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Effective ELL Strategies

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Valerie Harmon

on 30 January 2018

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Transcript of Effective ELL Strategies

Important Terms in ELL Instruction
L1 vs. L2
Silent Period
Code Switching
Language Loss

What can I do?
Be patient

Create opportunities for the child to be excited

Speak for the child

Say a few words in the child’s language

L1 vs. L2
Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS)
Ideally takes 2-3 years to develop

Minimal cognitive demand, context is supported by interaction (peer conversation, math computation, experiments, following classroom routines)
Cognitive-Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)
Ideally takes 5-7 years

High cognitive demand, context-reduced interaction (literacy exercises, listening to a speech and taking relevant notes, brainstorming, talking on the phone, following written instructions)

The Silent Period
May last for up to one year (estimates vary)

The younger the student, the longer the silent period may last

Believed that during this time, the student is learning the rules of the language and vocabulary of significance.

Preschool students may refuse to speak in L1 and L2 for extended periods of time

(Brice, 2002; Krashen, 1992)

Effective Strategies
English Language Learner

Thank you!
Native Language/ Dominant Language
Target Language/ Language Medium of Instruction
Occurrence of alternating between two languages within a single phrase, sentence, or conversation

Speaker substitutes words, forms, and structures

Occurs most frequently in the early stages of language acquisition as they bridge the gaps between L1 and L2

May occur excessively when the speaker lacks competence in initiated language (L1 or L2)

Commonly practiced by bilingual and multilingual children and adults
What Can I Do?

Determine if student is intentionally code-switching

Teach vocabulary, idiomatic expressions , interjections
Transfer/ Interference
• Occurs when the speaker makes speech errors that result from influence of L1

• Can occur in all areas of language production: syntax, morphology, phonology, semantics, and pragmatics

• Is not indicative of a speech disorder

-Is hard the test?

-“la mujer grande"--> the lady big

-She good teacher.--> no article

”--> long

-The lady is handsome.
What can I do?
Provide explicit instruction on problem areas

Use authentic text when possible

Language Loss
Occurs when the speaker loses competency in L1 because of lack of instruction, diminished value of L1, decreased opportunities to have meaningful communicative opportunities in L1
See Ian's Presentation!

If the speaker experiences language loss while still learning English, the speaker may be assessed as low-functioning. This makes assessment for language disabilities extremely difficult.
See Cheryl’s Presentation!

Occurs when specific language errors have fossilized in the L2 despite the speaker’s good level of proficiency

Can be specific to a child or to a community


Determine if the fossilized error is an impediment to effective communication. If so, provide explicit instruction, and ample opportunities over an extended period of time to apply corrected form of past error

Otherwise, don’t sweat the small stuff!

What can I do?
Instructional Approaches
Know the Child and Develop Rapport

-Before assessing an ELL child, establish a personal rapport

-Avoid embarrassing the child

-Expect the child to always say they understand you

-Learn some words in the child’s language

-Validate the child’s language as an appropriate means of communication

The best approaches to ELL instruction are those that provide
comprehensible input (i+1)
and do so in an anxiety free environment.

(Stephen Krashen & Tracey Terrell, 1983)

Input Hypothesis

” is current level,
is next level (a little beyond reach)= comprehensible input

-Speaking fluency cannot be taught. It emerges on its own.

The Natural Approach
Natural Approach Strategies
-Teach students to figure out the meaning of words and phrases given the context

-Use modeling, and
to demonstrate expectation

-Always uses visual cues, aides, gestures

-Highlights context clues in speech and text

-Repeat speech, question asking and answering modes

-Increase sophistication of speech, question asking and answering over time

-Modifies speech (slowly but not incomprehensibly), chunk phrases and pause often, simplifies vocabulary and grammar (How about a pencil? vs. Do you want a pencil?), emphasizes key words in speech and writing

-Focus on
vocabulary development

- Always builds schema. Initiates instruction by activating prior knowledge (Concept Maps, Graphic Organizers, Brainstorming, Pictures, Films, Props, Past Experiences, NATIVE LANGUAGE)


Total Physical Response
(James Asher, 1979, San Jose University)
-Promotes acquisition of language through kinesthetic experience: combines information and skills

-Imperatives are the main structure

-Students respond to commands with an action

-Rapid rates of retention (Asher, 2009)

-Excellent tool for developing BICS (CALPS- eh, not so much =/)

Technique Explained
Step 1:
commands to be taught, and order to introduce new words

Step 2:
the action while giving command (may use written text for older students)

