Teaching Reading to English Language Learners

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  • Sentence strips-students write main events from a story to review and check for understanding, can also be used for sequencing Background knowledge- helps reader infer and predict Responses to text- diagram, picture, personal narrative, poem
  • When students see the big picture they read for meaning Content areas are interrelated- students make more connections Success- students don’t have to compartmentalize their learning
  • Lit. Study- Students read individually entire book (or chunks at a time), then meet with teacher and respond to the book, teacher assigns task based on student discussion & students go back to find out more about the text, students meet again with teacher and respond to their task, new task may be assigned, this is repeated- teacher acts as a group member Oral language development is preparation for written language development
  • Language Learning occurs as a result from direct teaching, it involves learning rules and can be tested Language Acquisition is a result of trying to communicate and involves using language for real purposes, more subconscious Acquisition leads to proficiency Key to acquisition is comprehensible input Oral directions accompanied by written ones-helps students to refer back , visuals help to reinforce directions
  • Genre writing- builds knowledge surrounding specific genres as well as specific needed vocabulary Non-linear: depends on genre and interest Whatever language they are producing orally, allow them to practice in L1
  • Choral reading for ELL’s-material needs to be age-appropriate and just slightly above their independent level. They will increase fluency through repeat reads. Repeat reads- makes content more comprehensible


  • 1. Developing Lessons in Reading and Language Arts Accessibility for Varying Levels of English Proficiency Jamie Davis
  • 2. ELL’s and Reading Comprehension
    • Pre-reading
    • Model reading aloud
    • Audio taped texts
    • Allow various types of responses to text
  • 3. Reading Materials
    • Primary Language
    • Content Areas
    • Interest
    • Books reflecting students’ home cultures
  • 4. Supplementary Materials
    • Manipulatives
    • Realia
    • Pictures
    • Visuals
    • Multimedia
    • Demonstrations
  • 5. Teaching Thematically
    • Students see the big picture
    • Vocabulary is repeated
    • More opportunities for success
  • 6. Talk, Talk, Talk
    • Discussions surrounding text:
      • Literature Studies
      • Literature Circles
      • Partner reading
    • Discussion surrounding the writing process:
      • Writer’s workshop
    Reading is social!
  • 7. Comprehensible Input (Krashen,1985)
    • Krashen’s theory of language acquisition
    • Teach students in a way they can understand
  • 8. Different Paths to Common Outcomes (Clay, 1998)
    • Varying levels of English proficiency
    • +
    • Varied world experiences
    • =
    • The need to adjust and individualize instruction
    • * Learn the extent of students’ linguistic and conceptual knowledge and start instruction at their level
  • 9. Writing and English Language Learners
    • Environmental Print
    • Drawing
    • Student-made books
    • Lists & Labeling
  • 10. Writing and English Language Learners
    • Primary language
    • Freedom & Choice
    • Audience
    • Development
  • 11. Music and Literacy Development in ELL’s
    • Language Elements
    • Kinesthetic learners
    • Song-based literature
    • http://www.songsforteaching.com/index.htm
  • 12. Reading Fluency and ELL’s
    • Repeat reads
    • Paired reading, echo reading and choral reading
    • Readers’ Theatre
    • Poetry
    • Caution:
      • Do not stress oral reading (it can draw away from making meaning)
      • Do not overcorrect pronunciation
  • 13. References
    • Clay, M.M. (1998). By different paths to common outcomes. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.
    • Echevarria, J., Vogt, M.E., & Short, D.J. (2010). Making content comprehensible for elementary English language learners: The SIOP model. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
    • Freeman, D.E., & Freeman Y.S. (2000). Teaching reading in multilingual classrooms. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
    • Samway, K.D. (2006). When English language learners write: Connecting research to practice. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
    • Paquette, K.R., & Rieg, S.A. (2008). Using music to support the literacy development of young English language learners. Early Childhood Education Journal. 36. 227-232.