English for Speakers of Other
CSE 489 Seminar
August 27, 2010
Josie Prado
Before we start….
• Remembering Dr. Erevelles’ lecture on
Multiculturalism in U.S. schools, how do the
concepts of invisibility and hypervisibility
apply to English language learners?
• Thinking of Dr. Siders’ lecture on Special
Education, how would collaboration apply to
you as a classroom teacher with an English
Language Learner?
My goal today is…
• To consider the perspective of the English
Language Learner
• To introduce you to some basic principles of
Second Language Acquisition
• To connect those SLA principles with classroom
strategies for English Language Learners
ESL Alphabet Soup
• ESL – English as a Second Language
• ELL – English Language Learner
• SLA – Second Language Acquisition
• WIDA – World Class Instructional
Design and Assessment
• ELP – English Language Proficiency
• LEP - Limited English Proficiency
How important is culture?
• Cultural beliefs influence individual thinking…
(Pransky & Bailey, 2002)
• Some students may
Avoid eye contact as a sign of respect
Prefer to remain silent than make a mistake
Be uneasy with informality in the classroom
Not wish to be singled out for individual praise
• What can you do? Get to know your student and
learn more about your ELL’s culture.
Stages of Acculturation
Seven Principles of SLA (1)
• Learners with strong foundation in first
language and in first language literacy skills
learn additional languages more easily and more
fully (Thomas & Collier, 2002; Cummins, 1981,
▫ Teacher: Draw on student’s first language
to support learning academic content. The
student’s prior knowledge in her first
language is one of her best resources!
What would that look like?
• If your student already understands the concept
of liberty in her first language, then she just
needs a new word. Otherwise, she must learn the
concept and the new word.
• Use cognates (liberty / libertad / liberté)
• Chapter summaries of textbook in native
• Dictionaries/electronic translators
Seven Principles of SLA (2)
• Continued development of first language will
enhance overall development of second language
(Cummins, 1976, 2000)
▫ Teacher: Encourage your ELLs to
development their first languages; use
their first language as a resource
What would this look like?
• Bilingual staff, especially with similar cultural
• Students are allowed to speak first language in
the classroom
• Encourage ELLs to read in their first language
Seven Principles of SLA (3)
• In order to learn a language, people must have
contact with fluent speakers of that language
(Wong-Fillmore & Snow, 2005)
▫ Teacher: Get ELLs actively engaged with
their native-English speaking peers
 Small groups
 Hands-on activities
 Peer-tutors
Seven Principles of SLA (4)
• Social Language Proficiency (BICS) is
completely different from
• Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)
(Cummins, 1979, 1981, 2000).
▫ Teacher: Just because your student is
fluent (and speaks with his classmate’s
accent), doesn’t mean that he will be on
grade level in terms of academic work.
What is this, again?
• It takes 1-3 years to master BICS (social
• It takes 5-7 years to master CALP (academic
• http://www.wida.us/standards/PerfDefs.pdf
Seven Principles of SLA (5)
• In order for an ELL to develop language skills,
the language she encounters must be
comprehensible (Krashen, 1982, 2003).
▫ Teacher: Listening to lecture style
presentations is tiring. After awhile,
language will simply wash over the ELL. He
won’t grow linguistically or academically.
What does comprehensible language
look like?
• Use clear, “guessable” teacher talk (a.k.a.
• Reduce the use of idioms (Do you really want
them to “pull your leg???”)
• Keep sentences short and vocabulary simple
• Use key words from lesson (PRINT them on the
• Expand the one or two-word sentences from
your ELL (restroom?)
Seven Principles of SLA (6)
• The best kind of language for an ELL is
comprehensible language plus a little more
(Krashen, 1982, 2003).
▫ Teacher: Use language that corresponds to
your student’s level of proficiency and add
a little more. That’s why “scaffolding”
ELL’s learning process is so important.
What does scaffolding mean, exactly?
