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Effective literacy instruction for english learners - Essay Example

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With the increase of young students whose first language is not English, there is an apparent increase in the need for teachers as well as schools to create programs that are able to integrate efficient English language instruction with their current curricula. The Institute of…
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Effective literacy instruction for english learners
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Effective Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners (ELL’s) With the increase of young whose first language is not English, there is an apparent increase in the need for teachers as well as schools to create programs that are able to integrate efficient English language instruction with their current curricula. The Institute of Education Science of the Department of Education recommendations in order to teach English language effectively for English language learners (ELL’s) can be a good way for them to learn conversational and academic English, and in turn would help learn how to read in their own native language as well. Depending on the needs of the students, instructors can select which recommendation can be used in order to teach English in the most effective way possible.
Effective Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners (ELL’s)
The increase of immigrants in the country also increased the number of students whose first language is not English. Thus is the increase in number of English language learners (ELL’s), or students that must also learn English, aside from learning the K-5 curricula. However, because English is the main language of instruction in schools, ELL’s lag behind in terms of their reading proficiency and in turn, their academics (US Department of Education, n.d.). This called for the Department of Education to create recommendations in order to effectively teach English to ELL’s in an effective way (Gersten, Baker, Shanahan, Linan-Thompson, Collins, & Scarcella, 2007). By the use of such recommendations it is expected that not only can ELL’s learn English properly, but also able to keep their learning pace at par to English speakers as well.
Among the five recommendations listed in the guide, the most effective ways to teach English as a second language would be the combination of three: the screening for reading problems and monitoring progress; intensive small-group reading interventions; and regular peer-assisted learning opportunities. First, the importance of screening of problems at the beginning would help instructors focus on what the student needs to learn, since this would be the foundation for higher skills (US Department of Education, n.d.). Second, grouping students based on their or their language skill level would not only create a feeling of empathy for one another, but also they could learn from each other in the process. They can also build teamwork since they would be sharing tasks and working together in order to understand the language a lot better. Third, similar to the second one except grouping the students according to their ethnicity or based on similarities between their native tongues can help in the learning process, especially since the faster learners can share their thoughts on words and practices and translate them into a form that the other learners can relate to. By making word-associations students can learn another language much more effectively. This can also be implemented by mixing native English-speakers with ELL’s, and both sides can effectively learn each other’s way of thinking by sharing their thoughts, ideas and beliefs while the ELL’s learn another language. Instructional strategies such as implementation of study groups and after-school intensive reading sessions for classes or schools with many ELL’s can be a good way to jumpstart their English language learning process. Even more effective would be to start the program at the earliest possible age, such as kindergarten, and doing followup sessions up until the fifth grade. However, the instructor must also be careful by explaining to native English-speakers as to why such program is being done in order to prevent and problems later on.
Gersten, R., Baker, S., Shanahan, T., Linan-Thompson, S., Collins, P., & Scarcella, R. (2007). Effective literacy and english language instruction for english learners in the elementary grades: a practice guide. Washington, DC: US Department of Education.
US Department of Education. (n.d.). Teaching Literacy in English to K-5 English Learners. Retrieved July 29, 2012, from Doing What Works Web Site: Read More
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