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Classroom Instruction that works with English Language Learners by Jane Hill & Cynthia Bjork - McCREL, Denver, Colorado Presented by Cher May & Marcia Gaudet, SFSD ELL Teachers. “If you have ELL students in your classroom - you are an ELL teacher.”.

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Classroom Instructionthat workswith English Language Learnersby Jane Hill & Cynthia Bjork - McCREL, Denver, ColoradoPresented by Cher May & Marcia Gaudet, SFSD ELL Teachers

“If you have ELL students in your classroom - you are an ELL teacher.”

Classroom Instructionthat workswith English Language Learnersby Jane Hill & Cynthia Bjork - McCREL, Denver, Colorado
goal for today

Goal for today:

Discuss research based strategies that teachers may use to ensure that English Language Learners (ELLs) understand academic content while developing English Language skills.

who are our ell students
Who are our ELL students?
  • Refugees - people who have been forced from their country and cannot

return and Secondary Refugees who come to be near family & friends.

  • Immigrants - people who are coming to the U.S. for better opportunities - Ethiopia, etc.
  • Children who are born in the U.S. to parents whose first language is not English.
  • Students who have been adopted who are older from other countries.
  • Students who are children of visiting professionals and higher ed students
where do ells come from
Where do ELLs come from?
  • In the SFSD there are over 50 language groups
  • At the Immersion Center we are now seeing students from:
      • Iraq, Yemen (Arabic)
      • Somalia, Kenya,


Ethiopia, Burundi

      • Burma, Thailand, Nepal
      • Mexico, Guatemala
are the following statements true or false
Are the following statements true or false?
  • 1. Children learn second languages more quickly and more easily than adults.
  • 2. The younger the child, the more skilled he or she will be in acquiring a second language?
  • 3. The more time children spend in English, the faster they will acquire English.
  • 4. Parents of ELLs should be asked to speak as much English as they can with their children at home.
are the following statements true or false1
Are the following statements true or false?
  • 1. False…Adults learn second languages quicker then children, as they have more experience with strategies for doing so.
  • 2. False…The only advantage younger children have over older ones is that they typically acquire more native-like pronunciation.
  • 3. False…Many studies have shown that children who spend time in bilingual programs learn English just as quickly, if not quicker, than those who spend all their time in English-only programs.
  • 4. False…Parents should use their native language at home. Think about it: What kind of language models are they to their children if they are using limited English? Instead, they should use high-level vocabulary and long complex sentences when speaking in their native tongue.
sociolinguistic development

Sociolinguistic Development

Sociolinguistic Development

Standardized tests

Content areas

State Performance tests

5-7 years to attain

Level 6 Fully Fluent in Academic English

Level 5 Advanced Fluency: 5 – 7 years

Level 4 Intermediate Fluency: 3 – 5 years

Level 3 Speech Emergence: 1 – 3 years

Level 2 Early Production: 6 months – 1 year

Level 1 Preproduction: 0 – 6 months

Asks questions

Asks for help

12,000 Receptive words

Academic settings

Decontextualized, abstract

Literacy skills

3-5 years to attain

Often quiet, not comfortable asking questions.

7,000 Receptive words

Everyday communication

Contextualized, concrete

2-3 years to attain

Hands-on science/math

Emergent readers

Predictable books

1,000 Receptive words

1-2 years to attain

Note: In America 6 years olds

know 6,000 to 24,000 when

learning to read English in 1st Grade.

bics calp
  • BICS - basic interpersonal communication skills (social language)
    • 1 to 2 years to acquire, context embedded
  • CALP - cognitive academic language proficiency (academic language)
    • 5 to 7 years, context reduced
  • To facilitate language learning we must re-embed lessons in context and make the language accessible and comprehensible to all our learners.
examples of bics calp
BICS…Social Language

Listening: Follows general classroom directions

Speaking: Converses easily about social situations with peers and teachers. May speak English without an accent.

Reading: may decode reading material with ease, but may not comprehend what is read.

Writing: Can fill out school forms. Can find and copy the answers to questions in textbooks.

CALP…Academic English

Listening: Can follow specific directions for academic tasks.

Speaking: Expresses reasons for opinions. Asks for clarification during academic tasks.

Reading: Reads academic materials with good comprehension.

Writing: Can write an essay supporting a point of view.

