Unlocking the Mysteries
of Our
ESOL Students
In order for us to help our ESOL students, we
must first understand their unique situations,
needs, and desires.
Here is one of the most practical, informational
ESOL websites I have found for understanding
and accommodating the needs of ESOL students!
Home Page: http://www.everythingesl.net/
Lesson plans, Teaching Tips, Resource Picks, and
Ask Judy
We all have similar concerns about how to best
educate our ESOL students.
We wonder—
 What language is spoken at home?
 Do their parents understand English? Are they able to help
with schoolwork?
 What was their life like before they got here?
 Were they a witness to traumatic events?
 What is their home life like now?
 What are their cultural expectations?
 How can I honor their culture?
 How can I make them feel comfortable and accepted?
 How can I help my mainstream students accept them?
 How do I begin? Do I allow them to work in their native
language, or insist on English from the start?
 If I don’t speak their language, what can I do to facilitate
 How do I help them make the transition to English?
 What is the language acquisition process?
 How do I help my students to learn to read and write in
 How do I help my students to comprehend content area
 What resources are available to help me?
In order to answer these questions, you first need to get to
know your students. You then need to learn strategies for
meeting their needs.
This can be done by:
Interviewing the student or other family members.
Working with the district ESL teacher
Talking with other teachers
Attending workshops and classes
Reading professional articles on ESL instruction
Using interactive online resources
Using software that has been adapted for ESL
 Using online language translators
 Using community resource people as translators
 Using the teaching skills you already have!
The following slides contain descriptions of
informative articles. To read the article,
click on the link on the bottom of each
How can I make my ESOL students feel accepted
and socially comfortable?
Article: Communicating with Gestures
by Judie Haynes
Very few gestures are universally understood and
interpreted. What is perfectly acceptable in the
United States may be rude, or even obscene, in
other cultures.
Learn More:
Activities for Newcomers
by Judie Haynes
When brand new English language learners first enter your
school, it can be overwhelming for the teachers responsible
for their instruction. It's hard to know what to do first. Here
are some activity-based tips to get you started.
Learn More:
Creating an Atmosphere of Acceptance
by Judie Haynes
Discover how you can alleviate many newcomers' fears
by creating an atmosphere of acceptance and welcome in
all of your classes.
Learn More:
Help Your Newcomers Develop Pride in Their Heritage
by Judie Haynes
Do you know how to use the diversity in your classroom to
help your newcomers develop pride in their native
languages and cultures? Try some of these ideas.
Learn More:
ESL Teacher as Cultural Broker
by Judie Haynes
Simple awareness on the part of mainstream staff members
will help them deal more effectively with cross-cultural
dissension. As ESL/bilingual professionals we need to
teach strategies which help our colleagues understand the
role culture plays in the behavior and reactions of second
language learners and their parents.
Learn More:
English Language Learners and the
"Hidden Curriculum"
by Judie Haynes
The TESOL Standards formalized what ESL professionals
have been doing all along: Teaching our students culturally
appropriate responses in a variety of situations.
Learn More:
Explaining BICS and CALP
by Judie Haynes
Classroom teachers need to understand the difference
between social language and academic language
acquisition. Here is a simple description of BICS and CALP
as theorized by Jim Cummins.
Learn More:
How can I help my ESOL students with learning Content
Area Curriculum?
Challenges for ELLs in Content Area Learning
by Judie Haynes
Do you want to help classroom teachers in your school with
their English language learners? Begin by understanding
the challenges ELLs face in their content area learning.
Learn More:
SIOP: Making Content Comprehensible for ELLs
by Judie Haynes
The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) was
developed to make content material comprehensible to
English Language Learners. This model is the result of the
work of Jana Echevarria, MaryEllen Vogt and Deborah J.
Learn More:
Content-based Surveys and Interviews
by Judie Haynes
Get your English language learners involved in content
area learning. Promote the development of your ELLs' oral
language skills and content area vocabulary through oral
surveys written in a cooperative group setting.
