HELPING YOUR ELL STUDENT: A TEACHER¶S REFERENCE

Compiled by: SARA RAINWATER

ESL Coordinator GISD 810-591-4443 srainwat@geneseeisd.org PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR ASSISTANCE March 2006
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 Cover 2 Table of contents 3

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ESL/ LEP/ ELL TERMINOLOGY
ESL (English as a second language), LEP (limited-English proficient), and ELL (English language learner) are all references for students (in our case, in the United States), whose native or home language is not English. The term ELL is used throughout this manual. This term is currently utilized in most places across the United States.
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COMPLIANCE
‡ Each school MUST use Title III funds to provide highquality, language instruction, educational programs that are based on scientific research. ‡ This research much demonstrate effectiveness in increasing English proficiency and student academic achievement in the core academic subjects. ‡ Each school must select one or more methods of instruction to be used in the programs and activities for its ELL population. ‡ Each school must provide evidence that the programs chosen are based on scientific research in teaching ELL students. Each will be accountable for reporting its ELL 4 students¶ progress.

QUALIFICATIONS
‡ Any student who speaks a language other than English at home qualifies for language testing. ‡ Any student who speaks both English AND another language at home qualifies for language testing. ‡ The student DOES NOT have to be born in another country to qualify for language testing. ‡ Even if the child seems to speak well, it is better to recommend the child for testing. The testing will show if the child¶s academic language is equal to that of a fluent English speaker. Remember, conversational English is acquired much faster than academic language.
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HIGH SCHOOL ELL PLACEMENT
1. Class level placement is important. Grade level equivalent should be maintained if at all possible. It is important for the social interaction of the student though the language skills may be poor. Classroom support should be extended for a minimum of 2 years with steps built in for transition.
1. Remember that it takes 4-7 years for academic vocabulary fluency.

2.

1.

Classroom support means: scheduling the most beneficial classes, putting the child with teacher who DESIRE to meet the needs of a non-English speaking student, providing tutorial support, providing an individualized education plan that will allow the student to be successful, etc.
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HELP! I CAN¶T COMMUNICATE
By nature as a teacher, you want to help kids learn. Don¶t panic if you can¶t communicate Do look at this child as an asset. This child brings experiences to share that other students would never had been exposed to. You will be amazed by, over the course of a year, how much an ELL student¶s ability to share these unique experiences improves. Don¶t worry that the ELL does not speak English right away. An infant does not speak hours after birth. As parents, we don¶t get angry that our 2 year old doesn¶t speak with perfect grammar. Learning language is a process. It will happen with time. Additionally, be aware that a ³silent period´ is common with ELL children. This will pass in a matter of time, also. Do know that you have the opportunity to truly change this child¶s first memories of school in America- something he/she can either regret or treasure forever.
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***DON¶T FORGET ± SMILING IS AN UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE!

THE VERY FIRST DAYS
‡ Help your ELL student¶s transition by:
± Showing a visual tour of the school including the:
‡ bathroom (ensuring he/she understands which is for girls and which is for boys) ‡ Child¶s classroom ‡ Lunchroom ‡ Principal¶s office
± Try to convey meaning for this figure since educational systems vary worldwide

± Giving the student a ³welcoming gift´
‡ Ex. Notebook with the school name on it , pencils

± Using the buddy system
‡ The buddy works with the ELL child, goes to lunch and recess with this child for at least the first two weeks ‡ Give the buddy a ³thank you gift´
± Ex. Certificate of kindness
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CULTURE SHOCK
‡ Culture shock is a biochemical reaction a person¶s body has when he/she is faced with a disruption in what is his/her environment. ‡ All ELL students suffer different degrees of culture shock
± Often ELL children are devastated by the emotional upheaval to be in a new place where they have lost their ability to communicate. ± Common behavior during this time is: crying, shyness, and depression not typical of the child¶s personality.
‡ The child may become aggressive or withdrawn or suffer physical ailments like stomach aches and headaches.

Culture shock will wane with time and the child¶s true personality will come out.
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KEY PREDICTORS FOR ELL STUDENTS¶ (English Language Learners) ACADEMIC SUCCESS:
‡ Support of native language
± Encourage your student to develop their native language at home through reading and writing in addition to the speaking and listening they are most likely still using.
‡ If the child is not currently literate in his/her native language, do not try to simultaneously teach literacy in both languages. Establish a strong foundation in one language first and then promote literacy in the other.

± Allow opportunities for students to work in primary language to cluster and clarify ideas and concepts.

