Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What To Do When They Are New (Giveaway!)

I am thoroughly enjoying my new job as an ESOL teacher and have had the opportunity to learn so much this year! 

My great friend, Kristen from Ladybug's Teacher Files has been such a wonderful resource for me this year.  She's given me so much advice and guidance along my new journey.  We both know that it can be challenging work though…especially when new students come midyear and are not speaking English yet. Luckily, there are many things you can do to help your newcomer English Language Learners. And we would like to share what works for our newcomers…and  to learn what works well in your class too!

Here are some of my tried-and-true tips for newcomer English Language Learners:

Understand That It Takes Time
Did you know that it takes between 1-2 years for ELL students to acquire social language, but between 7-9 years to acquire academic language? For this reason, it is important to give all ELL students support in the mainstream classroom.  Even though an ELL student may carry on a conversation with you, he still may be struggling with academic language. 
Wait Time
Speaking of time, provide as much wait time as possible.  ELL students may need considerably more wait time.  Pay attention to how quickly you speak.  Too often teachers are in a hurry to say everything they need to say to finish a lesson.  Remember that less is sometimes more when it comes to speaking.  Slow down and speak clearly.  


Using Visuals
Provide as much visual support as possible to ELL students.  Visual support comes in various forms. Have a print-rich environment.  Label your classroom.  Provide pictures with word walls.  Model what you expect. Show, don't tell.  Simply telling and talking will be too challenging for an English Language Learner. ELL students will need the most support with content vocabulary.  Consider using Math or other content vocabulary word walls.  By keeping the vocabulary grouped by content, ELL students will be able to access the vocabulary easily.


Differentiate Instruction
I have found that within a classroom, there may be a wide range of reading levels.  Planning for that can be difficult.  I recently started a new series to help!  Below is the newest in the series:

These set of close reading passages all use the same vocabulary for each of the levels.  These passages can be used in a variety of ways. These passages are written so that there are nine different levels for the same story. These passages are designed to be used in small groups, however they can be used with a whole class when the vocabulary is introduced to the whole class and students read the level of text needed. This set was created to provide visual support for ELL students.  More to come in this series!

Value a Student's Home Language
Value a student's home language.  Take the time to get to know the cultural background of your ELL student.  Ask him about his home language and cultural.  If he knows that you value his background, he will be more likely to feel comfortable enough to participate more in your classroom.



Those are some of my favorite tips…but Kristen and I would love to hear YOUR tips for working with ELL newcomers! And, as a thank you for your readership, we'd love to have a giveaway. 

We are each giving away a $25 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers…just in time for the site wide sale this week!

We'd also like to give a product of choice from each of our stores…please check out the Rafflecopter below for more details on how to win these prizes! And be sure to visit Kristen's blog if you haven't, for more chances to win!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

53 comments :

  1. Elizabeth - thank you so much for this post! I am also an ESL teacher. I teacher k-6 ESL in New York. I couldn't agree more with everything you said. Especially the first one! The other big one I would add and I'm going to put it in all caps because I am extremely passionate about this point... DO NOT TELL THE PARENTS TO SPEAK ONLY ENGLISH AT HOME! I encourage my parents constantly to use both languages as they see fit. My strongest students are the students who are truly bi-lingual. So many teachers (and admin) think that encouraging the parents to speak more English will help improve the student's English when the opposite is more likely! First - is the English that the parents know proper English? How much less will a parent communicate with a child because they don't have a full range of vocabulary to work with? Ok I'll get off my soap box now! I hope you have a great day - and enjoy those English Language Learners (or as I like to think of them - emerging bilinguals!)
    Michelle

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  2. I like to pair ELLs with someone who can speak their language, but will use it only as a last resort.

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  3. I got on my soap box before I even looked at the rafflecopter! I would love your Spring Close Reading and Vocabulary passages! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Close-Reading-Leveled-Passages-and-Vocabulary-Its-Spring-1727455

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  4. Remember they are smart. They just don't know how to tell us. Also, remember they have the same struggles as other kids: bullying, etc.

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  5. This looks great for English learners: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Close-Reading-Leveled-Passages-and-Vocabulary-Its-Spring-1727455 tokyoshoes at hotmail dot com

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  6. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Testing-Strategies-Foldables-or-Lapbook-230666 tfrteach@aol.com

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  7. I always front load my units and pre-teach new vocab so my ELLs have lots of exposure to the new subject specific voacb.

