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ELL students in the mainstream classroom

Background research, methods and best practices for ELL students in the mainstream classroom.
by

Adriana Karam

on 18 January 2013

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Transcript of ELL students in the mainstream classroom

Foundation BICS and CALPS Under Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, all students are held to the same high standards as their English speaking counterparts.

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers strongly believe that all students should be held to the same high expectations outlined in the Common Core State Standards. This includes students who are English language learners (ELLs). However, these students may require additional time, appropriate instructional support, and aligned assessments as they acquire both English language proficiency and content area knowledge.

It is therefore necessary to ensure that all students have fair and equitable access to the curriculum and the teaching/learning process.

www.corestandards.org ELL Student Success
in the Mainstream Classroom Students need learning strategies to be successful in a formal educational setting. Learning strategies are sometimes confused with teaching strategies. Teaching strategies are methods for teaching. Learning strategies are methods students need to use to tackle learning tasks. With strategy instruction, the responsibility for learning shifts from the teacher to the learner. It teaches learners to approach and complete tasks independently. As learners become more skilled at using strategies, they are able to transfer strategy use to many different tasks and in new contexts.

By teaching learning strategies, instructors help learners ask and answer the following questions:

Am I learning well?
How do I know if I'm learning well?
How can I learn more successfully? http://www.readingrockets.org/article/33048/#.UGeDrDCoCTs.email http://www.everythingesl.net/inservices/challenges_ells_content_area_l_65322.php The goal of instruction should be the achievement of academic standards by all students.

Instruction should be comprehensible to all learners.
Learning should be interactive.
Instruction should be cognitively challenging.
Instruction should facilitate language learning in the content area.
-Provide an environment where students feel comfortable taking risks.
-Adjust the amount of teacher-to-student and student-to-student talk ratio to include more student talk.
-Support or scaffold student language development to promote success
-Use non-verbal and context clues to provide meaning for instruction (pictures, maps, demonstrations, graphic organizers).
-Break tasks into smaller “chunks” with frequent comprehension checks as opposed to entire units with a single comprehensive test.
-Teach background knowledge, key vocabulary, or concepts students will need for each unit prior to moving ahead. Here are some strategies:

Practice good teaching for all in the classroom.

Use graphic organizers to provide visual support for concepts.

Model correct answers on the board so ELLs can copy instead of writing what they hear.

Model correct grammar when speaking to a student or when writing answers on the board or overhead.

Repeat back a question or phrase an ELL said incorrectly so they can hear it modeled without making them feel self-conscious about the error. Factors affecting the rate of second language acquisition include:
a. first language literacy skills
b. prior educational background/school attendance.
c. innate cognitive ability
d. cultural and family background
e. personality and motivation
f. family support and expectations of child
g. teacher support and expectation of child
h. sense of identity in the classroom
i. learning style
Best practice tells us that students are taught at their instructional level with accommodations such as:
a. modified assignments
b. oral language testing
c. cooperative learning groups
d. hands-on learning activities
e. peer tutoring


Best practice says that teachers use instructional practices that include an emphasis on:
a. pre-teaching vocabulary with an emphasis on meaning
b. teaching concepts in context and through content (not in isolation)
c. using real objects such as, concrete objects, artifacts, pictures, posters Take into account the following:
1. Basic interpersonal/communication skills (BICS), i.e. social language skills- usually take up to three years to develop.
2. Cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP) necessary to compete academically with peers in mainstream classrooms- usually takes from five to seven years to develop. SO, HOW DO I ADJUST MY INSTRUCTION ? 2- Children learn a second language faster and with more ease than adults. TRUE or FALSE?

1- When an ELL student is able to speak English fluently, he or she has mastered it. TRUE or FALSE?

1- All ELL students learn English in the same way. 2- Providing accommodations for ELL students only benefits those students. Myth: Teaching ELLs means only focusing on vocabulary.

Reality: Students need to learn forms and structures of academic language, they need to understand the relationship between forms and meaning in written language, and they need opportunities to express complex meanings, even when their English language proficiency is limited. ALL Student Success
in the Mainstream Classroom Let ALL Soar to New Heights A word from the CCSS
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