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Category: ELLs

An Overview of Teaching Reading to ELLs

An Overview of Teaching Reading to ELLs

Learning how to read is a complex process for all students. When you are teaching reading to ELLs, there is the added challenge that they are learning the vocabulary of English as they learn how to read. Some ELLs have the benefit of knowing how to read in their native language. This is helpful as many of the same skills will transfer over as they learn how to read in English. For young ELLs they are learning to read for…

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Writing About Photographs With ELLs

Writing About Photographs With ELLs

Photographs offer excellent support for English Language Learners to use in writing. They can be used to help students generate ideas.  Visual vocabulary support is built into a high quality photograph. You can easily differentiate a writing assignment based on photographs. Writing about pictures is a simple way to introduce content information to students. Lable Photographs with Newcomers Label objects in the photograph. Provide students with a list of objects found in the picture and have them label it. Write…

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Valentine’s Day Activities for ELLs

Valentine’s Day Activities for ELLs

Are you looking for some fun Valentine’s Day Activities to use with your students? This holiday is a fun way to teach about kindness and taking care of others. You can also teach language activities with a Valentine’s Day theme. Here are some ideas for integrating Valentine’s Day themes into lessons for English Language Learners. Teach about Tolerance Did you know that part of the history of Valentine’s Day has origins of fighting injustice? Learn more about the Valentine’s Day…

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Word Sorts with ELLs

Word Sorts with ELLs

Word sorts are one way to help students learn spelling patterns. Students are able to focus on two or three patterns instead of trying to memorize a list of words. They are then better able to apply those spelling patterns to new words that follow a similar pattern. Here are some ways to set up word sorts with ELLs. Small Group The small group might be a word study group, where all of the students are at the same developmental…

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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 begin writing. Vocabulary Support As students label a picture they are getting practice writing the vocabulary word. For ELLs, they might not know what all of the objects and actions…

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Rhyming and Word Families with ELLs

Rhyming and Word Families with ELLs

Teaching rhyming and word families are simple ways to include phonemic awareness and phonics activities. Recognizing and producing rhymes is one aspect of phonemic awareness. This is a skill that emergent readers experience through games, listening to stories and nursery rhymes. For older ELLs, rhyming often does not come as naturally. Rhyming ability is one predictor of reading success. It is not necessary to spend a large amount of time on rhyming activities. Short exposure is just as beneficial as…

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Winter Holidays for ELLs

Winter Holidays for ELLs

Holidays are a great opportunity to teach students about different traditions and infuse fun into learning. For some English Language Learners, they might be unfamiliar with the winter holidays that their classmates have celebrated for years. It can be helpful to go over basic holiday traditions and facts before the holiday begins. For American holidays such as Martin Luther King Day, Groundhog Day, or Veterans day most students will celebrate them (though it is important to be aware if this…

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Creating a Writing Center for ELLs

Creating a Writing Center for ELLs

Students becoming better writers through practice. At the beginning levels,  ELLs benefit from copying words with pictures, making lists, and using sentence frames to write simple sentences. A writing center is one way to tools that support students writing. Picture Support A writing center is a great place to add in picture vocabulary support. You can use a poster, word wall cards, or a picture dictionary. A simple way is to set out a vocabulary folder and blank writing paper….

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Thanksgiving Activities for ELLs

Thanksgiving Activities for ELLs

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 ideas for integrating the topic of Thanksgiving into your November lessons. Include Multiple Perspectives As you teach students about Thanksgiving, here are resources to…

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13 Thanksgiving Books for ELLs

13 Thanksgiving Books for ELLs

There are Thanksgiving books on a range of topics to share with students. One theme I like to focus on around Thanksgiving is gratitude and being thankful.  Students can read and listen to what others are thankful for and then write and talk about what they are thankful for. Families have many unique traditions around Thanksgiving. Immigrant families often add in their own cultural traditions to this holiday. Books are a great way for kids to learn about some of…

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