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Category: speaking

Using Would You Rather Questions with ELLs

Using Would You Rather Questions with ELLs

Help students tell about their opinion and develop critical thinking skills. Would you rather questions are fun ways for students to practice speaking and writing. Here are some ideas for using them with your English Language Learners. Speaking Warm-Up When meeting with a small group of students use would you rather questions as a way to get students talking in a structured way. Choose a question then have each student answer the question.  Students can then tell why they choose…

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Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day with ELLs

Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day with ELLs

Help students learn to appreciate the environment around them and learn new vocabulary. Here are some ideas for celebrating Earth Day with ELLs. These are also great activities to get students outdoors and/or learning about the world around them. Go Outside Look for ways to take lessons outside. Going outside is great for student engagement. A recent study described in Psychology Today describes the benefits of outdoor learning. Here are some activities to try outside. Go on a scavenger hunt…

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Using Scavenger Hunts With ELLs

Using Scavenger Hunts With ELLs

A scavenger hunt is a fun way to teach vocabulary terms to ELLs. They also get students up and moving and can give them some control over what terms they choose to find. Many are simple enough that students can complete them at home. If students work with a partner or in small groups, a scavenger hunt is a natural way for them to practice speaking skills as well. Students can discuss whether objects fit with the topic they are…

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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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Setting Language Goals with ELLs

Setting Language Goals with ELLs

Goal setting is helpful for students to reflect on their learning. Students can set goals at any point in the year. Setting language goals is particularly beneficial at the beginning of the school year, at the beginning of the calendar year, and before beginning WIDA or other language testing. For English Language Learners, setting a language goal helps them to become of how they are progressing learning the English Language. This can look different depending on the student’s age and…

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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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