Why is NBCT Marilyn Pryle’s “never-fail” Character Sketch activity so effective? Because it asks students to use the people in their own lives as inspiration – a parent, grandparent, sibling, or friend. Pryle provides the teacher’s script, complete with student prompts.
Jordan Walker-Reyes recommends Lori Wilfong’s Content Area Literacy Strategies That Work to all literacy coaches and facilitators, ESL teachers, and content area teachers who want to grow students’ content area knowledge while also increasing their literacy skills.
Teacher Emily Francis shares her immigrant journey from a childhood in Guatemala to a North Carolina classroom in an effort to help fellow teachers gain insights about their own Newcomer students “who need, from day one, sociocultural support that reaches their heart.”
Reader’s theatre helps EL students feel more confident “playing” with English and learning to use fixed expressions, intonation, and gesture, writes teacher-author Alice Savage. Explore her 10 ideas for extending the content or language of a script into engaging lessons.
English learners are relying on teachers to help them quickly advance in language proficiency, says specialist Valentina Gonzalez, and writing is a life skill that can deepen learning in every curriculum. She shares 7 ways to build the writing competencies of ELLs now.
Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Sypnieski provide ELL students the chance to read high-interest books independently. Literary conversations help ELLs interact with the texts, creating a classroom culture of shared literacy. The co-authors share six creative activities.
Practical teachers concerned with helping kids move forward as readers know that giving them access to engaging texts at their approximate level is an important strategy, says school librarian Rita Platt. Read her arguments for avoiding an either-or approach to leveling.
“Since many students are in my class multiple times,” writes ELL teacher Wendi Pillars, “I’m always seeking new topics to tie literacy skills together.” This year one theme was “Zero Hunger” through sustainable agriculture. A perfect hook for a unit on eating insects.
During her 27 months teaching English in a Macedonian village school, Peace Corps volunteer Jordan Lucas learned a lot about the relationship between culture and learning – insights that will help her be a better language educator. It all began with a kombi ride.
John Spencer’s book on tools for language acquisition will likely be most useful to teachers who are new to working with ELLs but not new to using technology in their lessons. ESL educator Susan Schwartz would have liked fuller explanations for various strategies.