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Instructional Strategies for English Language Learners Classrooms - Essay Example

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The writer of the essay "Instructional Strategies for English Language Learners Classrooms" seeks to assess certain existing instructional strategies that teachers have to employ in educating English language learning students in terms of the cognitive and academic development…
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Instructional Strategies for English Language Learners Classrooms
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Download file to see previous pages Various strategies to include the students' background into instruction and to build the students' vocabulary are also elaborated. Finally, some strategies to ensure that students stay engaged in the instruction are elaborated on.
In an era of rapidly changing demographics, teachers have to cope with classrooms which have a diverse spectrum of students. The number of English Language Learners (ELLs) in mainstream schools is ever increasing. In the year 2000-2001, about 4.6 million ELLs attended school in the U.S. from the kindergarten to grade 12. This figure approximates nearly 9.3% of the total student enrollment in public schools. (Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 2003).Owing to this rising increase in ELL students in classrooms, it is more important than ever for teachers to be equipped to cope with the challenge of instructing a culturally and linguistically diverse group of students. There are certain instructional strategies that teachers have to employ in educating ELL students.
Very often, the age and language group of learners play a role in the effective selection of instructional strategies. For example, a native speaker of Japanese may face more difficulties with English than a native speaker of France, because French is more closely related to English as compared to Japanese. The age group that the child belongs to also plays a role in the selection of instructional strategies. ...
They are open to exploration and respond well to activities that spark their imagination. On the other hand, adolescents and older ELLs are more willing to engage in abstract thinking. They have certain life experiences which they can draw on and also may have formed or may be in the process of forming certain individual learning patterns. For such learners, instructors can discuss abstract issues, provoke intellectual activity by making them aware of contrasting ideas and concepts which they can reason and resolve on their own. It also helps if language learning is closely related to the students' own everyday interests.
The choice of instructional strategies for ELLs also depends upon the specific stage of second language acquisition the learner is in. The four stages of language acquisition are "preproduction, early production, speech emergence, and intermediate fluency" (Facella, Rampino, & Shea, 2005, 212). Learners in the preproduction stage of language acquisition spend a large part of their time listening to their teachers and may respond non-verbally to the teachers' queries. Instructional strategies that teachers can incorporate for learners in this stage are using yes/no questions, pictures, props and hands-on activities focusing on active student involvement. Learners in the early production stage of language acquisition also spend a large part of their time listening to their teachers. They may also work out one or two-word responses. Instructional strategies that teachers can adapt for learners in this stage of language acquisition include role plays, completing sentences, answering who, what or where questions with one-word responses. Older ELL learners may also be asked to label objects.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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