English Language Learners
Learning how to communicate and instruct non-English students in a regular classroom is a challenging task. Nearly three in four classrooms include at least one English Language Learner, teachers who lack the experience with English Language Learners (ELL) might feel fear and overwhelmed. However, there are steps that can help facilitate educators. The article entitled “Supporting English Language Learners in the Elementary and Secondary Classrooms: How to Get Started” attempts to provide regular initial steps for accommodating student categorized as ELL. This includes practical advice about how to assess students’ prior knowledge, select teaching strategies, and assess students’ ongoing progress.
Upon reading this article, the use of questions was often applied to represent specific aspects. Such questions included “How do I teach them the content if they don’t understand what I’m saying?”, “What if I offend them?”, and “How do I know they understand the lesson objectives if I don’t understand what they are saying?” This lead to the discussion of three detailed steps, one: how to access background knowledge, two: teaching strategies, and three: how to assess student progress. I personally appreciate this input because it breaks it down to particular events that are bound to occur in the classroom. For instance, when discussing how an educator would be able to obtain background information; test scores, referrals, reports, and even a personal conversation with the parent can give an idea as to how, you, as the teacher can accommodate and modify learning activities for the English Learners. Leading to a direct dive to the instructional feature of teaching strategies. There are obviously several ideas that I as a teacher can grasp onto to later put into action. Such as, slowing down and enunciating words properly, providing context clues in the form of gestures, graphic organizers, and other visuals, and also, arranging opportunities for group work and activity-based learning, such as the CWPT. The Class Wide Peer Tutoring is referred to in an article entitled “Teaching English-Language Learners: What Does the Research Tell Us?” by stating its benefits. For example, Whitsett and Hubbard mentioned the use of (CWPT) in which they defined it as “…instruction with peer-assisted, wherein...