Tag Archive | english language learners

Teach Well


My class consists of 19 students, of which only 1 speaks English only in his household, and even he began his life in a bilingual environment. The other 18 speak at least one, if not two other languages in their homes. Most of my students speak Arabic, but many also speak French. I have 3 who speak French and not Arabic, 1 who speaks Spanish, and 1 who speaks a Philippine dialect. All of my students speak SOME English, but to varying degrees. My job is to teach them English, while also teaching them everything we normally teach in school (reading, writing, math, science, social studies etc.) Fortunately, I am certified to teach ESL and have some experience with English Language Learners. Due to my unique teaching position, I have had some readers ask for tips on teaching English Language Learners. So, from now on, I will now be doing a Teaching Tip Tuesday geared especially towards teaching English Language Learners. Here’s this week’s Tuesday TESOL Teaching Tip:

ELL Teaching Tip #22: Don’t Forget Best Practices

A few years ago, I participated in SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) training.  SIOP is a model of teaching specifically designed to help English Language Learners gain more from content instruction in the general classroom.  The training was wonderful and truly helped me with my English Language Learners, but the main focus of the training was simply utilizing “best practices”.  We all know what best practices are – they are the tried and true strategies that give all students a chance to participate in learning in a hands-on manner that will increase understanding and improve the chances ofimage comprehension and storage in long term memory.

So, the English Language Learner Teaching Tip of the Week is to remember to teach in the way you as a teacher know is best.  English Language Learners may have some special needs, and need some special considerations – but in general they are just another student in your classroom who needs to learn.  Strategies that help the rest of your students learn will help ELL’s learn too – especially if they are hands-on, collaborative, fully explained and modeled to students.

While we are all familiar with “best practices”, it is easy to get away from them in the reality of our classrooms.  Here are a few reminders of some best practices that help our students – ELL or not:

 

1.)  Model, model, model – rather than just talk about what students should do, model it!  Show (don’t tell) students exactly where you want them to cut, how you want them to measure, how many counters you want them to use, which supplies you want them to use etc.  For students who don’t have a lot of language, these visual models can greatly help them get the to understand the expectations.

2.)  Think, pair, share –  two heads are better than one.  Give students a chance to share with each other and see if their thinking is on the right track.  This strategy also give all students the opportunity to “share” to someone, thereby stopping the “But I NEVER get a chance to answer!”s.

3.)  Use objectives – don’t assume students will know what you are teaching.  Tell students what you are expecting them to learn, work on, and understand.  By reviewing objectives with students, students have a clear idea of what thy need to do and a way to self-check and/or monitor themselves.  Check objectives before AND after your lesson, so that students can monitor their learning.

Do you enjoy the weekly TESOL Teaching Tips? Do you want to know Heidigray422more about teaching English Language Learners? I presented on this topic at the Everything’s Intermediate Expo on April 21st.  If you missed the Expo, it’s not too late to catch the presentation, click HERE to find out how to view the presentation.

Find more TESOL Teaching Tips here, and come back every Tuesday for a new tip!

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Virtual Teaching Expo Question and Answer


Today is the day we’ve been waiting for!  It’s been a few months since I goodie bag for teachersannounced that I would be presenting at the Everything’s Intermediate Expo.  As of 12:01 am the Expo is live and ready for you to view.  The goodie bag is ready to be downloaded – and what a goodie bag it is – 9 different quality teacher resources, including my set of 6 reading logs.  (I was so excited to score some amazing resources from this goodie bag – including a Smartboard lesson from Laura Candler!)  The interaction and learning is ready to begin!

Each presenter will have a Question & Answer post today, so please stop by their blogs and tell them what you thought about their videos.  Here are quick links to their blogs:

Cara of Teaching… My Calling has done a wonderful presentation on Integrating Technology in the Classroom – with great, real life examples of how to use technology with your students.

 

Mor of A Teacher’s Treasure has made interactive notebooks simple and easy to understand, so you can start them with your class right away.

 

 

 

Tales of Frogs & Cupcakes

Janaye of Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes has some great suggestions on how to make math fun and meaningful for your students.

