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All English Language Learners articles

By: Susan Lafond (2012)
In this article written for Colorín Colorado, ELL expert Susan Lafond provides an introduction to the Common Core State Standards through a series of user-friendly FAQs.

By: Susan Lafond (2012)
In this article written for Colorín Colorado, ELL expert Susan Lafond provides an overview of the ways in which Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy differ from the standards that states currently use. She also discusses the ways in which these shifts will impact ELL instruction.

By: Karen Ford (2012)
In plain language, find out what the Common Core Standards are, how student progress will be measured, their impact on English language learners, and how to stay informed.

By: Carole Cox (2012)
Read and discuss poetry with nature imagery with students. Take students on a poetry walk around the school, neighborhood, or community to observe and collect sensory images from direct experience with nature: the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of things outdoors. Students can take a poetry journal with them to write down words as they observe, listen, smell, and touch things outside the classroom.

By: Carole Cox (2011)
Using students' questions as a basis for investigations in science education is an effective teaching strategy. Not only do students pose questions they would like answered, but they are asked to find ways to answer them. This article also recommends nonfiction science books that use a question and answer format to find information and model how to communicate what you know.

By: Katherine A. Dougherty Stahl, Marco A. Bravo (2011)
What are some ways that we can gauge vocabulary development in the content areas? In this article, the authors explain how the intricacies of word knowledge make assessment difficult, particularly with content area vocabulary. They suggest ways to improve assessments that more precisely track students' vocabulary growth across the curriculum, including English language learners.

By: What Works Clearinghouse, U.S. Department of Education (2011)
Explore the five recommended practices for teaching literacy in English to English language learners: (1) Screen and monitor progress, (2) Provide reading interventions, (3) Teach vocabulary, (4) Develop academic English, and (5) Schedule peer learning.

By: Sharon Vaughn, Alba Ortiz (2010)
This article briefly highlights the knowledge base on reading and RTI for ELLs, and provides preliminary support for the use of practices related to RTI with this population.

By: Center for American Progress, Claire E. White, James S. Kim (2009)
The powerful combination of systematic vocabulary instruction and expanded learning time has the potential to address the large and long-standing literacy gaps in U.S. public schools, particularly with low-income students and English language learners.

By: Mariam Jean Dreher, Jennifer Letcher Gray (2009)
This article explains (a) how to teach students to identify the compare-contrast text structure, and to use this structure to support their comprehension, (b) how to use compare-contrast texts to activate and extend students' background knowledge, and (c) how to use compare-contrast texts to help students expand and enrich their vocabulary. Although these strategies can benefit all young learners, the compare-contrast text structure is particularly helpful to ELL students.

By: Portland Public Schools (OR), Colorín Colorado (2009)

By: Colorín Colorado (2009)
On a daily basis, ELLs are adjusting to new ways of saying and doing things. As their teacher, you are an important bridge to this unknown culture and school system. There are a number of things you can do to help make ELLs' transitions as smooth as possible.

By: Kristina Robertson (2009)
English language learners can benefit from field trips that provide an experience that enhances classroom learning. It can be overwhelming for a teacher to think of organizing all the details of a field trip, but with some planning beforehand and a few extra steps, field trips can be very successful! This article offers some ways to make the field trips with ELLs go more smoothly and to provide students with a meaningful academic experience.

By: Kristina Robertson (2009)
This article offers some ideas on how to introduce poetry to ELLs and integrate it with reading instruction, as well as some ideas for reading poetry aloud in a way that will encourage oral language development.

By: Kristina Robertson (2009)
This article discusses strategies for writing poetry with ELLs, presents an overview of poetry forms that can be used effectively in writing lessons, and suggests some ideas for ways to share student poetry.

By: Kristina Robertson (2009)
Language plays an important part in math instruction, particularly for ELLs. This article offers some strategies for making language an integral part of math instruction, and for ensuring that ELLs have the tools and language they need to master mathematical concepts, procedures, and skills.

By: Kristina Robertson (2009)
ELLs can benefit from Reader's Theater activities in a number of ways, including fluency practice, comprehension, engaging in a story, and focusing on vocal and physical expression. Kristina Robertson offers a number of approaches to Reader's Theater with ELLs in this article.

By: Yoo-Seon Bang (2009)
Informed by the author's work as a researcher and as a Korean parent of a child in a U.S. public school, this article offers suggestions to guide educators in understanding and supporting the involvement of cultural and linguistic minority families in their children's schools.

By: Kristina Robertson (2009)
This Bright Ideas article recommends five specific and measurable actions teachers can implement to assist ELL learning in the upcoming year. All of the strategies have been featured on the Colorín Colorado website, and the Hotlinks section has links to helpful articles and websites for further support.

By: Rebecca Silverman (2009)
The principles of a multidimensional vocabulary program hold promise for supporting the vocabulary development of all students, especially English language learners. Eight characteristics of a multidimensional approach are described. The first is the introduction of new words through engaging children's literature.

