Thursday, March 17, 2022

What to Do When They are New: Language Support for ESL Newcomers

 Hello teachers ~

Now that you know what to expect when your ESL newcomer initially arrives, let’s talk about how you can support their language development. πŸ’ͺ

Quick tips for supporting your English newcomer in the classroom:

        πŸ’§Allow students to use their first language to aid their comprehension

        πŸ’§Give students a buddy that speaks their language, if you have one

        πŸ’§Use pictures or gestures to help students with routines and directions

        πŸ’§Include your newcomer in your lessons, even if you don’t think they will understand the content.

        πŸ’§Have targeted work that students can do with you or a buddy during

           independent time

Now that you have a few quick tips to support your English newcomer, let’s talk about different activities that you can do to help your ESL newcomer learn English!

Teach survival vocabulary:

Survival vocabulary terms are phrases and questions that students need to “survive” and function in school.  Think about some of the most common phrases and questions students ask daily. Such as:

        πŸ’§May I go to the bathroom?

        πŸ’§May I get a tissue?

        πŸ’§I need a pencil.

        πŸ’§I feel sick.

        πŸ’§I don’t understand.

        πŸ’§I don’t know.

        πŸ’§What do I do?

        πŸ’§Where do I go?

These are phrases and questions that your newcomer students want the answer to also! They just may not be able to voice those concerns in English, yet. Explicitly teaching students these survival words and phrases can help them feel comfortable in your classroom while also helping them learn some basic English.

✌ Teach basic classroom nouns and verbs:

Think about the basic people, places, things, and actions students need to be aware of to be able to follow directions and understand your schedule. By explicitly teaching your students common classroom words and verbs, you can ease their anxiety by helping them know what to do and expect. Some example terms are:







Teach students these words using word cards and then showcase them in a place where students can see and practice them. You could build a word wall for students or have them create their own science board where they can review and practice them on their own. Review and practice are key to language acquisition. 

☝✌Provide sentence starters:

One way to help newcomers feel successful with English is to provide them with sentence starters. This minimizes the amount of English that students must produce while also helping build their confidence in what they need to write about. Some example sentence starters are:

        πŸ’§My name is _______.

        πŸ’§I am ______.

        πŸ’§I am from ______.

Using sentence starters like the ones listed above can help students feel success with writing in English.

Teaching newcomers and creating resources for them doesn’t have to be overwhelming! If you are looking to implement some of the suggestions mentioned above but don’t have the time to make them yourself, check out these products in my Teachers Pay Teachers store:


Stay tuned for the next post in the series which features a sample lesson plan from my ELL Newcomers Bundle!

Happy Teaching! πŸ’œ

No comments:

Post a Comment