‡ Active, cognitively-complex instruction
± Do not level content down, simply the language that accompanies it ± Keep in mind that an ELL student puts up an ³affective filter´ if his/her anxiety level is high. In order to learn English in the quickest manner, an ELL student must have low affective filters. This can be done by using classroom strategies that aid in comprehension (in the following pages).

‡ Positive school climate with respect for all languages and cultures
‡ Allow students the opportunity to do projects based on their native language and culture.
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MODELING BEHAVIOR
‡ Many English-speaking students may already have negative stereotypes of immigrants or non-English speakers. ‡ Model how to be helpful.
± Help the ELL student understand and adjust to the American school system through compassion.
‡ These expectations and procedures may be very different than what the child is accustomed to in his/her home country. Help the child understand not just the expectations, but also how caring the people in America can be.

‡ Model how to be interested rather than fearful about differences. Do not act µcolorblind¶ in that everyone is the same. Instead, value the uniqueness that differences bring. Show that there is no ³right¶ way to be nor a 11 ³cultural norm´ from which others deviate.

TIPS TO REFLECT APPRECIATION FOR DIVERSITY IN YOUR CLASSROOM:
‡ Multiculturalism is full time, not limited to special events. Reflect many cultures in materials; don¶t just do holidays, festivals and special months. ‡ Show a range of racial and ethnic groups, ages, literacy and artistic traditions in your books, posters, and classroom environment. ‡ Have flags from many nations including your student¶s home country.
± Be cautious that you know the political situations that the flag may currently represent.

‡ Play recorded instrumental music from diverse cultures while the whole class reads (ex. -during Silent Sustained Reading {SSR}). ‡ Include some of the student¶s first language when labeling environmental print and your word walls. English speakers will love to learn other languages if they see that it is valued.
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‡ Greet hello in the child¶s native language.

WHAT TO FIND OUT ABOUT YOUR STUDENT AND HIS/HER CULTURE
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Family/ life cycle
± Ex. Typical marriage age for girls

Roles/ interpersonal relationships
± Ex. Boy/girl contact rules

Discipline
± Ex. In many places, corporal punishment is common; the U.S. is seen as too lenient

Concept of time
± Lateness may not be ³late´ in many places

Concept of proximity (space) Religion
± Check to see if your child is a religious minority- ex. Arabic speaking Christian

Food
± Some cultures do not eat certain meats, etc.

Health/ hygiene History of culture Traditions
± ± Holidays Keep in mind that these may not be followed in the 21st century as they had been in the past

13 ‡ Socio-cultural roles- group vs. individual, displaying knowledge, questioning, participation structures (how and when to speak)

BE AWARE OF YOUR ELL CHILD¶S CULTURAL EXPECTATIONS
‡ These include:
± Eye contact ± Cooperation ± Fear of making mistakes ± Fear of being singled out for individual praise ± Motivation to achieve academically ± Parents¶ school expectations ± Uneasiness with our American school systems ± Taboos about certain physical contact ± Beliefs about the appropriateness of styles of dress ± The role of play in education ***Differences in nonverbal language: gestures, esp.
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WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT ³LANGUAGE´ AS A SYSTEM
‡ ‡ There are structural and cultural components to language Language and culture are interrelated. ± Language reflects cultural norms, values, and beliefs ‡ For example, there are numerous words for snow in Alaskan Indigenous languages. However, there is not the same meaning of ³wet snow´ or ³dry snow´ in languages found near the Equator. The snow vocabulary is non-existent in locations where it has no affect on life. Language is experience-based and founded on authentic experiences. ± An ELL child may need to be given new experiences to give meanings to words he/she has never known in his/her first language. ‡ Keep this in mind when testing. Students may not have the conceptual, cultural schema equal to that of the students who have grown up in the United States. Structural components of language learning include: ‡ Vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, spelling ‡ Reading, writing, speaking, listening, comprehension ‡ Different uses/ levels of spoken communication ‡ Purposes for establishing and maintaining relationships ***All of these systems develop simultaneously while the child acquires English.

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There are two separations of ELL language that educators must understand: BICS & CALP. Without comprehension of the differences between BICS & CALP, 15 misconceptions about the child¶s true ability to perform in the classroom are very probable.

BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills)

‡ BICS:
± These are the first language skills acquired when learning the new language. These are your social skills for everyday, face-to-face situation.
‡ An example would be children¶s conversations on the playground.

± BICS fluency occurs before CALPS fluency (academic language).
± It may take a child a relatively short time to become fluent in BICS: usually between one and three years.

