Tools to Help You Adapt Online Learning for ELs
“Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision and change.” -Richard Branson
The success of educating our English Learners (ELs) in this new and ever-changing educational environment demands an ability to change it up. So, as a nod to all the teachers out there having to adapt, revise and change in very short order, I am taking some great articles for teaching ELs, pouring over the content, and providing this curated list of resources that are most applicable right now with a few embedded tools for your use. Here you go!
Topic: Using Technology to Support and/or Deliver Online Instruction
Takeaways: Some tools you are already using for all students might have supports that work well for ELs. Additionally, these tech tools should be built into daily routines whenever possible, even if this means doing so online. Educators will need to get creative to keep learners engaged, provide accommodations as needed, and may also need to resort to online language-learning tools.
Try: Newsela, Khan Academy, Voice Thread, Google Translate, Simple English Wikipedia, Explain Everything, BrainPop ESL, Ellavation, Read and Write for Google Chrome, Duolingo, Mango Languages, Tell About This
Topic: Supporting English Language Learners
Takeaways: ELs benefit from being able to use technology to express themselves. Multimedia technology can be used to incorporate pictures or video into lessons giving students the necessary contextual cues to understand new ideas. Discussion boards can create an opportunity for students to be actively involved in academic and social English while outside of the classroom environment. Be sure to provide scaffolds to support EL expression using these technologies (i.e. sentence starters, templates, etc.)
A Tool for YOU: Sentence Frames as a Scaffold for Discussions
Topic: Activating Background Knowledge
Takeaways: Versions of a K-W-L chart can help ELs activate background knowledge. Anticipation guides are useful to accomplish a similar goal. Using multimedia or preparatory texts can also jump start lessons by reading a book, watching a video or having a virtual presentation from an expert!
Topic: Vocabulary Learning Strategies
Takeaways: It’s imperative that you provide students a preview of unfamiliar vocabulary. Using visuals or word walls can help you accomplish this. Fill in the blank definitions or sentences provide a great scaffold for ELs at the use new vocabulary. Graphic organizers can be used in a similar way.
A Tool for YOU: Frayer Model Template
I hope you find a few valuable ideas, tools and strategies to make your planning and instruction a bit easier. Thank you for your work and what you do for ELs and all students! Learners Edge appreciates you. Should you need additional resources, here are a few more!
Additional Resources for Teaching EL’s:
- Colorin Colorado
- 5 Key Strategies for ELL Instruction by Rebecca Greene
- The Power of Collaboration for ELLs by Gretchen Vierstra
- PD 137 Course from Learners Edge: Ten Amazing Instructional Strategies for English Learners
- Culture and Language Courses from Learners Edge
- Strengthening Teaching and Learning for ELLs by Lisa Kwong
- ELLs: Perspectives and Pedagogy by 5 Key Strategies for ELL Instruction by Rebecca Greene
- Why are Academic Conversations so Important for Our ELLs? by Nicole Knight
- 5 More Things English Learners Need From Classroom Teachers by Rebecca Greene