Helping English Language Learners Thrive in the Classroom
English language learners (ELLs) are students who are learning English as their second language in the classroom. Teaching these types of learners can be a challenging experience, as they may still be in the process of mastering the language. There are however, techniques and strategies that educators can use to foster their success. Here are some key tips to help newly arrived English language learners succeed:
Create Small Language Learning Groups
Forming small language learning groups is one way to support ELLs in the classroom. This provides an opportunity for ELLs to practice speaking and listening to English with peers at their language proficiency level, helping them to learn in a supportive environment. When there are varying language levels within the same group, students can be grouped according to the language task they’re doing; so those at higher levels are working together on different activities than those at lower levels.
Using visuals can be a great way to help newly arrived ELLs better understand and process content in the classroom. Visuals such as images and videos can provide meaningful support as they can help to break up topics and engage students in the learning process. Visuals give learners an opportunity to interact with the material in a way that is more accessible and understandable.
Talking and Writing Time
Encourage ELLs to practice their language skills with both talking and writing. This will allow them to familiarize themselves with conversation, give them the opportunity to build their confidence in speaking, and allow them see how the language works by writing. This direct dialogue with language helps students to gain a better understanding of how English functions and helps them to increase their language ability.
Provide Supportive Feedback
It is important to give ELLs positive and supportive feedback. Praise is a powerful motivator and encourages students to persevere and keep learning. When giving feedback, be sure to relate it to specific language points and show students how to improve. This will help ELLs to build their confidence and help them to continue along their language learning journey.
These are just a few of the techniques and strategies that educators can use to help newly arrived ELLs thrive in the classroom. With the right support and positive reinforcement, ELLs can bolster their language skills and actively participate in their learning.