Tuesday, January 24, 2012

10 Tips for Teachers with ELL Students

For the last 10 weeks, I have been bringing you TESOL Teaching Tip Tuesdays.  Here are the first 10 tips to help you with your English Language Learners.  Which has been the most helpful to you?  Leave me a comment to let me know!


Teaching Tip #1 – Use Graphics –Pictures are the life blood of an ELL teacher’s curriculum, especially with lower level English students!


Teaching Tip #2 - Talk SlowlyKnowing the correct rate of speed to use with imageEnglish Language Learners can increase their comprehension exponentially!


Teaching Tip #3 – Let Them Talk – In order to learn a language, you have to practice speaking it – don’t forget that your English Language Learners are learning English and need to speak English – a lot!

Teaching Tip #4 – Correct, but Don’t Overcorrect – Help your students with those common mistakes, but know when is the right time to correct those mistakes.


Teaching Tip #5 - Direct Instruct VocabularyNever assume your students know what that word means – direct instruct all of your vocabulary!


Teaching Tip #6 - Repeat, repeat, repeatOver and over and over again – repetition is the key to building comprehension in English Language Learners.


Teaching Tip #7 – Teach Listening Skills – English Language Learners have to be taught timageo “listen” to English.


Teaching Tip #8 - Know Your Students' Literacy LevelKnowing what your kids speak, read and write at home can help you know what and how you need to teach them.



Teaching Tip #9 – Know a Few Words of the Home Language – I know how imageto say “sit down” in 5 languages – I promise you it’s important!


Teaching Tip #10 – Understand How Culture Affects Language – So much of how we communicate is culturally based – do you know how your students’ culture affects their language?


My class consists of 19 students, of which only 1 speaks English only in his household, and even he began his life in a bilingual environment. The other 18 speak at least one, if not two other languages in their homes. Most of my students speak Arabic, but many also speak French. I have 3 who speak French and not Arabic, 1 who speaks Spanish, and 1 who speaks a Philippine dialect. All of my students speak SOME English, but to varying degrees. My job is to teach them English, while also teaching them everything we normally teach in school (reading, writing, math, science, social studies etc.) Fortunately, I am certified to teach ESL and have some experience with English Language Learners. Due to my unique teaching position, I have had some readers ask for tips on teaching English Language Learners. So, each week I will share with you a Teaching Tip geared especially towards teaching English Language Learners. Come back next week for Tip #11.