Tips and resources for educators of newly arrived ELL students
The UFT has compiled a selection of tools, resources and tips to help educators support newly arrived English language learners. While this list is by no means comprehensive, the guidance and ELL strategies below can be integrated into your curriculum to benefit the newcomers in your classroom.
Colorín Colorado is the premier website for ELL educators and families. It includes videos and articles that can be used by individuals or by school level professional development teams in planning professional learning. You may find these resources from their website particularly helpful:
- How to Support Immigrant Students and Families: Strategies for Schools and Early Childhood Programs
- How to Create a Welcoming Classroom Environment for ELLs
- ELL Literacy Tutoring: Resource List
- DOE Division of Multilingual Learners instructional resources and professional learning for newly arrived ELLs, including a link to SIFEshare resources for students with interrupted formal education
- Updates on NYC instructional resources and professional learning opportunities through the NYCDOE’s newsletter, Multilingual Monthly (click to subscribe)
- Scaffolding Instruction for Multilingual Learners and English Language Learners, K-12 from the DOE's Division of Multilingual Learners
- NYU Steinhardt - Bilingual glossaries and cognates, listed by grade and content area
- Workbooks for Passport to Social Studies may be ordered in multiple languages
- ReadWorks - Reading passages for ELLs by grade level
- Newsela offers leveled texts in English and Spanish with read-aloud capability,
- Starfall on-line resources on decoding in English: Alphabet and printable worksheets; Learning to Read with printable workbook
Social Emotional Learning Resources
Colorín Colorado also offers resources for supporting the social-emotional needs of newly-arrived students:
- How to Provide Social-Emotional Support for Immigrant Students
- How to Support the Social and Emotional Health of Middle/High School ELLs
- SEL for English Language Learners: What Educators Need to Know
Helpful Tips for Teaching New Arrivals
- Recognize that there may be a silent period and that students will be able to comprehend more language than they can produce.
- Assign a “buddy” who speaks the home language. (Note that it is not the peer’s role to translate all instruction!)
- Speak at a slower, but still normal pace and provide more wait time when asking students to respond.
- Use gestures and facial expressions.
- Provide a visual for the lesson topic and key vocabulary.
- Provide a video preview of content (e.g. Brain Pop, Teacher Tube).
- Assign active roles in the classroom e.g. photographer, timekeeper.
- Encourage use of home language during class activities, both oral and written.
- Allow responses using visuals/video/recordings in English or the home language.
- Provide word banks, sentence and paragraph frames.
- Utilize differentiated questioning to elicit responses according to proficiency level e.g. yes/no; one word; short phrase; full sentence.
- Utilize translation apps, but not for all activities.
- Encourage newcomers to write/draw about themselves and their experiences.
- Provide frequent brain breaks.
- Be patient with your student and yourself – acquiring a new language takes time and effort!