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English Language Learner Strategies?

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Charlotte Gutierrez Charlotte Gutierrez 610 Points

What are some good English Language Learner strategies that I can use in science?

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92326 Points

Hi Charlotte,
There are some excellent journal articles in Science and Children with strategies to help ELLs be successful in science. One discusses the research of Waxman and Tellez (2002), where they identified four specific strategies to help ELL students increase language and content knowledge. They are:
using instructional conversations
emphasizing students’ cultural concerns
fostering students’ cognitive monitoring
providing students with technology-enriched instruction
To read more about this go to the article by Suzanne Keenan in October 2004 issue - Methods and Strategies:Reaching English Language Learners.

I also really like this article titled, Science as a Second Language: Integrating science and vocabulary instruction for English language learners By Stephanie Wessels, also in Science and Children, September 2013.
If you have a chance to read them, let me know what you thought.

Best wishes for a successful school year!

Ina Nguyen Ina Nguyen 935 Points

Hello Charlotte,

As a prospect general education teacher, I oftentimes ask myself the same thing. However, I believe that the integration for multiple opportunities for meaningful and purposeful social interactions between students is the key to an English language learner's success. English language learners’ proficiency levels are closely aligned to their abilities to efficiently and effectively converse with others. Furthermore, in order for students to be successful in a language, they must be given occasions to communicate information and ideas. For instance, ELLs can be supported through project-based learning, which should incorporate academic conversations in order to build science vocabulary. Also, the use of sentence frames is essential in allowing students to focus on the content knowledge rather than the formation of the sentences.

Jessica Martinez Jessica Martinez 930 Points

-Social interactions between the students -Project based learning -Allow them to use their language in the classroom -Encourage the use of their language in the classroom -Provide them with vocabulary and ask them to write it in their language -Sentence stems ( gets rid of the worry of coming up with a sentence/discussion/reply and allows them to focus on the content) -Provide bilingual books or books in their language -if you don't have too many different languages, try to learn a bit of it

Y-La Nguyen Y-La Nguyen 600 Points

Visuals are always the best way to support ELLs in their learning. I think hands on activities are also extremely helpful because if they do not understand what you are saying, they can still learn from the activities or experiments. I have watched a video of a science class with ELLs, and they sat next to people who spoke the same native language as them for support but were still required to write in English so they were learning to explain the lesson in two different languages.

Aimee Morera Aimee Morera 465 Points

For ELL's in science I think that it is imperative to give them vocabulary ahead of time. This way they can be aware of new vocabulary. Also, I would give the ELL students guided notes so that they are only writing down information that applies to the skill you want to teach. As a teacher, you can model what is expected so that the students can hear and see what they need to do.

Harry Mazurek Harry Mazurek 70 Points

? Hi Here's a research result with techniques. Applying Cognitive Science Principles to Improve Retention of Science Vocabulary 7th grade Shore, Rebecca; Ray, Jenna; Gooklasian, Paula Learning Environments Research, v18 n2 p233-248 *Jul 2015* We investigated whether three student-centered strategies influenced retention of science vocabulary words among 7th grade students. *Two of the strategies (drawing pictures and talking about the definition of the terms) were developed to involve the students in more constructive and interactive exercises when compared to the technique that was in common use (copying definitions from the back of the textbook).* Vocabulary from three science units was used in the study and reading level was considered as a potential moderator variable. Results showed some differences among the strategies when retention was measured but, more importantly, the effectiveness of the learning strategies varied with reading level and time of testing.

Natalia Reynoso Natalia Reynoso 465 Points

Hi Harry, I would have things labeled in the students home language. Especially things of importance like the restroom pass or your homework station. Giving the student a schedule with the translation below each subject would be helpful for him or her to be aware of what is next to come. If you have a student who speaks the same language try to partner them up because this student will work as your helper clearing up any misconceptions and guiding the ELL student with the work. I hope these strategies help!

Alexis Rodriguez Alexis Rodriguez 1350 Points

I have found that ELLs respond well to visuals. It is important to have them feel as if they have resources other than words to work with. Sentence stems are also very helpful because it gives them courage to attempt to participate without feeling easily embarrassed.

Kelli Gilbert Kelli Gilbert 885 Points

A good ELL strategy is also using sentence stems to lead in students in the right direction. This also allows students to develop new language as well as allowing students the chance to practice their vocabulary. Using sentence stems lets students not have to think about the beginning of their thought as much as the end of it where they go deeper into meaning.

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