By: Rebecca Silverman, Sara Hines (2009)
A recent research study shows that using multimedia video in conjunction with traditional read aloud methods may improve the vocabulary growth of English language learners. An example of how to implement multimedia during classroom read-alouds is described.

By: Kristina Robertson (2008)
One of the most important skills students learn as they transition into middle and high school is how to get information from a non-fiction text. This skill can be especially challenging for ELLs, who may not have had much experience working independently with expository texts. This Bright Ideas article offers ways that teachers can help ELLs work effectively with non-fiction texts and includes strategies for introducing components, structure, and purpose of expository texts.

By: Susan M. Ebbers (2008)
Rather than introducing a new word in isolation, teachers should introduce students to a rich variety of words that share the same root. This approach should help diverse learners including English language learners, make important connections among vocabulary words within the same family, and transfer core ideas across content areas.

By: Kristina Robertson (2008)
How can you hold an effective parent-teacher conference with the parents of English language learners if they can't communicate comfortably in English? This article provides a number of tips to help you bridge the language gap, take cultural expectations about education into account, and provide your students' parents with the information they need about their children's progress in school.

By: Kristina Robertson (2008)
As you teach content areas to ELLs of diverse backgrounds, you may find that they struggle to grasp the content, and that they approach the content from very different perspectives. Drawing on your students' background knowledge and experiences can be an effective way to bridge those gaps and make content more accessible. This article offers a number of suggestions to classroom teachers as they find ways to tap into the background knowledge that students bring with them.

By: E. Sutton Flynt, William G. Brozo (2008)
Concerns about how to build academic vocabulary and weave its instruction into curricula are common among classroom teachers. This article reviews the research and offers some practical suggestions for teachers.

By: Pre-K Now (2008)
Latino children make up the largest and most rapidly growing racial/ethnic minority population in the U.S. Find out how pre-K programs can play a key role in helping these children in school readiness and educational achievement.

By: Reading Rockets (2008)
Dads play a critical role in their children's literacy development by modeling reading, sharing stories, exploring the world together, and engaging in meaningful conversations that build critical thinking skills.

By: Reading Rockets (2008)

A child's success as a reader begins much earlier than the first day of school. Reading, and a love for reading, begins at home. Our one-page Parent Tips offer easy ways for parents to help kids become successful readers. Although we've divided these tips by age, many of them can be used with children at various ages and stages — we encourage you to choose the ones that work best for your child.



By: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2008)
Learning to speak two languages is like learning any other skill. To do it well, children need lots of practice, which parents can help provide. This American Speech-Language-Hearing Association brief gives information and tips for parents.

By: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2008)
Anyone at any age can learn a second language after a first language is already established, but it takes a lot of practice. Second language acquisition often happens when a child who speaks a language other than English goes to school for the first time. This American Speech-Language-Hearing Association brief looks at the best way to teach a second language and how speech professionals can help.

By: Mary Ann Zehr (2007)
Technology that encourages interactive learning can be an effective tool for teaching English language learners, even if the technology is not specifically designed particularly for ELLs.

By: U.S. Department of Education (2007)
Studies show that screening English language learners for abilities in phonological processing, letter knowledge, and word and text reading will help identify those who are progressing well and/or who require additional instructional support.

By: U.S. Department of Education (2007)
Most scholars believe that instruction in academic English ' done early, consistently, and simultaneously across content areas ' can make a difference in English learners' ability to understand the core curriculum.

By: U.S. Department of Education (2007)
Providing small-group reading instruction in five core reading elements (phonological awareness, phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension) can really help English language learners in the elementary grades.

By: U.S. Department of Education (2007)
One way to create effective literacy instruction for English learners in the elementary grades is to provide extensive and varied vocabulary instruction.

By: U.S. Department of Education (2007)
Teachers of English learners should devote approximately 90 minutes a week to instructional activities in which pairs of students at different ability levels or proficiencies work together on academic tasks in a structured fashion.

By: Kristina Robertson (2007)
As you teach content areas to ELLs of diverse backgrounds, you may find that they struggle to grasp the content, and that they approach the content from very different perspectives. Drawing on your students' background knowledge and experiences, can be an effective way to bridge those gaps and to make the content more accessible. This article offers a number of suggestions to classroom teachers as they find ways to tap into the background knowledge that students bring with them.

By: Suzanne Irujo (2007)
In this article, a seasoned ELL teacher synthesizes her own classroom experience and the findings of the National Literacy Panel on Language-Minority Children and Youth to make recommendations for effective literacy instruction of ELL students.

By: Dale S. Brown, Karen Ford (2007)
Concrete suggestions for teachers who want to communicate well with all of their students, especially English language learners and students with learning disabilities.

By: Colorín Colorado (2007)
Cognates are words in two languages that share a similar meaning, spelling, and pronunciation. For Spanish-speaking ELLs, cognates are an obvious bridge to the English language.

