Tips for the ESL Classroom
Four Free Web Tools to Boost Student Engagement
There is ample evidence
that when meaningful instruction designed by the teacher is combined
with motivational tool technologies, students' cognitive, emotional,
and behavioral engagement can be significantly increased - more
than technology could ever achieve alone. Motivational tool technologies,
amongst others, possess certain key characteristics. This website
lists some examples of free motivational tool technologies that
meet these criteria.
Teaching Informational Text
Common Core State Standards emphasize teaching informational
or nonfiction text. This shift to using more informational text
is tricky enough for all students, but it becomes especially challenging
for ELLs due to its distinct features such as assumption of background
knowledge and use of complex academic language.
The CCSS guiding documents lay out the balance of fiction to nonfiction
text, and suggest the use of 50 percent informational text/50
percent fiction in the elementary school years. This percentage
increases to 70 percent informational text/30 percent fiction
for students by high school. The reason behind this shift to include
more informational text at the K-12 level is because college students
and individuals in careers are more likely to work with informational
text such as research briefs and reports than fictional texts.
Due in part to their emphasis on using complex, informational
text, the CCSS are said to better prepare students to meet the
demands of college and the modern workplace.
two websites cited below provide valuable information about teaching
informational text and increasing ELL student reading comprehension
with non-fiction text.
Teaching Informational Text to ELLs Part
ELL Student Reading Comprehension with Non-fiction Text
to the Basics: Typing Practice
Tara Arntsen teaches in an intensive English program where students
aspire to obtain a college degree. She says it makes sense for
her students to improve their typing skills since very little
of what they produce in writing will be done by hand and poor
typing can really slow one down. She shares and easy-to-use web
site where students can practive improving typing at their own
10 Social Media Tips for Reaching
Droning on and on about grammatical structures is a
surefire way to quickly lose student interest in the world language
classroom. Instead, embrace something which truly interests the
millennial student: social media. Utilizing it in the classroom
will give your students practical, engaging ways to communicate
in the language you teach. The 21st century learner is not wired
to memorize; instead, her or she is inclined to create, connect
and collaborate. Social media is the perfect medium for us, their
teachers, to reach them. Here
are ten ideas to get you started on your journey toward not becoming
the classroom dinosaur you may have feared becoming.
and Academic Language
English-language learners develop proficiency in academic language
has always been a priority for K-12 educators, and its importance
has only been heightened with the advent of the Common Core. To
better understand academic language, it is important to examine
the distinction between two terms introduced by Jim Cummins: basic
interpersonal communicative skills (BICS) and cognitive academic
language proficiency (CALP). BICS are listening and speaking skills
that students tend to acquire quickly in a new language (within
the first couple of years) in order to communicate in social situations,
such as asking someone for directions.
Acquiring CALP usually takes between five and seven years to develop
-- longer for students with less native language proficiency.
Lectures, class discussions, research projects and skills (summarizing,
analyzing, extracting and interpreting meaning; evaluating evidence;
composing; and editing) require CALP. This web site suggests various
ways to help ELLs learn academic vocabulary.
ELL Content Mastery
through Best Practices of Learning
Lesson implementation for English language acquisition must use
effective pedagogical practices for teaching ELLs. For learning
and comprehension to unfold, it is imperative to understand best
practices for instruction and learning.
best practices for the teaching and learning of ELLs includes:
comprehensible input, modeling, guided instruction, collaborative
learning and independent practice. Curriculum writer Beth Crumpler
takes a closer look at those five areas.
She concludes that Mindset change and personal support
this world of fast-changing and complex technology, there are
many individuals who do not want to learn how to use technology.
People of all ages can learn how to use technology for curriculum
design. It involves a mindset from transformation from "I
can't do it" to "I can." Beth Crumpler is an ESL
freelance curriculum writer, e-learning content developer and
instructor. Learning takes time and patience. Often individuals
do not have the time to learn how to use technology tools for
adaptive means. School districts, supervisors and the like should
create professional development time and training to teach teachers
how to use technology for creating curriculum, supplementing and/or
modifying existing curriculum to use with ESL students.
Knowledge: Ways to Give Your Students More Voice and Choice
UCLA Graduate School of Education instructor
and literacy specialist Rebecca Alber says the idea of co-constructing
knowledge with students can be a scary thing for many teachers.
She continues: "The age-old role of teacher as orator, director,
sage has been handed down for centuries and most of us grew up
as students looking to teachers in this way. It's hard to shake.
knowledge means giving up the myself and them role
of teacher and students and fully embracing the wonder and journey
proposes five ways to transform the learning space you share with
students into a place where you serve often as facilitator and
guide -- and when needed and necessary, as presenter or instructor.
She adds: "Less teacher talk and more student-centered learning
makes for a happy, healthy, and productive learning environment."