Do's & Don'ts for Teaching English Language Learners (ELLs) Use of Non-Linguistic Cues  Do use visuals, sketches, gestures

, intonation, and other non-verbal cues to make both language and content more accessible to Students (Ss). Teaching with visual representations is helpful to all learners, especially ELLs.  Don't stand in front of the class and lecture, or rely on a textbook as your only "visual aid." Giving Instructions  Do give verbal and written instructions -- this practice can help all learners focus and understand the class dynamics.  Don't act surprised if students are lost when you haven't clearly written and explained step-by-step directions. Check for Understanding  Do regularly check that Ss are understanding the lesson. By doing so, Ss become increasingly aware of monitoring their own understanding, which helps them comprehend and process at high levels.  Don't simply ask, "Are there any questions?" This is not an effective way to determine what all your Ss are thinking. Promote discipline  Do have Ss move around. The school day is long and we cannot reasonably expect them to sit at desks all day. Try to include at least one moving activity in each lesson. Let them stand up or clap and act to songs and rhymes.  Be consistent. If your Ss know what you expect of them, it will be easier for them to behave appropriately.  Be flexible and change the order of your activities according to the class atmosphere. If Ss seem disobedient at the beginning, start off with a physical activity. If they get distracted, finish the activity in progress and start a new one.  Do emphasize and reinforce the good things that Ss do. People love public encouragement, so make sure that the other Ss hear you praising and appreciating someone’s work or conduct.  Do not expect Ss to work in silence. It is normal for all learners, especially children, to laugh and talk to each other while they are doing an activity. Rather than trying to prevent them from communicating normally, encourage them to speak in English. Provide them with the language they need, e.g. Look at my picture! Oh, that’s pretty! What’s that? Modeling  Do model for Ss what they are expected to do or produce, especially for new skills or activities. You can explain and demonstrate the learning actions and show good student work samples.  Don't just tell students what to do and expect them to do it. Rate of Speech and Wait Time  Do speak slowly and clearly, and provide Ss with enough time to formulate their responses. After asking a question, wait for a few seconds. This "wait time" provides all Ss with an opportunity to think and process.  Don't speak too fast. If a student tells you they did not understand, do not repeat the same thing in a louder voice!     Don't "ban" Ss from using their native language in the classroom. This practice can be harmful to the relationships between teachers and Ss, especially if teachers act more like language "police" than language "coaches." Do encourage Ss’ efforts to participate by celebrating their contributions and searching out opportunities for them to take part directly in learning activities. Praise their achievements. Do correct the content of what they say, but only when it is necessary. Do vary the sequence of your class. Move from teacher-class to student-student interaction, use individual, pair and group activities, include informal and formal exercises, implement logical and creative tasks, etc.

References Enright, S. (1992). Supporting Children’s English Language Development (Focus on the Learner). USA: Prentice Hall. Ferlazzo, L. (2012). Do’s and don’t’s for teaching English language teaching. Retrieved from House, S. (1997). An introduction to teaching English to children. London: Richmond publishing.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful