ELL's and The Inclusive Classroom




ELL's and The Inclusive Classroom

Why did we focus on ELL's in an early childhood classroom?

As ECE majors and future teachers, we have a strong interest in creating an inclusive classroom for all students. We have decided to focus on ELL students as this population is substantial and will continue to grow. To create this inclusive classroom we will focus on: the student, the family, the school and the community. We will include these four components in order to build a guide to create a successful and inclusive classroom.
**Our goal is to create an accessible guide for current and future teachers.
A (brief) History of ELLs in the United States:
1920s-1960s: “Sink or swim” policies are the dominant method of instruction of language minority students, few or no remedial services are available, students held at same grade level until enough English is mastered to advance in subject areas
1963: Success of a two-way bilingual program for Cuban refugee children in Dade County, FL, this inspires implementation of similar programs elsewhere
1964: Civil Rights Act: Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in the operation of all federally assisted programs
1968: The Bilingual Education Act, establishes federal policy for bilingual education for economically disadvantaged language minority students, allocates funds for innovative programs and recognizes the unique educational disadvantages faced by non-English speaking students
2001: No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the reauthorization of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 appropriates funds to states to improve the education of limited English proficient students by assisting children to learn English and meet challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards (legislation for limited English proficient students is found under Title III of NCLB)
For more information about the history of English Language Learners in the United States view the link below. Also, teachers, students, families, and administrators will discover insightful information about ELL's on this website.

Who are they?
English Language Learners are rapidly becoming a larger part of the classroom community. ELL students come to the classroom with a wide variety of background knowledge, language and literacy skills. The skills and knowledge of the ELL depend on school experience and duration, home environment, emotional experience, among other factors. English language learners are non-native English speakers who are learning English in school.
What are their needs?
- - Prior Knowledge
- - Oral Fluency and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency
- - Safe, Low-Risk Environment for Learning
- - Literacy Skills in L1 and L2 (First and Second Language)
- - Overall Comprehensible Instruction
- - Grade-Level Knowledge
- - Utilization of first language as a tool
- - Make all cultures known and celebrated
- - Real Authentic Lessons plus the opportunity for ELL’s to lead others in learning
What are the Ohio English Language Proficiency Levels?
I. Prefunctional
II. Beginner
III. Intermediate
IV. Advanced
V. Proficient/ Trial / Mainstream
PreK-12 English Language Proficiency Standards: This link explains the five levels of English Language Proficiency. You will discover if your student is pre-functional, beginning, intermediate, advanced, proficient/trial-maintstream. Identify the abilities that your student has and what goals they should be working toward. http://www.tesol.org/advance-the-field/standards/prek-12-english-language-proficiency-standards
Professional teaching website that includes instruction on literacy and mathematics, in conjunction with the Common Core.

The Common Core State Standards and English Learners- A Resource Page: This resource page contains numerous resources. Specifically, the effects of implementing the standards for students and teachers. You can find an overview of the standards and the impacts of their implementation for ELL's. 
2. The Family
How can we communicate with them?

--Home visits: With family permission, visit the home and observe the culture and environment. This will help you better understand your student.
--Meetings with translator: Communication is crucial. It needs to happen no matter what. Use personal resources or use an online translator to facilitate communication.
--Email/letters/texts with translations: Online translators can help you navigate a language that is unfamiliar.
--Parent letters in the family's first language
What is the culture? Why is it important?

Culture is comprised of what people know and what they believe, what people do, and what people make and use. Shared beliefs and values are required to ensure group cohesion and survival. It is important to understand the culture of all students, especially English Language Learners. Teachers and administrators should be familiar with the culture from which their students come from. At the same time, teachers must reflect on their own culturally rooted behaviors that may influence their teaching and learning desain rumah minimalis.
These two translation websites are flexible and easy paths for communication. Families, students and school employees can utilize this resource to more effectively communicate with each other.
To create bilingual newsletters or newsletters in a specific language use the following samples, resources and examples. These resources will further communication with the classroom and the home. Students and teachers can use these cites to deliver information in various media.

ODE websites, ‘Letters to Parents of Students Identified as ELL’: Schools must notify families when their children are identifed as ELL. This link will provide documents that are in 15 different languages that present information that is of importance to the families of ELL's. 


3. The School and the Community

What is the teachers job?

--To provide a supportive, caring community for all students.
--To be knowledgeable about student needs and abilities
--To have resources, activities, lessons, modifications readily available for children of all languages, backgrounds and cultures.
What is administrators job?
--Provide and support the classroom teachers
--Provide resources and support in the classroom
How can we modify lessons?

