ELL Information and Links

ELL Tip!
In the ELL cadre I attended last week with John Hollingsworth it was stressed many times to use Pair/Share for ELL students. When using pair/share always have the stronger partner go first to model the correct answer. 

What Works Best for Elementary-School ELLs?

Marshall Memo 463 December 3, 2012

In this 44-page article in Review of Educational Research, Alan Cheung (The Chinese
University of Hong Kong) and Robert Slavin (Johns Hopkins University and The University
of York) synthesize recent research on effective elementary reading programs for Spanish-
dominant ELLs. They considered not only bilingual and English-immersion programs but also
various interventions aimed at improving the reading achievement of English language

The conclusion: “Quality of instruction is more important than language of
instruction.” These are the components and precursors of quality instruction that make the
biggest difference: (a) strong schoolwide literacy programs; (b) cooperative learning, which
appears to be especially helpful to ELLs because it provides language learners “extensive,
daily opportunities to use their developing language skills in meaningful contexts,” building
confidence in using school-specific English; (c) small-group and one-on-one tutoring for
ELLs having difficulty in reading; and (d) extensive professional development for teachers.
“Effective programs provide explicit manuals, videos, and simulations to start teachers off in
the right direction and then have experienced coaches visit teachers using new strategies to
offer feedback and support,” say Cheung and Slavin.

“Language of instruction remains an important question,” conclude the authors,
“if for no other reason than that building on students’ home language gives them skills in
that language sure to be important in their lives. However, when English reading is the
goal, different approaches may work equally well, bilingual as well as structured English
immersion. We now have many approaches that can be used in either bilingual or English-only
settings with evidence of effectiveness from rigorous evaluation.”

“Effective Reading Programs for Spanish-Dominant English Language Learners (ELLs) in the
Elementary Grades: A Synthesis of Research” by Alan Cheung and Robert Slavin in Review of
Educational Research, December 2012 (Vol. 82, #4, p. 351-395),

I will be sharing with you weekly some strategies and tips for working with LEP students. These strategies will also be helpful for all students not just the LEP students. I will try not to send to much information at one time. Please be sure to read the bold print at the end of this short exert. One of the activities I used in Kansas was to choose a children's book written in the students native language such as Russian or Spanish. The students were split into small groups and each group had a different book. They ELL student read the book in their native language and the other students in the class acted out the story. The non LEP students loved hearing the LEP students read in their home language. The LEP students often times were reluctant to do it but became more comfortable after getting the reaction from the other students. I will sen more specific ideas next week. 

Strategies for English Language Learners

English Language Learners (ELLs) are a large and growing population in our country. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (2011), 11.2 million students in 2009 spoke a language other than English at home. Physical education is in a unique position to help ELLs as it has characteristics that are supportive of these students, conditions similar to those in which children acquire their first language (Clancy, M. & Hruska, B., 2005).
These include:
  • Physical involvement with language
  • The use of multiple mediums to present information
  • Opportunities to demonstrate language comprehension through physical expression
  • A low-stress environment for language performance
  • Success can be independent of language performance
  • A large amount of interactions with other students
While the strategies listed on this page are targeted towards English Language Learners, they are effective for all students. Good teaching strategies are good teaching strategies, regardless of the population they are intended for.
***Although some schools prohibit students speaking languages other than English in class, a review of literature shows that supporting ELL students' use of their native language actually helps them comprehend and use English (Moughamian et al, 2009; Protheroe, N., 2011). In fact, it develops greater brain density in areas related to language, memory, and attention (Protheroe, 2011). Kee