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Category: English Language Learners

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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Author’s Purpose with MLs

Author’s Purpose with MLs

Teaching author’s purpose help to understand why a text was created. There are three main categories, to inform, to persuade, and to entertain. Sometimes additional categories are added, including to explain and to describe. Sorting Activities A simple way to introduce author’s purpose is to have students sort books, sentences, and short reading passages. Sort picture books- First, review fiction and nonfiction. Pull a selection of picture books and have students sort them into fiction (to entertain) and nonfiction (to…

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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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Teaching Fact and Opinion to MLs

Teaching Fact and Opinion to MLs

Teaching students about facts and opinions helps them to develop critical thinking skills. A fact is a true statement. An opinion is a person’s belief about something. You can include the domains of reading or listening, speaking, and writing in fact and opinion practice activities. Keywords Keywords are one way to support students as they are learning about fact and opinion. Some helpful keywords for stating an opinion are: think, feel, should, good, better, best, bad, worst. It is important to point…

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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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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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