7 Sequential Principles for Sheltered Instruction ELL’s:

1. Target the “big ideas”
- - Main principles, achievable objectives, and key vocabulary

2. Access and build upon students’ prior knowledge
- - Connect student knowledge and experience to new learning
- - Use the native language as a tool

3. Make sure that the new information is comprehensible
- - Model, model, model the language!
- - Retell, clarify, and give numerous examples
- - Visuals, Manipulatives, Gestures, and Hands-On Experiences

4. Use a variety of literacy and vocabulary activities
- - Preview, teach, and re-teach vocabulary
- - Develop Comprehension Strategies

5. Organize purposeful interactions
- - Cooperative Learning Activities

6. Use fair and appropriate assessment strategies
- -  Formative and Summative

7. Provide instruction in a low-risk environment
- - Teach ELL’s in a developmentally/age appropriate classroom that provides safety and security

  6 Key Strategies for Teachers of ELLs
Strategy #1: Vocabulary and Language Development
Content knowledge:
• Introduce new concepts with important academic vocabulary.
• Connect synonyms or concepts to these essential vocabulary words that the students are familiar with or will understand.
• Support students to learn new word meanings, and their uses for subject-specific tasks and general language skills.
Academic language:
• Engage entry level students in using basic social and school vocabulary, phrases, and sentence structures.
• As the students progress, include instruction of more complex language forms and uses: subject-specific academic vocabulary, grammatical forms, and sentence structures used when listening, speaking, reading and writing.
• Start to point out differences between the student's primary language and standard academic English.
Sample activities/assessments:
Word analysis: dissecting words into their parts (prefix, root, suffix).
Vocabulary journals, A-B-C
Interactive editing
Cloze paragraphs (where the student fills in blanks of a paragraph with vocabulary words)
• Dictations
• Subject specific journals
 Strategy #2: Guided Interaction
Content knowledge:
• Facilitate many opportunities for peer interactions as students learn content and develop their use of academic language in speaking, listening, reading and writing.
• Clarify expectations, outcomes, and procedures for tasks to be completed in flexible group activities.
• Allow for primary language interactions to clarify concepts.
Academic language:
• Peer interactions will increase speaking, listening, reading comprehension and writing skills.
• Support language interactions with review and preview of language forms, use of graphic organizers or other types of modeling.
Sample activities/assessments:
• Partner interviews
• Class surveys
• Tea party: an interactive prereading strategy that frontloads students knowledge of text information and also allows them to become familiar with phrasing and content words.
• Think-pair-share
• Numbered heads together
• Four corners
• Poster projects, group presentations
•Perspective line-ups
•Reader's Theatre
Strategy #3: Metacognition and Authentic Assessment
 Content knowledge:
• Teach students processes for metacognition (beyond their natural way of thinking): such as pre-reading and pre-writing skills, word analysis, and methods to monitor reading comprehension.
• Teach and model ways for students to describe their thinking processes verbally and in writing.
• Use a variety of activities and tasks to check for understanding.
Academic language:
• Ensure that assessment tasks are appropriate for students’ assessed language development level.
• Provide enough time to complete tasks, provide feedback, rubrics, & models to guide students’ self-assessment.
Sample Activities/assessments:
Guided reading
Completing chapter pre-reading guides
Reciprocal teaching: dialogue between teachers and students regarding segments of text for the purpose of constructing meaning of text. Four strategies are used to support reading comprehension: questioning, clarifying, summarizing and predicting.
Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DRTA)
Anticipation Guides
Double-entry journals
• Learning logs/journals
Strategy #4: Explicit Instruction
Content knowledge:
• Teach essential grade-level concepts and build background knowledge as needed.
• Connect overarching ideas (whole), then examine components or processes (part), culminating with students’ own applications or synthesis of ideas (new whole).
• Explicitly teach academic language and cognitive reading skills needed to complete subject-specific tasks, for example analyze, interpret, classify, compare, synthesize, persuade, solve.
Academic language:
• Teach essential language forms and uses per students’ assessed language development level: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
• Follow contextualized introduction and explicit modeling of language use with repeated practice.
Sample activities/assessments:
Teach/explain prerequisite language applications: reading directions, idioms, sentence starters, essay formats, pattern drills, or completing a story map; check for understanding.
Teach specific reading comprehension skills for completing: task procedures, answering questions, word problems, understanding text and graphics.
Strategy #5: Meaning-Based Context and Universal Themes
Content knowledge:
• Introduce new concepts through familiar resources, prompts, visuals, or themes.
• Use associated types of “realia”(objects from real life to be used in classroom instruction) meaningful or familiar to students to affirm the appropriate context for using new language.
• Motivate students to learn challenging concepts by connecting ideas to resources or contexts that reflect student interests and sociocultural or linguistic backgrounds.
Academic language:
• Use methods listed above for introducing academic vocabulary, sentence structures, and language uses.
• Link ongoing language practice or tasks to both school-based and community-based uses.
• Respectfully compare and analyze language use, and meanings to other cultures or context, to promote metacognition.
Sample activities/assessments:
Quick-write responses or recording student responses to visuals
current event stories
real-life models
video clips
teacher read-alouds
thematic prompts
comparing language uses for similar contexts.
Identifying and analyzing different perspectives and language references
Strategy #6: Modeling, Graphic Organizers and Visuals

