Supporting Language Development in the Classroom

Supporting Language Development in the Classroom

2nd December 2018OffByRiseNews

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You have reached the maximum login attemtps prior to you validating your account. Please check your email for the validation link and validate your account. CPALMS is a trademark of Florida State University. The Communication Trust are supporting the BCRP to share their findings. The observation tool is designed to be used in an observation of a classroom or a learning space by someone other than the adult working with the children. The observation tool can be used in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classrooms and other Early years learning spaces. The tool is designed to profile the oral language environment of the classroom.


It is not expected that all items will appear on all observations. To download the tool please click here. These booklists for children celebrate a wide range of cultures, languages, and experiences. They are perfect for read-alouds and bedtime stories, as well as for author studies!

Supporting Language Development in the Classroom

This article offers some ways to support ELLs in the mainstream classroom by adapting strategie that classroom teachers may already by using. If you are a mainstream teaching trying to figure out how to offer language support to ELLs, you are not alone! Many teachers around the country are working with ELLs for the first time, and they have a lot of questions. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to support ELLs’ language acquisition by adapting strategies already in use. These small things may make a big difference to ELLs. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Don’t miss the recommended links at the end of the article. English language learners will benefit from increased exposure to print and language. A print-rich environment will include access to books and reference materials, labels and posters, and student work on bulletin boards. Be aware of the relationship between a student’s native language and English.

A student’s native language will most likely have a strong influence on the way that student learns English. Understanding how this language is similar to or different from English will help you focus on troublesome areas. Languages may differ in a number of aspects, such as phonetic sounds, pronunciation, grammar, word order, or sentence structure. For example, in Spanish, the adjective often follows the noun, so a student may write, “We are a family happy.

In Somali, there is one sound for b and p — it is mixed. Somali students need to be taught this sound explicitly as two distinct sounds. Otherwise, they may ask for a can of pop and it sounds like “bob. Native language may also influence students’ vocabulary as they translate words or phrases from one language to another. Perhaps a vocabulary word has multiple meanings, a different meaning in each language, or the concept doesn’t exist in one of the languages. Even if you don’t know a student’s native language, being aware of native language influence will allow you to target your instruction. Help students by providing a model of how to use sounds, structures, and vocabulary correctly in English.

In the case of a pronunciation difficulty such as the Somali example above, teachers can demonstrate how the mouth forms the sounds. Simplify your language without “dumbing it down. Speak clearly and naturally, without going too quickly or slowly. Encourage students to raise their hand if they don’t understand a word. Remember that ELLs may not understand instructions and key vocabulary words, and that reading something aloud doesn’t always help comprehension. ELLs may not have the same background knowledge as their English-speaking peers, especially when it comes to references to American culture and geography, such as the Grand Canyon or Martin Luther King Jr. Identify key concepts, vocabulary words, and references before the lesson, and give students as much time and practice with the new material as possible before starting the lesson.

What is the full form of ‘WHAT’?

If students are having trouble with an activity, try to identify whether a new concept, set of directions, vocabulary word, or other element is causing the difficulty. Identify some different ways that you can help students move beyond those obstacles. These might include providing a book about the topic in the student’s native language or reviewing new vocabulary words together. Academic language is the language that students need to succeed in school. It is different than social language, which many students acquire first. Often students are available to communicate effectively with teachers or peers in social settings, but struggle when it comes to textbooks, tests, assignments, or class presentations. Discuss word families and how different forms of words are used.

ELLs may have a difficult time knowing which form of a word to use. Help students look for spelling and usage patterns, such as past tense verbs ending in “-ed. Since English has so many exceptions, this isn’t always a foolproof strategy, but a basic knowledge of these patterns, rules, and spellings will help. Cognates can also help Spanish-speakers learn English and derive meaning from content. Help students understand when to use different kinds of language. ELLs may speak different dialects or use “Spanglish,” a combination of English and Spanish, in their classroom and with their friends and family.

It’s important to respect the language students use and realize that it is effective for them in certain settings. Discuss the uses of Standard Academic English in college and career settings, as well as the importance of effective communication on applications and in interviews. One teacher I know calls this English the “green language” because it represents money the students can earn in the future with good English communication skills. Provide students with frequent opportunities to work together, both in pairs and in small groups. Cooperative learning activities promote peer interaction, which helps the development of language and the learning of concepts and content. In addition to ‘picking up’ vocabulary, ELLs benefit from observing how their peers learn and solve problems.

Meet Our Directors

This prevents what typically happens if students select their own roles — the same students wind up performing the same tasks. By rotating, students develop the skills they most need to practice. While it is difficult to know when to correct students, constructive and effective feedback is essential to student progress. It is possible for incorrect language production to become “fossilized” so that students continue to use the same incorrect structures into adulthood. This reduces their chances of being a clear communicator and ultimately limits them in professional settings.

Another strategy is to circle errors in writing assignments, and have students try to figure out what the mistakes were. As I always tell my students, “If I correct your English, I improve my English. If you correct your English, you improve yours. Most of the time students are able to correct their own writing errors once they focus on the circled area. If they are still stuck, I give them the answer and ask them to explain why it is correct. Educators and staff who work regularly with ELLs, as well as bilingual parents, may be a valuable source of information about language patterns or difficulties. While teaching ELLs may be daunting, there are a number of ways you can support their language acquisition — and in the process get them on the road to academic success!

This template provides a guide for modifying lesson plans to adapt to ELLs’ needs. Here are some essential terms that you need to know in order to understand basic second language acquisition theory. These tips will support ELL instruction before, during, and after the lesson. English language learners may need help in learning how to study for content area tests. Here are some helpful techniques that you can teach them. Digest summary of “What Teachers Need to Know About Language. 10 Ways to Support ELLs in the School Library.

