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.

I gave a staff presentation this week on this very topic and wanted to share some of the highlights, and the handout, with you all here. 

This list was created with the whole school staff in mind: ESOL teachers, classroom teachers, specials teachers, resource teachers, counselors, support staff, etc. Setting our multilingual learners up for year long success is a collective effort from us all. 

1 - Celebrate Cultural Diversity

The shining star of the presentation was this topic, Celebrating Cultural Diversity, especially pronouncing names correctly. I shared a Ted Talk video by Gerardo Ochoa on YouTube (we watched the first 7 minutes). If you get the chance to watch it, I highly recommend it. Here's the link.  

I also shared this slide. Teach Us Your Name is a picture book by Huda Essa. It shares the personal experience of  a young girl who didn't like her name because others couldn't pronounce it correctly. 

Then, I shared a great Flipgrid activity by Esther Park. Her free resource can be downloaded from her website here. It shares a link to a read aloud of Teach Us Your Name, and also provides a demonstration of how students could record their own video, teaching us how to say their names correctly. 

I created a printable activity for teachers to use in their classrooms the first week of school; students share what they know and like about their names. You can download a free copy here. Page 1 is for primary grades and page 2 is for upper elementary grades.

2 - Build Vocabulary

Our students need us to be mindful and focused on building and reinforcing vocabulary each and every day. The first slide shares examples of types of vocabulary (synonyms/antonyms chart is from Crafting Connections), and the second slide shows a powerful clip from a film called Immersion. The film demonstrates the challenges beginning English learners have in the classroom. Here's the clip.

The remainder of the presentation shared information on...

3 - Language Supports, aka scaffolds

4 - Comprehensible Input 

5 - "Low Stress" Output

These are definitely things our ELs need from us to be successful this fall, and beyond. If you'd like a copy of the handout to share with your school staff, you can grab a copy right here

Have a wonderful back to school season, Friends!

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