Teaching Beginning English Language Learners How To Retell

Once my beginning English language learners have built some vocabulary and are able to decode their emergent level books, it is time to tackle the skill of retelling. It truly is the basis of reading comprehension. Plus, it's an excellent way to build their oral language skills!

An Awesome Translating App for the Classroom

I recently found this AMAZING translating app and I just had to share it!

I work with English language learners, and I have quite a few who are brand new to English. I recently got a couple of new students from Japan, so my broken Spanish was of no help. I needed to communicate some basic information to them and was thinking about how I could do this. One evening at dinner I was talking to my kids about it and my ninth grade son, who is taking a foreign language class, told me about this app he found. It's called Microsoft Translator, and it's FREE! Let me highlight some it its awesome features for you ...

Top 5 Favorite Resources for Teaching English Language Learners

If I could only use 5 resources when planning and teaching my English language learners, what would those be? Easy! These 5 are definitely ones that I would not want to do without...

Setting Reading Goals with English Language Learners

Do you need to set a reading goal for your "newcomers," aka, beginning English language learners, that measures a certain level of growth by the end of the school year? Some teachers, if not most, are asked to create SMARTR goals for student progress: S=Specific, M=Measurable, A=Attainable, R=Relevant, T=Time-bound. So, what is a realistic amount of growth for students who have not yet acquired basic communication or literacy skills in English? And what can we do to maximize their growth?

Teach Reading Comprehension Skills Using Short Films

I love using short films to teach reading comprehension skills, and my students love watching them!

Why do I love using them?
Show a short film and students are engaged! Visual learners and students who typically struggle with reading comprehension, including English language learners (ELLs), have greater success practicing comprehension skills with shorts. Most shorts do not have dialogue, they're all action. My students, regardless of their level of language proficiency, "get" the lesson more easily because the shorts are visual.

K.I.M. - A Highly Effective Strategy to Build Vocabulary Across Any Content Area

In my last post, I shared briefly about a strategy that I use to build vocabulary for my beginning English Language Learners (ELLs) called the K.I.M. Strategy. Today I want to share with you in more detail about what this strategy is, why I use it, and how I differentiate it to meet the needs of ALL students.

The K.I.M. Strategy is a low prep, high yield strategy that supports ALL levels of learners across ALL content areas. Now, you can't get much better than that!

Small Group Work with Beginning English Language Learners

As an ESL teacher, I often hear from classroom teachers that they don't always know where to start when it comes to working with beginning English language learners (ELLs), or newcomers, in small guided reading groups. In this post I'll share a typical "guided reading" lesson that I would give to my beginning ELLs, as well as a glance of at what a typical week would look like.