5-Step Action Plan for Assisting ELL Learners

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5-Step Action Plan for Assisting ELL Learners by Mind Map: 5-Step Action Plan for Assisting ELL Learners

1. Scaffolding Understanding: ELA teachers take account of the language demands that ELLs face in content classrooms and help ELLs meet these demands with increasing autonomy over time. Shown in the attached video, ELLS are provided with strategic types of scaffolding, such as graphic organizers, visual aids, peer help, or home language help, and removing these supports as students’ skills develop. This way, ELLs can be given the opportunity and the necessary support to meet rigorous academic standards. (https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/middle-school-ela-unit-persuasion)

2. Purposeful Grouping: ELLs learn best when they are in heterogeneous classrooms. ELLs need to be given ample opportunities to have extended interaction (such as doing ‘jigsaw’-type activities) with peers of varying English proficiency levels, who can provide ELLs with a range of models for how to use English words or structures appropriately, as well as abundant, personalized feedback on ELLs’ own developing English use. It is best for ELLs if, within their classrooms, teachers sometimes group students heterogeneously according to English proficiency, and sometimes homogeneously, depending on the purpose of the task at hand. (View video for example https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/instructional-approach-for-ell)

3. Background Knowledge: Provide ELLs with relevant background knowledge about a topic to be discussed in class, or activate their existing knowledge of a topic. Besides increasing student interest, this allows students to focus more fully on the instructional goals, rather than being overwhelmed with too much new information at once. It also allows ELLs to bridge new knowledge to old knowledge, increasing understanding, and it helps some ELLs fill in contextual information (such as American political history or cultural details) that they may not have due to coming from different cultural backgrounds. (Demonstrted in this video https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/activating-prior-knowledge)

4. Extended Discussion: Though teachers have generally attempted to teach ELLs difficult vocabulary before having them read texts, ELLs learn new vocabulary best through extended discussion with their classmates after reading or between multiple readings. (Explained in this video https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/middle-school-vocabulary-development)

5. Valuing Linguistic Differences: Schools and teachers can help ELLs greatly by learning about ELLs’ home cultures and languages, treating cultural and linguistic differences as resources rather than obstacles, and reaching out to students’ homes and communities to build learning opportunities together.

6. Student #1 is a Hispanic boy that is learning English as a language. His family migrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic a year ago. They are still working out their family status here in the United States in order to be legalized. They have a timeframe to complete their paperwork so that they are not deported. He is very eager though, to make friends, yet his language barrier is causing for him to miss out on what is going on with his peers. For example, if he wanted to play football with the boys yet he didn’t understand the concept of American Football being different from Football (Soccer) in the Dominican Republic. He would be kicking the ball around and the other boys may yell at him and pick on him because of the cultural difference within the sport. He would have to learn the difference within sports and how to communicate with his peers. His peers will also need to learn how to communicate with him. His parents’ expectations for his behavior in class are to be respectful and to complete his work to the best of his ability. Knowing that he is not a great English speaker, they will be aware of the issue he may encounter when communicating throughout the day. Compared to the other ELL students in the class, he will have to work hard to understand the flow of the classroom and how to communicate with his peers. Although the other students will need to learn how to work/communicate with him, his biggest challenge will be trying to fit in with his peers.

7. Student #2 is an Asian girl that has partially learned English as a second language. Her family migrated from Cambodia two years ago. Since her family was sent for by her other family already in America, their legitimacy in the United States is already being processed. She is a very smart student yet her ability to fully speak English hinders her ability to communicate with her classmates. One difficulty that she may face is how to relax and have fun in school. Due to the strict educational expectations of her parents, she may not understand how to relate to her peers. She will be able to read and write in English yet her speech is progressive and she does not know how to fully relate to her peers. Her parents’ expectations for her behavior in class are to be very respectful and receive As & Bs on all assignments. Having fun is not a priority and her education must comes first.

8. Reference: https://www.teachingchannel.org