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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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Strategies for Teaching Sight Words to English Language Learners

Strategies for Teaching Sight Words to English Language Learners

Sight words are one tool for helping students learn how to be fluent readers. The challenge for English Language Learners (and all students) is that the majority of these words do not have visuals that are easily associated with them. This can make it more challenge to give meaning to these words. In summary teaching sight words in the context of a phrase or sentence allows students to better remember them. Here are some specific strategies for teaching sight words to…

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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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Thanksgiving Tips and Activities for English Language Learners

Thanksgiving Tips and Activities for English Language Learners

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to integrate American culture into lessons. Some ELL learners 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 ideas for integrating the holidays traditions into your lessons. Speak and Write about Thanksgiving Traditions  Students can share family traditions around Thanksgiving…

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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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Describing Characters & a Freebie

Describing Characters & a Freebie

I’ve been working with my first grades on using adjectives to describe characters.  They did a great job of using evidence from the books to describe their answers.  Even my lower language students were able to participate. We read two books: Llama Lama mad at mama & Yoko.           First I showed students pictures of character emotions.  They shared examples of when they felt various emotions.  Then as I read the books they would identify how the…

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