As a teacher at an International School, many of my students are English Language Learners. Even my native English speakers are living in a non-English speaking country. Due to my unique teaching position, I have had some readers ask for tips on teaching English Language Learners. Here is this week’s Tuesday TESOL Teaching Tip:
In many English speaking classrooms around the world – public and private – there will be students walking into school this year who do not speak a word of English, or whose English level is so minimal that they don’t know the word for pencil. Last year, I started with two of those students and two who were not much higher. For these students, it is imperative to spend time during the first week of school working on the names of the supplies that they need – pencil, notebook, scissors, crayon etc. Even ESL/ELL students who come in with some English are often missing key school words – like the names of all of those important people in the school, or the names of the subjects they will be learning about. For this reason, I will start the year out by teaching ALL of my students, ELL or not, the important school vocabulary. I do this with my Back to School Vocabulary Packet (which you can download for FREE from my TPT store), and A LOT of modeling. My packet has 4 levels, so even my “high” students have something new to learn, but the key piece is that I point out all of the different vocabulary words in each lesson during the first few weeks of school, so that I am sure that my kiddos know how to understand and explain the world around them.
How do you help your ESL students get acclimated to the new school year?