Step 3:
the action

Step 4: Give the
without doing the action yourself

Step 5:
as needed (May invite students to command each other or give command to each individual student one at a time)

Step 6:
Reverse roles
with students

Step 7:
as needed (May invite individual students to command teacher, or volunteer)

Step 8:
in random order

Step 9:
Produce new sentences

Common Activities (Scripts)
-Making food: Sandwich, Salad, Pizza

-Packing Your Bag

-Drawing a Picture

-Constructing figures with blocks, legos, arts and craft items,

-Playing in the Park

-Simon Says

- Going to School

-Baking, Cooking

-Cleaning the Room

-Shopping for…

-Ordering food

-Taking a Test

-Writing Scripts, Role-playing

-Going to a Party
Language Experience Approach
-Closely aligned to whole language approach (Text is highly comprehensible for learner)

-Heavily relies on personal experience, authentic text, and “noticings” of the speaker about language patterns and effective methods to communicate ideas.

-Promotes literacy development
Technique Explained
Step 1:
experience (teacher-student, student-student)

Step 2:
Speaker dictates
experience and then a scribe writes it down word for word. (No revisions)

Step 3:
Read and revise
story together. (Ask for clarity where language is confusing. Also, reinforce mechanics.)

Step 4: Revise and

Step 5:
Use authentic text again
for a different activity. (Word scramble, vocabulary exercises, cloze passages, sentence scrambles, matching, spelling, games, visualization activities, etc.)

Gimme Some More!
Virginia Rojas, PhD (Jenny From the Bronx!!!)
-Faculty of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

-Educator, author, workshop trainers, and leading advocate for English Language Learners and Effective ELL Instruction

Key Materials:
-Graphic Organizers Tool
-K-2 Literacy Strategies
-3-12 Reading Comprehension Tools
-3-12 Writing Strategies
-Vocabulary Tools
-Strategies for ELL: Conditions for Ensuring ELL Presentation and Engagement

Can't judge a book by it's cover!

Play the devil's advocate
Spot on!
Thank goodness!
For heavens sake.
"Take me to the beech."
(Krashen, 2003; Krashen 1983)
(Stephen Krashen, 1983)
D. Nessel and M. Jones,(1981)
The Language Experience Approach: A Handbook for Teachers
Teacher's College Press
References and Resources

Asher, James J. (2009). The Total Physical Response (TPR): Review of the Evidence. Retrieved at http://www.tpr-world.com/review_evidence.pdf

Asher, James J. (2003). Learning Another Language through Actions (6th ed.). Los Gatos, CA: Sky Oaks Productions, Inc.

Krashen, Stephen D. (1989; 2003). Principles and Practices in Second Language Acquistion. University of California. Retrieved at http://www.sdkrashen.com/content/books/principles_and_practice.pdf

Nozadze, Alexandra. (2012). Dealing with Fossilized Errors while Teaching Grammar. Journal of Education. International Black Sea University. Vo 1, No 1. Pp41-46. Retrieved at http://journal.ibsu.edu.ge/index.php/sje/issue/view/sje2012v1i1

Proliteracy Information Center. (2014) How to Use Total Physical Response in ESL Instruction. Proliteracy.org. Retrieved athttp://www.proliteracy.org/downloads/oic/how%20use%20total%20phys%20resp%20fs.pdf

Roseberry-McKibbin, C. & Brice, A. (Retrieved on 2 April, 2014). Acquiring English as a Second Language: What’s Normal, What’s Not. American Speech and Hearing Association. Retrieved at http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/easl.htm



Valerie Harmon, ES Learning Support
American International School of Johannesburg
April 9th, 2014

Script Example:
SWBAT: demonstrate recall, recognition, and understanding of basic classroom actions.

Vocabulary: stand up, sit down, walk, turn around, stop
Vocab Extension: Slowly, fast

T to SS: “Sit-down” (sits down)
“Stand-up” (stands up)

T to SS:“Stand-up” (stands up with ss)
“Sit-down” (stands up with ss)

T instructs SS to command:
“Sit down.”
“Stand-up” (Ss may command
teacher as whole group and then to

T to SS: “Sit down, slowly.”
“Stand-up, fast.”
“Walk.” “Stop.” “Turn-around.”

Discussion Topics
Important terminology

ELL Instructional Approaches

ELL Targeted Strategies
Dr. Jim Cummings, (1971)
Professor at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Dr. Jim Cummings, (1971)
Professor at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
Full transcript