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EDG 4410

ESOL Domain 3: Methods of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Standard 2: Standards-Based ESL and Content Instruction: Teachers will know, manage, and implement a variety of teaching strategies and techniques for developing and integrating ELs’ English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. The teacher will support ELs’ access to the core curriculum by teaching language through academic content.

  • 3.2.a.  Organize learning around standards-based content and language learning objectives for students from diverse backgrounds and at varying English proficiency levels.
    3.2.j.  Incorporate activities, tasks, and assignments that develop authentic uses of the second language and literacy to assist ELs in learning academic vocabulary and content- area material.
    3.2.k.  Provide instruction that integrates listening, speaking, reading, and writing for ELs of diverse backgrounds and varying English proficiency levels. 

ESOL Domain 4: ESOL Curriculum and Materials Development

Standard 1: Planning for Standards-Based Instruction of ELs: Teachers will know, understand, and apply concepts, research, best practices, and evidenced-based strategies to plan classroom instruction in a supportive learning environment for ELs. The teacher will plan for multilevel classrooms with learners from diverse backgrounds using a standards-based ESOL curriculum.

4.1.c. Plan differentiated learning experiences based on assessment of students’ English and L1 proficiency and integrating ELs’ cultural background knowledge, learning styles, and prior formal educational experiences.

Standard 2: Instructional Resources and Technology:  Teachers will know, select, and adapt a wide range of standards-based materials, resources, and technologies.

4.2.a. Select and adapt culturally responsive/sensitive, age-appropriate, and linguistically accessible materials.

Microteach ESOL Module Activity

STEP 1:  Read the following three case studies and watch the corresponding videos of the three EL students (Edith, Edgar and Tasir). 


Edith Rodriguez* (Video link)

  • arrived in the U.S. one month ago from the Hidalgo region of Mexico
  • now in the sixth grade
  • tested in English and Spanish—beginning level of English proficiency & poor literacy skills in Spanish
  • never volunteers to answer the teacher’s questions, but not disruptive
  • when the teacher asks her if she understands, she smiles and nods
  • struggles to answer even the simplest yes/no questions in English 
  • in small group work does participate in a meaningful way
  • when there is a quiz or test, turns in a blank page

Edgar Ponce* (Video link)

  • moved from Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland eight months ago
  • now in the eighth grade
  • recent English proficiency test placed Edgar at a low intermediate level 
  • hesitatingly conversant in everyday English, speaking in simple sentences with frequent grammatical errors 
  • comprehends more than he is able to express
  • has difficulty understanding academic discussions and teacher presentations
  • often refuses to turn in written work since he says he cannot write well in English
  • English reading skills are very weak, and his Spanish reading and writing skills are below grade level, according to bilingual testing results

Tasir Barad* (Video link)

  • came to the U.S. from Egypt when she was in the third grade
  • now in the seventh grade
  • no traces of foreign accent in speech
  • her teachers are skeptical of her categorization as an EL since she sounds like a native speaker
  • some teachers believe that Tasir doesn’t try hard enough and that she does not warrant extra help or accommodations 
  •  seems to keep up in class most of the time but struggles with tasks involving writing and reading
  • When reading aloud, lacks fluency, & when writing, makes frequent spelling and syntactic errors
  • Diagnostic testing placed her at the advanced level of English proficiency in listening and speaking but below grade level in reading and writing


The Students

Learner Communication by Level of English Proficiency
  • Points to items
  • Follows commands
  • Listens initially—receptive skill development
  • One to two word responses
  • Labels and matches items
  • Lists items
  • Memorizes common phrases
  • Novel phrases and simple sentences
  • Describes items in simple terms
  • Frequent morphological errors
  • Frequent syntactic errors
  • Phonological errors
  • Vocabulary gaps & circumlocution
  • Beginning Academic Language use
  • Dialogue & discourse with some grammatical & rhetorical errors
  • Read/write decontextualized passages with support

STEP 2: Select either your Microteach 1 lesson or a Junior Achievement lesson.

STEP 3: Analyze your lesson using the SHOW & TELL Accommodation Tool for Teachers of ELs (below).  Begin by looking at the verbs in the procedures section of the lesson.  Identify how many verbs fall into the SLIDE and/or TREAD areas. Note: If there is a high ratio of TREAD verbs, you will need to replace them with SLIDE verbs.

SHOW & TELL Accommodation Tool (The STAT)

The Strategies

SLIDE Verbs:  Non-Verbal Activities and Tasks  
Show (also watch, pantomime, model)
Look   (also smell, taste, feel, & other non-verbal use of senses)
Investigate  (also measure, weigh, categorize, classify, connect)
Demonstrate  (also draw, act out)
Experience  (also act, move, do)
TREAD Verbs:  Verbal Activities and Tasks
Tell  (also present information, lecture, narrate, recount)
Read  (also, skim, scan, review)
Explain  (also listen)
Ask/Answer  (also write, respond)
Discuss  (also describe, define)

STEP 4: Identify (by highlighting or in BOLD, CAPITAL LETTERS) or insert appropriate SHOW strategies – non-verbal activities and tasks (SLIDE accommodations) in the lesson appropriate for Edith who is at the beginning level of language development.

SHOW Strategies (for everyone, including ELLs)
  • Hands-on activities
  • Demonstrate a process
  • Model tasks
  • Dramatizations
  • Experiential learning
  • Pictures
  • Props

STEP 5: Identify (by highlighting or in BOLD, CAPITAL LETTERS) or insert appropriate SHOW strategies – non-verbal activities and tasks (SLIDE accommodations) + intermediate TELL strategies (TREAD) appropriate for Edgar who is at the intermediate level of language proficiency.

