight key practices are outlined in the document below, which can be downloaded. This is a live document. Click on any of the key practices to explore websites and videos that provide details and examples for each of the practices.


We realize that this resource is not the answer to all your questions about English Learners, But we believe in the importance of having a set of common practices any teacher can use to support English Learners in their classrooms. We view this resource as a conversation starter -- an important step toward fulfilling our vision of working collaboratively at the district, school and classroom level so that all English Learners become academically successful in a welcoming and culturally responsive environment.


Wagner, S. & King, T. (2012). Implementing Effective Instruction for English Language

Learners. Philadelphia, Caslon Publishing.

Deeper Learning for English Learners

Next month, we will begin highlighting some of the ways ESL teachers are embracing deeper learning with their English Learners.


In the meantime, here are some great resources that focus on deeper learning for English Learners:


Deeper Learning for English Learners on The Teaching Channel


https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/deeper-learning-for-ell-inps#


Deeper Learning and Math for English Language Learners


http://www.gettingsmart.com/2016/12/deeper-learning-math-english-language-learners/

Doing and Talking Science and Math

Providing a context for English Learners to master core academic content can be a challenge. The Doing and Talking Science and Math website provides some wonderful resources and ideas for strategies to engage English Learners in the academic discourse of math and science.

JCPS ESL Instructional Team: Our Vision and Mission


Vision

All English Learners become academically successful English Language readers, writers, listeners, and speakers in a welcoming and culturally responsive environment.


Mission

To accelerate students’ English language acquisition through high quality language and content instruction so students are inspired to become critical and creative thinkers, effective communicators, and independent and collaborative learners.

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