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  8. I like to have my students a buddy that can help them when they need it. I do not normally have students that speak multiple languages so they would probably need some additional help.

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  9. I think this would be great to win! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Close-Reading-Leveled-Passages-and-Vocabulary-Its-Spring-1727455

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  10. Hi - this looks amazing!! I am a regular classroom teacher with 29 students - 17 are ELL students. I love your post and all of the helpful information! This is exactly what we need. I am looking forward to your future posts and all of the tips you have to offer. Thank you so much!!!!

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  11. I make sure to always smile with them! And make them feel welcome in the classroom. I have a lot of things labeled in the classroom with pictures, too.
    Thanks for hosting this giveaway!
    Emily
    scheinbere@hotmail.com

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  12. I love your math menus!
    https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Menus-The-Bundle-1387275
    Emily

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  13. We welcome our ELL students into our classrooms. They are supported by a fantastic ELL teacher who works with them and us to develop strategies.

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  14. I use a lot of cooperative learning so the students have opportunities to work with others and build relationships.

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  15. I've been eyeing this: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Moves-Stepping-Up-Our-Math-Game-Grade-5-Common-Core-Daily-Spiral-Review-1364173.

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  16. I ask a kid to help as a guide during the first weeks.

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  17. Hi Elizabeth, This is a great topic to discuss. I love all of the tips that you and the other posters have made! I always feel like there is SO MUCH MORE we could do for these adorable buddies of ours, but don't we usually feel that way about all of our students? I have an ESOL innovative classroom model that includes ELL students as well as non-ELL students. Something that has helped them warm-up to speaking to me in English is when I "TRY" to speak to them a little in their language. Of course I don't know much, so I like to ask them to help me with vocabulary and the pronunciation in their languages. They get a kick out of that! Also, we try to look up words in Usborn's First Thousand Words Book in English or in Spanish. I keep those books side-by-side in my classroom. One year one of my students was very motivated to go find any word for me in the Spanish translation of that book.

    Carrie
    i Heart Second

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  18. Wow, your multileveled close read pack looks fabulous! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Close-Reading-Leveled-Passages-and-Vocabulary-Its-Spring-1727455
    It is already in my cart! I teach 2nd grade so that will be perfect for my ELL's. I am your newest follower as well!

    Carrie
    i Heart Second
    The Think Aloud Cloud

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    Replies
    1. I bought it today! Can't wait to try it out! Thank you for putting that awesome resource together!

      Delete
  19. One of my favorite ways to work on sentence structure and lessen speaking anxiety is the 10 finger rule. I ask my whole class (ELL and non) to give me a sentence related to a prompt/picture/warm-up using only 10 words. Depending on proficiency, I may ask for 5. It's great for ELL's because they have a structure to follow. At the same time, it challenges higher proficient students to make a strong sentence with only a few words.

    -Maria

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  20. I have a new ELL student in my room, and I have found that my other students often fight over who gets to help our new friend! I like to pair the new student with a child who is excited to help teach their language and learn about someone else's. They have this buddy of the whole day and everyone enjoys and benefits! I also find ways to celebrate every little success with the new language so that we can continue to encourage the new language!!

    -Rachel

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  21. Posted too soon... Math Menus: Place Value looks amazing!! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Menus-Place-Value-1374823

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  22. I love using visuals for my ELL learners because it is also beneficial to the other students.

    I would love to win your math menus https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Menus-The-Bundle-1387275 but if that is not available I would like your leveled text product https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Close-Reading-Leveled-Passages-and-Vocabulary-Its-Spring-1727455

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  23. Our ELL students do very well. The two teacher that work one on one with them are fantastic. All teachers are trained and provided with resources and strategies. Very visual classrooms, we all have document cameras, academic words are on word walls, etc. Thank you for the giveaway.

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  24. I use a lot of visuals and front load vocabulary. I also make a picture dictionary with graphics and diagrams labeled for science and social studies content.

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  25. I would like to win https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Close-Reading-Leveled-Passages-and-Vocabulary-Its-Spring-1727455

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  26. I love Math Moves. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Moves-Stepping-Up-Our-Math-Game-4th-Grade-CCSS-Daily-Spiral-Review-804638

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  27. We seldom get any ELL students but I would pair them with a couple of buddies who can help them and who can be good role models for the students.

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  28. We are starting this very soon! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Menus-Measurement-1115706

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  29. I like to label items around the room in their language and ours.

