Book Creator

It's All Greek to Me! How to Help Your ELL Students Learn and Grow

by Erika Allison


It's All Greek to Me!
How to Help Your ELL Students Learn and Grow
Erika Allison
August 9, 2002
Every Classroom is Responsive

5 Stages of Language Acquisitions

Factors Affecting Second Language Acquisition

4 Principles of Culturally Responsive Teaching


Practical Teaching Tools - Reading/Writing/Math

Other Ways to Help

Parents - Included and Involved

ELL and Special Education

page 3

pages 4 - 5

pages 6 - 7

pages 8 - 9

pages 10 - 13

pages 14 - 17

pages 18 - 19

pages 20 - 21

pages 22 - 23

page 24
Every Classroom Responds
Every classroom responds to a particular culture. That statement hit me squarely between the eyes. I had always felt that I worked hard to include everyone from every culture, and I had, but had my efforts been effective? I had books with characters from around the world. I encouraged conversations about famous people and events throughout history and from far away places. But, did I put the effort into learning about the specific cultures of my specific students? What had I done to welcome the families beyond a pleasant smile and sincere hello? The truth - not much.
This book will give you practical applications you can put to use immediately. Many of the ideas are strategies and activities you already use in your classroom but can put new emphasis on using with your ELL students. Even better is the fact that many of these ideas will help all of your students improve their learning.
5 Stages of Language Acquisition
1. Receptive / Preproduction
*doesn't speak much - observing! *trying to process language
*uses gestures / facial expressions *understands up to 500 words
2. Early Production
* speaks 1 - 2 word sentences
* uses present tense almost exclusively
* understands and asks basic "W" questions (who, what when, where why)
*This stage lasts 6 - 12 months.
3. Speech Emergent / Beginning Fluency
* 3,000 word vocabulary * speaks in short sentences
* understands simple language * This stage lasts 1 - 3 years.
* may seem more fluent than they are. * listening is stronger than speaking
6 Stages of Language Acquisition
5. Intermediate Fluency
* 6,000 word vocabulary * starts to participate in class discussions
* can function academically and socially * vocabulary limited, but growing
* grammar errors lessening * understands most directions
* lasts 3 - 5 years
6. Advanced Fluency
* fluent - can communicate effectively
* understands academic concepts
* can use higher level thinking skills in second language
* vocabulary gaps may still exist
* syntax, pronunciation, pragmatics - not perfect, but good
Factors that Affect
Second Language Acquisition
Native Language Proficiency
* How complex are their sentence structures?
* Is their vocabulary age-appropriate?
* If students are metalinguistically aware, they will be able to compare their
native language to English and learn more quickly.
* If the teacher learns the similarities and differences between the two language,
he or she can use that information to increase learning for the student.
Prior Educational Experience
* Has the student attended school before?
* If so, how was that experience?
* Does the student have solid academic skills in the native language?