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Tag: speaking

Tips for Supporting Oral Language Skills

Tips for Supporting Oral Language Skills

Oral Language skills are the combination of speaking and listening. It is how people communicate verbally. According to WIDA, oral language includes linguistic complexity (the amount and variety of language used), language forms and conventions (variety of grammatical structures and conventions), and vocabulary usage (general and technical language). All students, especially multilingual learners (MLs), need practice with oral language. First, I’ll share some challenges and possible solutions for improving student’s oral language skills. Then, I will go over tips for…

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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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Integrating Speaking and Writing for ELLs

Integrating Speaking and Writing for ELLs

Speaking and writing are two components of language development. With elementary-aged students, the typical progression is that students progress more quickly in speaking than in writing.  This is most likely due to the fact that all students at that age are learning writing, while speaking is a natural way that children socialize. For older students, some may be more comfortable writing down ideas before speaking. Integrating speaking and writing provides English Language Learners with additional and opportunities for vocabulary development….

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Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day with ELLs

Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day with ELLs

Help students learn to appreciate the environment around them and learn new vocabulary. You can also use some of these resources to create text sets for students. Using multiple texts will help to build students’ background knowledge and increase their vocabulary as they read or listen to new texts. Here are some ideas for celebrating Earth Day with ELLs. These are also great activities to get students outdoors and/or learning about the world around them. Learn About Climate Change Earth…

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Using Would You Rather Questions with ELLs

Using Would You Rather Questions with ELLs

Help students tell about their opinion and develop critical thinking skills. Would you rather questions are fun ways for students to practice speaking and writing. Here are some ideas for using them with your English Language Learners. Speaking Warm-Up When meeting with a small group of students use would you rather questions as a way to get students talking in a structured way. Choose a question then have each student answer the question.  Students can then tell why they choose…

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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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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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