Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Principles for Teaching ELL students

Examples of Instructional Strategies Linked to Appropriate Language Acquisition Stages
The chart on the following page is adapted from the Oregon Department of Education publication The English Language Learners’ Program Guide (n.d.). Each of the five stages of second language acquisition is linked to appropriate and specific instructional strategies.

Silent/ Receptive
Stage I Early Production
Stage II Speech Emergence
Stage III Intermediate /Advanced Proficiency
Stages IV & V
Use of visual aids and gestures Engage students in charades and linguistic guessing games Conduct group discussions Sponsor student panel discussions on the thematic topics*
Slow speech emphasizing key words Do role-playing activities Use skits for dramatic interaction Have students identify a social issue and defend their position*
Do not force oral production Present open-ended sentences Have student fill out forms and applications* Promote critical analysis and evaluation of pertinent issues
Write key words on the board with students copying them as they are presented Promote open dialogues Assign writing compositions Assign writing tasks that involve writing, rewriting, editing, critiquing written examples*
Use pictures and manipulatives to help illustrate concepts Conduct student interviews with the guidelines written out Have students write descriptions of visuals and props Encourage critical interpretation of stories, legends, and poetry*
Use multimedia language role models Use charts, tables, graphs, and other conceptual visuals Use music, TV, and radio with class activities Have students design questions, directions, and activities for others to follow
Use interactive dialogue journals Use newspaper ads and other mainstream materials to encourage language interaction* Show filmstrips and videos with cooperative groups scripting the visuals Encourage appropriate story telling
Encourage choral readings Encourage partner and trio readings Encourage solo readings with interactive comprehension checks*
Use Total Physical Response (TPR) techniques
*It is important to structure activities that are both age- and linguistically appropriate.
Ten Things the Mainstream Teacher Can Do Today To Improve Instruction for ELL Students
These tips were adapted from the Help! They Don’t Speak English Starter Kit for Primary Teachers (1998) (developed by the Region IV and Region XIV Comprehensive Centers, the Center for Applied Linguistics, and ESCORT, a national resource center dedicated to improving the educational opportunities for migrant children) and from Integrating Language and Content Instruction: Strategies and Techniques (1991) by Deborah Short of the Center for Applied Linguistics.
Enunciate clearly, but do not raise your voice. Add gestures, point directly to objects, or draw pictures when appropriate.
Write clearly, legibly, and in print—many ELL students have difficulty reading cursive.
Develop and maintain routines. Use clear and consistent signals for classroom instructions.
Repeat information and review frequently. If a student does not understand, try rephrasing or paraphrasing in shorter sentences and simpler syntax. Check often for understanding, but do not ask "Do you understand?" Instead, have students demonstrate their learning in order to show comprehension.
Try to avoid idioms and slang words.
Present new information in the context of known information.
Announce the lesson’s objectives and activities, and list instructions step-by-step.
Present information in a variety of ways.
Provide frequent summations of the salient points of a lesson, and always emphasize key vocabulary words.
Recognize student success overtly and frequently. But, also be aware that in some cultures overt, individual praise is considered inappropriate and can therefore be embarrassing or confusing to the student.
Compiled from nwrel