± This language is very contextualized.
‡ Comprehension clues are built into the words themselves

± To help your student improve his / her BICS, practice greetings and what to say when someone leaves. Have him/her practice requesting information and/or assistance as well as giving information or assistance. Practice describing and expressing feelings
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CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency)

‡ CALP:
± This is the language needed to successfully undertake academic tasks or cognitive tasks in the mainstream classroom. ± There are fewer context clues and the language is very specific to each content area. ± CALP usually takes about four to seven years for an ELL student to become fluent.
‡ To be able to develop CALP, the student must have a strong base in BICS.

± To help your student improve his/her CALPS, he/ she will need the language to: seek info, inform, compare, order, classify, analyze, infer, justify, persuade, problem-solve, synthesize, and evaluate. Try information gap activities, improvisation, radio broadcasts and debates as well as other authentic forms of language.
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BICS & CALP SUMMARY
ELL students must use both BICS and CALP to succeed academically. Because BICS fluency occurs much faster, there is often the MISperception that the student no longer needs language support because he/she is fluent. However, it will take many additional years before this BICS fluency is matched for CALP fluency. Hence, DO NOT withdraw language support too soon or academic failure becomes more likely to occur.

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LANGUAGE DEVLEOPMENT STAGES
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ STAGE 1-Preproduction STAGE 2 ± Early production STAGE 3 ± Speech Emergence STAGE 4 ± Intermediate Fluency STAGE 5 ± Near Fluency STAGE 6 ± Fluency

***It is not until stage 5 that some ELL students will be able to do most content work in mainstream classrooms without assistance, accommodations or support at or near grade level expectations. The time frame needed to reach this stage, on average, is from 4-7 years in the United States school system.
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ACQUISITION / PROFICIENCY

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LEVELED ACTIVITIES

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TEACHING TECHNIQUES DURING TEACHER SPEECH
‡ ‡ Give examples of what is expected (model)!!!! Repeat, repeat, repeat. Be redundant with concepts throughout multiple lessons.
± Try to use the exact same wording and expressions when repeating so not to further confuse the child.

‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡

In the beginning, use ³caretaker speech´ ± slower rate, clearer enunciation, high frequency words, shorter sentences, less sentence complexity Use more pauses between phrases Use fewer pronouns Avoid idioms and slang Paraphrase ±use visual reviews (lists/charts/graphic organizers), verbal reviews, summaries Use nonverbal cues: acting out word meanings, facial expressions
± **use caution with gestures because they can mean very different things in different cultures
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‡

Announce the lesson¶s objectives and activities in both oral and visual form.

NOTE-TAKING
‡ Since many ELL students are in mainstream classrooms, they are not only learning English but also grade-level content skills.
± The U.S. curriculum (MI) is linear in organization. It is assumed that students enter in kindergarten and build on their school experiences every year. Students from other countries may not have had any prior coursework in some content areas. assume that students know.

‡ Since note-taking is mainly dependent on a child¶s ability to pick out ³key´ words in lecture, provide an outline with specific vocabulary for the child to listen for.
± Many students first learning English cannot hear certain English phonemes that do not exist in their native language. Thus, without the ³key words´ written for him/her, the child will not be able to find these ³created´ spellings he/she has taken as notes in the dictionary after class.
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OTHER TEACHING TECHNIQUES
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Develop and maintain routines. Assign buddies and peer tutors List and review instructions step-by-step Write legibly Make the ELL student a helper
± Handing out papers, posting lunch numbers, etc.

Label your room and classroom objects Post schedules, objectives, rules, lunch menu, bus schedule Give word banks Give study guides Make flash cards Use pictures, manipulatives, realia Use different modalities
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TEACH FUNCTIONAL CHUNKS OF LANGUAGE
‡ Use songs, rhymes, chants/raps, poems, stories, role play, dialogs ‡ Teach classroom survival expressions in context. Words and grammar taught in isolation are often forgotten.
± Ex. May I go to the bathroom.
‡ You might just start out by emphasizing ³bathroom´ each time the student walks to the bathroom door until there is meaning for this word.

Other survival phrases: -I don¶t understand. -Could I « -Do you know« -What is « -What? -Please say it again. -Excuse me.

-Sorry« -Is that right? -Right. -Okay. -I speak« -My name is« -I need a pencil. -May I have a drink of water? -May I go to the office? -Can you help me?

