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Comparing and Contrasting with MLs

Comparing and Contrasting with MLs

Learning how to compare and contrast are higher-order thinking skills and an important component of reading comprehension. They are 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 look for items that are different. Here are some activities to introduce comparing and contrasting to students. Comparing and Contrasting with Pictures Show students two sets of pictures. Have them compare and…

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Summer Reading Tips for ELLs

Summer Reading Tips for ELLs

One of the best ways to improve reading comprehension and vocabulary development is to READ. The summer is the perfect time for students to read for pleasure. The challenge is convincing reluctant readers to pick up a book when they are not in school. Encourage Reading in their Native Language If your ELLs are literate in another language then the summer is a great time for them to practice reading in that language. If parents are literate encourage them to…

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Using Patterned Texts with ELLs

Using Patterned Texts with ELLs

Patterned texts can be a helpful tool to use with students. Some of these books use words that are difficult for students to decode independently. This means that these books are not the best choice for beginning readers to use in a guided reading lesson until they have learned the phonics skills and sight words to read the majority of the words. Instead, try using patterned or predictable books for read alouds, shared reading, and writing lessons. Find suggestions for…

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Guided Play for ELLs

Guided Play for ELLs

Children learn about the world around them through play. They also gain important early literacy and math skills. When children are playing, they are less on guard about if what they are doing is correct or not. The ELLs affective filter is lowered. This results in them being more easily able to retain language. Through observing my own children and joining into their play, I am witnessing how much language, pre literacy skills, and creative thinking they are gaining. Having…

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5 Ways to Use Task Cards that will Keep Your ELLs Engaged

5 Ways to Use Task Cards that will Keep Your ELLs Engaged

Task cards are a great tool to support English Language Learners. There are many leveled sets available, making it easy to differentiate. There are cards with short reading passages, grammar practice, writing prompts, speaking questions, and more. Take a look at these five ideas for using task cards with your ELLs that will keep them engaged throughout the lesson. 1. Play a Game Kids love playing games. You can keep the game simple and print out a basic game board….

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Teaching About Folktales to ELLs

Teaching About Folktales to ELLs

Teaching About Folktales to ELLs Folktales included fairy tales, fables, and legends. They were traditionally passed down by word of mouth. Folktales are great windows into the culture and values of the the group of people telling them. Fables have a lesson the the reader is meant to learn. Fairy tales and legends have more subtle lessons about good and evil. Cultures around the world often have their own version of a common folk tale. Here are some ideas for…

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How to Prepare ELLs for Language Testing

How to Prepare ELLs for Language Testing

How to Prepare ELLs for Language Testing Each year ELLs take an annual language assessment. In many states, this is WIDA ACCESS. I am not an advocate of extensive test preparation, but I think that students should be exposed to the language of a test beforehand to be better prepared. WIDA has some tips on how to prepare for the ACCESS assessment. Here are some additional ways to help students become familiar with the language and formatting of language testing…

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Retelling with ELLs

Retelling with ELLs

Retelling is an important literacy skill. For English Language Learners retelling a story gives them the opportunity to practice their oral language skills. Here are some ideas for incorporating retelling into your classroom. Retelling¬†Center Create a retelling drama center. This works especially well for younger students. It can be as simple as printing out character pictures and gluing them onto popsicle sticks or a full-blown play center with props. Have one book that you have recently read or create boxes…

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Oral Language Task Cards for ELLs

Oral Language Task Cards for ELLs

What is Oral Language? Oral Language skills are an important component of language development. It is made up of at least five key components (Moats 2010) including¬†phonological skills, pragmatics, syntax, morphological skills, and vocabulary. Students need opportunities throughout the day to practice their speaking and listening skills. For English Language Learners this is particularly important so that students gain proficiency in speaking and listening in English. Research shows that ELLs need a low-anxiety environment, repeated practice, comprehensible input, and drama…

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4 Ways to Support ELLs Writing through Listening and Speaking

4 Ways to Support 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 students listen and talk before they begin writing, including Speak…

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