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ESL/Bilingual

Strategies
By: Zisi Gunsburg
EDPS 672: Methods of Teaching
and Service Delivery In Languages
Other than English
Fall 2013

ESL/Bilingual Strategies
Classroom routines
a. Classroom routines are when events happen consistently the same time and the same way
every single day. The author carries out or oversees the routines by making sure they are
consistent. She pairs the routine actions with language by verbalizing what they will be doing.
b. Classroom routines help alleviate some anxiety in English Language Learners because they
can follow routines even if they dont understand all the language that is being spoken. In
addition, they will learn a lot of vocabulary when the same words are paired with the same
activity every single time. It also helps them learn how to act in the classroom and how to
manage certain items and activities.
Buddies
a. Buddies are when two or more students are paired up to help each other with things like
demonstrating how to do work, reading books to them, or translating information. The author
pairs up her groups based on ability level. She usually gives each student one buddy unless the
peer is less proficient in English, and then she receives two buddies, one who speaks their
language and the other who is proficient in both languages. She trains them to have patience and
respect for their buddies and that they should speak clearly and look at their buddies when
speaking to them.
b. This system is effective for English Language Learners, since they will often need something
translated, repeated, or explained multiple times. The teacher may not be able to translate if she

does not know the language or may not have the time to re-explain something in the middle of
class.
Play-the-Book Centers
a. Play-a-book centers are centers where the children have books available matched with some
items that they can use to act out the books. Pat B. Dragan, has the children help her gather
materials they can use to act out the books. She also allows them to do most of the organizing of
the material so that they can decide how they want to categorize and use the items. She also
leaves pen and paper and the books available to them so that they can use them as part of the
imaginative play when they feel it is necessary, which will make writing and reading important
and meaningful for them.
b. This center allows children to enjoy reading by bringing reading to life and helping them
really understand the literature. These activities also help bring out lots of language in a real way
that is motivating for them instead of through drill activities. It also brings out writing in a
meaningful way by making paper and pen available to the students and allowing them to use
writing when appropriate while acting out the story.
Thought Balloon
a. Thought balloons are balloons drawn next to pictures/images to show what the author is
thinking. Author uses them to be drawn next to sketches of her students to know what they were
trying to draw and what they are thinking about that drawing.
b. Thought balloons are helpful because it can help others know what these students are thinking
even when they are not ready to express their thoughts or they are in their silent period. It will

also self compel the students to want to write formulate words on paper so that others can
understand them. It may even bring out language because once they are communicating through
writing, they may feel competent to start speaking.
c. As a speech therapist, I would be able to implement thought balloons to help students who are
upset or non-verbal and are unable or unwilling to express themselves, to write what they feel in
a thought balloon or draw a picture if they are unable to write sufficiently.
Exciting activities to get children to talk
a. A really good strategy to get children to speak is to plan exciting activities to get children to
want to express their feelings. The author plans exciting activities and then gives them lots of
time to discuss the activity after it is done. She enlarges pictures of the activity to bring about
more language when the children are reminded of the activity again. She also brings in books
related to that activity.
b. This strategy is effective for English Language Learners because many times they feel
uncomfortable to talk. When something exciting happens their feelings overflow and they feel
compelled to speak forgetting about their fears. This brings about motivating and natural modes
of speech without forcing them.
c. I will implement this strategy by planning exciting and motivating activities to bring about
language. Based on observations of other speech therapists and personal experience, Ive seen
that it is more difficult to get children to speak when they are not motivated. I just spoke to a
parent of a student I work with. I was having a hard time getting him to use language to
communicate. The mother told me that he likes taking out the garbage and anything that has to
do with cleaning. She said it really gets him to speak. This also falls into the category of
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contextualized learning where learning is connected to something that the child is familiar with
either based on information he previously learned or based on something in his environment that
he comes in contact with and that he understands.
K-W-L Chart
a. A Know-Want to know-Learn chart is a chart that organizes information students are learning
into columns based on what they already know, what they want to learn about that topic, and,
after the lesson, what they learned about the topic. Dragan uses the chart after exposing the
students to the topic a little bit through books, photos etc. Discussions while creating the chart
help scaffold students language. Additionally, author uses information to assess the students.
b. This strategy is helpful for ELL students because it can help the teacher learn what the
students know already about the topic. Because of ELLs limited language and differences in
cultural, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds, it would otherwise be hard for the
teacher to discern what the students know about certain topics. Additionally, she will discover
whether or not this is a topic that motivates her students based on how they react to the topic and
what they tell her they want to learn. The learned column can help the teacher assess cognitive
and/or language abilities of her students based on what they retain or understand from the lesson
that was taught.
c. I would use K-W-L charts to assess students motivation of the topic and cognitive and
language abilities based on how they fill in the chart. If a student is able to I will have her fill out
the chart I will have her fill it out independently sometimes to get more of an idea of her
individual abilities. I also feel it is a good strategy to use to bring out language in the students by
having them discuss a topic and expand on the topic using this chart.
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