ELL Teachers

ELL Teachers

What is an ELL Student?
English language learners are a diverse group of students, with different language, academic, and social-emotional needs. Students who speak the same language or have similar levels of language proficiency may need very different kinds of support to succeed in the classroom.

ELL students typically fall into one of two categories:

  • ELLs born in the U.S. These students have likely attended school in the U.S. for several years but still struggle with speaking English. They may have mastered social language but are lacking in academic language and vocabulary.

  • ELLs who have immigrated to the U.S. These students possess academic language and content knowledge in their native language but may have little to no knowledge of English.

Ways to Help ELL Students in the Classroom
Teachers — specifically those with ELL certification and training — play a significant role in ensuring ELL students succeed academically and have the support they need to thrive.

In addition to training and certifications, there are many ways teachers can help ELL students in the classroom, including:

  • Fostering collaboration across academic departments to support linguistic and academic development simultaneously.

  • Allowing students time to process questions and answers.

  • Developing non-verbal ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge (interactive games, role-playing, drawing, etc.).

  • Taking time to address new students on a one-on-one basis each day.

  • Utilizing assigned peers or “buddies” for new ELL students.

  • Encouraging students to discuss academic topics at home in their first language.

  • Finding ways to value ELL’s home culture and language.

  • Using instructional methodologies that are active and focus on learning by doing.

  • Focusing on the meaning and the development of concepts, rather than correct grammatical form.

  • Implementing consistent teaching and learning strategies.


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