Gear Up for a New School Year! Major support provided by our founding partner, the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. With generous support provided by the National Education Association. The information provided above was effective in my area. I did use it for my context.

Early childhood education in three Eastern Europe countries.

Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically. Award-winning illustrator Rafael López is used with permission. Enter the terms you wish to search for. These booklists for children celebrate a wide range of cultures, languages, and experiences. They are perfect for read-alouds and bedtime stories, as well as for author studies! These resources offers tips for identifying the kinds of language and vocabulary words that will be the most useful to teach, as well as numerous strategies and resources. Major support provided by our founding partner, the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO.

With generous support provided by the National Education Association. English confidently in the lunch room or on the playground, yet when it comes time to read, write, or give a class presentation, they need more practice with the skills required to complete their work successfully. Helping a student learn a new language is an exciting opportunity to provide students with skills that may make a huge difference in their future, as well as the future of their families. While there are key strategies and ideas that can make teaching a new language more successful, educators do not have to have a major in linguistics to make an important difference in their students’ education! How can educators support ELLs’ oral language development in the classroom for students are at different proficiency levels? These resources provide some answers and ideas, as well as recommended resources. Which words will be most useful in a new lesson and other settings?

What kinds of practice can educators offer so that students master the meanings of new words rather than simply memorizing them? Cognates are words in two languages that share a similar meaning, spelling, and pronunciation, such as ‘information’ in English and ‘información’ in Spanish. English have a related word in Spanish. Award-winning illustrator Rafael López is used with permission.

Relatively few users of AAC use grammatically correct sentences when they communicate. There are lots reasons for that, but in this post, we focus on understanding the things that contribute to that problem. In Part 2, we’ll look at ways to address the issue. Let’s reflect on the problem of why many AAC learners don’t communicate with complete, grammatically correct utterances.

When communication is time-consuming and difficult, it makes sense to put your effort to saying things that convey a lot of meaning and skip the rest. If you are trying to get your point across with as little effort as possible, content-heavy words, like agents, actions, and places, pack a punch. As clinicians, we are often so driven to understand the main points of what the learner is trying to convey that we promote that strategy. Clinician: Oh, you got it for Christmas? Clinician: You want to tell me about camp? You’re going to have such a good time. Clinician: What camp are you going to?

In both cases, a well-intentioned therapist places the emphasis on meaning, and with good reason. She wants to get the learner’s point. From the standpoint of making a connection and establishing a general meaning, these are successful interactions. There are two things that contribute to that success. First, the learner chooses high-content words to provide a topical information. The clinician used this information effectively to build a single word response into a conversation.

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From the standpoint of meaning and connection, both of these are successful interactions. Well, basically it’s this: Conversing in this way gives the  learner practice in the skills they currently have, but isn’t sufficient to help them develop more advanced language skills. Is it bad to have conversations like this, where single-word utterances with high-content vocabulary are vertically structured into a dialogue? It depends on the purpose for the interaction and what we are targeting. Building operational competence in finding and saying single words? Generalizing to new places and partners? There are lots of ways in which this approach is a good one.

The problem is that if we continue to converse only in this way, we limit the learner’s language growth. For the most part, exchanges like the ones above are good for conversation, but they aren’t necessarily therapy. The more we communicate in this way, the more the AAC learner will build the habit of having conversations with this sort of structure. For some, that’s an important step forward and we should continue to rely heavily on it for a period of time. For others, it can lead to some undesirable habits. As we’ve said before, expectation is a powerful thing. Heavy use of vertical structuring gives everyone practice in conversing in this style.

Where Do You Start?

The more practice we get with something, the more likely it is that we will keep doing it. That can be problematic because we can’t expect much language growth from interactions structured in this way. To advance the learner’s language skills, we need to do things in a different way. In Part 2 of this series, we’ll explore some of those options. What is the learner gaining from that interaction?

Bedding Guide

What are the next steps in promoting language growth? Stay tuned for more musings on this subject and feel free to share your own. How We Do It: Pragmatic Skill Intervention in AAC with Dr. Very true post, however very difficult to change the conversation style of everybody around the AAC user!

Supporting Language Development in the Classroom

How do I ensure the bus driver, the changing personal care attendant, the friend, the majority of the people in the AAC users life so that they are challenging the user when they speak? It’s these day in-day out conversations with the world that influence how the AAC user sees their role in life most. Very difficult to control is all I’m saying. Georgia, you raise a really good point for discussion. Obviously, every situation is different but here is my take on things. Conversation is one thing and therapy is another.

16 Piece Frame Puzzles

Conversations with vertical scaffolding are fine for most things. Talking with family and friends, chatting with the bus driver. The point of the conversation is to connect and share. As SLPs we have to take the user one step further all the time. Nothing is as heart-breaking as seeing kids with TONS of potential stall in their language development and the simple sentence level. We can do a MUCH better job at this. It’s a discussion we have all the time.

Wooden Airplanes

Really looking forward to your ideas and suggestions in part 2. AAC user work harder to interact. One of my children is discounted daily by the people in her life except myself and now her family. Her only control right now is exercised by deciding whether she will participate in work activities or not.

This is a great discussion point! I’m so glad you opened it up! It’s interesting to consider the progression of teaching syntax-thinking through the stepping stones to even beginning the process and not lose the communication momentum. Such good points, Vicki, and why skilled AAC interventionists are so important in this process. What makes sense for some learners is completely inappropriate for others. One size will never fit all AAC learners. Thanks for taking the time to share these musings.

Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. PrAACtical AAC supports a community of professionals and families who are determined to improve the communication and literacy abilities of people with significant communication difficulties. So excited about expanding this collaboration with the amazing team at Young at Art! There’s nothing more invigorating than working at something you’re passionate about. 30 years ago and still intrigues me every day.