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QUESTIONING
‡ At earlier stages, ask the student to point, gesture, or respond with single words or phrases. ‡ For students with more advanced proficiency, ask questions that require more use of English. ***Continue high level thinking questions- just match your leveling to required speech response. For a more guided questioning approach, follow the natural approach technique.
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THE NATURAL APPROACH
‡ Through this approach, students learn new vocabulary through experience and context. The natural approach emphasizes giving the ELL students ample time to listen to English. Naturally, speech will follow. ‡ Steps in Natural Approach Questioning:
Pre-production stage ± questions are like commands Point to________ , Find the ____, Show me the ____ Early Production stage ± one word responses Is this a _____ or a _____? Speech emergence Tell me about your ____. Why? How is the weather today? Intermediate Fluency What do you think about ___? Compare that with ____.
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STUDENT RESPONSE & TEACHER CORRECTION
‡ Don¶t force students to speak but still ask that they respond (pointing, etc.) ‡ Give extended wait time ‡ Reduce response materials ‡ Know that ELL students will make mistakes.
± Focus more on meaning than grammar. ± Model the correct grammar without correcting the student.
‡ For example: the student says ³I eating hamburger´
» Teacher: you ate a hamburger? » Student: Yes, I ate a hamburger.

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TOTAL PHYSICAL RESPONSE (TPR)
‡ In this approach, students respond to teacher commands with physical activity. The student and teacher can switch roles as the student develops language.
± Teacher gives a command. ± Teacher models the behavior
‡ Use a lot of repetition with this part.

± Teacher gives the command and gives obvious clues to the meaning.
‡ Student responds with whole body actions, not words. ‡ Change the order of commands after students begin to master the language for interest. ‡ Teacher recombines commands for unpredictability.
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USEFUL TPR VOCABULARY
VERBS Stand up Sit down Raise/lift ___(hand, etc.) Lower Point to Lay/place Take Jump Turn around Clap Open Shut Wave Draw Write ADJ. / ADV. fast slow ___ times (to the) left right front back high low backwards forwards side-ways above/over below/under in on next to NOUNS body parts classroom objects parts of the room colors numbers

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THEMATIC CONTENT INSTRUCTION
‡ Remember ± there must be a base in BICS before intense content instruction can occur ‡ Identify the language and/ or academic difficulties and demands that particular subjects may present for ELL students. ± Examples of these might be: reading textbooks, completing worksheets, writing reports, doing library research, solving mathematical and scientific word problems, and using rhetorical styles in essays (cause/effect, compare/contrast, argue, and persuade.) ‡ Select a theme for multiple lessons that can be used across the content areas. Set both language and content goals for the ELL child. ‡ Identify and utilize key terms and words throughout the lessons. ‡ Use authentic assessment. ± Ex. Project-based
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TEACH STUDY SKILLS
Show students how to develop and use graphic organizers. ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ outlines-summary/ prediction time lines ± organize/ sequence, compare flow charts ± outcome progression and influence, cause/effect mapping ± movement and spatial relations examination graphs & charts ± organize and compare Venn diagrams ± compare/ contrast

Show students how to use texts and other written materials ‡ text as a whole± parts of a book ± table of contents, index ± headings, subheadings, illustrations to help give context

‡

passages ±
± draw inferences, make judgments

Practice academic tasks, such as research projects, problem-solving, and essay writing ‡ go through the process step-by-step with real examples ‡ have the student practice going through the steps with you

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STRATEGIES TO MODEL
‡ COGNITIVE STRATEGIES TO MODEL
± analyze ± outline ± take notes

‡

METACOGNITIVE STRATEGIES TO MODEL
± identify learning preferences ± arrange study skills

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MEMORY-RELATED STRATEGIES TO MODEL
± ± ± ± acronyms Mnemonic devices rhyming Imagery

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COMPENSATORY STRATEGIES TO MODEL
± synonyms, guessing from context ± guessing from context

‡

AFFECTIVE STRATEGIES TO MODEL
± mood or anxiety level identification, positive self-talk
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COMPREHENSION
‡ Break tasks down ‡ Simplify directions ‡ Try ³not´ to use negatives ± these are very confusing ‡ Ask questions with language that is ³leveled down´ ‡ Allow ³translating time´ ‡ Help students with think-aloud sessions ‡ Check periodically to see if he/she is confused- use nonverbal responses: nodding of heads, raising hands, signaling, actions, drawing ±
± ***Use caution ± many ELL students want to please the teacher and may say ³yes´ or nod their head ³yes´ without truly understanding what is being asked 34 ± Double-check in different ways

