EverythingESL.net is an excellent resource for mainstream teachers who want advice on teaching English Language Learners in their mainstream classrooms. The articles on the site range from full-on theory to hands-down practical, all written in a very accessible and friendly style.
This article on the seven key things every teacher should remember is a great starting point for anyone with ELLs in their class.
In brief, the advice is as follows:
- Provide comprehensible input for ELLs.
- Make lessons visual.
- Link new information to prior knowledge.
- Determine key concepts for the unit and define language and content objects for each lesson.
- Modify vocabulary instruction for ELLs.
- Use cooperative learning strategies.
- Modify testing and homework for ELLs.
Each point is expanded on to explain why it is important to ELLs, and is accompanied by some brief examples of how to apply it in your classroom.
How many of these are regluar features in your classroom? What adjustments to your planning, preparation and delivery would you need to make in order to include all seven? What help would you need in order to do so?
The site’s author, Judie Haynes, an ESL teacher of some 32 years, really knows her stuff. You could do a lot worse than pick up a copy of her book Teaching English Language Learners Across the Content Areas for an easy and informative read, with very accessible and practical advice on how you can make your lessons more EAL friendly.