Listen Up Texas: How to Collect Teacher Recommendations Without Breaking a Sweat

As a former LPAC facilitator and ESL teacher for newcomers, I recall always loving the first semester of the school year. As the fall semester came to an end, though, a creeping sense of dread overcame my bliss. I knew that once the 2nd semester began, an epic battle of cat and mouse would ensue as I attempted to chase down teachers to collect their feedback on linguistic accommodations for STAAR assessments.

Topics: Product, Teacher Tips

Engaging Parents of ELLs: Practical Solutions for Lasting Results [Infographic]

According to the latest Pew Research, 64% of Americans have smartphones, and that number is projected to climb. The same research also found a direct correlation between individuals with lower incomes and/or educational attainment to becoming more dependent on smart-phones. We should keep this in mind as we start to think about connecting with parents of ELLs and look to technology for help.

Topics: Teacher Tips

What Makes English So Hard To Learn, Anyway?

We know that it can take between 4-10 years to become fully English proficient. This is especially true for English in academic settings where ELLs are learning while using their language skills. Social English can be acquired in as little as six months to two years, but reading, writing, listening and speaking for academic purposes is a much more arduous process. There are many individual influencing factors such as motivation, instructional setting and effectiveness, aptitude, and self-esteem. But what is it about English that makes it so challenging?

Topics: Teacher Tips

Tips for Back-to-School Success in the Classroom with English Language Learners

The new school year is either already upon you or quickly approaching--perhaps too quickly! Hopefully you were able to rejuvenate over the summer and are now ready to tackle the challenges ahead while making a huge impact with your students. Whether you’ve had English language learners in your class before, or this is the first time, it’s important to know some small steps you can take to help these students start the year strong.

Topics: Teacher Tips

Maximizing ELL Comprehension with Two-Way Listening

In an attempt to “walk the walk” of some summer independent professional development suggestions that I mentioned in a recent blog post, I’m currently reading Pauline Gibbon’s latest book, Scaffolding Language and Scaffolding Learning (2015). It’s filled with valuable teaching tips and I recommend this resource for any teachers of language. One of the chapters on listening got me thinking about comprehensible input and specific classroom activities teachers can use to maximize learning. In this blog I’d like to discuss increasing comprehensible input with two way listening activities.

Topics: Teacher Tips

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