ELL Portfolio IN partial completion of Ed 424A

Mission Statement

As a future educator, I believe it is essential to be equipped to teach all types of students. Specifically in the environment where I envision myself, it is imperative that students have the tools they need to succeed. As it relates to English Language Learners, this involves an effort on my behalf as the teacher to address the varying needs represented in my literature rich classroom and close the gap in ability level.

I believe teaching English Language Learners requires a three fold approach: cross-cultural understanding, effective strategies, and scaffolding.

It is important for me to establish relationships with the students so I can better understand the culture from which they come and therefore some of the differences that might complicate the acquisition communicative competence and of assimilation into the school’s learning environment. I wish to get to know the students, include their families, and create a reciprocal environment where we can all benefit from an exchange of ideas and perspective.

A key part of is integrating effective strategies that enhance the learning of ELLs and their peers. Included in this portfolio is a list of some of the strategies which help to create an inclusive classroom and equip all learners with the tools to succeed. I feel that seamlessly applying and expanding these strategies to fit the needs of ELLs will help to create a supportive classroom centered on learning and improving one’s abilities and mastery of content.

Finally, scaffolding is one specific strategy that I see as crucial for teaching ELLs to have ownership over their learning. As the teacher, I seek a role that works alongside the ELLs, pushing them to improve but providing adequate support that helps them to establish independence as they progress.

My experience as a student, a classroom observer, and working with students of different cultures has made me eager to engage with the students in my classroom and put to work the strategies and theories that will help all learners to excel and build a lifelong love of learning, curiosity, and literature.

