- Have students create their own examples or analogies when
trying to understand and remember a general concept or
vocabulary definition. This not only helps students remember the
concept better, but also helps them check their own
- Being bilingual leaves students with more flexibility in
thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for
listening, gives the child a head start in language requirements
for college, increases job opportunities in many careers, and gives
a child the ability to communicate with people he or she would
otherwise not have had the chance to know.
Activity-Based Classrooms - ESL students succeed in
activity-centered classes because of two main factors: 1)
students have regular opportunities for extended discourse; and
2) students are highly motivated because they use the target
language in situations of personal choice.
Instruction - provide opportunities for visual, verbal
linguistic, and tactile kinesthetic learners to apply their
strength when learning. It means all students will not be
doing the same activity in the same way all of the time.
Expectations - Students need to be aware in advance of how
they will be evaluated. To familiarize students with your
expectations, do an in-class practice activity similar to the
assessment, then show students how they will be evaluated.
Students can work in pairs or groups during practice. Rubrics
and checklists will help clarify expectations.
||Find Key Words -
To learn this list of reasons why an event in history occurred,
show students how to pick out a key word for each reason and
then learn just the key words.
Setting - assist limited English proficient students in your
classroom in setting personal goals for language acquisition. Make
sure they learn in a proper balance; about 60% nouns, 30% verbs,
and 10% adjectives and prepositions.
Student's Native Language
- Encourage English speaking while reinforcing the value of the
learner's native tongue. Never let the student feel ashamed of
his or her native language or culture, and model that respect
for your students.
Instruction - integrated learning is beneficial for all
students, especially ESL learners. The ability to connect
learning in one subject area to learning in another increases
retention by increasing transfer.
||Justify Why, How
and When - Show your students the 'how', 'when' and 'why' to
use language learning strategies, and to evaluate and monitor
their own learning.
- Preview teaching material and activities to identify
strategies for instruction
- Present strategy by naming it and explaining when and
why to use it
- Model the strategy Provide opportunities to practice the
strategy with various activities/tasks
- Develop students' ability to evaluate strategy use
Develop skills to transfer strategy use to new tasks
(Adapted from Scope and Sequence Frameworks for Learning
Strategy Instruction in O'Malley & Chamot, 1995, pp. 158-9)
Learning Styles - use a
learning styles inventory or observation to discover the
learning style or multiple intelligence in which each student
has a dominant strength. Use that knowledge to prescribe the
best learning options for the student, and let students know the
results so they will know the best ways for them to study.
Language - Students will relax and fell comfortable in your
classroom if you make an effort to learn their vocabulary.
Simply asking ESL student show to say words or phrases in their
native tongue can increase trust and empathy on both
- Have students learn how to group items into categories in
order to memorize them. If they have a long list of things to
memorize, show them how to group similar items together or to
use anagrams for memory recall.
||No Busy Work
- Set reasonable goals for the material your English language
learners should be responsible for. Be sure it is relevant.
Adapt tests if necessary to fairly assess what your students
should be able to do. There is no point in their memorizing a
list of spelling words, for example, if they do not understand
what the words mean.
Outlines, Venn Diagrams, and Mind Maps - should be used to
assist ESL learners. Teachers should try to use visual reviews
with lists and charts; paraphrase the salient points where
appropriate; and have students provide oral summaries
Practice the Power of Patterns
- know the basic language patterns for the second language and
know how they compare to English patterns. give students
opportunities to recognize and practice the patterns.
||Quit Talking So
Much - ESL learners improve their fluency when they have
opportunities to speak. Pair and share activities after a brief
teacher talk will help ESL learners to check their comprehension
with a buddy.
Repetition - use
both to increase language proficiency. Repetition is how many
times you repeat something in a given time period, retroactivity
is how long you use and apply it from when you initially learned
it. Return to vocabulary from previous units and give students a
chance to apply those terms in a new instructional topic. Just
like in physical exercise, the number of repetitions and
the retroactivity increase strength.
||Six Facets of
Understanding - in order for learners to deeply
understand a topic, it must be experienced from all six facets.
Learners should be able to Explain, Apply, Interpret, and also
gain Empathy, Perspective and Self-knowledge.
||Think Aloud -
Use "think-out-loud" modeling. "Listen to me
think out loud". Take a "tour" of a reading
selection showing students how you scan the text first looking
at pictures, graphics, and titles. Share the questions you have
about the text before you begin reading.
||Use Visuals and
- to support ESL students' efforts at reading lengthy sections
of text, graphic organizers can aid in identifying the important
information you want them to find. Break lengthy sections down
and have student group discussions between the shorter text
segments. Teach students to visualize what they're trying to
learn. Have them create a mental image or organize information
on a graphic organizer.
- demonstrate an interest in and support of students whose
background differs from your own. Know the strengths that
accepting diversity has to offer us as a nation. Share those
benefits with your students.
Compositions - allow students to write a first draft in
their native tongue to get a fluency and cohesiveness of ideas.
While other students are revising and editing, ESL students can
translate into English. Babelfish is a good online resource to
assist students in translating http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfish/tr
(Encourage Experimentation) - a child
needs to experiment and produce utterances that may be
inaccurate yet reflect normal language development. In this way,
the child is attempting to figure out the patterns and rules
that govern the language. To correct the child's speech, grammar
or spelling, teachers should rephrase or expand on what the
child has already said or written. Feedback from peers will also
help the children determine correct from incorrect ways of
communicating. They test these chunks of language by using them
in situations that may or may not be appropriate. The feedback
they receive helps them determine whether they have guessed
correctly. Positive feedback works best.
Role Models - for each subpopulation, know the
leaders in your community that have been successful
transitioning into the American culture speaking English.
Involve them in your classroom for the benefit of all students.
Students older, but closer to their age will have a greatest
impact. High school students could visit elementary classrooms
as role models, and college students or graduates can greatly
impact current high school students.
||Zeal for Higher
Order Thinking - teachers must create opportunities to focus
on thinking skills including predicting, categorizing
generalizing and making inferences which are easily addressed in the warm-up and
motivation phases of a lesson; observing, reporting and
classifying, which can be done orally, in writing or
pictorially, and which fit nicely into presentation and
application phases; and sequencing, summarizing and justifying,
which fit well in lesson reviews.
(adapted from How to Integrate Language and Content Instruction,
Center for Applied Linguistics, 1991 by Deborah J. Short)