 

NEWLOGOAnd then there’s me!  For those of you who don’t know my topic – I have 53 minutes for you on strategies for teaching English Language Learners, which is a passion of mine.  We will be talking about all 4 domains: speaking, listening, reading and writing!

 

So, click on over to the Expo and watch the videos – and then come back here and give me a 3-2-1!  Have you ever done 3-2-1’s with your students?  I love them – they are such a great, simple way to gauge comprehension, and start discussions, plus they provide a nice structure for English Language Learners.  Here is a 3-2-1 for you.  In the comment section:

Tell me 3 concerns you have for the English Language Learners you teach.

Tell me 2 questions you have about: teaching English Language Learners, my classroom, the strategies discussed in the video, or anything else you’re burning to ask.

Tell me 1 strategy you’ll take back into your classroom on Monday.

 

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

Global Professional Development


Oh my goodness, the Everything’s Intermediate Expo is just days away! Everythings Intermediate Expo - Global Professional Development On Saturday, April 21st, the Everything’s Intermediate Expo will be live, and it’s goodie bag will be live!

When I moved to Morocco, I didn’t think I’d be presenting at a professional development seminar.  I mean, I’m living in a country where I don’t speak the language!  But, thanks to the internet I am!  I have taped my video and I can’t wait to Everything's Intermediate Expo - English Language Learner Strategiessee what the other teacher presenters have to say.  I have recorded a presentation on strategies for teaching English Language Learners.  There will also be presentations on: Integrating Technology, Using Interactive Notebooks and Modifying Math Instruction.  I hope you have bought a ticket, so that you can receive all 4 hours of this amazing webinar.  You have until Friday to purchase it for $15, then it’s $20, which is still a bargain for 4 hours worth of professional development!  There’s even a certificate to print and certify that you have attended when you are submitting those Professional Learning Units!  Plus, there’s an amazing goodie bag available for those who are viewing on Saturday, with 9 different teacher resources!  I hope to see you there!

free teacher resources

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Explaining Language Learning


My class consists of 19 students, of which only 1 speaks English only in his household, and even he began his life in a bilingual environment. The other 18 speak at least one, if not two other languages in their homes. Most of my students speak Arabic, but many also speak French. I have 3 who speak French and not Arabic, 1 who speaks Spanish, and 1 who speaks a Philippine dialect. All of my students speak SOME English, but to varying degrees. My job is to teach them English, while also teaching them everything we normally teach in school (reading, writing, math, science, social studies etc.) Fortunately, I am certified to teach ESL and have some experience with English Language Learners. Due to my unique teaching position, I have had some readers ask for tips on teaching English Language Learners. So, from now on, I will now be doing a Teaching Tip Tuesday geared especially towards teaching English Language Learners. Here’s this week’s Tuesday TESOL Teaching Tip:

ELL Teaching Tip #21: Explain the Language Learning Process to English Only Speakers

When I was in high school, I had a good friend, named Anastasia.  She had started her school career in Russia, but had been at my school for awhile, so I didn’t think of her as anything other than another student in my class, and a fun friend to hang out with.  However, one day in Social Studies class, I realized that the teacher was giving her extra time on her tests.  Some of the other kids didn’t think this was fair, and in a very teenager way said as much.  Rather than brush it off, my teacher took a minute to explain to us that even though Anastasia spoke a lot of English, she still often thought in Russian, and so when she read the test, she would often translate the information from English into Russian in order to understand it, and then have to translate it back to English before she wrote it down.  For this reason, she took longer taking a test, and he gave her that time.  His explanation made so much sense to me, that I remember that moment clearly to this day.

Often, we think that dealing with our English Language Learners only means teaching those who don’t speak English as their first language to understand how a new language is learned.  However, most of the time, we have other students in our room, who are English Only Speakers.  It is hard for students who only speak one language to understand the concept of thinking in two languages.  (I am in the middle of learning a second language and it’s still hard for me to have that first hand understanding of being bilingual.)  Rather than ignore it, or brush over it as “everyone learns differently”, take the time to explain to your English Only Students what your ELL students are doing in their brain every day, and you will see a new form of understanding and empathy in your classroom.  Students will be more willing to be peer tutors and work collaboratively with your ELL’s, because they will better understand why these students need more assistance.   – Do be careful not to make English Lanugage Learning into a handicap or a reason for English Only Students to do all the work for ELL’s – rather stress understanding the other’s point of view.

