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Teaching English Language Learners K-12
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Teaching English Language Learners K-12
A Quick-Start Guide for the New Teacher

  • Jerry Jesness - Clear Creek Independent School District, League City, TX

Foreword by Rosalie Pedalino Porter



February 2004 | 176 pages | Corwin

"The valuable classroom experience in the author's background and a genuine sensitivity for his students' needs are evident on every page of clear prose. The practical information included here addresses the major issues in educating language minority students, without overloading the new teacher with extraneous matter."
From the Foreword by Rosalie Pedalino Porter

From the Foreword by Rosalie Pedalino Porter

"What a gift this book will be to ESL teachers . . . How I would have loved such a book when I was charged with the responsibility of teaching ESL students in years past."
Donna Garner, English and Spanish teacher
Hewitt, TX

Donna Garner, English and Spanish teacherHewitt, TX

Bring the English language to life with this valuable new resource!

Some say that learning a second language is like drinking water from a fire hose. But teaching it does not have to be like standing under Niagara Falls. This is the fundamental message of Jerry Jesness' new quick-start guide Teaching English Language Learners K-12. In our climate, ELL teachers face immense demands as educators because the ELL class is often the critical, transitional step into a student's entire education. The author provides specific strategies to address the special challenges for instructors. This valuable resource offers a terrific framework to nurture that motivating spark in English Language learners. For ELL educators, it's more than a job—it's a mission!

Teaching English Language Learners K-12 includes:

includes:
  • Customizing instructions to create developmentally and culturally appropriate lessons for all learners
  • Comprehensive vocabulary checklists for common English words and concepts
  • Practical methods for using the learner's native language and culture in the classroom
  • Helpful strategies for teaching spoken English, reading, and writing
  • Encouraging tips to become a better ELL teacher

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. The Joys and Challenges of Teaching English as a Second Language
The Joys of Teaching ESL  
The Challenges of Teaching ESL  
Travel the World With or Without Leaving Your Classroom  
It's More Than a Job, It's a Mission  
 
2. Your Students
ESL, ELL, LEP, and Other Acronyms  
Placement in Bilingual and ESL Programs  
SEP Students (Someone Else's Problem)  
Inclusion and Support in Regular Classrooms  
 
3. Your Toolbox
The Textbook  
Other Books  
Realia: Pictures, Maps, Charts, Toys, and More  
Audio Tapes and CDs  
Gadgets Galore  
Paying for Your Tools  
Getting Help from Volunteers  
Getting Advice and Help from School Personnel  
 
4. How Much? How Soon? How Fast?
BICS and CALP  
Pie-in-the-Sky Goals  
Is One Year Enough?  
When Should Students Exit to Regular Classes?  
Steep Hills and Frustrating Plateaus  
Motivation Inside and Outside of Class  
Sidebar: Working with Younger Students  
 
5. Using the Learners' Native Language in the Classroom
Don't Force Them to Go Mute  
What Works Best in the Students' Native Language  
Consider the Language and Culture of the Community  
Use Time Limits  
Sidebar: Working with Younger Students  
 
6. Natural and Unnatural Approaches to Learning English
The Natural Approach: Learning English by Hearing It and Speaking It  
Applying First Language Skills to Second Language Learning  
Balancing Experiential and Analytic Approaches  
Using Total Physical Response (TPR)  
Language in the Foreground and the Background  
Winning Over the Skeptics in Your School  
Sidebar: Working with Younger Students  
 
7. Building Vocabulary: They'll Need Lots
Enjoying the Path to a Large Vocabulary  
Learning from the Movies  
Teaching Vocabulary with Picture Dictionaries  
Using Vocabulary from the Native Language
Using Vocabulary From the Native Language

Using Vocabulary from the Native Language
 
Building Vocabulary with Word Blocks  
Idioms and Other Confusing Expressions  
Look It Up!: Learning English with Dictionaries  
Electronic Dictionaries  
Those Boring Vocabulary Lists  
Layered Vocabulary Learning  
Sidebar: Working with Younger Students
Sidebar: Working with Younger Students
 
 
8. Grammar: The Skeletal System of the Language
Me Very Grammar  
When to Start Grammar Lessons  
English Grammar Isn't as Tough as We Think  
Freebies: When English Grammar Matches the Learner's Native Language  
The Garden Path to English Grammar  
Pronoun Cases  
Implicit and Explicit Grammar Instruction  
Pattern Practice Makes Perfect: Well, not Really, But It Works  
Grammar in Action: Questions, Answers, Jokes, and Conversation  
Tag, You're It: Converting Statements to Tag Questions  
Sidebar: Working with Younger Students  
 
9. Listening Skills: The Gateway to Language
Learning with a Tape Recorder or CD Player  
Learning with Software: The Rosetta Stone, Instant Immersion, and Other Programs  
The Great ESL Film Festival  
Dictations  
Encouraging Listening as a Stand-Alone Skill  
Teaching with Minimal Pairs: Bit, Bet, Bait, Beet, Bite  
Sidebar: Working with Younger Students  
 
Chapter 10. Now Say It: Teaching Spoken English
The Direct Method  
Controlled Conversation  
Role Playing  
Student-to-Student Teaching  
Recitals  
Using Media and the Language Lab  
Teaching Pronunciation (Speech Therapists Can Help!)  
Using the International Phonetic Alphabet  
Error Correction: When and How Often  
Let Your Students Correct You Too  
Speaking Practice Outside of Class  
Sidebar: Working with Younger Students  
 
