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Category: ELLs

Teaching Writing to MLs

Teaching Writing to MLs

When you are teaching writing to multilingual learners, what do you focus on?  This is a big question with many components. I think of writing as being organized in two main categories: mechanics and ideas.  Some students have many ideas to write about and enjoy free writing. For many MLs this can be challenging. One reason is that they do not yet feel confident that they have the language to express what they are thinking. Use reading (or have students…

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Tips for Supporting Oral Language Skills

Tips for Supporting Oral Language Skills

Oral Language skills are the combination of speaking and listening. It is how people communicate verbally. According to WIDA, oral language includes linguistic complexity (the amount and variety of language used), language forms and conventions (variety of grammatical structures and conventions), and vocabulary usage (general and technical language). All students, especially multilingual learners (MLs), need practice with oral language. First, I’ll share some challenges and possible solutions for improving student’s oral language skills. Then, I will go over tips for…

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Tips for Practicing Listening Skills with MLs

Tips for Practicing Listening Skills with MLs

Listening skills are important language skills for students. Students are constantly listening, but it can be challenging to develop hands-on activities where listening is the focus. Here are some ideas to help your students practice their listening skills while learning English. Follow Directions Map practice: Give students a simple neighborhood or park map picture. Give simple directions and have them move around the map and find the final location. Drawing: Have two students sit on either side of a divider….

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Labeling Pictures to Support ELLs

Labeling Pictures to Support ELLs

Students at the beginning stages of writing need support with vocabulary development. One way to give this is to have students label pictures. This supports English Language Learners and beginning writers in learning new vocabulary and using beginning sounds. Here are some benefits of having students label pictures before they start writing. Vocabulary Support As students label a picture, they are getting practice writing the vocabulary word. ELLs might not know all of the objects and actions in a picture….

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How to Teach Vocabulary to ELLs

How to Teach Vocabulary to ELLs

How to teach vocabulary to ELLs can be one of the biggest concerns for teachers that are new to working with English Language Learners. How do you teach a lesson when some of your students are unfamiliar with the words that you are using? Which words are the most important ones in a story? Which words are worth the time it will take to find visuals or preteach them? Here are some strategies to help you support your ELL’s vocabulary…

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Ten Fall Books for MLs

Ten Fall Books for MLs

Here is a collection of books for read-alouds and mentor texts during the fall season. These books feature diverse characters and have vivid illustrations. Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click on an Amazon link and make a purchase. This does not cost you any extra money. Autumn Story Books Hiking Day– Follow a family as they hike up Hickory Hill and reach the summit. They see colorful fall leaves and…

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How to Create Vocabulary Folders for MLs

How to Create Vocabulary Folders for MLs

Vocabulary folders are a convenient way to organize vocabulary pages. I used illustrated vocabulary sheets to help my English Language Learners speak and write about new vocabulary. They are also helpful for younger students with spelling. Some primary classroom teachers I supported had a set of these folders on student tables or in a writing center. All students had access to them. I also used them with small groups of ELLs. These folders are simple to set up. Vocabulary Folders…

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Using ELD Assessments in the Classroom

Using ELD Assessments in the Classroom

ELD assessments (English Language Development assessments) are an important tool to help teachers determine how much language a student currently knows. You can use them to gain information about students speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Types of Assessments Summative assessments (formal assessments) happen at the end of the learning process. High-stakes testing such as the WIDA access test is an example of a summative test. The test gives a student a score, and the teacher is not allowed to assist…

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Sentence Starters and Frames for MLs

Sentence Starters and Frames for MLs

Using sentence starters and sentence frames is one strategy to support students in speaking, reading, and writing. A sentence starter is when you give students the beginning part of a sentence and they fill in the rest. A sentence frame is when there are blanks inside a sentence that students fill in. Here are some ways to use sentence stems and frames as a scaffold to support your multilingual learners (MLs). Sentence stems are helpful for getting students started with…

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