Working With English Learners Professional Development

Being able to work effectively with non-native English speakers is critical in making sure that all students are set up for success.

TESOL Trainers, Inc. provides experiential professional development which show teachers concrete strategies they can use to scaffold their ELLs to success.

Working With English Learners Professional Development
Effective teachers understand how to connect English Learners to other learners.

English Learners {ELs} in the Content Area Classroom

The need for qualified English Language teachers in our K-12 schools has never been greater. There is a constant and growing population of public-school students whose native language is something other than English. There is also a constant and growing pressure to provide these students with the foundations that they need to succeed in mainstream classrooms.  A quick review of the Common Core Standards highlights the challenges ELLs face in meeting these standards.

Within school districts and school boardrooms, lies an effort to increase the proficiency level of ELs {English learners} as quickly and as effectively as possible. Over the years, educators have become increasingly aware of the differences between social language and academic language as well as the role they both play in supporting ELs.  The same can be said for the role culture plays in the classroom.

While research clearly points to time as a factor in helping ELs acquire adequate social and academic language, there are also increasing attention being paid to models that support language learning in the most effective and efficient manners‚ĄĘ.

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This set of four workshops provides educators with a clear understanding of the SIOP framework, a set of highly engaging model lessons, practical TESOL techniques, and tips that encourage excellence in teaching and in learning

Strategies to Teach English Learners

English Learners in the K12 Classroom
English Learners need a volume and variety of chances.

There are many strategies that regular content area teachers can use to support English Learners as they grapple with the language and content of the class.  Here are few strategies that set Els and all students up for success:

  1. Actively connect students to the vocabulary:  We cannot assume that English learners develop their lexicons through osmosis.  Merely saying a word (or writing it on the board) does not guarantee that a students will learn it.  Teachers must get students to actively interact with new language, use it in context, and think about their own comfort levels with it.  Writing a word in a notebook along with its definition is not active enough to own vocabulary words; it only serves to help students rent the language for a short period of time.
  2. Actively connect students to the content:  In order to help English learners meet the lesson's content objectives, they must be made active participants in their own learning.  This means giving students a reason to listen and read; This requires providing students with opportunities to express their learning orally and in writing.  This signifies finding a way to get students to work together with the lesson's content.  Active learning does not occur on its own; teachers need to scaffold students into being more responsible, accountable learners.
  3. Provide a variety of opportunities:  English learners (indeed, all learners) need a variety of opportunities to interact with the language and the content.  Encountering it one way (e.g., through lecture, video, or text) does little to lead to ownership of the objectives. Encountering it in a variety of ways helps students master the material.  One effective strategy is to look for ways to integrate the four domains of language (speaking, listening, reading, and writing).  
  4. Provide a volume of opportunities:  Students need more than one shot at getting something.  Students require scaffolded opportunities to connect with the language and the content; they need an equal number of opportunities to demonstrate their understanding.  Explaining something one way, one time does not lead to understanding.  Giving students one shot at explaining something, solving a math problem, or writing a response is not as effective as providing them with a volume and variety of chances.   
Working with English Learners in the classroom
Cooperative learning provides a maximum number of safe opportunities when designed properly.

TESOL Trainers can transform how your K-12 teachers work with the Multilingual Learners in their classrooms.  Contact Dr. John Kongsvik, the Director of this Education Consulting company for more details.

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