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How Can I Help Support ELs?

April 1, 2016

Cody Meyers, Kelly Sheehan, Lish Olson

Languages Spoken in the District

Amharic 5 3%

Chinese 8 5%

Service Pre-K through 12th Grade Czech 3 2%

185 currently identified as LEP; 166 who are served in ESL Dutch 1

21 students exited LEP status in 2014-2015 Hmong 129 78%

Lao 1
95 current students have been reclassified as fully proficient (25
current Middle Schoolers) Portuguese 1

12 Full Time Teachers : 8 Elementary, 2 Middle, 2 High Punjabi 6 4%

Every LEP student is assessed annually using ACCESS 2.0 until Russian 2 1%
reaching an exit score
Spanish 7 4%

Tigrigna 3 2%
What is an English Learner?
Grew up speaking, or exposed regularly to another language other than English
Having a speech/language disability is different, and sometimes ELs do
experience that disability as well
May have been born in the US, or abroad
Of current MS Students: 12 were born abroad (8 in Thailand, 2 in Ethiopia, 1
in China, and 1 in India)
May have moved with their birth family, arrived through an adoption, as a
refugee, or various other means
Many may experience culture shock, trauma, or post-traumatic stress
associated with their experiences
As a result of their assimilation, many feel (real or perceived) they are losing their
culture or language
At the same time, they feel they dont fit in, or dont understand some of
mainstream culture
Language Acquisition & Assessment
WIDA-World-class Instructional Design and Assessment

Annual Standards-Based Assessment (ACCESS 2.0) assess students language

acquisition in the four domains (speaking, listening, reading, and writing)

Scores from ACCESS 2.0 provide individual language acquisition levels in each

The CAN DO Descriptors are a sampling of the language expectations of English language
learners as they travel along the continuum of English language development. They are a
starting point for determining what students can do in each language domain (Listening,
Speaking, Reading, Writing).

Where can I find these descriptors?

6-8 Can-Do Booklet 6-8 Can-Do Key Uses for Teachers

WIDA Can Do Descriptors
Think back to the last constructed response you gave...
Where do you think a student would have struggled with their response?

A level 1 student
A level 3 student
A level 5 student

How might you adjust your expectations of an English learner?

A level 1 student
A level 3 student
A level 5 student

Turn and talk with a neighbor and then share out some a-ha moments
ESL Teacher Role
The ESL teachers primary responsibility is meeting specific English Language
Proficiency standards for English Language Learners (ELL). Language acquisition
support of the universal curriculum is also provided.

The ESL Teacher may provide the following services:

Supplemental Tier 2 and Tier 3 curriculum as needed
Pre-teach and frontload vocabulary and skills for mainstream curriculum
Language acquisition accommodations based on language levels
Support in lesson planning with scaffolded language instruction included
Tier 3 newcomer replacement curriculum (time based on student needs)
How to use the EL At-a-Glance

EL At-a-Glance Example
Strategies to help OUR English Learners
They are ALL OUR students - strategies that support ELs help all students
Identify language supports, and language functions within your lessons and
Use tiered questioning prompts associated with the students language level
Use language structures, such as sentence starters
Use discussion and collaboration strategies to help students engage in the
Language Supports & Functions - this is Universal!
Identify the purpose or expected outcome of the speaking or writing you are asking
them to do

What is the purpose for communication here?

Argue, defend, ask, name, describe, explain, infer, suggest, compare
What does the learner have to DO with language? How can I support?
Write a sentence provide sentence starters
Write a paragraph provide the structure, or a graphic organizer
Identify key vocabulary provide a visual with matching terms
Describe an event or thing provide a list of connectors, or adjectives
Types of supports
Sensory manipulatives, video/audio, physical activities, models
Graphic graphic organizers, charts, graphs, number lines, timelines
Interactive native language, pairs/triads, cooperative groups, discussions
Tiered Questioning
1 Minimal comprehension; yes/no; draws Show me Circle the Where is ? Who
and points has?

2 Limited comprehension; 1-2 word Yes/no questions; Which/either questions;

responses Who/what/how many?

3 Good comprehension; simple Why?

sentences; How?
grammatical/syntax/punctuation errors; Explain?
misunderstands jokes/figurative Questions requiring short answers or simple
language sentences

4 Excellent comprehension; few, but still What would happen if/when?

some errors in grammar and syntax Why do you think?

5 Near-native level of understanding; Decide if/when?

remember you are comparing to Retell
average native speaker, not necessarily Paraphrase...
exemplary student

What questions might you have

for us?
What is culture?
The Iceberg concept of culture
What do you think of when you think of culture?
Food, dress, arts, crafts, dance, celebrations, language, games
These are relatively uninvolved emotionally
It goes much deeper, and our students are stuck in a place trying to
meld our culture with their culture
Unspoken rules, like courtesy, conversation patterns, conduct,
personal space, eye contact
Unconscious rules, like relationships, interactions/friendships,
tone, attitude toward elders, competition/cooperation, concept of
self and roles
Sensory Support Graphic Support Interactive Support

Real-life objects (realia) Charts In pairs or partners

Manipulatives Number Lines In triads or small


Pictures & photographs Tables In whole group

Illustrations & diagrams Graphs Using cooperative

group structures
Magazines & newspapers Timelines

Physical activities Graphic organizers Using the Internet or

software programs
Videos & films


Models & figures In the native language

Other Sentence Starters With mentors