SHOW + TELL Strategies by Level of English Proficiency
  • Gestures with speech
  • Acting out/pantomime
  • Focus on here and now—pointing to real objects
  • Refer to picture dictionaries
  • Visuals and text
  • Simple graphic organizers using pictures & words
  • Matching words to pictures
  • Matching sentence strips to pictures
  • Complex graphic organizers & diagrams
  • Use of beginning SHOW + TELL strategies when communication breaks down
  • Provide additional SHOW +TELL Strategies support as needed

Note: An effective SHOW and TELL accommodation is the graphic organizer. Investigate the following on-line resources that explain various graphic organizers.  If you select a graphic organizer, take into consideration the content-specific terminology. 

STEP 6: Identify (by highlighting or in BOLD, CAPITAL LETTERS) appropriate TELL strategies and more advanced TREAD accommodations for Tasir who is at the advanced level of language development.

TELL Strategies
General Practices by Level of English Proficiency (LoEP)
  • Repetition
  • Rephrasing
  • Slower pacing of instruction to ascertain comprehension
  • Simplified language & discourse
  • Simplified text
  • Outline
  • Word lists
  • Common phrase list
  • Vocabulary/grammar support
  • Simple role plays requiring scripted verbal expression
  • Graphic organizers to complete
  • L1 support
  • Fill-in-the-blank phrases and sentences to scaffold language
  • Focus content on key concepts
  • Highlight keywords
  • Use bulleted lists rather than extended texts
  • Limited L1 support
  • Expand vocabulary through paraphrasing and teaching synonyms
  • Chart information
  • Check for language bias
  • Check for idioms
  • Check for phrasal verbs
  • Check for complex structures
  • Check vocabulary
  • Scaffold reading comprehension—strategies
  • Scaffold writing development—targeted error correction
  • Avoid deducting points for grammatical errors if assessing mastery of content

TELL Strategies
Verbal Interaction by Level of English Proficiency
  • Cooperative learning in pairs requiring little verbal expression
  • Heterogeneous group interaction supported by assigned buddy—bilingual or monolingual
  • Non-verbal participation in heterogeneous groups—observing, doing
  • Group homogeneously for leveled alternative activities with instructor/volunteer support
  • Supported heterogeneous interaction with supplemental key phrases
  • Group heterogeneously for most activities, checking for comprehension & participation
  • Group homogeneously for language focus support
  • Heterogeneous group activities with comprehension checks, monitoring participation

TELL Strategies
Questions and Tasks by Level of English Proficiency
  • Simple yes/no questions—Is this a book?
  • Questions that allow points, selecting, showing—Show me the book.
  • Either/or questions—Is this a book or a pencil?
  • Simple who, what & where questions—Who has the book?  What is this (point to book)?  Where is the book?
  • Here and now focus
  • One word answers—What is this?
  • Simple or common two or three word phrase responses—Where is the book?  On the table.
  • Frequent vocabulary questions/answers (book versus manuscript)
  • Simple identification questions
  • Restricted tense questions
  • Simple present—What do you do every day?  I read every day.
  • Present progressive—What are you doing?  I am reading.
  • Simple past—What did you do yesterday?  I read a new book.
  • Past progressive—What were you doing yesterday morning?  I was reading a book.
  • Simple future—What will you do tomorrow?  I will read a book.
  • Present perfect—Have you read Harry Potter?  Yes. or Yes I have.
  • Simple description (what) questions—What do you like about Harry Potter books?
  • Simple explanation (how and why) questions—How does Harry Potter win at Quidditch?  Why does Snape try to harm Harry?
  • Formation of simple questions & negative statements
  • Complex tenses and moods
  • Hypothetical, conditional—If Dumbledore asked you to move to Hogwarth’s, would you do it?  Why or why not?
  • Past perfect—Had Harry seen Voldemort before he began following him?
  • Future perfect
  • Formation of the passive construction—How long will Harry have been a student before he graduates?
  • Formation of complex negative statements—Could Harry have been hurt by Snape’s magic?  Why or why not?
  • Formation of complex negative statements—Should Harry not have gone to Hogwarth’s?  Why or why not?
  • Formation of complex questions
  • Complex analysis, justification, evaluation

TELL Strategies
Text Modification by Level of English Proficiency
  • Using graphics and a graphic organizer, express the main points in the reading passage with keywords. 
  • Provide native language support—overview, key words
  • Rewrite the text in simpler, clearer terms, avoid compound sentences & complex verb structures. 
  • Substitute frequent vocabulary for infrequent  vocabulary
  • Shorten and break up sentences
  • Show connection between reference words & their referents.  Provide simple definition for idioms & phrasal verbs.
  • Highlight keywords
  • Provide glossary
  • Make an outline or bulleted list
  • Using the unmodified text, identify challenging vocabulary, phrases, and sentences. 
  • Provide clarification and explanation for the challenges. 
  • Elaborate implicit information in the text and make it explicit. 
  • Provide a glossary or additional explanations as necessary.  
  • Identify one or more reading strategies that improve comprehension.

General principles appropriate for all levels of proficiency

  • Frequent comprehension checks (individually, if possible),
  • increased interaction through pair and small group activities (allows for clarification of meaning),
  • when you (the teacher) are the sage on stage, walk the talk & talk with chalk,
  • connect to students’ background knowledge and cultural background, and
  • receptive vocabulary > productive vocabulary at any LoEP