Helping English Language Learners Orientation for Teachers

Seven Teaching Strategies

for Classroom Teachers of


These seven strategies are designed to help teachers meet the needs of all the students in their classes and to help make the mainstream classroom more inclusive for ELLs.  Source: Teaching English Language Learners Across the Content Areas (ASCD, 2010), Debbie Zacarian and Judie Haynes More>

How long does it take to

learn English?

How long does it take to learn English? How long should students receive support in language? These are the most frequently asked questions by administrators, school board members and classroom teachers. Source: EverythingESL- Judie Haynes More>

Challenges for ELLs in

Content Area Learning

Do you want to help classroom teachers in your school with their English language learners? Begin by understanding the challenges ELLs face in their content area learning. Source: EverythingESL- Judie Haynes More>
You are key! No two ELLs (English Language Learners) are the same!  You are key to their success when you differentiate!  Most of what you already do benefits ELLs. A New ELL? WHAT DO I DO FIRST?
Modifications and Accommodations Modifications are required for all ELLs, if needed ELLs cannot fail because they lack English proficiency! More>

Quick Reference Guide for Teachers

All new learners of English progress through the same stages to acquire  language. However, the length of time each students spends at a  particular stage may vary greatly.  •Listening- process, understand, interpret, and evaluate spoken  language in a variety of situations  • Speaking- engage in oral communication in a variety of situations for a  variety of purposes and audiences  • Reading- process, understand, interpret, and evaluate written language,  symbols and text with understanding and fluency  • Writing- engage in written communication in a variety of situations for a  variety of purposes and audiences. What if the ELL doesn’t speak any English? • Use gestures, flashcards, visuals, and repetitive commands.  • Put ELLs in cooperative groups. • Provide opportunities for ELLs to learn American culture (games, word play, flashcards, nursery-rhymes, songs,  holidays.)  • Give ELLs a picture dictionary (check library or ESL teacher.)  • Simplify your language.  Speak slowly. Repeat!  • Use software like Rosetta Stone.  • Encourage parents to read aloud in home language. This print awareness will facilitate English literacy.  • Very important: Include ELL in academic instruction.  Teach academic vocabulary and syntax
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Colorín is the leading national website serving parents and educators of English language learners (ELLs) in Grades PreK-12. is a national multimedia project offering information and resources to the parents and educators of struggling adolescent readers and writers.
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NJDOE Bureau of Bilingual/ESL Education provides New Jersey educators with policy information and valuable teaching tools. Professional Development FABRIC – A Learning Paradigm for ELLs NJ MODEL CURRICULUM includes scaffolds and a list of 99 supports for ELLs.  Click on ELL Scaffolding Information  
Understanding Language- Language, Literacy, and Learning in the Content Areas Our team is currently developing sets of teaching resources that exemplify high-quality instruction for ELLs across three content areas. The resources will correspond to the widely-adopted Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics and to the Next Generation Science Standards. More>
What if an ELL speaks English, but lacks literacy skills?                      Conversational English usually precedes reading & writing.  • Phonics: ELLs need to know the meanings of words used to teach phonics.  • ELLs may come to you not knowing that print conveys meaning.  Or ELLs may be from a language that is read  right to left, or top to bottom (Arabic, Chinese) or uses characters.  Give ELLs a lot of exposure to print concepts.  • Teach and build sight word vocabulary.  • Provide or record books on tape, CD, computer, ipods, ipads, or tablets.  Read aloud!
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