Teacher Implemented Learning Strategies for English Language

Teacher Implemented
Learning Strategies
for English Language Learners
Amanda DeFelice
October 31, 2007
• It is estimated that by the year 2015, the average
classroom will have a fifty percent or more
population of students from culturally diverse
backgrounds. With this in mind, it’s obvious that
the population of English Language Learners will
increase as well. It is essential for teachers to learn
and implement a variety of strategies because even
though ELL’s may not speak English fluently,
they still deserve an equitable opportunity to
achieve success.
What types of Strategies can teachers use
to help the ELL in their classroom?
There are several strategies that will be
discussed in this presentation. Most of the
strategies are correlated to content
instruction but I have also listed a few other
strategies that can be used to increase the
academic success of the English Language
Teaching Strategy #1
Language Scaffolding
• This strategy is a step by step process of
building students’ ability to complete tasks
on their own.
• Scaffolding can be used through modeling
academic language, visuals, graphic
organizers, demonstrations and hands-on
learning activities.
Teaching Strategy #2
Cooperative Learning
• Cooperative learning is not the same as group
work. This exercise is designed to get ELL’s
involved in activities that promote positive
interactions as well as opportunities to speak
and contribute their own ideas.
• Cooperative learning activities need to be well
organized and the students’ focus should
remain on the tasks at hand.
Teaching Strategy #3
Total Physical Response
• This strategy was developed by James J. Asher in the 1960’s
• The Total Physical Response strategy builds on the
relationship between language and the physical
representation of meaning.
• A TPR lesson has a detailed series of consecutive actions
accompanied by a series of instructions given by the
teacher. Students use their bodies to “act” out the meaning
of words and this helps ELL to understand the concepts of
language and its meaning.
Teaching Strategy #4
Native Language Support
Whenever possible, ELL’s should be
provided with academic support in their
native language.
Teachers can use texts that are bilingual or
other materials that involve the students’
native culture.
Setting up the classroom in a way that
shows support for the diverse cultures
represented in the classroom helps English
Language learners feel valued and
Lesson plans organized around cultural
content can help other students
understand cultural diversity.
Teaching strategy #5
Accessing Prior Knowledge
• Even though ELL’s are not proficient in English,
they are capable of relating background experiences
and knowledge to the content being taught.
• Teachers can use ‘semantic webs’ to create a visual
that shows the topic in the center and ask students
what they already know about in order to help them
contextualize more information in regards to the
Teaching Strategy #6
Dialogue Journals
• This strategy is a way for teachers to engage
students in writing and evaluate language
comprehension. Journal writing provides students
with an open ended dialogue with the teacher and
that is completely confidential and nonthreatening. Teachers have the opportunity to model
correct language and students benefit by gaining
fluency in English.
Other Teaching Strategies that
are helpful for the English Language Learner
• Teachers can use schema-building, adjusting their speech,
giving clear directions verbally and visually and holding
high expectations for the ELL
• Assigning the ELL to a peer who has bilingual proficiency
to help increase competency in conversational skills.
• Reduce the cognition level of ELL students by taking into
account the capabilities of the student who might no; have
had any prior schooling.
• Reduce the language load by rewriting difficult texts into
simpler terms. Teachers can point out new and particularly
difficult words, define them and explain how they are used.
Assessment and Testing for the
English Language Learner
• It is essential for teachers to continually
monitor the ELL’s progress . Formal and
Informal assessments are necessary to
demonstrate student’s comprehension of the
materials being taught.
• When assessing the ELL, vary the levels of
the questions being asked so you can see how
far the student has come along in language
Internet Resources
This website provides a lot of useful information to the ESL teacher and is easy
to use. Topics range from tips on communication to teaching to a specific
learning style.
This website features related links and several brief articles that deal with issues
in regards to teaching the English Language Learner.
Internet Resources
This web site is designed and targeted toward Teachers of English. It provides
articles and resources on a wide variety of topics that pertain to English.
This website contains information and resources for all teachers. This site also
has statistics and policies related to English Language Acquisition.
This website has useful tips and tools as well as articles, lesson plans, rubrics,
and other informative materials. It is well formatted and user friendly.
Printed References
Solomon, Margaret, Lalas, Jose, &
Franklin, Carol(2006) Making
Instructional Adaptations for
English Language in the
Mainstream Classroom: Is it Good
Enough? Multicultural Education
13 (3) 42-45
Miller Channas, Paul, & Endo, Hidehiro
(2004) Understanding and
Meeting The Needs of ESl Students
Phi Delta Kappan 85 (10) 786-791
Each of these articles from the listed
journals are beneficial to teachers
and psychologists. They are helpful
in creating awareness of the
different strategies that are useful
with the ELL.