Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Back to School with English Language Learners!

 Will you have English learners in your classroom this year?

Hi, this is Lori with Fun To Teach!

It can be a bit unnerving for teachers when they first have English learners (ELs) in your classroom.

The following simple ideas will help pave the way to a fun year of learning with your English learners.

The number one thing to know is: 

do what you already do… establish a warm, and supportive learning environment for all students including second language learners.    

As teachers, we know that creating a safe and secure classroom environment includes such things as:
    •Arrange the classroom in a way to maximize interaction with clear     walkways and designated work areas
    •Post student work   
    •Display classroom rules and procedures
    •Model kindness, patience, and respect
    •Smile often, laughing with our students and giving explicit positive     reinforcement

Establish a sense of belonging: 

by seating ELs in the middle of the room toward the front-facing the teacher to create a sense of belonging in your English learners.  Make regular eye contact.  Some teachers think they should not put second language students on the spot and don’t interact with them.  I feel this allows an ELL to slip to the edges of a classroom, never participating, speaking, or learning. Offer support by asking ELLs to repeat a simple statement from another student.  That keeps the student engaged while lowering the affective filter!

Integrate Ells’ first language and culture: 

incorporate all students into the classroom by putting up posters, books, songs, and pictures of different cultures.

Use Word Walls:

ensure a sheltered and supportive classroom for your English language learners by including labels for your room and classroom objects that include words clearly printed.  This builds vocabulary.  Help limited or non-speakers comprehend by having them draw pictures on the word wall cards so they know where things go and what they are called.
Don't forget to put up your word walls!

Word walls draw attention to the words you are teaching and are used in whole class or small group activities.  Word walls provide a systematic visual vocabulary organizer that aids children in seeing and remembering connections between words and the characteristics that help them form categories and schemas to remember how to use them.

Predictable procedures, schedules and routines

Remember to develop and maintain predictable procedures, schedules and routines.  I model and practice these often during the first weeks of school and adhere to them throughout the year.  Posting a schedule, content and language objectives, rules, lunch menus, and bus schedules gives a sense of security to students.  Try to always include pictures and simple wording.

Further that sense of belonging by designing classroom jobs appropriate for ELL students.  There are many classroom jobs that a limited speaker can do such as:  Handing out papers, posting lunch numbers, etc.

Have fun this year! 
Happy Teaching!

Here is another great product to start out your year! 
 Check it out today!

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