Whether you have one English language learner in your classroom, or hundreds in your school, there is little doubt meeting the needs of these students will be at the top of most schools' agendas for professional development for many years to come.
What can we learn by listening closely to children? Plenty — Andie Cunningham shares insights from seven minutes with a young English language learner.
If you’re nervous about working with English language learners, Stella Villalba has some reassuring advice for you.
In this short video, Ruth Shagoury gives two pieces of advice to teachers who feel awkward as they are trying to communicate with young English language learners.
In this short video, Ruth Shagoury gives advice to teachers conferring with young English language learners, explaining how other English language learners can be surprisingly helpful in conferences.
In this conference with six-year-old Kyle, Ruth Shagoury listens to him explain the stories and meaning behind his drawings during writer's workshop. Kyle's first language is Vietnamese, though English is also spoken in the home.
This five-minute video from Melissa Kolb's preschool classroom shows the value of morning message for teaching literacy skills. Melissa explains the skills children develop during this brief whole-class lesson and sharing time.
What is the starting point for building community in a preschool classroom where almost every child speaks a different first language than their teacher? Melissa Kolb writes about how she gently guides her preschool students early in the year.
People around the world celebrate the holidays in different ways, and that diversity provides wonderful learning opportunities this time of year. Stella Villalba shares literary holiday projects and a booklist around the themes of “peace” and “wishes” that might help students find common ground in family traditions.
Jill Ostrow creates a flexible and practical online tool to support teachers of English language learners.
This five-minute video from Kelly Petrin's preschool classroom shows the value of book browsing time. Kelly explains the skills children develop in language, book handling skills, and literacy independence during this time.
In this four-minute video, Andie Cunningham confers with Luis during writing workshop. Luis is a six-year-old English language learner whose passion is drawing.
In this video from Melissa Kolb’s preschool classroom, children work in the writing center. Melissa explains how she routinely changes the supplies in the center to spark interest in students and make connections to their experiences.
Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham share a wealth of books appropriate for comprehension study with young children. The booklist is especially useful for work with English language learners.
Stella Villalba shares her favorite bilingual (English/Spanish) books for helping young English language learners feel at home in new classrooms early in the year.
“Why isn’t there an African American Henry and Mudge?” asks a teacher. This question leads Shari Frost on a quest to find the best early readers for multicultural students. In this booklist, she highlights her top picks.
Andie Cunningham works with three-, and four-year-olds as they become "letter detectives." This activity is a wonderful bridge between children's natural curiosity and the alphabet, suitable for preschoolers or kindergartners.
Kelly Petrin’s meditation phrase for the day—Do not fret; it only leads to evil—guides her through a home visit with a parent who worries about her daughter’s literacy skills. This is a terrific short read for thinking through how to make encounters with parents less stressful.
When a student is struggling, language barriers can make it even harder for teachers to connect. Andrea Smith finds webbing during conferring is an excellent strategy for assisting a young English language learner in her writer's workshop.
Text selection for English language learners poses special challenges. Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan explain how the criteria for “just-right books” are different for ELLs, and provide practical examples of how teachers use these principles of book selection in their classrooms.
In this brief video, Melissa Kolb explains "Book Time" in her preschool class. It's a time when many volunteers read books informally to small groups of children in their home languages.
In this conference with six-year-old Emily, Ruth Shagoury looks for a way into a conversation by using Emily’s drawings, previous writing, and interests. Emily’s first language is Hmong, and she is experimenting with Chinese characters in her writing.
Melissa Kolb confers with three-year-old Daniela and explains why approximations are crucial for young literacy learners.
Eddie is a six-year-old student who speaks Cantonese as his first language. In this conference with Ruth Shagoury, little English is spoken, and yet there is much communication through gestures and shared history.
Leonela is a six-year-old student whose first language is Spanish. In these videos of conferences with Ruth Shagoury filmed over two days, she makes connections between her drawing, writing, and experiences at home and in Mexico.
Over-sized sticky notes are a great learning tool for kindergartners. In this video, Andie Cunningham demonstrates how she uses them with her students.
Andie Cunningham confers with kindergartner Cristian within his "ZPD" – Zone of Proximal Development.
Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham explain how to support an English Language Learner who is not speaking with verbal and nonverbal communication strategies.
Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham share tips for mastering the art of listening in conferences with English language learners.
Andie Cunningham and Ruth Shagoury explain how webs can be a powerful organizing tool for kindergarten writers.
Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham use dichos (sayings or proverbs) in many languages and cultures to build bridges between school and home.
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