Language Objectives

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Because my district has been rolling out SIOP this year, I have been inundated with hearing about the importance of language objectives. The unfortunate part of this is that there are numerous ways to create quality language objectives, and everyone seems to be a bit confused by them. As a new ELL teacher who has not yet been SIOP trained, I’ve found it to be a little overwhelming.

According to Language Objectives: The Key to Effective Content Area Instruction for English Learners at Colorin Colorado, “Language objectives are lesson objectives that specifically outline the type of language that students will need to learn and use in order to accomplish the goals of the lesson.” They focus on reading, writing, listening and speaking, but can include language functions (justify, explain, etc.), content vocabulary and/or language learning strategies that aid in comprehension. Follow the link to learn more about writing language objectives, aligning the objectives to the standards and provides specific examples of quality language objectives. Another website with wonderful resources regarding language objectives and SIOP is Granite Schools

language-objectives-for-elementary-ells-rigor-in-reading-and-writing-22-638         Courtesy of Language Objectives for Elementary ELLs: Rigor in Reading and Writing by Laura Lukens

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Courtesy of instructionandassessment.Wordpress.com

 

 

 

Migrant Students

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My first year of teaching I had a migrant student in my class and I didn’t even know about it (or what migrant status meant) for several months. I later learned that this meant that “Danny” could very likely have interrupted schooling experiences based on his parents’ work schedules, which revolved around crops. Migrant workers only have opportunities to work when they are needed to help with seasonal crops. This could mean that these families move frequently. This is a serious problem facing many ELL families. The good news for Danny and other migrant children is that there is support for them. This article at NPR Schools Hustle To Reach Kids Who Move With The Harvest, Not The School Year summarizes how Migrant Preschools work to meet the needs of these families.

Quality Instructional Materials for ELLs

Teaching seems like a never-ending battle of planning, creating, scrounging, begging/borrowing/stealing resources, collaborating, sharing, assessing, data collecting, reflecting and a million other tasks just to be prepared for the actual, you know, teaching that we do. It is inspiring, yet exhausting all at the same time. All students benefit from being exposed to a variety of instructional materials, but ELL students desperately need realia, props, concrete materials, photographs, etc. to help them understand new ideas and acquire new vocabulary. Teachers spends hundreds to thousands of their own dollars and hours annually to support their students. Browsing on websites like Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest and Donorschoose.org shows just how great the need for quality resources is. This article Where are Quality Instructional Materials for English Language Learners? shows how many teachers struggle to support their ELL students with quality materials.

Teaching Spelling to English Language Learners

English spelling can be difficult for many students. Because of the variations in orthographic systems and phonological sounds across languages, spelling is even more challenging for English language learners. This excerpt at Colorin Colorado – Teaching Spelling to English Language Learners can help mainstream teachers better understand how to analyze students’ spelling patterns and offers strategies for differentiating spelling assessments for ELLs. One helpful idea is to analyze a student’s writing sample and make a chart of words students are near proficient, learning and not learned yet.