ESL Portfolio By Sujata Mahal




This website is a part of the Building Capacity Series produced by the Ministry of Education.It emphasized on student's identity and their active role in learning.It also guide us to include student voice in planning learning opportunites in the classroom.

Reason for this task:This monograph was very impressive and it resonated my believes.I also liked the practical strategies discussed to support ELL's .I always like to have good rapport with my students and I try my best to first connect with my students before starting my classroom teaching.

Importance in relation to work with ELL's :This monograph discussed practical strategies which teacher can adopt to benefit ELL's.According to it,teacher should explore the student's identity and try to know about each student in more dimensions rather than academics.Teacher should know the strengths,needs and interests of the child,as this will enable them to help make relevant and authentic connections of student with the learning.Through feedback and conversation about different aspects of students’ lives, teachers facilitate personal investment in learning.


Presentation: Teaching principles

This assignment was based on summary presentation of the teaching principles which I considered more important when working with ELL's.I tried to first have three main ones but all which I included have their own relevance while dealing with ELL's.

Reason for this task:In my presentation I tried to summarize all the important principles which are going to enrich my knowledge and understanding for ELL's classroom.There were few principles which I am already implementing in my teaching practice but still I took them as I really want to keep myself reminded with those.There were few principles new and they enriched my knowledge i.e Constant correction may limit participation and increase anxiety, thus limiting development. Respond to errors judiciously and respectfully, providing necessary feedback without embarrassing students.Even respecting silent period was also one of them.

Importance in relation to work with ELL's: All the principles discussed in the presentation are really meaningful for the educators dealing with ELL's.It will provide different strategies that will benefit ELL's and engage them in productive learning.

Capacity building:



ARTIFACT#3 Checklist for an Effective and Welcoming School Environment

The checklist includes eight to ten items that you will use to evaluate a school’s effectiveness in creating a warm and welcoming environment.

Reason for this task: There are many ways that a school can create a welcoming environment,using this checklist it will be easier to compile information to create a workable action plan .Through this checklist its easy for an educator to keep in mind the things that create inclusiveness for all in the school.This checklist also help the educator to give comfortable and welcoming environment to newcomers in the school.

Importance in working with ELL’s: School can create a welcoming and safe environment by providing multilingual signs in the school or allowing ELLs to teach the class a phrase or two in their native language, or they can be more elaborate measures, such as having school-wide multicultural celebrations. Newcomers from all backgrounds have a wide variety of interests and skills, and often can contribute a great deal to a school’s co-curricular activities. All of these activities provide opportunities for English language learners to participate in school life.This checklist is a sort of reminder in daily routine for an educator which can be followed in their teaching practice.

Inclusiveness checklist for school communtiy

  • School have designated welcome team welcoming the newcomers
  • Multilingual welcome signs, in the languages of the community, are posted in the school.
  • Make newcomers and their parents feel comfortable, regardless of their proficiency in English. Have competent adult interpreters available to assist parents and help them fill out forms during interview process.
  • Have effective orientation for parents. Provide parents with essential information, such as the name of the principal; the school phone number; and the dates of holidays, professional development days, and parent-teacher interviews, and inform them about essential procedures, such as those that apply to student absences
  • Inform parents of community programs, supports, and resources that may interest them, such as local adult ESL classes.
  • Teacher should be welcoming keeping in mind few tips:Ensure that the student understands school routines and is familiar with school;Provide the student with some basic language learning materials;Incorporate images and examples of linguistic and cultural diversity into all subjects in the curriculum, and celebrate diversity in all aspects of your practice.
  • Make Newcomers get involved in the school community.Newcomers from all backgrounds have a wide variety of interests and skills, and often can contribute a great deal to a school’s co-curricular activities. All of these activities provide opportunities for English language learners to participate in school life
  • Post signs and notices in multiple languages to Incorporate cultural diversity.

Artifact#4 : Vision for ELLs

In this task I am going to develop my vision for ELLs and an accompanying plan of action that help me to achieve that vision.