It’s also great to give English Only Students a taste of what it feels like to not always know what is going on around them.  Find videos in another language (there are plenty available on YouTube) and play them to the whole class (this is especially fun and easy if you can get movies in the home language of the majority of your ELL’s).  Talk to the English Only Students afterwards about how it felt to not understand everything that was going on, and why this made it hard.  This will help build empathy and understanding amongst your students.

 

Do you enjoy the weekly TESOL Teaching Tips? Do you want to know Everything's Intermediate Expo - English Language Learnersmore about teaching English Language Learners? I will be speaking on this topic at the Everything’s Intermediate Expo this weekend, and I’d love to have you “join” us. It is a virtual expo, which will help us connect no matter where we are! Click HERE for ticket information.

Find more TESOL Teaching Tips here, and come back every Tuesday for a new tip!

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Twenty Tips for Teaching ELL Students


My class consists of 19 students, of which only 1 speaks English only in his household, and even he began his life in a bilingual environment. The other 18 speak at least one, if not two other languages in their homes. Most of my students speak Arabic, but many also speak French. I have 3 who speak French and not Arabic, 1 who speaks Spanish, and 1 who speaks a Philippine dialect. All of my students speak SOME English, but to varying degrees. My job is to teach them English, while also teaching them everything we normally teach in school (reading, writing, math, science, social studies etc.) Fortunately, I am certified to teach ESL and have some experience with English Language Learners. Due to my unique teaching position, I have had some readers ask for tips on teaching English Language Learners. So, for the last 5 months, I have been writing a Teaching Tip each week that is specifically to help you teach your English Language Learners. Last week, I wrote Tip #20 and my follower number went over 100.  So, I realized some of you may have missed some of the first tips.  For this reason, I decided to give you a review this week of the first 20 tips. Keep checking back as I have 20 more for you! Scroll down for the first 20 tips I have written.

Do you enjoy the weekly TESOL Teaching Tips? Do you want to know Heidi Raki at the Everything's Intermediate Expo - Presentation on English Language Learnersmore about teaching English Language Learners? I will be speaking on this topic at the Everything’s Intermediate Expo, and I’d love to have you “join” us. It is a virtual expo, which will help us connect no matter where we are! Click HERE for ticket information.

20 Tips for Teachers of English Language Learners

Twenty TESOL Tips:

20.  Use Peer Tutors

19.  Understand Each Child Learns Differently

18.  Understand the Silent Period

17.  Teach Grammar Explicitly

16.  Teach Social Expectations

15.  Use Technology to Its Fullest

14.  Communicate with the Family

13.  Utilize Background Knowledge

12.  Teach and Understand Body Language

11.  Understand Inferencing

10.  Understand the Cultural Effects on Language

9.   Know Key Words in the Home Language

8.   Know Your Students’ Literacy Levels

7.   Teach Kids to Listen

6.   Repeat Yourself

5.   Teach Vocabulary

4.   Correct their Mistakes Correctly

3.   Give Them Time to Talk

2.   Speak Slowly

1.   Use Graphics

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Can you Translate?


My class consists of 19 students, of which only 1 speaks English only in his household, and even he began his life in a bilingual environment. The other 18 speak at least one, if not two other languages in their homes. Most of my students speak Arabic, but many also speak French. I have 3 who speak French and not Arabic, 1 who speaks Spanish, and 1 who speaks a Philippine dialect. All of my students speak SOME English, but to varying degrees. My job is to teach them English, while also teaching them everything we normally teach in school (reading, writing, math, science, social studies etc.) Fortunately, I am certified to teach ESL and have some experience with English Language Learners. Due to my unique teaching position, I have had some readers ask for tips on teaching English Language Learners. So, from now on, I will now be doing a Teaching Tip Tuesday geared especially towards teaching English Language Learners. Here’s this week’s Tuesday TESOL Teaching Tip:

ELL Teaching Tip #20: Use Peer Tutors

Here’s a true conversation from my class this week:

Ms. Raki: I love your writing, but can you tell me what this word is?