Examples of BICS & CALP
rate of vocabulary development
Rate of Vocabulary Development
  • Children may learn up to 8,500 words per year if learning is done naturally and not through memorization.
  • By the age of six, most children have a vocabulary of about 10,000 words in their native language.
  • Children need about 40,000 hours of exposure to English to be able to excel academically.
  • PHLOTE children may have only 22,000 hours of exposure to English by the 5th Grade.
  • PHLOTE: Primary Home Language other than English
wida can do descriptors
WIDA Can DO Descriptors
  • WIDA provides CAN DO Descriptors for ELL students at various grade levels. These are provided on their website:
  • These will help you in knowing what type of academic work students are capable of at their various language levels.

Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement

fromClassroom Instruction That Works

by Robert J. Marzano, Debra J. Pickering & Jane E. Polluck

  • 1. Identifying Similarities and Differences
  • 2. Summarizing and Note Taking
  • 3. Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition
  • 4. Homework and Practice
  • 5. Nonlinguistic Representations
  • 6. Cooperative Learning
  • 7. Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback
  • 8. Generating and Testing Hypotheses
  • 9. Cues, Questions and Advance Organizers
cues and questions
Cues and Questions
  • Enhance student’s ability to retrieve and use what they already know about a topic.
  • Research shows that cueing and questioning accounts for approximately 80% of what occurs in a classroom.
cues questions activity fill in the blanks
Cues & Questions Activity: Fill in the blanks

The questions that p______ face as they raise ch______ from in_____ to adult life are not easy to an__________. Both fa_______ and m_______ can become concerned when health problems such as co_________ arise any time after the e_______ stage of later life. Experts recommend that young ch______ should have plenty of s_______ and nutritious food for healthy growth. B______ and g______ should not share the same b_______ or even sleep in the same r______. They may be afraid of the d______.

cues questions activity answers
Cues & Questions Activity: Answers

The questions that poultry men face as they raise chickens from incubation to adult life are not easy to answer. Both farmers and merchants can become concerned when health problems such as coccidiosis arise any time after the egg stage of later life. Experts recommend that young chicks should have plenty of sunshine and nutritious food for healthy growth. Banties and geese should not share the same barnyard or even sleep in the same roost. They may be afraid of the dark.

generalizations from the research
Generalizations from the Research
  • Generalization 1: Cues and questions should focus on what is important as opposed to what is unusual.
  • Generalization 2: High level questions produce deeper learning than low level questions.
generalizations from the research1
Generalizations from the Research
  • Generalization 3: Waiting at least 3 seconds before accepting responses has the effect of increasing the depth of student responses.
  • Generalization 4: Questions are an effective teaching tool even when used before a learning experience.
cues and questions recommendations for the classroom
Cues and QuestionsRecommendations for the Classroom
  • Use explicit cues
  • Ask high-level questions of all ELLs
  • Increase wait-time with ELLs