ELL STUDENT SPEAKING & LISTENING
‡ It is normal for an ELL to go through a ³silent period.´ This is usually when the child is experiencing culture shock upon initial arrival. During this stage, the child may not speak at all. However, he/she is absorbing everything. Thus, continue to use ELL teaching techniques. Soon, the silent stage will pass and your student may surprise you with what they have learned. Teach vocabulary in context as often as possible. Try not to isolate words. Use puppets, drama, dialogues, small group discussions, games, songs, finger-plays, poems, show and tell, skits If you can not understand what your student says ± Repeat what you think the student said with question intonation to check your comprehension. ± Tell the student ³Sorry, I don¶t understand. Please say it again. Read aloud to your student- at every age and level. Do frequent comprehension checks
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‡ ‡ ‡

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ELL STUDENT READING
‡ The reading process is the same for all languages with the Roman alphabet. Once a student reads in one language, he/she can transfer those skills to a second language. ‡ With lowered oral language proficiency, even good readers (in their native language) often revert to poor reader strategies.
± Help your students maintain / produce ³good´ reader strategies in English

‡ In the second language, the child does not have the background knowledge and educational experiences to support content or give contextual meaning to print.
± Previewing and building background knowledge must be a starter at all times.
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READING ELEMENTS TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR ELL STUDENT¶S ROAD TO READING ENGLISH
‡ PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS
± Rhymes ± Alliteration ± Syllable counting ORTHOGRAPHIC AWARENESS Spelling patterns Identifying word families Decoding skills COMPREHENSION STRATEGIES Story discussion Prediction/Foreshadowing Main idea READING PRACTICE Guided Reading Sustained Silent Reading Paired reading

‡ PRINT AWARENESS
± Shared books ± Environmental print ± Concept of a word

‡ ALPHABETIC AWARENESS
± Recognition of upper and lower-case alphabet ± Letter/sound mapping ± Alphabetical order

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TIPS FOR ELL WRITING
*** An ELL student must have a foundation speaking English before he/she can truly write for meaning ‡ If the student is orally communicating well, write for real communication and purpose. ex. Teacher-student journal ‡ Emphasize the process over the pieces ‡ Use supports like group composing, graphic organizers, drawing-based texts
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ASSESSMENT
‡ ***Understand the fear and limits of testing ‡ Use authentic assessment, not traditional multiple-choice tests (these have no context for linguistic support) ‡ Choose key/main ideas for assessment ‡ Give extended time ‡ Simplify directions ‡ Include word banks
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EXAMPLES OF AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT FOR ELL STUDENTS
Authentic assessment is vital to your ELL student¶s ability to demonstrate what he/she can do and knows. Use: ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Checklists during observation Oral interviews / questionnaires Story/ text retellings Projects/ exhibitions Experiments/ demonstrations Informal conferencing between the student and yourself Dialogue journals Portfolios: these are SUPER with language learners. Portfolios will allow both the students and yourself to see the tremendous gains the child has made in English. 40

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
1. All students must meet graduation requirements to receive a diploma.
However, you can use alternative methods for grading. NO ONE supports giving away grades. Looking for quality and growth over quantity in an individualized plan will allow the student to be successful. Examples of alternative grading:
1. 2. 3. 4. EX. S/U counted for credit S/U non-credit Teacher discretion to evaluate the goals and objectives of the class and assign graded for the work expected of each individual student Audit option with no credit.
1. This requires a letter signed by the parent, student, teacher and counselor indicating acceptance of this option. Make sure the parent and child truly understand the implications of this option.

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WEBSITES FOR TEACHERS WORKING WITH ELL STUDENTS

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WEBSITES, CONTD.

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LET¶S FACE IT- ENGLISH IS A CRAZY LANGUAGE
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ We take English for granted. However, if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig There is not egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger English muffins weren¶t from England nor French fries from France Why is it that a writer can write but fingers don¶t fing, grocers don¶t groce and hammers don¶t ham If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn¶t the plural of booth beeth? If teachers taught, why didn¶t preachers praught? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites. You have the marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. Remember that you, as the teacher, have the ability to help English Language Learners sort all of the ³ins and outs´ out by taking them in, helping them out, and giving them a hand (not literally, of course) Thank you for treating these children as you¶d want your own to be treated.

Thank you for caring. Thank you for making a difference! Please contact me if I can be of any additional help Sara Rainwater ESL Coordinator 810-591-4443 srainwat@geneseeisd.org 44

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