Student A: be de

Ms. Raki: Can you tell me what a be de is?

Student A: A be de

Ms. Raki: What would you use a be de for?

Student A: silence

Ms. Raki: It says here that your brothers were using a be de, what were they doing with it.

Student A: They were making a be de.

Ms. Raki: Why were they making a be de?

Student A: They like to make be des.

 

Okay, by this point I was still clueless as to what a be de was.  Rather than drive me and Student A any crazier, I called in Student B – who happens to be strong in both French and English. 

 

Ms. Raki: What is a be de in English?

Student B: It’s like a magazine for cartoons.image

Ms. Raki: Like a comic book?

Student B: Yeah!

Student A: Yeah!

Ms. Raki: Okay, let’s erase be de and put in comic book because that is the word in English.

Problem solved – thankfully!

 

imageThis is a classic example of how I use peer tutors with my English Language Learners.  Now, I actually use peer tutors in lots of ways – I pair up high and low ability and high and low English level students to work on problem solving, to write stories, to read books together.  I have a strong math student explain their thinking to a weaker math student in hopes that the “kid language” will make better sense to them.  But, with English Language Learners, I often use peer tutors as assistant translators.  I try very hard to not translate everything – but if you are trying to get a student to express themselves in their writing or you are trying to get them to understand a key part of instruction, having a peer tutor translate a word or a phrase can be a life saving mechanism!  I know there is not always a peer tutor that speaks every language, and then I turn to graphics and google translate, but if possible using peer tutors is a simple, easy way to help your English Language Learners understand and be understood. 

Do you enjoy the weekly TESOL Teaching Tips? Do you want to know Heidigray4more about teaching English Language Learners? I will be speaking on this topic at the Everything’s Intermediate Expo, and I’d love to have you “join” us. It is a virtual expo, which will help us connect no matter where we are! Click HERE for ticket information.

Find more TESOL Teaching Tips here, and come back every Tuesday for a new tip!

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Where is Your Knee?


My class consists of 19 students, of which only 1 speaks English only in his household, and even he began his life in a bilingual environment. The other 18 speak at least one, if not two other languages in their homes. Most of my students speak Arabic, but many also speak French. I have 3 who speak French and not Arabic, 1 who speaks Spanish, and 1 who speaks a Philippine dialect. All of my students speak SOME English, but to varying degrees. My job is to teach them English, while also teaching them everything we normally teach in school (reading, writing, math, science, social studies etc.) Fortunately, I am certified to teach ESL and have some experience with English Language Learners. Due to my unique teaching position, I have had some readers ask for tips on teaching English Language Learners. So, from now on, I will now be doing a Teaching Tip Tuesday geared especially towards teaching English Language Learners. Here’s this week’s Tuesday TESOL Teaching Tip:

ELL Teaching Tip #19: Appreciate each child’s differences

As teachers, we know that all children are different, but often we forget how much these differences affect what children learn.  These differences can especially affect what words our English Language Learners learn.  Students will learn and remember the English words that they need or the words that mean something to them the most quickly.  Words that don’t have any meaning to them will slip through their memory and never really settle into their long term memory, or at least take longer to settle there.  image

This is the reason that the girls in my class know words like dress, skirt, makeup and tiara and the boys don’t.  It’s also the reason that the boys know the words ninja, soldier and magic trick that the girls often don’t.  In imageaddition, my student often know words that help them out at school, where they use English, but not words that would help them out at home, where they don’t.  So, it’s not unusual for my students to know words like connection, punctuation mark, and cylinder, but don’t know words like knee, spoon and shovel.

Help your students increase their vocabulary by using those preferences and background knowledge.  Here are some ways to do that:

– Activate prior knowledge on EVERY lesson.  Giving kids some context to connect their new learning to will help them remember the words and concepts you are teaching.

– Scout out those “home” words that can be taught and reinforced through reading and every day activities.  Play games that include body part and object names – like Simon Says.

  – Find out what your students are interested in and find books with good vocabulary on those subjects.  Use these books for read alouds and guided reading, as students will be more likely to remember the vocabulary that is connected with topics that they are interested in. 

