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Tag: speaking

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 I see is that they 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. Integrating the two provides English Language Learners with additional speaking practice and helps improve their writing. Here are some strategies for integrating speaking and writing. Start…

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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 do think that students should be exposed to the language of a test beforehand so that they are better prepared. WIDA has some tips on how to prepare for the ACCESS assessment. Here are some additional ways to help student become familiar with the language and formatting…

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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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Comparing and Contrasting with ELLs

Comparing and Contrasting with ELLs

Comparing and Contrasting with ELLs Comparing and contrasting is a higher order thinking skill and an important component of reading comprehension. It is 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 looks for items that are different. Doing these activities helps to expand their vocabulary and gives them practice using academic vocabulary. Comparing and Contrasting with Pictures Show students…

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Language Learning Strategies for Teaching ELLs

Language Learning Strategies for Teaching ELLs

Language Learning Strategies for English Language Learners English is a difficult language for native speakers to learn. I am amazed watching my toddler learn English as her first language. She picks up new vocabulary rapidity and experiments with language. She makes grammatical mistakes when she overgeneralizes grammar “ruler” that she has naturally picked up through listening to others speak and read English. For English Language Learners they go through a similar  process but have to navigate through additional challenges. As…

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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. 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. Go Outside Look for ways to take lessons outside. Going outside is great for student engagement. A recent study described in Psychology Today describes the benefits of outdoor learning. Here are some activities to try outside. Go on a scavenger hunt…

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Improving the Speaking Skills of English Language Learners

Improving the Speaking Skills of English Language Learners

Speaking in a new language can be a frightening experience.  English Language Learners often feel embarrassed that they will make mistakes or are nervous about being misunderstood. This can result in newcomers going through a silent period (when they do not speak but are learning a large amount of language).  Even ELLs that have a higher language level can become intimidated during whole class discussions.  Brain science can help explain this response. The emotional system of our brain does not…

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