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Category: ELLs

Supporting Elementary Newcomers

Supporting Elementary Newcomers

Newcomer students receive some support from an ELD (English Language Development) teacher in most elementary schools. The majority of their time is spent in their grade level classroom. Here are some strategies for supporting a newcomer student both in their grade level classroom and areas to focus on during targeted language development lessons. Differentiate Assignments In the beginning, you will likely do more modifying of the assignment. The learning goal might be different for your newcomer student. You might instruct…

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Spring Teaching Ideas for MLs

Spring Teaching Ideas for MLs

When spring is in the air, take advantage of the nice weather and integrate seasonal topics into your lessons. Learning about springtime is a fun way to help Multilingual Learners (MLs) learn about the environment around them.  Here are some fun spring teaching ideas for MLs. Teach about Animals Animal life cycles are great for teaching transition words. One fun activity is to show students a video of an eagle or other animals with eggs or newborn babies. In the…

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Figurative Language for MLs

Figurative Language for MLs

Figurative language uses figures of speech including metaphors, similes, idioms, and personification. It typically describes something by comparing it with something different. Figurative language can be challenging for multilingual learners to understand. This is particularly true for newcomer and beginning English Language Learners (ELLs) as they are still learning literal language. Here are some strategies and ideas for teaching figurative language to ELLs. Culture plays a role in figurative language. Metacognition helps students to understand when they encounter figurative phrases…

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Phonics for MLs

Phonics for MLs

Teaching phonics is an important aspect of a literacy program. This is especially true for ELLs. Phonics is the relationship between sounds and the letter or letters used to write it. Phonics helps students learn specific sounds in the English language. For newcomers that have a background in a language that does not use the Western alphabet, phonics is a way to help them learn the letters and sounds of the alphabet. For older students, it is important to be…

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Sentence Structure for MLs

Sentence Structure for MLs

Sentence structure is how the different parts of a sentence fit together. There are multiple ways to write sentences. There are also many incorrect ways to fit together words that do not create a sentence. For students that are learning English one challenge is that sentence structure may work in a different way in their native language. Sentence Structure Basics Even the most basic sentence needs a verb (action) and a subject (noun). We sit.  Sometimes the subject can be…

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Word Work Activities for ELLs

Word Work Activities for ELLs

Word study looks at spelling and phonics patterns of individual words. Word Work activities give students practice working with words. This helps them learn how to both read and spell words. For ELLs, it is helpful to include pictures when possible for word work activities. This allows students to better understand the meaning of the words that they are learning how to read and spell. Word Sorts Word sorts are a simple word work activity to give students practice with…

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Early Readers for MLs

Early Readers for MLs

Early reader books are designed for students that are beginning to read independently. Students at this stage typically know a large number of sight words, cvc words, blends, digraphs, and are beginning to read some long vowels. Illustrations play an important role in most early reader books. They assist students in understanding the meaning of unfamiliar words and add in details about the story that the author is not able to do so with the limited text length. Typically students…

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Thankful Activities for MLs

Thankful Activities for MLs

Integrating the themes of gratitude and being thankful is a common practice around Thanksgiving. These themes are great to teach about throughout the year as well. Here are some thankful activities to use with your students, including a FREE writing activity. I am Thankful Writing   Vocabulary This set comes with vocabulary words to help students tell what they are thankful for. This is a great opportunity to integrate basic vocabulary into a lesson for all students. The vocabulary words…

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Thanksgiving Activities for MLs

Thanksgiving Activities for MLs

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to integrate American culture into lessons. Some ELLs will have celebrated Thanksgiving their entire life.  These students will be able to share their family’s traditions around the holiday. Other students will have never experienced the holiday before and will benefit from a basic overview of what the holiday is. Here are some Thanksgiving activities to use for integrating the topic of Thanksgiving into your November lessons. Include Multiple Perspectives As you teach students about Thanksgiving, here…

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Comparing and Contrasting with MLs

Comparing and Contrasting with MLs

Learning how to compare and contrast are higher-order thinking skills and an important component of reading comprehension. They are also a great way for students to practice language skills and build academic language. When students compare they look for things that are the same. When they contrast they look for items that are different. Here are some activities to introduce comparing and contrasting to students. Comparing and Contrasting with Pictures Show students two sets of pictures. Have them compare and…

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