English Language Learners By: Margie Jackson and Catherine Magruder
What is ELL? • ELL stands for English Language Learners • ELL is a program designed to help students “who were not born in the U.S. or whose native language is not English and who cannot participate effectively in the regular curriculum because they have difficulty speaking, understanding, reading, and writing English.” (www.helpforschools.com)
Facts about ELL: • About 5,044,361 ELL students were enrolled in 2002-2003 in K-12 classrooms. • There was a 84% increase in ELL students from 1992-1993. • In 2000-2001 there were over 400 languages spoken by ELL students nationwide; 79% Spanish, 2% Vietnamese, 1.6% Hmong, 1% Chinese/Cantonese, 1% Korean, and 15.4% other. (http://www.helpforschools.com/ELLKBase/references/Facts_LEP_Students.shtml)
Teachers combine multiple research-based methods and strategies into a coherent plan for reading instruction that meets the diverse learning needs of their students. The teacher will lead a discussion about a specific experience. For example: In this approach, teachers say things like: Now let's write about our trip.We'll decide what we want to say and I'll write it down.How shall we start?Shall we start by telling where we went and how we got there?What should we tell about next?What was the first thing that happened when we got there? Teachers use systematic and explicit instruction to develop students' phonemic awareness. Effective teachers say things like: Watch how my lips press together when I say the /b/ sound in ban and berry. Watch how my top teeth touch my bottom lip when I say the /v/ sound in van and very. Strategies and for teaching ELL students:
Strategies Con’t. • Teachers develop students' phonic skills through systematic instruction on sound-symbol relationships, spending appropriate time to meet individual needs. • Say things like: I'm writing a story about my friend Libby.I wrote the beginning of the title, My Friend...See if you can help me spell my friend's name: Libby. Listen to the first sound /l/. What letter is that? • Teachers frequently engage students in oral reading to develop their reading fluency. • Provide opportunities for students to listen to stories and read stories repeatedly. • Teachers use numerous research-based methods for both direct and indirect vocabulary instruction. • Promote vocabulary learning through a variety of strategies. • For example, choose two new vocabulary words and have ELL students choose which word applies best in certain situations.
Teachers promote students' reading comprehension through research-supported techniques and explicit strategies. Some reading comprehension techniques: Graphic organizers, Story structure, Question answering, Question generating, Monitoring Comprehension, Summarizing, Cooperative learning, etc. Teachers use computer technology to support reading instruction. Computer programs help ELL students develop reading skills using pictures, printed text, and audio text. Also allows ELL students to control their own pace. (http://www.alliance.brown.edu/tdl/elemlit/readingk3.shtml#start6) Strategies Con’t.
Possible Activities for ELL students: • At Hillcrest Elementary in Morganton, NC ELL students read a book aloud. Then they are given a worksheet with the text broken up by sentence. The students copy the sentences to practice their writing skills. Then they read the story aloud again. • At Hillcrest Elementary in Morganton, NC ELL students use interactive computer programs to use vocabulary words to practice their English. The computer shows a picture and the ELL student finds the correct English word, etc. • Bilingual-Grammar Quizzes: Quizzes that give an English word and then ELL students match the English word to the Spanish, or other foreign language, word. (www.a4esl.org) • Crossword Puzzles (www.a4esl.org) • Cooperative activities with books. For example plan an activity for growing a plant. The students learn the steps to grow a plant and actually grow a plant. Throughout the activity read books like The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle or How Does My Garden Grow by Joanne Nelson. (www.everythingesl.net)
References: • http://www.everythingesl.net/lessons/ • http://www.alliance.brown.edu/tdl/elemlit/readingk3.shtml#start6 • http://a4esl.org/ • http://www.helpforschools.com/ELLKBase/references/Facts_LEP_Students.shtml • http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/policy/states/reports/statedata/2003LEP/North_Carolina-G.pdf