Posted: Thu, 09/06/2018 - 8:29am Updated: Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:10am

English Learner Considerations

The English Learner considerations included in the Literacy Framework were written by Indiana EL teachers as part of the literacy initiative. These considerations are meant to increase engagement and growth for ELs. They are designed to support the standards and curriculum you are currently using. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of strategies and considerations, and examples can be used across strategies as they may work best for your students.

The following is a list of best practices to assist educators in making language more accessible for English Learners. Educators should adapt strategies based upon a student’s proficiency level and ensure that content is age-appropriate.

  • Home language support
  • Visuals
  • Use of language objectives
  • Graphic organizers
  • Build background knowledge
  • Modeling
  • Flexible grouping or pairing
  • Sentence or question frames and stems
  • Simplified or elaborated language
  • Gestures 
  • Pre-teach vocabulary and content
  • Word walls or word banks
  • Repetition
  • Use of bilingual dictionaries or texts
  • Cognates
  • Provide comprehensible input (visuals, context, language)

English Learner Guiding Principles:

ALL teachers are responsible for the education of English Learners and should…

  • make academic language for English Learners accessible in the content areas through scaffolding, modeling, and comprehensible input.
  • allow the use of student’s home language within the classroom. While language acquisition is important, acquiring content knowledge is just as important. A student’s home language can be used to access the content while developing the academic language in English. 
  • differentiate to student language proficiency for each domain (reading, writing, listening, speaking), including the following areas: teacher planning, teacher tools, teacher instruction, scaffolding, supplementary materials, formative and summative assessments.
  • provide opportunities for ELs to participate in academic activities that develop speaking skills. Speaking and listening are key to fluency in a language and contribute to literacy. Interaction with peers is key and must be a part of instruction.
  • acknowledge an English Learner’s language and culture as an asset that empowers them to meet the high expectations of academic rigor in the classroom. Utilize students’ background knowledge and cultures within the classroom.
  • provide a socioculturally supportive environment for ELs by providing a safe, secure atmosphere of sharing in which EL’s background and culture are valued and not ignored within the classroom.
  • encourage parents of ELs to participate in the education of their child by means such as translated information, the use of interpreters, and invitations to volunteer within the classroom to share culture. Create an environment in which the culture of EL families is respected.