Learning basic vocabulary will help newcomer students improve in all areas of English development. For the majority of the day, many newcomers will be in class with English speaking peers. They will learn a large amount of vocabulary when their teacher uses visuals and by listening to what is happening in the classroom. One simple way to support ELLs with basic vocabulary is to give them a newcomer vocabulary book and then teach them to use it independently.
What is Included in the Vocabulary Books?
Each book has student work pages that go along with the book. The student pages have multiple levels. One set is designed for younger students, or those that are unfamiliar with the English alphabet. In them, students trace the vocabulary word. The other set is a higher version where the student choose the word to write.
How to Use the Vocabulary Books
In the classroom, a parent volunteer or peer tutor can help the newcomer by reading the vocabulary words to them and going over the directions for the worksheets. Another way to use these materials is to introduce them to the newcomer and then place them in a center for independent work time or have available if the newcomer needs a break from what the rest of the class is working on. Read about additional ideas for supporting newcomer ELLs in the elementary classroom.