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Category: speaking

Sentence Starters and Frames for ELLs

Sentence Starters and Frames for ELLs

Using sentence starters and sentence frames are 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 ELLs. Support Newcomers & Emergent Readers Simple sentence starters allow students to…

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Integrating Speaking and Writing for ELLs

Integrating Speaking and Writing for ELLs

Speaking and writing are two components of language development. With elementary-aged students, the typical progression I see is that they progress more quickly in speaking than in writing.  This is most likely due to the fact that all students at that age are learning writing, while speaking is a natural way that children socialize. Integrating the two provides English Language Learners with additional speaking practice and helps improve their writing. Here are some strategies for integrating speaking and writing. Start…

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Teaching Mood and Tone to ELLs

Teaching Mood and Tone to ELLs

Mood and tone are closely connected concepts. Tone is the author’s attitude towards the topic. Mood is the overall feeling the reader gets when they are reading the text. Mood is particularly subjective. The important part is that students are able to defend their reasoning with evidence.  Here are some ideas for teaching these topics to your ELLs. Review Feelings A quick review of feelings is a great way to begin a unit on mood or tone. This can help…

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5 Ways to Teach Main Idea and Details to ELLs

5 Ways to Teach Main Idea and Details to ELLs

Finding the main idea and supporting details is a reading comprehension skill that students are expected to understand starting in kindergarten. By third grade, students are expected to do this with more complex texts independently. This can be a challenging skill for all students. For some ELLs, they have the added challenge of not yet reading grade level texts independently. Here are 5 ideas to support students learning about main idea and supporting details. Sorting One simple way to introduce…

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Guided Play for ELLs

Guided Play for ELLs

Children learn about the world around them through play. They also gain important early literacy and math skills. When children are playing, they are less on guard about if what they are doing is correct or not. The ELLs affective filter is lowered. This results in them being more easily able to retain language. Through observing my own children and joining into their play, I am witnessing how much language, pre literacy skills, and creative thinking they are gaining. Having…

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5 Ways to Use Task Cards that will Keep Your ELLs Engaged

5 Ways to Use Task Cards that will Keep Your ELLs Engaged

Task cards are a great tool to support English Language Learners. There are many leveled sets available, making it easy to differentiate. There are cards with short reading passages, grammar practice, writing prompts, speaking questions, and more. Take a look at these five ideas for using task cards with your ELLs that will keep them engaged throughout the lesson. 1. Play a Game Kids love playing games. You can keep the game simple and print out a basic game board….

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How to Prepare ELLs for Language Testing

How to Prepare ELLs for Language Testing

How to Prepare ELLs for Language Testing Each year ELLs take an annual language assessment. In many states this is WIDA ACCESS. I am not an advocate of extensive test preparation, but I do think that students should be exposed to the language of a test beforehand so that they are better prepared. WIDA has some tips on how to prepare for the ACCESS assessment. Here are some additional ways to help student become familiar with the language and formatting…

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Retelling with ELLs

Retelling with ELLs

Retelling is an important literacy skill. For English Language Learners retelling a story gives them the opportunity to practice their oral language skills. Here are some ideas for incorporating retelling into your classroom. Retelling Center Create a retelling drama center. This works especially well for younger students. It can be as simple as printing out character pictures and gluing them onto popsicle sticks or a full-blown play center with props. Have one book that you have recently read or create boxes…

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Oral Language Task Cards for ELLs

Oral Language Task Cards for ELLs

What is Oral Language? Oral Language skills are an important component of language development. It is made up of at least five key components (Moats 2010) including phonological skills, pragmatics, syntax, morphological skills, and vocabulary. Students need opportunities throughout the day to practice their speaking and listening skills. For English Language Learners this is particularly important so that students gain proficiency in speaking and listening in English. Research shows that ELLs need a low-anxiety environment, repeated practice, comprehensible input, and drama…

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