Learn More:
Graphic Organizers for Content Instruction
by Judie Haynes
Graphic organizers make content area information more
accessible to second language learners. They convert
complex information into manageable chunks. Download
graphic organizers from this page.
Learn More:
To learn much more about working with ESOL
students, examine the remainder of helpful articles at
this wonderful website!
Also, visit the following websites for more information or
interactive activities for your students. The following websites
can be found on the Clara Byrd Baker network (Go to My
Computer, then Shared on cbb (drive r), then go to the lab
folder, then the ESL Resources folder.)
For Teacher Reference:
(Spanish alphabet)
http://www.manythings.org/ (Games, quizzes, audio files, etc.)
(Make bingo boards, worksheets, etc.)
http://www.everythingesl.net/quicktips/ (Great quick tips for
classroom teachers)
(Spanish/English Dolch sight words)
e.html (English activities and games)
(Great for every day vocabulary)
http://www.songsforteaching.com/esleflesol.htm (Songs and
soundclips in English)
http://pbskids.org/stories.html (Interactive stories)
urses (English language courses online)
(Building Language for Literacy)
ntent_area_l_65322.php (Challenges for ELLs in
Content Area Reading article)
(Picture dictionary in many languages plus audio)
(Spanish/English Dolch sight words)
http://iteslj.org/links/ESL/Kids/ (Links to resources)
For Students:
http://www.starfall.com/ (One of my favorites for kids to learn
to read.)
http://www.anglaisfacile.com/kids/indexg.php (Games and
worksheets for learning English)
http://pbskids.org/mayaandmiguel/flash.html (Can switch back
and forth between English and Spanish)
http://www.my-spanish-dictionary.com/ (Good for
communicating with Spanish speakers)
http://pbskids.org/stories.html (Online stories)
http://duber.com/CALL/asl.html (American Sign Language)
http://www.ilovelanguages.com/ (Guide to language websites)
http://www.tolearnenglish.com/ (Audio lessons, quizzes, etc.)
http://www.1-language.com/ (Free materials for learning English)
http://www.caslt.org/research/esllinks1_5.htm (Vocabulary, dictionaries)
http://www.ac-nancy-metz.fr/enseign/anglais/Henry/litt.htm (Animated and
interactive stories)
http://pbskids.org/mayaandmiguel/flash_esp.html (Interactive
(Animated and interactive stories)
http://www.1-language.com/eslphonics/ (Downloadable ESL phonics
http://teacher.scholastic.com/clifford1/ (Interactive
http://www.eslkid.com/ (Interactive activities)
http://www.funbrain.com/verb/ (Verbs games)
http://madridteacher.com/Activities/ (Vocabulary games in
(Learn English games)
http://www.wordmania.org/wmindex7.htm (Word games
with pictures)
http://www.eslcafe.com/ (Dave’s ESL Café)
http://www.manythings.org/vq/ (Easy Vocabulary Quizzes with Pictures)
(ESL Resource Page)
http://www.factmonster.com/games.html (Reference website)
http://www.funbrain.com/words.html (Word Games)
http://www.genkienglish.net/gamemenu.htm (Songs, games, etc. to learn
http://www.iknowthat.com/com (Fun, educational, animated games)
http://www.learningplanet.com/act/fl/aact/index.asp (Interactive Alphabet)
http://www.lil-fingers.com/storybooks/index.html (Simple Interactive
pjCode=10&lang=EN&u_code=4395 (Picture dictionary in many
languages plus audio)
http://www.gate.net/~labooks/xDolchSpanish.html (Spanish/English
Dolch sight words)
http://iteslj.org/links/ESL/Kids/ (Links to resources)
(Handwriting guide)
(Picture dictionary in many languages)
(Another favorite)
http://www.pdictionary.com/ (Internet picture dictionary)
Enjoy the challenges of working with ESL
students, as you enjoy the challenges of
teaching all your students. Keep an open
mind, ask questions, and remember to
Just continue to do what you do best!

Providing Insight, Motivation, and Resources for …