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Tag: speaking

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…

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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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Speak then Write: Supporting ELLs Writing through Listening and Speaking

Speak then Write: Supporting ELLs Writing through Listening and Speaking

Speak then Write: Supporting 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…

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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

Here are some ideas for celebrating Earth Day with your English Language Learners. 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. Go on a scavenger hunt Read books outside Use adjectives and the 5 senses to make observations. Here is a free 5 senses graphic organizer. Read books about Conservation Thank You Earth uses photographs and simple sentences to describe…

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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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Using Would You Rather Questions with English Language Learners

Using Would You Rather Questions with English Language Learners

Using Would You Rather Questions with English Language Learners 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 read a Would You Rather Question. Each student answers the question.  Students can then tell why, which allows for practice giving details and speaking about a topic. If you have low level ELLs you…

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Assessing ESOL Students & Changes to WIDA Scoring

Assessing ESOL Students & Changes to WIDA Scoring

Assessing ESOL students & Changes to WIDA scoring Throughout the school year I am constantly assessing my ESOL students. Often this is through short formative assessments that are integrated into activities we are already doing. Using Rubrics for quick assessments To get a sense of their speaking level I will sometimes take out the WIDA speaking rubric and simply listen to students conversations and write down where they fall on the rubric. Writing is also easy to organically assess. I…

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Integrating Speaking and Writing for English Language Learners

Integrating Speaking and Writing for English Language Learners

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 and then writing.  This is most likely due to the fact that all students at that age are learning writing while native English speakers have been practicing speaking English since they were babies. Integrating the two provides ELLs with additional speaking practice and helps improve their writing. Here…

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