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Teaching the ESL Student…. Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand. ~ Ancient Chinese Proverb. What affects English language learning?. First language Cultural background Personality Motivation Age Learning style Quality of instruction.

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tell me i forget show me i remember involve me i understand ancient chinese proverb
Tell me,I forget.Show me,I remember.Involve me,I understand.~ Ancient Chinese Proverb
what affects english language learning
What affects English language learning?
  • First language
  • Cultural background
  • Personality
  • Motivation
  • Age
  • Learning style
  • Quality of instruction
understanding acronyms related to english as a second language esl
Understanding Acronyms Related to English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • BE -
  • BICS -
  • CALP -
  • EFL -
  • ELL -

Bilingual Education

Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills

Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency

English as a Foreign Language

English Language Learner

acronyms continued
Acronyms (continued)

English as a Second Language

Home Language Survey

  • ESL -
  • HLS -
  • L1,L2 - First Language, Second Language
  • LEP - Limited English Proficient/Proficiency
  • NEP - Non-English Proficient
  • NES - Non-English Speaking
  • Culture Shock - the feelings people have when they move to an unfamiliar culture. The more different the new culture is from their own, the greater the shock.


Acculturation is the process of adapting to a new culture.

All people experience the acculturation process when they move from one culture to another.

esl students and culture shock
ESL Students and Culture Shock
  • Physical and emotions reactions to relocation
  • In U.S. independence and individualism are valued--rather than group harmony and cooperation
  • Hygiene, eating, food

standards, weather

  • Newcomers are frustrated!
language acquisition
  • A process by which children learn how to implement and internalize a language for the purpose of communication.

Stages: (all go through stages but time

spent at each stage varies)

    • Preproduction - The “Silent Period”
    • Early Production
    • Speech Emergence
    • Intermediate Fluency
    • Continued Language Development
Children use a variety of strategies to move from one stage to another.

These strategies include:

  • Avoiding difficult sounds
  • Repeating easy sound combinations frequently
  • Replacing and
  • rearranging sounds
  • to fit a need
two types of language
Two Types of Language
  • Simple, Conversational Language (BICS)
  • Academic Language/Jargon (CALP)
  • Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills -(BICS) indicates students possess skills that allow them to communicate in social situations and understand what is going on in the classroom. They can reproduce sounds, use rule-governed language structures, recognize and recall information, understand its meaning, and incorporate the information
  • It usually takes 1-2 years to acquire BICS.
  • Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) indicates students are academically successful. They can dissect information and recognize relationships, form new ideas, judge information and opinions, rely on context of the language for meaning, and understand language in a meaningful way.
  • 5-7 years and up to 10 years to acquire CALP.
  • CALP is more cognitively challenging than BICS in language acquisition and is necessary for school success.
determining language proficiency assessment
Determining Language Proficiency/Assessment
  • Provides way of correctly placing student(s) to plan teaching strategies
  • Provides information to determine time per day needed for ESL instruction:

2-3 hours/day - Non-English

2 hours/day - Beginner

1½ hours/day - Intermediate

1 hour/day - Advanced

what the classroom should look like
What the classroom should look like…
  • Environment is comfortable & nurturing
  • Students need to develop a risk-taking, positive attitude.
  • Provision of a meaningful context for language to flourish (a stress free, low anxiety atmosphere).
  • Differentiated instruction for ELLs
  • Flexible cooperative grouping
  • Diversity viewed as a resource
  • Creative assessments for ELLs
what the teacher should look like
What the teacher should look like…
  • Using facial expressions, appropriate gestures, and body language
  • Speak slowly, articulate well and pause
  • Use shorter sentences and simpler vocabulary
  • Repeat high frequency vocabulary and review often
  • Assess comprehension often and review, review, review
what the materials should look like
What the materials should look like…
  • Eliminate nonessential details
  • Focus on the big picture (literally!)
  • Keep concrete
  • Tie materials to student through personal experience and build on background knowledge
  • Use graphic organizers
  • Eliminate complex vocabulary
  • Stick with key concepts
  • Use lots of visuals, pictures, and real objects.
  • Provide written and oral messages (ex. homework assignments)
  • Modify when testing

simplify directions, read questions aloud, provide more time, allow oral responses, supply word banks, use portfolios

  • Use alternate assessments if appropriate
  • Use alternate grading system if appropriate
esl program overview


The district selects a sound educational approach for providing English language development and meaningful programming for its students.


The district is responsible for identifying all students potentially needing ESL services.


The district is responsible for providing its ESL students with a program of services consistent with its chosen educational approach.


The district is responsible for assessing each identified potential ESL student for English language proficiency.

ESL Program Overview


The district ensures that students transitioned from the ESL program.


The district develops evaluation procedures to periodically evaluate and revise its ESL program, if necessary.



The state has established criteria that determine when a student has sufficient English language proficiency to meaningfully participate in the educational program.


The district is obligated to provide the necessary resources to implement its educational approach.


Actual Feedback from ESL Students

  • Please use easier words. Please speak slowly and clearly.
  • Please write more clearly on the board.
  • Please wait after the lesson to explain.
  • Stand near me when I must answer a question.
  • Please tell me about tests earlier.
  • Give me more time to do my work.
  • Give us more time to write down things from the board
  • Don’t pick on me in the lesson because I can’t answer.
  • Please write the answers on the board.
  • Explain the homework please.
  • Let us explain things in our own language to people who don’t understand something.
  • Don’t give difficult words in test questions.
  • Repeat what other students say when they say a question or give an answer.
  • I don’t understand when the teacher reads the bulletin.
  • When we have a chance to answer a question, make the other students quiet, because it takes a time to transfer thoughts into words.
  • Punish the students who make fun of our poor English.
  • Even when I answer wrong, please don’t laugh.
  • Come to ESL students during quiet work to ask how they understood.
  • Try to wait for the others if just 2 or 3 people raise their hands.
you learn by experience
You learn by experience…

However, it is not the experience itself you learn from; it is processing and reflecting on that experience that promotes growth.

special thanks to
Special Thanks to…
  • Melissa Borgia
  • JoAnn Bova
  • Carolyn Eller

For use of their materials and ideas within this power point!