Eal teaching strategies1


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Follow-up handout to EAL session Edge Hill University, Isabelle Jones (October 2013)

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Eal teaching strategies1

  1. 1. Some teaching strategies particularly beneficial to EAL pupils Strategies for supporting EAL pupils are often viewed as simply ‘good teaching’. However, while these are good teaching strategies for all students, they are essential for English learners Strategies How to Provide comprehensible resources Make teaching understandable through a variety of techniques: Use visuals, realia, manipulatives, and other concrete materials Use gestures, facial expressions, and body language Modify your speech o Speak clearly and enunciate, using authentic natural language o Use shorter, less complex sentences for pupils in earlier stages o Use a slightly slower rate of speech – being careful to maintain the natural rhythm and flow of the language o Use longer, but natural pauses o Use fewer pronouns o Use intonation, volume and pauses to aid meaning Contextualise ideas in relevant real-life ways.’…just like you did yesterday with…’ Repeat, rephrase, and/or paraphrase key concepts, instructions Provide only essential information when giving instructions approximations of learning and language Be careful of idioms and slang. Explain them when they occur. Encourage participation and interaction Synchonise speaking and reading with pointing(including draw/write as you speak approach) Include language development objectives on planning Consider the language demands of the lesson Identify the language function/s (no more than 2) Identify the structures needed to express the Plan for language learning
  2. 2. functions Explicitly model the language Give pupils opportunity to use and rehearse the language orally Use scaffolds The use of scaffolds enables pupils to develop understanding that would otherwise be beyond their independent capacity Modelling or demonstration – provides pupils with a clear picture of what is expected. Includes modelling writing (e.g. sentence patterns for beginners, organising paragraphs for more advanced learners). The extra- linguistic clues clarify instructions and provide concrete examples of the finished product. Any task that is introduced for the first time should be modelled Bridging – activating prior knowledge to provide a personal link that demonstrates the relevance of the new material to the pupils’ lives, linking known to unknown. Includes brainstorming, developing anticipatory charts, identifying related literature/resources/experiences, using writing frames. Contextualisation – alternative ways to convey meaning and promote understanding, using visuals, manipulatives, video clips, graphic organiser, realia Schema building – make explicit the connections that exist between and across concepts and the curriculum. Use strategies such as graphic organisers (charts, maps, tables, webs, diagrams, etc) to enable pupils to see how concepts fit together, in the ‘larger scheme of things’. Metacognitive development – explicit teaching and learning of independent learning strategies to enable them to tackle higher what I want to know, what I learnt), think – alouds. Text re- representation – This strategy enables pupils to use familiar text and then practice and extend writing to a new genre and for a new purpose. Includes cloze exercise (with word banks), matching sentence halves, summarising a story/chapter, writing captions to capture the main ideas, writing an ‘eye-witness’ account of an historical event, developing collaborative posters or dialogues
  3. 3. Use appropriate questioning strategies Include opportunities for speaking and listening Check for comprehension/clarification Treat errors and grammar appropriately Use both display (requiring pupils to display knowledge) and referential questions (requiring pupils to refer to their own background knowledge or related experiences or opinions) Display questions – to check for understanding Referential questions – encourage pupils to engage in language interactions at a higher level. Match questions to language proficiency – encourage participation by varying the questions asked of individuals. Early stage learners can be asked to point, gesture, or respond with words or phrases, after hearing other pupils model the answers. Paired talk – should be embedded across the curriculum Snowballing Listening triangles Jigsaw activities Home / expert groups Barrier games Collaborative learning activities Drama activities Freeze frames Conscience Alley Hot seating etc Talk planners Check for understanding by Asking pupils to re-state the task Asking pupils to illustrate and or describe the task and steps involved to a partner Asking pupils to act out or role play instructions Teacher asking more ‘referential’ questions which require comprehension Do not rely on simply asking ‘do you understand?” Teach pupils how ask for help or clarification Provide feedback to lead learner to next stage of development In the early stages of language proficiency, fluency is more important than accuracy. Focus on correction when the meaning is not clear.
  4. 4. Maintain a low anxiety level Use pupils’ home More proficient learners would benefit from teaching where errors occur systematically/regularly. Random errors need not be overtly corrected. Grouping – allocate a supportive group/buddy Allow and encourage use of first language to aid learning Provide opportunities to rehearse language,plan talk Allow sufficient wait time for response Maintain one-to-one contact for response Maintain accessibility – Allow pupil to come to you out of class time Use dual language texts Same home language paired talk- this is beneficial for all stage learners to record in home language Encourage early stage learners to record in home language Effective deployment of bilingual adults -provide context for lesson -pre-teach text, skills, vocabulary, Linguistic structures and concepts Encourage pupils to compare and contrast their languages