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iTeach314 iTeach314 is offline
 
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ELL Learners
Old 06-20-2017, 02:31 PM
 
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Hello!
I am going into year 8 of teaching at a new school, in a new district and a brand new grade. I will be teaching fourth grade General Ed. My principal just informed me that she felt like I would be a good fit for the 4th grade's 8 or so ELLs because I have experience teaching at international schools abroad (but am not ESL certified and many of those students were fluent English speakers) and with their parents. I am wondering what are some ways I can set my classroom up and prepare for the beginning of the year in order to be successful with these students? As of present, I do not know the general English proficiency level of the students so I am kinda not sure where to start. Thanks for any help!


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Old 06-22-2017, 09:56 AM
 
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Some questions: Are all your English Language Learners speaking the same "home" language? For Example, Spanish, Hmong, etc. If they are, you can make some simple bilingual handouts and flip charts (if you have an interactive white board), using Google translate.
Do you have a translating service in your district? If I can get a paper in English to downtown in time, I can get an "official" translation. This does take time, however. This is helpful with an introductory letter home to families.
Depending on what "home" languages are present in your class, get some bilingual dictionaries.

Some general suggestions. The site, Learning Chocolate, is good for introducing vocabulary. I usually look for categories that will be taught in the coming weeks (geography, body systems, whatever topics the Reading texts will be about, etc.) and "jump start" the non-English speakers by having them go on line to the site and do the exercises for that topic. Each set of words has 3-5 pages where the students can hear the words, match to pictures, see the spellings, etc. My students bring small notebooks and write the words down, with an illustration if possible, thereby having their own mini "dictionary" for when they encounter those words in the regular curriculum.
Learning Chocolate also has good basic word groups for the beginning of the year.
I have big labels (e.g.: desk, door, window, etc.) that I have teams tape around the room as an activity.
The labels are left up until testing time.

Are these students assessed by your district for their reading/writing proficiency in their home language by your district? This will tell you if they can read on level in their home language or if there is a reading disability in addition to learning a new language.

Do you use Reading Street? They have an ELL book with summaries of each selection in multiple languages. I also look to see if there are videos or cartoons that support what I am teaching.

Know this is a lot. Have other ideas, if you want them.
Good luck - relax. They want to learn; you want to teach; my kids help me with my pronunciation. I show them that it's OK to make mistakes.
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iTeach314 iTeach314 is offline
 
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Old 06-22-2017, 04:13 PM
 
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Hi!
I am not sure about the language. I am assuming the majority of the 8 are Spanish speakers. I love the bilingual Flipchart/smartboard idea! I don't think we have a translating service in our district but will ask. Great website! Everything else you asked, I have no idea haha. I will find out in August I guess. We use the Journeys reading program and this is new to me as well. They said an ESL teacher will be coming in to co teach ELA with me too, but I don't know how often.
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Old 06-22-2017, 07:51 PM
 
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Journeys has good resources for ELLs. The TEs include lots of prompts for questions or support for different language proficiency levels. Our ESL teacher - who works with monolingual non-English newcomers K-5 - uses Journeys materials with her students. She likes the Language Support Cards that go along with each story. There is also a newcomer component online and a resource called the "language workshop" that is also online (ThinkCentral) and supports the language in the core curriculum. Journeys also has ELL leveled readers with captioned photos and less figurative language (but still written at grade level).

Without knowing the proficiency levels of the students, it's hard to know how to prepare for them. Does your school do a back to school night or open house before school starts? We have 20+ languages at my school and have translators on site, which helps a lot with understanding where the students are at, the type of support their parents will be able to give at home, attitudes about schooling/homework/English/etc.

If the students have beginning language proficiency or are newcomers, I would recommend labeling. You might want to do some online research to find question stems for the different language proficiency levels. I have a great chart but don't remember where I found it. It basically starts with questions that can be answered yes/no, or with pointing to a chart, etc. and then expands in language complexity. You can also look at language proficiency standards to start familiarizing yourself with the continuum of language development and the types of things you can expect depending on proficiency levels.

Our ESL teacher also has 2 charts she gives to students (laminated) depending on language proficiency and school experience. One has pictures and names of the teachers the student works with, the nurse, office staff, etc. The other has pictures of reasons a student might need something (go to the bathroom, Kleenex, need a drink, etc) -- she gives that one to newcomers and it helps a lot with them feeling comfortable asking for what they need because they can point to it even if they don't know the words yet.
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Project GLAD
Old 06-27-2017, 09:42 PM
 
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Here are some anchor charts, graphic organizers, sentence stems, etc. . .from Project GLAD an ELL language acquisition development network. Scroll down and you will find many visuals .

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/220676450470455040/


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