• Provide support to your student while he is
learning a new concept. As student gains skills,
gradually reduce support
• Use visuals, realia, manipulatives, and other
concrete materials
• Use graphic organizers
Seven Principles of SLA (7)
• Anxiety that surrounds learning will hinder
language development (Krashen, 1982, 2003)
▫ Teacher: Avoid embarrassing ELLs, or
placing them in situations where their
peers will make fun of them. Do NOT force
your student to speak. He will produce
language when he is ready.
How can you reduce stress in the
• Show genuine interest in the student (as an
individual, not as a member of a group) through
gestures, tone of voice, facial expressions
• Don’t verbally correct grammatical or
pronunciation errors (unless she asks you to)—
model the correct form when you respond
• Encourage your students to share their
backgrounds and cultures
General Instructional Strategies
• Establish consistent patterns and routines in
your classroom
• Speak slowly (not loudly) and clearly
• Use gestures and facial expressions
• Use visuals to clarify key concepts
• Use student’s first language
• Use audiobooks, DVDs, chapter summaries
More Instructional Strategies
Check often for understanding
Record your lessons/lectures
Reinforce your concepts in a variety of ways
Summarize and review frequently (breaking up
chunks of new information)
• Allow students enough time to respond
• Involve parents in the instructional process
A few tips for classroom assessment
• ELLs answer fewer questions
• Grade only those completed by ELL
• Accept a picture or description instead of
specific term
• Provide word banks
• Give ELLs more time to complete the test
• Read questions aloud
• Provide only 2 choices for multiple choice
• Use graphic organizer instead of essay question
Incorporating other forms of
Grade the process instead of the product
Grade the content, not the language
Include homework grades into final assessment
Create your own test, instead of using
publisher’s test
Return to the Beginning
• How do invisibility and hypervisibility
apply to English Language Learners?
• Why is collaboration important?
• Cummins, J. (1976). The influence of bilingualism on cognitive growth: A
synthesis of research findings and explanatory hypotheses. Working papers on
bilingualism, 9, 1 – 43.
• Cummins, J. (1979). Cognitive/academic language proficiency, linguistic
interdependence, the optimum age question and some other matters. Working
papers on bilingualism, 19, 121 – 129.
• Cummins, J. (1981). The role of primary language development in promoting
educational success for language minority students. In California State
Department of Education, Schooling and language minority students: A
theoretical framework (pp. 3 – 50). Los Angeles, California State University,
Evaluation, Dissemination and Assessment Center.
• Cummins, J. (2002). Language, power and pedagogy: Bilingual children in the
crossfire. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.
• Ellis, R. (1994). The study of second language acquisition. Oxford: Oxford
University Press.
• Krashen, S. D. (1982). Principles and practice in second language acquisition.
New York: Pergamon.
• Krashen, S. D. (2003). Explorations in language acquisition and use: The Taipei
lectures. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
• Law, B. & Eckes, M. (2000). More than just surviving handbook. Winnipeg, Canada:
Portage & Main Press.
• Peregoy, S. & Boyle, O. (2005). Reading, writing, and learning in ESL: A resource
book for k– 12 teachers. Boston: Allyn and Bacon
• Pransky, K. & Bailey, F. (2002). To meet your students where they are, first you have
to find them…The Reading Teacher, 56(4), 370-383.
• Richard – Amato, P.A. (2005). Academic success for English language learners.
White Plains, NY: Longman.
• Thomas, W. P., & Collier, V.P. (2002). A national study of school effectiveness for
language minority students’ long-term academic achievement. University of
California, Santa Cruz: Center for Research on Education, Diversity and Excellence.
• Wong-Fillmore, L. & Snow, C. (2005). What teachers need to know about language.
In P.A. Richard-Amato & M. A. Snow (Eds.) Academic success for English language
learners: Strategies for K – 12 mainstream teachers (pp. 47 – 75). White Plains, NY:
Pearson Longman Press.

English for Speakers of Other Languages