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  30. We are starting this very soon! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Menus-Measurement-1115706

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  31. My tip would be to pair the new students with a buddy (who ideally speaks the same language) that will support them over their first few weeks of school and beyond.

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  32. This would be the product of my choice: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Testing-Strategies-Foldables-or-Lapbook-230666

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  33. I am a K-6 ESL teacher. It is really rewarding and encouraging to see ELLs make such gains throughout the year. You hit every important piece about working with ELs and it takes a lot of patience. :)

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  34. This would be the product of my choice: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Close-Reading-Leveled-Passages-and-Vocabulary-Its-Spring-1727455

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  35. I would love to have: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Editable-Teacher-Toolbox-PinkGreenTurquoise-1299463

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  36. I use sentence starters and cue cards!!!

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  37. I would LOVE to have: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Leveled-Passages-and-Vocabulary-Valentines-Day-1695344

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  38. We sings songs and read lots of poetry. We use a lot of TPR as wells as listening and speaking activities. Oh, and we label everything!!

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  39. I'd love this: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Menus-Area-and-Perimeter-1715286

    tinysmiles34@gmail.com

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  40. I'm always looking for good Math Spiral Activities so this would be great: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Moves-Stepping-Up-Our-Math-Game-4th-Grade-CCSS-Daily-Spiral-Review-804638

    ReplyDelete
  41. I am currently having a student help my new guy label our room. He learned English before he went to school and then learned to read and write in Spanish so he is familiar with a lot of English words, but still has a lot of comprehension and academics to learn. We do a lot of illustrating and hands-on work that helps as well.

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  42. Love all of your posts that make me more knowledgeable about ESOL and you are kind of cool :)

    -Megan Bush :)

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  43. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Close-Reading-Leveled-Passages-and-Vocabulary-Its-Spring-1727455

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  44. I use whole brain teaching with movements, sentence/thinking stems, and Thinking Maps as visuals. I'd love the close reading passages : https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Close-Reading-Leveled-Passages-and-Vocabulary-Its-Spring-1727455

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  45. I could TOTALLY go for this pack right now. My kiddos are struggling a little with equivalent fractions, so anything to help them!! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Common-Core-Equivalent-Fractions-Task-Cards-509093

    Sara
    Miss V's Busy Bees
    ventrellasara@gmail.com

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  46. Everything in our room is in an easily accessible spot for all students. This includes things such as reference name tags, technology, and so on. My ELL student has been growing SO quick this year simply because of this. I initially had fears, but now, she's a pro!!!! I am so excited to watch her grow even more the next few years.

    Sara
    Miss V's Busy Bees
    ventrellasara@gmail.com

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  47. I have two ELL students this year. Both have made remarkable progress! Our ELL teacher works with them for an hour a day and in the classroom they shine! Books are on their levels, they participate, laptops are available, and loads of differentiation takes place. :)

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  48. I like to model actually how to complete assignments and use visuals so that they can see step by step. I would love to win https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Close-Reading-Leveled-Passages-and-Vocabulary-Its-Spring-1727455.

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  49. Thanks for the giveaway! I think modeling is one of the best things you can do for ELL student's. I would love to win your: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Understanding-Fractions-and-Equivalent-Fractions-Lapbook-Common-Core-Aligned-444269

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  50. I work in first grade, so our ELL students are learning a bit more of basic words. We love to match actions with each word so that they are learning to read for meaning and have something to connect it to. "I ran to the cat" --- (point to myself, mime running, mime cat whiskers)

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  51. I'm wishing I had your Poetry and Figurative Language Lapbook a month ago when we studied poetry. Here is the link to this product https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Poetry-and-Figurative-Language-Lapbook-223862

    As far as helping ELL students we make sure they get any extra support they need such as studying with someone (staff) and getting them to homework help.

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  52. Thanks to you and Kristin for all of these ideas for helping ELL students! I currently only work with one ELL student directly (I'm a special education teacher). What I've found most helpful is making sure that everything in the classroom is labeled with a picture of the item (in case it falls off) and the name of that item. I've also found songs to be very helpful for my student. She is currently just trying to learn the alphabet and we sing it in varying ways (i.e. to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb or Old McDonald, etc.). She loves it! I just really try to immerse her in print and real photos.

    I love your Close Reading Passages and Vocabulary: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Close-Reading-Leveled-Passages-and-Vocabulary-Its-Spring-1727455

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