Tips for New Teachers
Supporting English Language Learners
English language learners need the same quality instruction as native English speakers. Here are some ways to support the literacy development of your English language learners:
- Encourage students to participate in classroom instruction and practice at all times.
- Ask questions frequently to check for understanding.
- Preteach additional vocabulary to enhance background knowledge.
- Illustrate word meanings and phrases with physical demonstrations and pictures.
- Teach word-analysis skills that native English speaking students learned in earlier grades.
- Provide a variety of texts at different levels of difficulty for the same topic or content area unit of study.
- Select some books with high-quality photographs and limited text.
- Include bilingual dictionaries in your classroom library.
- Provide written reminders of new vocabulary words as your students are learning them, either in the form of student-produced dictionaries, word walls, or an ongoing list on the board.
- Encourage students to use their native language to support their writing in English. This might involve writing some words or sentences in their first language and others in English.
- Ask parents to share information about their culture and language with the class.
- Share information with parents about what students are studying each week. If necessary, have parent memos and fliers translated into their native language. Or, ask students to copy down weekly learning activities and discuss them with their parents.
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