With the heavy use of non-fiction and information text in classrooms this fall due to implementation of COMMON CORE, ELLs will need to learn to READ more challenging reading materials. Since ELLs come to class with a wide range of school experiences from their home countries (for high school, students may arrive with as little as three years of formal schooling), content classroom teachers will need a wide range of strategies to make those necessary accommodations which will build language as well as deliver content instruction.
As I have mentioned in earlier posts, now is the time to start compiling a collection of teaching strategies that work for you. Further, these strategies must be ones that meet two goals: language and content. The more skills or strategies you have at your finger tips, the more likely you will be in a solid position to meet the diverse needs of ELLs.
You may have all 5 levels of language proficiency in your classes (beginning, early intermediate, intermediate, early advanced, and advanced) as well as long-term ELLs (students who for whatever reason still have not been reclassified). So, why not try grouping strategies by proficiency levels. Of course some strategies will work for all, but others won't.
STRATEGY LANGUAGE SKILL RESULT
or CONTENT GOAL
The above is a just one simple format. You may have a checklist or keep records on your computer, but whatever approach you use, you need to make sure that all students are succeeding in your class. A method like this or something similar allows you to self-monitor the effectiveness of your instructional delivery. We teachers tend to be very honest in our self-reflections:)
ELLs AND NON-FICTION TEXT not only highlights the demands of informational text, but also offers still more approaches to easing ELLs into the process. These strategies would also benefit English Only students as well since textbook reading is quite different from fiction (which our students were focusing on for years before the institution of the common core standards).
ELL TEACHER PROS