Reason for the task:It is really important to make a action plan with some goals to achieve success with ELL’s.This task ensures the educator to set some goals and plan some ways to meet the vision.To empower ELLs and embrace their cultural and linguistic identity it is necessary to set some vision plan.

Importance in working with ELL’s: Vision plan help the educators to ensures that ELLs and their families feel welcomed to your school and classroom.It helps the educators in planning initial assessment and goal setting.This plan provide opportunities to educators to choose pathways that honour the strengths and needs of ELLs.The main motive of this vision plan is that ELLs voice is valued in the classroom and they gain confidence to express their opinion in the classroom.



Artifact# 5 The assignment where we discussed the distinction between BICS and CALP, all the resources given in this part of module were helpful BICS is usually the informal language where child use high frequency words using eye contact and facial expressions. Usually it is the everyday English used by the speakers to interact with their teachers and peers.On the other hand ,CALP is the formal language used by the speakers to express and explore the concepts in core of education.

Reason for the task: I think as a educator I was aware of the two stages but I was not familiar with the acronyms used BICS and CALP. Also, after watching Cummins web cast the difference is more clear in my mind.I really feel as a educator it is very important for us to know these terms while dealing with ELLs.The resources given in this module were really helped me to have clear distinction in my mind.

Importance in working with ELLs: The knowledge of distinction between BICS and CALP will definitely impact my planning while dealing with ELLs. Academic English proficiency often involves learning new ways of thinking, such as describing properties or processes, comparing and contrasting, hypothesizing, and generalizing.As I am teaching grade 2 and kids usually speak everyday English, I can extend their understanding abour academic English.To properly assess speaking and listening skills, one first needs to understand the difference between BICS and CALP.

Artifact #6 I really found the resouces given for Instructional scaffolding helpful Oral skills – both speaking and listening – are at the very foundation of literacy. Classroom talk helps students to learn, to reflect on what they are learning, and to communicate their knowledge andunderstanding. The strategies in this link provide simple but powerful tools for improving communication in every classroom and all subject areas.

Reason for the task:Students are sometimes assigned an oral activity (e.g., working in small groups) without a clear understanding of what is expected and how to be most effective. By taking the time to teach specific oral strategies in the context of your subject area, you will boost your students’ confidence and performance.So I have chosen this as artifact as it is providing so many oral strategies which I can choose for improving communication in the classroom.

Importance in working with ELLs: Opportunities for extended involvement in authentic classroom conversations are essential for all students, and have additional benefits for students who are learning the language of instruction as a second or additional language .Providing the right support at the right time requires a good understanding of your ELL’s current language ability, interests, background and the language-specific demands existing in the lesson.Using differential instruction and choosing appropiate oral strategies would help the individual needs of ELLs.


Artifact# 7

Folse (2009) presents an argument for "Why K–12 teachers should become more aware of ESL grammar issues"

Reason for the task:I am also agreed with the Keith Folse “Teacher who have become more aware of typical ELL errors are better able to focus on content –Science,History,Math and not be negatively swayed by grammatical errors.”After reading Folse argument I realised that it is really important for a educator to explain the grammatical errrors and fail to do that can have negative consequences for ELL.

Importance in working with ELLs:However,while taking assessements in different subjects I always judge the test by content and pay less attention to grammatical errors.In my perspective,apart from language in the other subjects content should be given more attention .While learning the content the teacher can keep on giving feedback to child regarding grammatical errors.Even Telling students to pay attention to their English when the teacher in fact cannot explain the error fails to help students learn anything useful.So teacher should know the grammatical issues and should know the way to explain the errors for successful learning with ELLs.


Catherine Snow describes nine proven approaches to teaching vocabulary

Reason for the task: I have chosen this as artifact as after watching this video and going through myths ,lot of misconceptions got cleared in mind .It includes nine principles which can support the teacher for designing the vocabulary instruction in a better way,to support students' vocabulary learning.

Importance in working with ELLs:These principles give the design of instruction material and lot of strategies that can be used in the classroom to enhance the vocabulary learning.All the principles given:Pick generative words, provide opportunities to use the words, expand each word’s semantic mapping ,cultivate word awareness,provide learner’s friendly definitions of new words ,ensure the recurrent exposures in the lesson,teach word learning strategies,presenting words in semantic rich contexts ,encourage experiments and expect mistakes,help the teacher to have effective vocabulary instruction in the class.


