Summer Learning Tips for ELLs

Summer Learning Tips for ELLs

summer learning

Encourage students to continue learning throughout the summer. Here are some summer learning ideas to help kids have fun and keep learning to share with parents or use in a summer school program.

Practice Native Language

It might seem counterintuitive, but the summertime is a great opportunity for ELLs to practice their home language. International trips this year might still be postponed. Students can practice speaking their native language at home, reading books in their native language, or learning how to write in their first language.

Being bilingual is a huge asset.  Let families know that it is actually beneficial to continue speaking and using their native language. Sometimes families are reluctant to continue speaking their native language at home in the hopes of improving the child’s English skills. Let families know that strengthening literacy skills in a child’s first language will actually help them as they are learning English.

I have a FREE family letter and lists of summer learning activities that you can send home.

FREE Summer Learning Ideas

STEM Activities

The summer is a great time to incorporate more hands-on learning. STEM activities are engaging and great for language development.

  • Stick Fort Building– Try using twigs and having students build forts for dolls/action figures
  • Baking Soda/Vinegar Powered boats– Can be messy so outside works the best
  • Ice cream in a bag– If you have access to an old-fashioned hand crank ice cream making you can make a large batch. Otherwise, this recipe is a fun one to try. Who knew that learning about science could be so tasty?
  • Using STEM with ELLs– Ideas for teaching STEM activities to ELLs

Summer Reading

The more students read, the better their reading skills will be. Getting ELLs to read over the summer means helping them to find books that they are interested in, making it fun, finding books that are culturally relevant. Many local libries have a summer reading program where they give out free books and other prizes. Help sign up your students or send home information about our local summer reading program. Here are some additional Summer Reading Tips for ELLs and Summer Books from Around the World.

Free Digital Books

International Children’s Library– Books from around the world.

Storyline Online– Videos of picture celebrity actors reading books out loud.

Unite for Literacy– Short digital books with read aloud options. Many of the books are available in multiple languages.

Local Activities

Send home a list of local attractions for students to visit over the summer. Many communities have free storytimes, art classes, museums, and nature centers. This is an easy way for students to hear fluent English over the summer in a fun way.

Print Materials

If you are teaching summer school, or want to send your students materials to use at home, here are some summer-themed print and go materials.

Digital Resources

If you are teaching summer school here are some summer-themed digital resources to use with your students.


Summer Learning Tips for ELLs

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