By: Colorín Colorado (2007)
Social English, or the language of conversation, may develop very quickly, but mastering academic English, the language of school, can take years. Use these tips to lead students toward full language proficiency.

By: Colorín Colorado (2007)
Knowing vocabulary words is key to reading comprehension. The more words a child knows, the better he or she will understand the text. Using a variety of effective teaching methods will increase the student's ability to learn new words.

By: Kristina Robertson (2007)
Libraries today have changed in a number of ways to meet the demands of our modern society, but their underlying purpose for children is still to help them discover the joy of reading. As summer peaks, many local libraries advertise special summer reading programs and activities to keep children enthusiastic about reading.

By: Colorín Colorado (2007)
An English language learner may not have an advanced English vocabulary, but with the right kind of curriculum and instruction, teachers may be surprised at the knowledge ELLs can gain. Science lends itself well to developing ELL students' language and content knowledge because there are so many opportunities for hands-on learning and observation.

By: Kathleen A.J. Mohr, Eric S. Mohr (2007)
Despite the need to use and develop their English-language proficiency, English-language learners (ELLs) are often quiet during classroom discussions. The Response Protocol was developed to help teachers elicit and support the oral interactions of ELL students.

By: Kristina Robertson (2006)
Language learning offers a unique and exciting opportunity to integrate music. Many people have had the experience of learning a world language and singing simple, silly songs in class. The introduction of music provides a light-hearted and fun way to interact with another language and culture.

By: Kristina Robertson (2006)
ELL students learn new words everyday, and it's essential that they have a deep understanding of what those words mean. Without comprehension, new words are useless. The key to helping ELL students succeed is to give them explicit instruction in the academic language of the content they are learning in class. This article offers some strategies and resources for getting started!

By: Andres Barona, Maryann Santos de Barona (2006)

This article discusses the challenges in providing psychoeducational services to the rapidly increasing minority populations in the U.S. and offers a brief elaboration of the role and function of school counselors and school psychologists and how they can meet the mental health and educational needs of this large and growing population.



By: Brenda Krick-Morales (2006)
Word problems in mathematics often pose a challenge because they require that students read and comprehend the text of the problem, identify the question that needs to be answered, and finally create and solve a numerical equation. Many ELLs may have difficulty reading and understanding the written content in a word problem.

By: Louise Spear-Swerling (2006)
For English language learners, proper identification of learning disabilities can be crucial to success. The author offers practical tips for identifying learning disabilities and developing appropriate accommodations.

By: Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, Alejandro Brice (2005)
How can you tell when a student has a language-learning disability and when he or she is merely in the normal process of acquiring a second language?

By: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2005)
Children pick up languages much more easily than adults. This article answers some common questions about raising bilingual children.

By: Rosa Lizardi (2005)
All students learn in different ways, and ELLs are no exception. Creating opportunities for hands-on learning in the classroom can provide another way for students to grasp difficult concepts.

By: Colorín Colorado (2004)
The following tips explain simple things you can do to help encourage your child to read, learn, and succeed!

By: Beth Antunez (2002)
Find out how teachers can play to the strengths and shore up the weaknesses of English Language Learners in each of the Reading First content areas.

By: Mary Ann Zehr (2001)
There are many children who are eligible for both special education and English as a Second Language instruction, but few models exist for how to serve these children well. Learn about a program in Clark County, Nevada in which dually trained teachers provide overlapping instruction to meet both these needs.

By: Aida Walqui (2000)
Learning a second language is hard, but it can be made easier when the teacher knows a bit about the similarities between the first and second languages, and can successfully motivate students.

By: Susan Burns, Peg Griffin, Catherine Snow (1999)
Hispanic students in the United States are at especially high risk of reading difficulties. Despite progress over the past 15 to 20 years, they are about twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to read well below average for their age.

By: Catherine Snow, Susan Burns, Peg Griffin (1998)
Although more research is needed, the research we do have suggests that knowing how to speak English makes it easier to learn to read English. This article makes some recommendations for teaching reading to non-English-speaking children, and raises questions for future research.

By: Catherine Snow, Susan Burns, Peg Griffin (1998)
English language learners are at risk for future reading difficulties for a number of reasons. Here are some factors all teachers of ELLs should know.

By: Virginia P. Collier (1995)
Learning a second language for school is not simply a linguistic challenge; it poses social, cultural, academic, and cognitive challenges as well. This article describes a conceptual model for acquiring a second language for school that reflects all these challenges, and makes recommendations for instruction stemming from this model.

By: Margaret Mulhern, Flora V. Rodriguez-Brown, Timothy Shanahan (1994)
For language minority families, learning English is a key component of family literacy programs. This article describes questions to consider when establishing a program for language minority families.

By: Sarah Hudelson (1988)
In teaching second language learners how to speak and read English, it is important not to neglect their writing development. Here are some strategies for teaching ESL children to become writers.

"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away. And in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall." — Roald Dahl