Strategies and resources

Technology resources
  1. VoiceThread App: a resource that helps users to build connection through videos, photos, and slides through conversation. Geared towards a wide age range
  2. Grammar Up : this app provides extra instruction for grammar skills; extensive resources and options for learning and reviewing
  3. Listen and Speak: this google play app allows the user to record their voice and offers correction on pronunciation, allowing you to refer to the prerecorded pronunciation as a model
  4. iName it: helps users build schemas for the language they are learning through visual aids and clues
  5. FluentU: hundreds of real-life English examples (videos, commercials, trailers, instructional clips, and more) that provide language instruction and learning opportunities
  6. Audio tapes: in a literature classroom, it is extremely important that the students can consume and access the reading. Audio tapes give an opportunity for ELLs to approach the text from a different perspective, which helps struggling readers as well.
  7. Translation apps: allow students to use their devices as needed to translate
  8. Google forms: this could be used as a way of collecting both pretesting data and formative assessment; anonymity is a possibility and its very customizable
  9. NearPod: this app can help students stay caught up with the class slides and also interact with the material as needed and at their own pace later on
  10. Padlet: this resource allows students to submit anonymous questions, comments, and answers during class discussion and can be helpful for ELLs to not feel the pressure of raising their hand and still participate
Listening and Speaking strategies
  1. Model appropriate speech pace: slow the pace of speech down so that all students can understand and learn also to not rush through their own speeches
  2. Wait time: utilize appropriate wait time to give ELLs a chance to respond, especially since the switch between languages can cause a lapse of understanding
  3. Think-pair-share: allowing students to have an opportunity to formulate their ideas, be validated in their ideas, and then share with the class in groups takes some pressure off of the students and allows them to explore their ideas in a safe and supported way
  4. Cooperative learning/group work: opportunities for students to speak and collaborate in smaller groups than that entire class, which can be intimidating; also allows for learners to scaffold ELLs and exchange ideas
  5. Interviews: allow students opportunity to interview each other and present on the other person; provides platform for discussion of culture and interests and helps take the pressure off of speaking in front of the class
  6. Lecture outlines: allow students to follow along and write down the important information through outlines that scaffold collection of data
  7. Read/listen and respond opportunities: have students discuss and orally respond after lectures, speeches, videos, or articles to practice speaking and listening for details
  8. Repeat: have students repeat vocabulary words and not just encounter them in writing
  9. Choral reading: primarily for poetry and plays; never without advanced notice to give students the chance to practice and not surprise them
  10. Gentle error correction: for grammar and content, gentle corrections through modeling in a supportive environment can help ELLs to receive immediate feedback and correct their speech and grammar
  11. Varied language: provide opportunities for students to engage in academic and conversational English for communicative competence
  12. Point out word stress: when necessary and important to meaning, make a point to highlight word stress
  13. Entrance tickets: Using a write-and-speak entrance ticket, students have the opportunity to prepare things to say and then practice speaking in an informal setting
  14. Literature circles: throughout the semester, students have the opportunity to participate in literature circles where they can discuss feelings about books, texts, and genres in a setting that allows informal and formal language; smaller groups also help take some pressure off
  15. Community building activities: provide opportunities for students to discuss pastimes, interests, and schedules
Writing strategies
  1. Outlines: these provide a template and scaffolding opportunity for ELLs to structure their writing and build support for their claims, while also helping them adjust to the Western writing style and expectations.
  2. Journal and blog prompts: these give the ELLs an opportunity to practice writing in a judgement free and ritual way; prompts can also provide a platform for discussion about culture
  3. Brainstorming sessions/games: these help students feel supported in their ideas and discover a topic and themes that they are passionate about; It can be especially helpful for scaffolding ELLs in their thinking process and English application
  4. Mad-libs: this activity could help scaffold proper grammar, vocabulary use, and brainstorming for ideas
  5. 6+1 grading rubric: address several different areas of writing to ensure helpful feedback and provide fair grading that does not simply plummet a grade of bad grammar
  6. Clear prompts: as a part of authentic and valid assessment, having prompts that present clear expectations and questions; providing possible direction when needed
  7. Genre-mimicry projects: have students attempt to write in a certain genre style to demonstrate knowledge of genre and personal experience with the material
  8. Process writing: brainstorming, outlining, writing,feedback, revisions and edits, feedback, revision and edit, create finished product; scaffolding the writing process and allowing feedback to assist students
  9. Writing conferences: can be done as part of the process writing method or general feedback; offer students a chance to address difficulties and road blocks during the writing process
  10. Writing folders: a portfolio where students can keep their writing work throughout the semester, noting progress and ways to improve as they develop
Reading and Vocabulary strategies
  1. Vocabulary charts: these charts will provide students with definitions to content words and a place where they can add more words they have learned or need to look up. They can be accompanied by images or examples to supply learning aids.
  2. Visual aids: providing helpful examples, images, and other authentic examples that help students build connections with and remember the material
  3. Anticipation reaction guide: by working through expectations and then reality, students can be guided through their reading and analysis of written text
  4. Top-down approach: similarly, students use titles and topic sentences to make predictions about the reading and what to expect or focus on; this can help ELLs narrow their focus as they read
  5. Word wall: throughout the semester, we will put vocabulary terms or words we encounter that we didn't know onto a word wall so we can keep track of them and reference them; helpful for referencing vocabulary and not losing a word after one unit
  6. Venn Diagrams: help students organize ideas and begin to analyze/compare and contrast themes
  7. Access to wide range of literature: the classroom should have many different reading levels, interest levels, and cultures represented
  8. Summarizing activities: after chapters, articles, essays or other readings, students can use different ways to summarize the material and try to gather the important information
  9. Contextualizing: using real-world content and experiences to relate to the text through discussion questions, prompts, and activities
  10. Differentiated assignments: offering different reading level materials for some class activities and reading assignments
  11. Graphic organizers: organize information in a way that captures the main points and helps students remember key information and details while not fretting over the extraneous
  12. Authentic contexts: using vocabulary in 5-7 meaningful ways throughout the unit and semester to ensure comprehension and exposure
  13. Personal vocabulary journals: where students can record high frequency words, words they struggle with, words they like, and words they have to look up the definition to throughout the year
  14. Integration: combining strategies of inferring, confirming, predicting, and sampling the next to become more accustomed to efficiently reading materials
  15. Ripple strategy: when encountering an unknown word, look for the part of speech, its role in the sentence, the context of the sentence, then guess and check; helpful approach to new words
Created By
Emily Sievert


photos from Google search engine 

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