Tips for Teachers of English Learners


Why do teachers need tips for teaching English learners? Students who are learning a new language while simultaneously learning grade level curriculum require supports to navigate the two successfully. The bonus in knowing what these supports are is realizing that what's good for ELs is good for ALL students.

ESL Teacher Tips for Starting a New School Year

Top 5 ESL Teacher Suggestions for Starting a New School Year

I remember when I was a new ESL teacher, I really had no clue where to begin. Thank goodness I had an amazing mentor and roommate; without her I would've been completely lost. Each school district is different, so you may be required to do certain tasks at the start of each year, but as a seasoned ESOL teacher, here are my top 5 suggestions for starting off the school year strong.

Tips for Setting Up Successful Push-In ESL Support and Co-Teaching

Push-in ESL support and co-teaching can be powerful for both students and teachers alike. I've found that when general education teachers are open to "sharing" their class and planning together, the results can be truly awesome for all involved. ESL students benefit greatly from this kind of collaborative environment, as do non ESL students. However, it's not always easy to navigate. I've worked with teachers who've had a hard time with this experience. They saw my role more as an "instructional assistant,' which I was not, and in turn the impact of two teachers in the room had minimal benefit. Here are a few tips for establishing a positive co-teaching experience. 

Tips to Make ESL Lesson Planning Less Stressful

Let's be real, planning weekly lessons in the ESL classroom can be an overwhelming task. Factors include caseloads and the sheer number of students/small groups serviced. Also, heterogenous groupings with a variety of language levels make it difficult to target specific language needs of students. Perhaps you're a new teacher and simply haven't had the guidance yet on planning ESL lessons. Here are a few tips to help make planning less stressful. 

Language Forms and Functions in an ESL Classroom

If Language Functions were a car, then Language Forms would be the tires, gas, engine, steering wheel and all the other parts that make that car drive. Teaching language functions has been the driving force (no pun intended, LOL) behind my English Language Development (ELD) instruction for several years and I love it! Students in every grade level, K-12 and beyond, use language functions across all content areas, so IMO, teaching Forms and Functions is an excellent way to build academic language and provide a pathway to language proficiency for English learners. 

My previous post was all about teaching Language Functions. Well, Form and Function go hand in hand, so let's dive into how Language Forms plays a role in ELD instruction.

Teaching Language Functions with English Learners

What are language functions? LFs are the "reasons" we use language; it's our purpose, or goal, when we express ourselves. Perhaps we want to express our needs or wants, explain a process, describe an experience, or persuade someone to do something. Whatever the purpose, we use language to perform these functions. 

Top 5 Things our ELs Need From Us

Hello Friends!

As we get ready for our students this fall, I want to shine a light on the top 5 things our ELs need from us this fall. It was a challenge coming up with a TOP 5, but these, IMO, are it.