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Speak then Write: Supporting ELLs Writing through Listening and Speaking

Speak then Write: Supporting ELLs Writing through Listening and Speaking

Speak then Write: Supporting ELLs Writing through Listening and Speaking For many children learning a new language they go through a similar progression of language acquisition. Listening skills come first, then speaking, then reading, finally writing. With this information in mind, I find it helpful to integrate language skills. This also has the added benefit of helping students generate ideas in multiple ways and helping children that learn in different ways to be successful. Here are some ideas to help…

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Comparing and Contrasting with ELLs

Comparing and Contrasting with ELLs

Comparing and Contrasting with ELLs Comparing and contrasting is a higher order thinking skill and an important component of reading comprehension. It is 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 looks for items that are different. Doing these activities helps to expand their vocabulary and gives them practice using academic vocabulary. Comparing and Contrasting with Pictures Show students…

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Language Learning Strategies for Teaching ELLs

Language Learning Strategies for Teaching ELLs

Language Learning Strategies for English Language Learners English is a difficult language for native speakers to learn. I am amazed watching my toddler learn English as her first language. She picks up new vocabulary rapidity and experiments with language. She makes grammatical mistakes when she overgeneralizes grammar “ruler” that she has naturally picked up through listening to others speak and read English. For English Language Learners they go through a similar  process but have to navigate through additional challenges. As…

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Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day with ELLs

Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day with ELLs

Here are some ideas for celebrating Earth Day with your English Language Learners. 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. Go on a scavenger hunt Read books outside Use adjectives and the 5 senses to make observations. Here is a free 5 senses graphic organizer. Read books about Conservation Thank You Earth uses photographs and simple sentences to describe…

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Using Scavenger Hunts With English Language Learners

Using Scavenger Hunts With English Language Learners

A scavenger hunt is a great 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. 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 hunting for. Alphabet Scavenger Hunt Find objects that start with different…

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Valentine’s Day Activities for English Language Learners

Valentine’s Day Activities for English Language Learners

Valentine’s Day can offer a fun way to teach students about kindness and helping others. It be used thematically with language activities. Here are some ideas for integrating Valentine’s Day themes into lessons for English Language Learners. Kindness cards Have students write about their classmates. They can write one nice fact about each classmate. Set out a paper on each students desk with their name on it. Students rotate around writing a nice message on each one. This setup gives…

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Goal Setting with English Language Learners

Goal Setting with English Language Learners

Goal setting is helpful for students to reflect on their learning. They can set goals at any point in the year. This can be done at any point in the year, but can be 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 this includes being aware of how they are progressing learning the English Language. This can look different depending…

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STEM With English Language Learners

STEM With English Language Learners

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) activities are highly engaging for students.  This is particularly true for English Language Learners. A key component is that the disciplines are integrated. Students typically have a real world problem to solve or project to create. Here are some overviews of using STEM in the elementary classroom: what-is-stem the-benefits-of-stem-activities Reasons to use STEM Activities with ELLs Builds Background Knowledge- Having students take part in or observe an experiment, engineering challenge or other STEM activity creates…

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Integrating Speaking and Writing for English Language Learners

Integrating Speaking and Writing for English Language Learners

My ESOL students need a large amount of practice with speaking and writing. Writing in particular is often a difficult task for them.  Some of them have a hard time generating ideas, others get bogged down with the mechanics of writing (especially spelling).  We have also been working this year on adding details to their writing. Start with Speaking  Using speaking as a springboard for writing is an effective strategy for all students, but particularly ESOL students as it helps…

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Mood and Tone

Mood and Tone

My 5th graders are studying author’s tone, and mood.  These are complex concepts for my ESOL students to understand.  To start off I adapted a great Author’s Tone and Mood lesson. Before having student write, they took turns talking about their stories this really helped my lower ones generate ideas, and gave all of them practice using the vocabulary. I created a visual list of words that they could use to describe the tone. Then we used task cards to practice…

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