11. Teaching Reading
When Students Are Struggling Readers in Their Native Language  
Quick-Start Phonics for English Learners  
The Constant Consonants  
Those Tricky Vowels  
Decoding Skills and Background Knowledge  
Graphic Organizers  
Sidebar: Working with Younger Students  
 
12. Writing It Right
Getting Started  
Writing Begins with Spelling  
Gadgets and Media Again  
The Vanishing Word Technique  
Picture and Word Cards  
Punctuation and Capitalization  
Dictation  
In Their Own Words  
Sidebar: Working with Younger Students  
 
13. How We Know What the Students Know: Grading and Testing
Grading in Mixed Ability Classrooms  
Individualized Education Plans  
Multi-Track Grading: Same Class, Different Goals  
No, You Aren't Cheating: What Counts for General Learners and College Prep Learners  
Keeping Noses to the Grindstone  
Testing Vocabulary  
Testing Spelling  
Testing Speaking and Listening  
Testing Grammar  
Self-Assessment: Giving Students Their Own Checklists  
Preparing Students for Standardized Tests (Please Don't)  
Sidebar: Working with Younger Students  
 
14. Teaching English Learners with Special Needs
Prior Education, Semilingualism, and Learning Disabilities  
What Does Special Education Offer Your Students?  
When They Need a Special Education Referral But Haven't Gotten One  
Determining the Appropriate Program  
Sidebar: Working with Younger Students  
 
15. English Learners in Content Classes
English Throughout the Curriculum  
Sheltered English Content Classes  
Content Objectives and Language Objectives  
A Sample Sheltered Science Lesson  
A Sample Sheltered Vocabulary Lesson  
Using Sheltered English to Teach and Practice Grammar  
When Are Students Ready to Wade into the Mainstream?  
The Power of Prior Knowledge  
The Power of Incidental Learning  
Reasonable and Unreasonable Modifications in the Inclusive Classroom  
The F Word (Failure)  
The Bright Side: Enriched Class Discussions  
Out-of-Class Support for English Learners in Regular Content Classes  
 
16. Helping Everyone Else Understand Your Students
Attitudes Make the Difference: Racism and Xenophobia  
I'm Here, So Shut the Door Already  
Exposing Other Students to Your Students' Culture  
Avoiding Trivial Pursuit and Superficial Multiculturalism  
Illuminating with Literary Classics From Other Traditions  
Living Social Studies  
Graphic Art and Music  
Mutual Tutoring and Dual Immersion  
 
17. Preparing Yourself to Be a Better ESL Teacher
Catching Up and Keeping Up with Advances in the Field  
Acquainting Yourself with Your Students' Culture  
Trying on Your Students' Shoes  
And If You Teach at the Base of the Tower of Babel...  
 
Vocabulary Lists
Numbers 1 - 10  
Shapes  
Numbers 11-20  
People and Things  
Numbers by Tens  
Colors  
All Numbers to 100  
U.S. Currency  
Time  
Classroom Nouns  
Classroom Verbs  
Large Numbers: Hundred and Thousands  
Arithmetic I: Addition and Subtraction  
Alphabet A - H  
Arithmetic II: Multiplication and Division  
Alphabet I - P  
School Supplies  
Alphabet Q - Z  
Computer Nouns  
Computer Verbs  
Human Body  
Family  
Home Nouns  
Home Verbs  
Park and Playground  
Pets and Pet Accessories  
Farm Animals  
Wild Animals  
World Geography: Continents and Countries  
U.S. Geography: Oceans, Rivers, Mountain Ranges, Borders  
Ordinal Numbers  
City Geography: Streets, Avenues, Buildings, Directions, Travel  
Fruit and Vegetables  
Meat and Seafood  
Bakery Products  
Dairy Products  
Women's Clothing  
Men's Clothing  
Emotions  
Baseball  
Possessive Pronouns  
Prepositions and Their Objects  
 
Glossary
 
Recommended Reading
 
Recommended Websites
 
References
 
Index

The valuable classroom experience in the author’s background and a genuine sensitivity for his students’ needs are evident on every page of clear prose. The practical information included here addresses the major issues in educating language minority students, without overloading the new teacher with extraneous matter.

From the Foreword by Rosalie Pedalino Porter

What a gift this book will be to ESL teachers . . . How I would have loved such a book when I was charged with the responsibility of teaching ESL students in years past.

Donna Garner, English and Spanish Teacher
Hewitt, TX

Entertaining and straightforward, Teaching English Language Learners K-12 guides teachers past common pitfalls and into what actually works for English learners, whether they are learning through immersion or bilingual methods.

Johanna Haver
Author, Structured English Immersion

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Jerry Jesness's commonsense guidebook for teachers of English Language Learners. It is easy to read, jargon-free, and clear. Anyone who helps children learn English as a second language will find this book to be immensely helpful.

Diane Ravitch
Author, "The Language Police"
Key features
  • Short, practical, teacher friendly, and easy to navigate
  • Appropriate for new teachers with no formal ELL training
  • Works for all bilingual programs
  • Ready-to-use vocabulary checklists can be used the very first day
 

Sample Materials & Chapters

Foreword by Rosalie Pedalino Porter

Preface


Preview this book

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