Encouraging Participation

in the Classroom

Interaction Time

Vogt states that, "20% of classroom time is all they (students) get to practice and interact. We must provide a greater amount of time to interact." (Interaction video) Increasing the time students are able to interact in the classroom will help our ELL students to practice English and to feel more comfortable and susceptible to participate.

What are some ways to encourage student to respond and express their thoughts fully?

1. Use sentence frames for responses

ELL students can use sentence frames to help add detail and reasoning to their responses. For example, "I think Jim was ______ because ______. However, _________." Students can use frames in discussions, journals, paired work or even written work. Having the sentence mapped for the student takes away some of the pressure they might feel when responding, but it is not feeding the student the "correct" answer either. The structure helps them to learn how to give reasoning to a thought or belief.

One downfall to using sentence frames is that after a while the student might use it as a crutch and stick to the frame rather than responding in a different way.

2. Use Manipulatives

If ELL students are not able to verbally show or explain their reasoning, they can use manipulatives to physically show and explain what they are thinking. Manipulatives can be used in all subjects. In math they could use cubes or beads. In english they could use pictures or drawings.

Again, the downfall could be familiarity with the strategy and the student could develop a habit of using manipulatives to justify reasoning. The teacher will have to monitor the students progress very closely throughout the school year.

3. Use Motivational Strategies

Everyone is motivated differently. The teacher needs to find the ELL student's motivational strategy that works best and make sure to use it and other variations of it frequently. For example, some students respond well to physical rewards while others respond better to mental and emotional "rewards".