 

Do you enjoy the weekly TESOL Teaching Tips? Do you want to know Heidigraymore about teaching English Language Learners? I will be speaking on this topic at the Everything’s Intermediate Expo, and I’d love to have you “join” us. It is a virtual expo, which will help us connect no matter where we are! Click HERE for ticket information.

 

Find more TESOL Teaching Tips here, and come back every Tuesday for a new tip!

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Do you have English Language Learners?


Teaching English Language Learners is a passion of mine.  It is part of thetchr2tchr reason that I write a weekly TESOL Tip post every Tuesday and a big part of why I am participating in the Everything’s Intermediate Expo as a presenter on English Language Learners.  So, when I was approached by two blogs to write blog posts about English Language Learners, I jumped at the opportunity.  Tchr2Tchr asked me to write an article for them on strategies for English Language Learners.  That article will be posted today – March 26th – so hop on over and check it out! 

Then, Laurah from the ESOL Odyssey asked me to write an article on the difference between teaching English as a Second Language and teaching English as a Foreign Language.  That article will be posted on Wednesday, March 28th.  Please stop by on Wednesday and check it out.

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And the winners are…


Thank you to all who entered the contest for the Everything’s ticketsIntermediate Expo tickets.  I loved reading your comments about your English Language Learners.  As I am taping my presentation on teaching English Language Learners for you guys, I will be sure to keep your needs in mind and give some strategies that address these topics. 

Without further ado, here are the winners:

Ticket #1

expogiveaway5    expogiveaway6

 

Ticket #2

expogiveaway1    expogiveaway4

 

Ticket #3

expogiveaway2    expogiveaway3

 

Congratulations to Pam Atkinson, Melissa Lawrence and Heather Temske!  They will soon be receiving their ticket via email and will all be able to attend professional development in their pj’s (if they so choose) for absolutely FREE!  If you aren’t one of my lucky winners, but you want to join us on this fun event, feel free to stop by the Everything’s Intermediate Expo page and grab a ticket for just $14.95 until the day of the event.

Also, if you have a chance, stop by the blogs of the other presenters to learn about the amazing things they have planned:

Tales of Frogs & Cupcakes  

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Expo Ticket Giveaway


Do you dread professional development?  Do you wish they would choose topics that were more meaningful to your classroom?  Do you wish you didn’t have to sit in that uncomfortable chair at a table with people you may not like very much?  I have the solution for you – The Everything’s Intermediate Expo – information you really want in a comfortable setting – your house!  You can even watch in your PJ’s if you’d like!!!

Another reason I am in love with the idea of webinars like this is that –for those of you who don’t know – I’m in Morocco.  While I love being in Morocco, professional development is a little hard to come by – at least in English, lol!  Heidigray

For this venture though, I am as even more excited because I’m one of the presenters.  I have hand tips and tricks for you on teaching English Language Learners!  The other presenters will be presenting about: modifying math instruction, integrating technology and using interactive notebooks.

So, have you bought your ticket for the Everything’s Intermediate Expo yet?  If you haven’t, feel free to enter this weekend’s giveaway.  Teacher Blog Addict and Teacher’s Notebook, who are sponsoring the ticketsexpo have given me not one, not two, but three tickets to giveaway this weekend!  Scroll down to find out how to enter the giveaway.  Note – if you’ve already bought your ticket, please feel free to enter for a friend, or to give the tickets away as a gift to a teammate or student teacher!

 

Contest Guidelines:

1.) You can enter up to 3 times, but please don’t forget to fill out the entry form each time so that your entry can be counted.

2.) Your entry must be received by Sunday, March 25th at 5:00p.m. EST.  Winners will be announced on Sunday, March 25th at 8:00p.m. EST.

3.)  The ways to enter are:

1. Sign up for the Raki’s Rad Resources News Release.  (If you already receive these news releases, it will count as an entry.)

2.  Sign up for the Virtual Teaching Expo Newsletter.  (If you already receive this newsletter, it will count as an entry.)

3.  Leave a comment letting me know how many English Language Learners are in your class(es) and what one thing you struggle with in regards to teaching them.

 

Good luck to all – I can’t wait to hand out these tickets!

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