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WGReading WGReading is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2017
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WGReading
 
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Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 490
Senior Member
Silent Period
Old 12-29-2017, 08:32 AM
 
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I work at a school with a large population of newcomer (mostly refugee) ELL students. If the student is K or 1st, our ESL teacher works with the student on vocabulary development and oral language but generally the student learns to read alongside his peers.

If the student is older and monolingual (whether they read in L1 or not), they are in ESL for the 2 hours of reading block. They work on all areas of language development and also teach reading. We use CORE assessments so she does some CORE diagnostic assessments and uses the results to plan instruction. She will start wherever the students need, so if the student is a newcomer, that is often concepts of print and letter/sound correspondence. Then she monitors and adjusts pretty frequently, because the students who already read L1, who have been to school or have parents who have exposure to English tend to progress more quickly than students who have never been to school, aren't literate in L1, etc.

Obviously vocabulary instruction is super important and needs to be ongoing regardless of the student's reading progress.
I also wanted to add, since others have mentioned the importance of speaking/listening, that depending on the child's personality and culture, there is often a silent period that language learners go through where they are absorbing information but are not yet ready to attempt speaking or don't feel comfortable communicating orally. I believe the research on that is "weeks to months" but I have seen this last more than a year for some students. We have a 4th grader right now that arrived in the US (and at our school) 11 months ago from Egypt who is still nonverbal in her gen ed classroom and will only speak with much encouragement in a small group of ESL students, though she has made a great deal of progress in decoding and can show in nonverbal ways that she is understanding information that is scaffolded for her. Because of the number of newcomer students in our school, all of our teachers receive special training in language acquisition instructional strategies including incorporating visual supports, anchor charts, cooperative learning and levels of questioning that allow students to show learning even if they are not yet speaking.
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