Integrating Speaking and Writing for ELLs
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 to build their oral language skills. I created some Everyday Event Picture Strips for my students to discuss. First I modeled with one set of pictures, and then partnered students up to discuss the remaining pictures. Next I gave them sentence frames to help guide the discussion.
Listen to student conversations and provide feedback
As students were talking I was able to listen in to their ideas. Speaking with a partner allowed them to hear the ideas of a peer at a similar language level. Listening to their conversations made it easier for my to provide support when they moved on to writing.
Use graphic organizers to support writing
Afterwards I gave students a graphic organizer for the same pictures they had been discussing. Depending on the needs of each group I sometimes gave students a specific set of pictures to write about and for other groups I let the students choose which set of pictures they wanted to write about.
Some students received a graphic organizer with a word bank and others did not require this scaffold. Finally they wrote a story adding in additional details. Having previously spoken about the pictures helped students expand their writing.
These sequencing cards and writing pages are part of a money savings bundle.