As more families make North America their home, the need for quality ELL resources for elementary students continues to rise. In fact, the Toronto District School Board estimates that more than 50% of students speak a language other than English in their home.
The term ELL was introduced as an alternative to ESL (English as a Second Language) by the people at Fresh Voices from Long Journeys, who pointed out that not everyone is learning English as their second language. That makes the term “ESL” technically incorrect, and as such, ELL is becoming a more popular and politically correct term.
There are many ways that elementary teachers can make the transition to a new country (and a brand-new language) easier for their students. First and foremost is giving students immediate access to the best ELL resources for students including online reading, spelling, and vocabulary programs for grades K-6.
- Embrace all of the cultures in the classroom. When students feel comfortable and appreciated, they are more inclined to take intellectual and emotional risks and be confident in contributing to the classroom environment. Teachers should take measures to introduce elements of the students’ culture to the class and, where possible, to the curriculum. This appreciation of diversity will help to ensure that both the curriculum and the classroom environment honor and reflect the lives of all students.
- Do not limit English language lessons to ‘English’ class. ELL learners need to be applying their developing language skills in all areas and in all subjects, while teachers remain cognizant and respectful of student capabilities of course. Look for ways to incorporate English language lessons across different subjects within the curriculum.
- SWIRL: Speak, Write, Interact, Read, Listen. To best assist and guide ELL learners, it is important to go back to the very beginning of language instruction and focus on the basic lessons of productive language skills. Just because ELL students seem to comprehend a question or understand a discussion does not necessarily mean they are able to effectively produce written or verbal communications. Online resources for ELL elementary students are very effective at reinforcing the basic building blocks of the English language.
Essential Skills Complete ELL is a valuable tool for teachers looking for effective ELL resources for students. This bundle of six comprehensive programs is designed to teach and reinforce basic English vocabulary, and to start English learners on the path to reading at a 1st-grade level. The first three programs in the series include alternate Spanish language support. This complete suite of ELL resources for elementary students and older English learners allows students to work independently at their own level and pace.