Artifact#9 Intercultural competence is the preparation of individuals to interact appropriately and effectively with those from other cultural backgrounds. As a result, understanding culture becomes an integral component of intercultural competence

Reason for the task:This task familarize me with |ntercultural competence and highlight the characterstics required for culturally resonsive educator.After going through the Monograph and Jean Clinton’s video ,my understanding for cultural responsive pedagogy has been deepened. As educators, we must be prepared to teach all students while also being committed to preparing students for the reality of a diverse Canadian and global society.

Importance in working with ELLs:In my understanding knowledge of intercultural competence in the classroom help the educator to bulid strong relationship with student.Intercultural awareness helps the educator to understand and respect the sensitivity among ELLs in the classroom.To become cross-culturally competent in the classroom teachers must understand important ways in which cultures differ and how this affects the ways in which their students behave. Through studying the cultural backgrounds of their students, teachers can learn to avoid some of the problems that surface each day.



Enpowering ELLs with Digital storytelling: Digital storytelling is the concept of using digital media (photos, audio, video) to create a story. It’s a tool that can be used for a variety of communication purposes, from marketing and advertising to documentary videos.

Reason for this task:I chose this artifact ,as I think now students are more comfortable and familiar with technology.This tool is relevant to 21st-century learning and will extend their communication and interaction to another level.

Importance working with ELLs:For many ELLs, communicating an idea, a narrative or a story is the most difficult aspect of learning English. Digital storytelling allows students to communicate an experience or an idea—and the meaning and feelings behind it—in a short timeframe and to express themselves in ways they might not be able to while writing an essay or report. In addition to critical thinking, students will be able to learn in a way that supports and encourages creativity. Writing is a pretty daunting task for most ELLs, but I found that, after being introduced to digital storytelling, my students became more comfortable with sharing their thoughts and experiences. Digital stories allow them to express themselves with fewer words.

My Teaching Philosophy: As a teacher ,my role is to assist the student to become an independent learner.To achieve this goal ,its my responsibility to differentiate my instruction according to different proficiency levels of students.Through this course ,I gained many strategies to deal with my ELLs in class and I would try to implement those to accommodate ELLs in my classroom. My ultimate goal is to empower my student and show them that they can continue to be independent learners for the rest of their lives.I want to create the learning environment where all students feel welcomed and comfortable to share their cultural experiences.I like my lessons to be dynamic,properly paced and with sense of fun.Teaching is a learning process and along with different experiences, I would try to add all those strategies which makes my student successful towards achieving their goals.

Reflections: During this course ,I got insight about assessment and evaluation strategies which I can implement in my teaching practice. Before beginning of this course I have questions in my mind about assessment strategies,parents involvement,instructional and inclusiveness in the class.Knowledge to use STEP assessment tool for ELLs using initial and ongoing assessment resources.I have learned various principles for vocabulary and grammar instructions. Oral skills – both speaking and listening – are at the very foundation of literacy. Classroom talk helps students to learn, to reflect on what they are learning, and to communicate their knowledge and understanding. I learned various differentiated Instructional strategies to accommodate ELLs in the classroom.Involvement of parents play really important role for ELL.To my surprise,I got to know that ELL can be Canada born too.After going through course I came to know the difference between BICS and CALP. This course will enable me to cultivate the positive learning environment that celebrates the identity of every student ,supporting the needs of ELLs in the classroom. I think now I have better understanding of all integrating language skills: reading, writing,listening and speaking. This course gave me awareness about approaching different situations with confidence and meets the diverse needs of ELLs in the classroom.

Created By
Sujata Mahal


Created with images by Regent Language Training - "Young learner student" • mosaic36 - "IMG_4171" • Regent Language Training - "Regent Young Learners" • malfet_ - "First day of school" • mosaic36 - "tga ell frances insects" • Elijah - "Digital Storytelling Workshop in Mount Pleasant 04"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.