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Category: speaking

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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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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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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Language Domains: Read Speak Listen Write with MLs

Language Domains: Read Speak Listen Write with MLs

The four language domains of reading, speaking, listening, and writing are all important components of learning a new language. The domains often overlap. One area can benefit from practice on the same topic in a different language domain. A student’s background knowledge plays an important role in how quickly they progress in these domains during a particular unit. Whenever possible, create lessons that give students practice in multiple language domains. Reading  Learning how to read is complex and made up…

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Valentine’s Day Activities for MLs

Valentine’s Day Activities for MLs

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. Valentine’s Day Around the World & History Learn interesting facts about the history of Valentin’s Day, including the origins of many of today’s traditions, from…

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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 Monarch butterflies migrate north from South America to the United States and Canada. Use sentence frames to support students as they describe what they learned about how monarch butterflies migrate. https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/facts/monarch-butterfly …

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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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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 is that students 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. For older students, some may be more comfortable writing down ideas before speaking. Integrating speaking and writing provides English Language Learners with additional and opportunities for vocabulary development….

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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. You can also use some of these resources to create text sets for students. Using multiple texts will help to build students’ background knowledge and increase their vocabulary as they read or listen to new texts. 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. Learn About Climate Change Earth…

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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 for ELLs 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 aware of how they are progressing in learning the English Language. This can look different depending on…

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