Strategies to Bridge the Gap and Meet the Needs of ELL Students
Presented by: Catherine Demarest
Catherine Demarest is an ESL teacher at IS 125 Thomas J. McCann. She travels with her group of 30 students daily to each of their classes to help scaffold instruction.
During the session, we explored various strategies for reading and writing that can be translated into any grade level. Most of the strategies can be used for various subject areas as well. Pictures are used as clues to help learners. The “target language” (English) is always modeled. Examples of the sheets used in class can be seen in the slide share below.
Strategy 1: Warm Up Activity. Students are asked to read a paragraph and predict the meaning on unknown words. Turkish was used in the sample. For example, one of the sentences stated, “They hunted bizonlar.” Students are asked to list pre-reading predictions as well as predictions after they read.
Strategy 2: Making Predictions Using Objects. The sample activity involved using the Polar Express. Relia was used to help students make predictions. Students were asked to list the name of the item, describe it using adjectives, describe its purpose, and predict what the story would be about using the object.
Strategy 3: Defining a Haiku. Students were asked to look at several Haiku’s to determine a definition. Picture clues are used with the Haiku’s. Questions asked of students include: What is this poem about? Does the poem rhyme? How many lines does the poem have? How many syllables are in the first line? In the second? In the third? Finally, students are asked to formulate a definition using what they discovered about the Haiku.
Strategy 4: Using Adjectives. In this activity, students are asked to group adjectives by personality traits or appearance. Students were given a graphic organizer of a child. If the trait was a personality trait, students were asked to place it inside the child. If the trait was an appearance trait, students were asked to place it outside the child. This activity was divided into two levels. Level 1 would be the students who have the most need or are least proficient in the language. This version includes using pictures with the vocabulary words as cues. Level 2 would be students that are a little more proficient. This includes just listing words, not pictures. Words are listed as opposites to increase vocabulary.
Strategy 5: Hands-On approach to Building Vocabulary. Students were given two bowls. One bowl contained fig Newton bars. The second bowl contained figs. Students were asked to describe each using their 5 senses.