Teaching ELL Students

There is a continually growing population of English language learners (ELL) in general education. Today’s teachers are faced with a rising challenge of how to effectively include and teach students who do not have a foundational knowledge of the English language. Communication can become tricky and frustrating and teachers must be aware that modifications must be made in order to give ELL students the chance to succeed alongside their peers. Modifications for the classroom can include the following:

  • Predictable and consistent classroom management routines
  • Graphic and visual displays that show relationships between content and concepts
  • Additional time and opportunities for practice
  • Redundant key information
  • Identifying, highlighting, and clarifying difficult words and passages to help facilitate comprehension
  • Helping students consolidate text knowledge
  • Giving students extra practice in reading words, sentences, and stories
  • Providing opportunities for extended interactions with teachers and peers
  • Adjusting instruction, e.g. vocabulary, rate of speech, sentence complexity
  • Targeting both content and English language objectives

As a future teacher myself, I intend to above all practice patience when working with ELL students and any other student with special needs. Allowing students the chance to process information and content at a speed that is comfortable for them will go along way in their overall success in the classroom. I plan to practice the above modifications and to overall have patience and empathy when dealing with students that are struggling. Also, taking the time out to learn small phrases and helpful words in a students native language can go along way to show that you as a teacher care about their learning environment. I want my students to know that I am willing to give extra to help them overcome their difficulties .


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