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Tips For Teaching Students Who Are English Language Learners

Academic Tips

  • Provide opportunities for authentic English communication, such as encouraging conversations, role-playing, questioning, and other opportunities to send and receive oral messages.

  • Use an expressive voice, gestures, pantomime, objects, and pictures whenever possible in presenting lessons.

  • Link instruction to students’ cultures.

  • Write key words and notes on the board.

  • Use flashcards and pictures to build vocabulary.

  • Use appropriate computer software to aid in instruction.

  • Use listening devices such as tape recorders and language masters to build vocabulary and listening comprehension.

  • Develop reading skills by reading to students and by matching materials to meet both language needs and student interests.

  • Support vocabulary development by using books that have built-in predictability.

  • Use books that have illustrations that support and extend meaning as a springboard for discussions and writing assignments.

Do:

  • Speak to the student.

  • Ask the student what will help him/her.

  • Get to know the student. Be a friend.

  • Involve the student in day-to-day activities.

  • Remember that language acquisition is a process.  Even if the student speaks English, that doesn’t mean he/she reads and/or writes English.

  • Speak slowly and use simple terms.

  • Remember that speaking and listening in English are the first steps. Encourage the student to talk in small groups.

  • Use different ways to get across a point. Trust your instincts. Many of the strategies that you already use can be adapted for your ESOL student.

  • Look at teaching an ESOL student as an opportunity to celebrate cultural diversity and to build awareness and tolerance.

  • When you need help ask your ESOL teacher, counselor, or call the ESOL and Other Language Services (OLS) personnel (678-817-3070/3095) or go the the Clayton County ESOL or OLS website.

Don’t:

  • Don't ignore the student.

  • Don’t expect an oral response immediately.

  • Don’t allow prejudiced behaviors to occur in class.

  • Don’t overuse detailed worksheets, which for the ESOL students, may be meaningless.

  • Don’t assess comprehension or performance in the same way as you assess other students.

  • Don’t be intimidated or frightened. You will be able to teach these students.

Click here for a printable copy



OTHER TIPS:

Tips for Teaching Students Who are English Language Learners

Tips for Teachers to use with ESOL Students at Different Stages of Language Acquisition

Short List of Tips

30 More Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners

Teacher Talk for Secondary Level Teachers

Accommodations for ESOL Students in Regular Education Classrooms

Parental Involvement