One of the U.S. educational challenges of today is meeting the educational needs of the English language learners. This growing diverse population of English learners has to simultaneously learn to build their English language proficiency and the content area within their grade level standard. This makes it a double challenge for them and their teachers. After observing a lesson based on a video simulation of a classroom, I will discuss five components: comprehensible input, ongoing specific and immediate feedback, grouping structures and techniques, building background and vocabulary development and student engagement that were integrated into the lesson. I will then discuss what methods and techniques should be utilized when teaching English learners.
I will close by sharing my thought about what I liked and felt could have been done difference. The delivery of a lessons and how the language objectives are deliver is significant in choosing strategies for the ELL. First I will reflex on at comprehensible input. ELL must be provided comprehensible input. Linguistic is required by understanding and hearing messages that are somewhat above their current English language for the ELL students (Haynes, 1998). In the virtual classroom the teacher did a wonderful job at controlling her tone and pace of speech. She spoke clearly and gave direct directions. Her body language and gestures and pronunciation were clear to the class. Next I’ll focus on feedback. In a report from Hill and Flynn (2008) it stated “when teaching ELLs it is particularly important to ensure that your feedback is comprehensible, useful, and relevant” (p. 31). In the video virtual classroom the teacher gave immediate feedback when she did the book review. By asking questions about what had happen she let the student know with positive praise he was correct with his response. Third, I will reflex on grouping structures and techniques.
Grouping structures and techniques that were noticeable to me in the simulation were the arrangement of the desk. They were arranged in the traditional straight rolls facing front. The rooms were spacious and appear to be organized and functional. There was also a large rug in front of a white board where a whole group could gather for instruction. Next, my I’ll look at vocabulary development and building backgrounds. Vocabulary development and building backgrounds is essential to the ELLs for, it needed in the development of the English language. In the virtual classroom the teacher had vocabulary words written on the board and ask the students to write them in their journal. She did do a review of what they had already learned to asset to knowledge they remember. Lastly my observation on student engagement. Research show that the more the student is engage the more likely they are to success in meeting the objective. In the simulation video the teacher engaged the class when she asks them to write down the objectives and vocabulary terms and ask questions when reviewing the book. The students that participated in the experiment were also engage.
The same five techniques mention above is all needed when working with our ELL students however, in my opinion some of them a more extensive level. In the area of comprehensible input and feedback I feel the teacher was on target. But in the area of grouping techniques I feel her layout of the desk needed improvement. ELLs need time to practice the skills they are learning. If the desks are move into small group the practice can be prompted and the forces become communication rather than practice language (Mustafa, 1993). Depending on the size of the room and the number of student would determine to best number per group in this case groups of three would be best. Plus the fact in the virtual classroom all the students were not able to observe what was going on with the experiment. Another area of improvement was the area of engaging the students.
The teacher in the simulation classroom did start engaging but only with a few students. She could have easily prepared for everyone to have a set of magnets and at least more books to be share or display the book page on an overhead when she did her review. In the group experiment only two students engage while the other four were left waiting this could have been improved by having either enough supplies so that student could have each participated or have done the experiments in small groups of three and she would only have to divide her supply. If students are not participate less than 50% of the time it is not productive ((Echevarina, Vogt & Scott, 2013) Last I feel that vocabulary terms could have been advance by having the teacher go over out loud with the class the vocabulary term and their meaning to be sure they were understanding of what she was talking about if applicable use visual to explain. Connecting prior knowledge to new material is imperative for the ELL students to connect to the language we are teaching them (Haynes, J. (1998). In conclusion, instruction lesson takes time and planning to meet the needs of English language learners. The effectiveness of the strategies used in the classroom can make a difference in meeting the challenge of teaching the ELLs.
Echevarina, J., Vogt, M., & Scott, D. (2013). Making content comprehesbie for english learners: the slop model. (Ex: 4th ed.). Allyn con& Ba. DOI: www.mygcu.edu Haynes, J. (1998). Seven teaching strategies for classroom teacher of ells. Retrieved from www.everythingESL.net
Hill, J.D., & Flynn, K.M. (2006). Classroom instruction that works with English language learner. Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Mustafa, A. (1993). Grouping in the ells classroom. Retrieved from http://www.melta.org.my/ET/2002/wp03.htm