S134 – Teaching Literacy Skills to ELLs

Teaching Literacy Skills to ELLs
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teaching academic vocabularyWelcome to Teaching Literacy Skills to ELLs, the fifth course in the series Diverse Learners.

English Language Learners (ELL) are typically accommodated in the general education classroom, while English as a Second Language (ESL) students are served by special programs. Both need instruction in English, but ESL students may be older and more proficient in their first language.

This is not always the case, but with changing demographics and the accountability movement in education, more schools and districts are expected to accommodate ELL students within general education programs than ever before.

Teaching literacy skills to ELL and ESL students is hard work for teachers and students. One of the biggest challenges is having patience while language skills develop.

ESL students who have had training in their first language (L1) take four to seven years to reach on-grade level performance in English. Otherwise, it can take from seven to ten years without L1 schooling.”
(Thomas & Collier, 1997)

Most children are not proficient in their first language until about age 7. That means many young children have not developed proficiency in all areas of their first language, the language used in their home, when they begin English instruction in school. To provide literacy instruction to ELLs, the teacher must understand how the student acquires second language skills, as well as their current level of ability, in order to best deliver differentiated instruction.

This course is intended to support teachers who provide instruction in the general education classroom and do not already have a high degree of specialized education in the field.

This course requires 10 hours of study time to complete all assignments and the reflection questions as directed. There are three written assignments including the reflection questions at the end of the course.