Helping ELLs be Successful Inside of an English Classroom.

Friday, March 17, 2023


In today's diverse classroom, many teachers are working with English Language Learners (ELLs) who are still developing their language skills. As a Language Arts teacher, it is crucial to provide the necessary support for these students to develop their English language proficiency while also providing opportunities to participate and thrive in the classroom. In this blog post, we will explore some of the ways that teachers can help ELL students improve their English skills inside of a Language Arts classroom.

Provide Access to Authentic Texts

When working with ELL students, it is important to provide access to authentic texts that are relevant and engaging to them. This can include books, articles, or other reading materials that match their interests and reading levels. Authentic texts help ELLs develop their language skills through contextual learning, as well as providing opportunities to learn vocabulary and grammar structures in a natural and meaningful way.

Use Graphic Organizers and Visual Aids

Visual aids and graphic organizers can help ELLs understand and process new information by making it more visually accessible. Teachers can use graphic organizers to help ELLs visualize the structure of an essay, identify main ideas in a text, or brainstorm ideas for a writing assignment. Visual aids, such as pictures or videos, can also help ELLs understand complex concepts and vocabulary.

Provide Opportunities for Collaboration

Collaboration provides ELLs with the opportunity to practice their language skills in a supportive and interactive environment. Teachers can facilitate group work activities that allow ELLs to work with their peers to practice language skills and gain confidence. Collaboration can also help ELLs develop their social skills and build relationships with their peers, which can ultimately lead to improved language proficiency.

Use Language Learning Strategies

Teachers can teach ELLs specific language learning strategies to help them improve their language skills. Strategies can include making predictions, summarizing, and making connections to prior knowledge. These strategies help ELLs engage with the material and develop their language skills in a more structured and intentional way.

Provide Timely Feedback

Feedback is a critical component of language development for ELLs. Teachers should provide timely feedback to ELLs, particularly in areas such as grammar and sentence structure, pronunciation, and vocabulary use. Feedback should be specific and actionable, and should provide guidance for improvement.

Truly, teaching ELLs in a Language Arts classroom requires a deliberate and focused approach that takes into consideration their unique language needs. By providing access to authentic texts, using graphic organizers and visual aids, providing opportunities for collaboration, using language learning strategies, and providing timely feedback, teachers can help ELLs improve their English skills and thrive in the Language Arts classroom.

Works Cited:

Benesch, Sarah. "Authenticity in Materials Development for Language Learning." TESOL Quarterly, vol. 35, no. 3, 2001, pp. 373-89.

Cummins, Jim. "Language Learning and Teaching for Linguistic Minority Students." ERIC Digest, ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, 1996.

Gibbons, Pauline. Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning: Teaching Second Language Learners in the Mainstream Classroom. Heinemann, 2002.

Peregoy, Suzanne F., and Owen F. Boyle. Reading, Writing, and Learning in ESL: A Resource Book for Teaching K-12 English Learners. Pearson, 2013.

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