**Research shows that cueing and questioning account for approximately 80% of what occurs in a classroom.

nonlinguistic representation key ideas
Nonlinguistic RepresentationKey Ideas
  • Words alone cannot convey meaning to ELLs.
  • Nonlinguistic representation help ELLs.
  • Nonlinguistic representations include real objects, pictures, pictorgraphs, diagrams, physical models, video clips, recorded sounds, gestures, and movement.
  • Seeing is remembering.
maisha ya kipepeo
Maisha ya kipepeo
  • Demale anajaalia ya wazima kwamba alikuwa yai mbolea na wa kiume.
  • Hatches ya yai katika vidogo larba.
  • Ya larva anakula na kukua kiasi kubwa. The larva inaona yenyewe na aina twig na nje ngumu shell.
  • A kikamilifu-grown wazima kipepeo anaibuka kutoka chrysalis.
  •  Wazima kuishi kwa muda mfupi tu. Wao hawawezi kula; wao kunywa tu kupitia stra yao kama cirkel proboscis. Watakuwa kuruka, mate, na kuzaliana.
nonlinguistic representation
Nonlinguistic Representation
  • Students should use graphic organizers to represent knowledge and talk about them.
  • Students should use physical models to represent knowledge and talk about them (“movie in the mind”)
  • Students should use pictures and photographs to represent knowledge and talk about them.
  • Students should engage in kinesthetic activities to represent knowledge and talk about them.
  • Students should apply nonlinguistic representation to enhance their content understanding and talk about their choices to increase academic language.
  • Nonlinguistic representations can be tools for language development.
practice and homework key ideas from research
Practice and HomeworkKey Ideas from Research
  • Tiered homework and language development homework should be used to meet the language demands of the subject and language needs of ELLs.
  • ELLs should have practice and homework that are focused on speaking and listening.
  • Practice and homework should be geared to each ELL’s stage of language acquisition.
  • Nonlinguistic tools such as photos, objects, visual organizers, and graphics should be used to support knowledge and language.
  • Teachers should plan for time to explain homework to ELLs and show clear examples of expected outcomes.
hapa ni sisi aliandika shairi kwa mama yako sasa kuandika shairi kwa baba yako
Hapa ni sisi aliandika shairi kwa mama yako, sasa, kuandika shairi kwa baba yako.
  • Asante kwa kuningamanzisha wakate nilipokuwa macanga
  • Asante kwa kunipa chakula cha kila siku.
  • Asante kwa kunipenda.
  • Asante kwa mema unaye nitendea kila siku.
  • Ninakupenda!
here is the poem we wrote for your mother now write a poem for your father
Here is the poem we wrote for your mother, now, write a poem for your father.
  • Mother
  • Thank you for carrying me when
  • I was a baby.
  • Thank you for always giving me food.
  • Thank you for your love.
  • Thank you for all you do for me.
  • I love you!
  • Happy Mother’s Day!
practice and homework
Practice and Homework
  • Practice:
    • Ask students to chart their speed and accuracy.
    • Design practice that focuses on specific elements of a complex skill or process.
    • Plan time for students to increase their conceptual understanding of skills or processes.
practice and homework1
Practice and Homework
  • Homework:
    • Establish and communicate a homework policy. (Parents need to know amount, purpose and consequences.)
    • Design homework that clearly articulates the purpose and outcomes.
    • Vary the approaches to providing feedback.

(Give students opportunity to provide their own feedback.)

    • Assign ELLs tiered content homework.
practice and homework activity tiered homework
Practice and HomeworkActivity: Tiered Homework
  • Assign ELLs homework for language development.
  • Teach students to clarify and ask questions.
  • Teach the “language of homework” (assignment, date)

Discuss with your table group:

1. What have you learned about providing practice and homework for your students?

2. What changes will you make in your classroom?

identifying similarities differences
Identifying Similarities & Differences
  • Have students use comparing, classifying, metaphors, and analogies when identifying and articulating similarities and differences.
  • Give students a model of the steps in engaging in each process.
  • Use familiar contexts when teaching students the steps of each process (ex. Comparing dogs and cats.)
  • Have students use graphic organizers to visually represent similarities and differences.
reinforcing effort
Reinforcing Effort
  • Explicitly teach students about the importance of effort.
    • (Research shows that some students are not aware of the relationship between effort and achievement – Locus of Control.)
  • Ask students to keep track of their effort and achievement
  • Telling personal stories of effort and achievement can be motivating to students.
providing recognition
Providing Recognition
  • Personalize recognition
  • Use the “Pause, Prompt and Praise” strategy.
  • Use concrete symbols of recognition
  • Acknowledge when ELLs increase their English language proficiency and particularly when they become bilingual.

Activity: Years of experience

How do you recognize students for their effort in your classroom?

ell websites
ELL Websites
  • http://www2.scholastic/com/browse/collection.jsp?id=458
  • http:/
  • ELL Handbook for Sioux Falls School District- Document Library
computer lab activity
Computer Lab Activity
  • Visit each website
  • Make notes on possible implementation
  • Return to your table group to share your ideas at_______
  • Select one or two websites from your table group to share out with large group
comments suggestions questions
Comments, Suggestions? Questions?
  • Exit Card:
    • 1. Please write down one strategy that you feel you could use in your classroom with your ELL students.
    • 2. Please write down two to three ideas you will try to implement before we meet again in March.
    • 3. The next time we meet will be____________. At that time please bring a sample or a reflective summary of the ideas you implemented.
assignment for march meeting
Assignment for March Meeting
  • Please write a one page reflection on:
    • 1. How will the information presented today enhance your teaching?
    • 2. Give examples of two to three ideas presented today that you tried and the results.
    • 3. Be prepared to share in your group.