Content knowledge:
• Model how to complete tasks.
• Provide graphic organizers and meaningful visuals to support students’ recognition of important information.
• Use graphic organizers to support understanding of specific tasks and uses of academic language.
• Use advanced organizers to support metacognition and overall comprehension.
Academic language:
• Add word banks, word walls, and model the use of graphic organizers.
• Model language delivery, such as speed and enunciation, when modeling language forms or presenting content; repetition helps.
Sample Activities/resources:
Venn diagrams
Story maps
Main idea + supporting detail schematics
Double-entry journals
Semantic attribute matrices.
• Jazz chants: poems that use jazz rhythms to illustrate the natural stress and intonation patterns of conversational American English
From the Alliance For Excellent Education at: 
 Additional Modifications or Accommodations:

- - Use the Student’s L1 inside the classroom

- - Video content in native language or English with native subtitles

- - Audio tape concepts in the L1
- -Video record stories and/or lessons for students to watch at home

- - Use parents and family members as a resource or support - invite them to visit the class!

- - Promotion of self-esteem and identity through prior knowledge

Ideas for Community Engagement: 
-Parent/Adult Programs

*Teacher-parent conferences
*Bilingual parents attending English classes
*Schools provide programs or resources to parents
*Parent Night: expectations, information and assistance with homework and how to help students at home
-Celebrations of Cultures
*Community appreciation of all cultures (food, music, art, etc.)           
Engaging ELL Families: 20 Strategies for School Leaders- This website is a fantastic resource for engaging the community. It offers creative approaches for school-wide action plans for engaging ELL families. 
The TESOL Guidelines for Developing EFL Professional Teaching Standards: These guidelines will help teachers develop their professional standards regarding ELL's. With this website, you can utilize and adapt the content as necessary. 
Use the following resources to build a classroom or school library that is ELL friendly:

As a teacher or librarian, find books that are appropriate for ELL's.  http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/classroombooks/ell.asp
This link will show you various books for ELL's that address specific cultural and language content. Find culturally relevant books to use in the classroom. 

The International Children's Library has an immense collection of e-books that represents many cultures and languages throughout the world. Create an inclusive classroom for all of your students.

Use the following resources to find apps for ELL's. Teachers can integrate technology with the curriculum by using a wide variety of apps.


ELL Instruction for Middle and High School Grades

This link features a interview with Dr. Deborah Short who discusses ELL instruction in higher grades and provides additional information through articles and books.

Social and Emotional Needs of Middle and High School ELL's


At this grade level we need to keep in mind that the social lives of the adolescents has a major effect in thier acedemics. Therefore, this link provides helpful tips on how to meet those social needs of students in the adolescent age group.  

Top 10 Stratiegies for Teachers to Meet The Social/ Emotional Needs of ELL's

  1. Develop Cultural Awareness

  2. Be Empathetic  

  3. Provide a Comfort Zone  

  4. Show Respect for All Cultures  

  5. Create community ties with Parents  

  6. Informally Assess Social/ Emotional Growth  

  7. Don’t discourage Native Language use  

  8. Use Visuals and Manipulatives: Games, Music, Hands- on activities  

  9. Support talking but be aware of seat placement  

  10. Communicate with other teachers of the students needs












Modified Lesson Plan for ELL's #163 KB
Modified Lesson Plan for ELL's #273 KB
ELL Levels 1.pdf88.53 KB
ELL Levels 2.pdf67.78 KB
Bridging the Home/Community and School Gap: A Parental Involvement Guide148.33 KB
Embedded Video: