I shared one of my favorite strategies for helping ELLs increase their speaking opportunities this week at our faculty meeting: Sentence frames. Sentence frames, sentence starters and summary frames are all similar concepts that provide students with modeled language to scaffold their oral and written language. Although it is good to do this strategy for all students, ELLs benefit because it models correct syntax and provides a comfortable environment to practice speaking. Sentence frames also provide support to lead to increased academic discourse. There are many, many resources available online, but I chose to share two with my coworkers: this video Using Sentence Frames to Help ELLs and this amazing Scaffolding Toolbox of Sentence Starters from Heinemann.
My suggestions for procedures for using sentence starters are to model aloud how to use the sentence starter, provide opportunities for partner practice (especially through engaging Kagan structures!) and then have a few students share their ideas aloud. This is a perfect strategy to use to review concepts at the beginning or end of a lesson or right before an exit-slip to check for understanding. By providing students with opportunities to practice academic language in a safe environment, they will begin to internalize this language and begin to transfer it to their writing. I am including some examples of pictures of the sentence starters (I also shared these pictures and information on Sentence Starters in To Reach English Proficiency, ELL Students Must Have Opportunities to Speak) and I will embed the video I mentioned above.
Examples of Sentence Frames from Pinterest
Using Sentence Frames to Help ELLs – YouTube Video