Teaching English Language Learners (ELL): Strategies, Accommodations, Resources
FOR TEACHERS AND PARENTS
What is Teaching English Language Learners?
English language learners, sometimes referred to as ELLs, are students who have limited ability to use the English language. The ELL definition includes those whose first or home language is one other than English. A related term, ESL, stands for English as a Second Language. ESL refers to a program designed to support ELLs in the development of language skills, primarily in the categories of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Some ESL programs also include training in cultural orientation, study skills, and specific content vocabulary.
For an English language learner, attending a school that is conducted primarily or exclusively in English can provide significant challenges. In most school systems, ELL programs are in place to support English language learners and enable them to fully access the grade-level school curriculum. Some school systems have ESL classrooms, while others provide pull-out services for ELL students. All teachers should employ strategies in the classroom to actively support English language learners. In addition, many colleges and communities offer ELL courses for adults interested in language learning.
Teaching English language learners requires understanding the language acquisition process and a repertoire of strategies designed to facilitate language learning. Those teaching ELL students benefit from tools and resources designed to enhance English language learning across all curricular areas. Some teachers have a role specifically focused on teaching ESL students. These teachers may conduct one-on-one or small group lessons specifically aimed at teaching specific language content that students need for class participation. Other teachers seek to support ELLs in the context of a general education classroom. Activities, assessments, projects, and lesson plans created for ELLs provide teachers with valuable material to support their practice.
Teaching English Language Learners Topics
What is differentiated Instruction? Learn about differentiated instruction definition and strategies. See differentiated instruction examples and know differentiated learning.
Examine structured English immersion as a type of bilingual education. Compare immersion vs. submersion, and review immersion approach programs and their benefits.
Learn about ESL teaching methods and understand how they are used for English language learners. Explore ELL teaching strategies and study some examples.
English Language Assessment
Learn about English language proficiency assessments. Study the purpose of assessing English language learners and explore the methods of second language evaluation.
Discover what second language acquisition is. Differentiate between first and second language acquisition and see steps in the language acquisition learning process.
Teaching Productive Language
Learn the productive language definition and understand how it is used. Explore the processes of teaching productive language skills and study examples.
Learn about ESL students and the benefits of ESL technology. Discover a variety of ESL technology resources and strategies that can be used to help students succeed.
Teaching English Language Learners Resources
Study.com is home to a wide variety of resources to meet the needs of English language learners. Educators can find lesson plans, games, activities, and tools for use in supporting English language learners, as well as ideas and resources to employ while making accommodations for ELL students. Resources are available that are appropriate for ESL classrooms, general education classrooms, and small group or individual lessons. In addition to teacher resources, find lessons for school-aged and adult learners looking to enhance their knowledge of employment-related language. Study.com's English language learner resources are appropriate for students of all ages and all levels of language learning.
Teaching English Language Learners Courses
For those teaching English as a second language, online resources available at Study.com include courses for both teachers and students. Grammar lessons teach students of all ages the basics of English grammar, and are useful for conversation and formal speaking as well as for writing. A course geared toward adult learners deals with common communication needs in the workplace. Teacher resources include in-depth exploration of the language acquisition process, as well as explanations of the application of various teaching strategies to the specific needs of English language learners. Both a general teaching course and a course designed for teaching reading include activities, projects, assessments, and accommodation ideas suitable for teachers in a wide variety of ESL teaching situations.
Grammar Resources for ELL Students
ELL students can access lessons on basic topics of speaking, pronunciation, writing, grammar rules, and common English phrases useful for conversation and the workplace. Grammar exercises provide practice in sentence types and construction, verb tenses, and parts of speech.
Learning English for the Workplace
Adult learners can find lessons aimed to improve language skills related to successful employment. Topics include effective listening, note-taking, verbal communication, polishing oral presentation skills, and reading comprehension strategies.
Resources for Teaching English Language Learners
Beginning with basic teaching strategies and tips for ESL teachers, this course includes accommodations, assessments, vocabulary, and activities for children and adult learners. The course also touches on legal and cultural issues relevant to ESL teaching.
Teaching Reading to English Language Learners
This course for ESL teachers explains the language acquisition process undergone by ELL students, then explores how a variety of teaching methods, tools, and assessments apply to ELLs. Included are numerous accommodation, assessment, and instruction ideas.
For teachers and parents
Teaching English Language Learners Lesson Plans for Teachers
Whether an ELL teacher is working exclusively in an ELL program, or is working to support the ESL students present in a larger classroom, targeted ELL strategies are necessary to successfully meet the needs of English language learners. Study.com provides an effective source of classroom strategies, specific lesson plans and activities, and tools such as flashcards and games. Teacher resource modules include basic language-enhancement activities, lessons targeting educational skills such as study skills, subject-matter lesson plans, and supplemental student activities for ELLs. Lessons referenced in these modules cover elementary through adult learners, with ideas and accommodations for both beginning speakers and those with more advanced language skills.
Activities & Resources for Teaching ELL
Lesson plans for all ages address language objectives, from basic topics like weather to complex issues like world events. Find activities, discussion questions, vocabulary and games for beginning to advanced ELLs.
Student Success Skills Lesson Plans
Find resources for teaching critical educational skills. Lessons address study skills such as memory, note-taking, and test-taking; research skills such as library and text features; and cause and effect.
Academic Subjects for English Language Learners
Academic lesson plans for elementary to adult learners teach academic skills with a focus on language acquisition. Find lessons in math, science, and history as well as grammar, writing, and literature.
Activities for Teaching English Language Learners
Both ESL teachers and general education teachers can enhance their instruction with these language-rich ELL activities, flashcards, and games. Topics include reading, speaking, listening, conversation, and grammar.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does ELL mean in school?
ELL is an acronym for English language learners. In school, English language learners are students who are not proficient in the English language, often because their first language is not English. ELL students often receive support and accommodations to help them learn English and succeed in the school curriculum.
What does an ELL teacher teach?
An ELL teacher focuses on the language acquisition needs of English language learners, students who struggle to effectively use English for learning the general curriculum. An ELL teacher focuses on the students' ability to listen, speak, read, and write in English. Topics may include basic communication, study skills language, and language related to academic disciplines.
What is the best way to teach English language learners?
English language learners have a variety of skill levels and needs. Language needs to be taught both explicitly and in the context of its educational use. Some English language learners are taught exclusively in the general education classroom, while others receive language support.
Why is it important to teach ELL students?
It is important to teach all students and ensure their access to the school curriculum. ELL students often need additional support to ensure that they understand the language used in both academic and social contexts. It is important to understand the language acquisition process and provide accommodations and instruction to ELL students to ensure their academic success.
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