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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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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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Valentine’s Day Activities for English Language Learners

Valentine’s Day Activities for English Language Learners

Valentine’s Day can offer a fun way to teach students about kindness and helping others. It be used thematically with language activities. Here are some ideas for integrating Valentine’s Day themes into lessons for English Language Learners. Kindness cards Have students write about their classmates. They can write one nice fact about each classmate. Set out a paper on each students desk with their name on it. Students rotate around writing a nice message on each one. This setup gives…

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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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Writing About Photographs With English Language Learners

Writing About Photographs With English Language Learners

Writing About Photographs With ELLs Photographs offer excellent support for English Language Learners to use in writing. They can be used to help students generate ideas.  Visual vocabulary support is built into a high quality photograph. You can easily differentiate a writing assignment based around photographs. Writing about Photographs with Newcomers Label objects in the photograph. Provide students with a list of objects found in the picture and have them label it. Write simple sentence frames. (I see _______. I…

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Thanksgiving Tips and Activities for ELLs

Thanksgiving Tips and Activities for ELLs

Thanksgiving Tips and Activities for English Language Learners Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to integrate American culture into lessons. Some ELLs will have celebrated Thanksgiving their entire life.  These students will be able to share their family’s traditions around the holiday. Other students will have never experienced the holiday before and will benefit from a basic overview of what the holiday is. Here are some ideas for integrating the topic of Thanksgiving into your November lessons. Speak and Write about…

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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 would constantly assess my ESOL students. I used short formative assessments that I would integrated into activities we were 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 look…

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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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