EDUO 9300: Teaching Strategies for Elementary English Language Learners

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Course Overview

English Language Learners (ELL), students, for whom English is not their primary language, are the fastest-growing segment of the student population in the United States. Their first language (L1) is generally not used in instruction, and the instructor need not know the students’ native languages.Many elementary schools use the Sheltered Instruction Approach, a class structure wherein content mastery and academic language skill are developed concurrently. Additional language support may be provided by a push-in or pull-out ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. ELL students face additional challenges, such as acclimating to a new culture and status that interfere with learning English. For this reason, instructors should use culturally relevant materials to build on students’ linguistic and cultural resources, while teaching language through content and themes. Because English language learning is a recursive process, educators should integrate listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills into instruction across the curriculum.

In this course, participants will learn to identify and understand the needs of English Language Learners, implement strategies for modifying academic content for better understanding, and put their new skills into practice. Following the principles of Response-to-Intervention (RTI), participants will be able to differentiate instruction to address the diverse needs of learners in the classroom. This course is based on the framework provided by Universal Design for Learning (UDL): the development of adjustable materials, varied instructional approaches, and relevant assessment methods. Participants will learn to recognize potential barriers to learning, and subsequently identify possible solutions.

Course Objectives:

By the end of Session 1, participants will be able to:

  • Identify and understand the needs of English Language Learners.
    A. Assess students’ proficiency levels
    B. Recognize cultural perspectives
    C. Use second language acquisition terminology
    D. Address the teaching of language skills

By the end of Session 2, participants will be able to:

A. Implement strategies to modify academic content for English Language Learners.
B. Simplify spoken language
C. Modify written text
D. Provide vocabulary support
E. Vary reading techniques
F. Employ cooperative learning groups

By the end of Session 3, participants will be able to:

A. Put skills into practice.
B. Employ multiple methods of assessment
C. Review model Teachers Network curriculum units designed for English Language Learners
D. Strengthen communication with families
E. Develop a cohesive lesson plan with language and content objectives and assessments

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Doug Fannin

B.A., M.Ed.

Secondary Public Schools; Collegiate level; Post Graduate level; Peace Corps 40+ years.

ESOL; ELD; English for Conference Interpretation; Counseling for Secondary ELD Students; Literacy and Writing Strategies; Ethnic Studies; Special Education.

My current educational goal is helping teachers reach their professional goals and to keep abreast of trends in the field of teaching.

Personal interests include: golf, tennis, yoga, reading and travel.