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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. Create a Welcoming Environment Helping the student feel safe and comfortable is your main goal. Teach survival vocabulary at first so that the student can express their…

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Prefixes and Suffixes with MLs

Prefixes and Suffixes with MLs

Teaching students the meaning of prefixes and suffixes is a great way to increase their vocabulary. When they know basic prefixes and suffixes they are better able to use context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words. This is true for all students, but it is particularly helpful for Multilingual Learners (MLs), as they may not be familiar with some of the words that have affixes from past exposure. Some suffixes can make changes to words such as tense,…

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End of the Year Activities for ELLs

End of the Year Activities for ELLs

Sometimes at the end of the school year teachers have a little more flexibility with lessons. It is easier to spend time on projects. At the same time student are often full of energy and need highly engaging activities. Here are some activities for ELLs to try at the end of the school year. Alphabet Book Creating an alphabet book is a great way to have students share what they have learned during the school year. Depending on the age…

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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 them. Phonics connects sounds with letters and combinations of letters. In the English language, there are 26 letters and 44 sounds (called phonemes). A grapheme is how to spell each sound with either a single letter or letter combinations. Phonics helps students learn specific sounds in the English language. For…

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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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