English Language Learners
Cooperative groups are used as a strategy for teaching ELL students. This strategy has been proven effective for teaching content material as well as a second language. In a cooperative group situation students are each given the opportunity to speak and participate. As students work in a group with their peers they can observe the natural conversational language. These face-to-face interactions will promote language skills among students that are learning English. Interesting and well-structured assignments are best for this type of learning situation. An example of an appropriate task would be discussion questions based on a story that has been read in class. When separating students into cooperative groups, it is important to place students with different levels of English acquisition in each group. This allows the students to hear a broad range of language skills as they are being learned by others. The students t hat have already reached Basic Interpersonal Communication (BIC) is able to function well in this type of situation. In the given classroom, the students could be divided into six groups of five students. Each group should consist of at least 2 English speakers, 1 Emergent language learner, and a student with a level of either Cognitive Academic Language (CALP) or Basic Interpersonal Communication (BICS). The remainder of the group can be filled in with the other students, varying the levels appropriately. The learning outcome of this strategy is for the students to be able to interact with their peers. The more an ELL student is exposed to language in a conversation situation, the higher their chances are of acquiring the skills.
Pre-instruction activities are important strategies that have an impact on both ELL students and those whose native language is English. Teachers can use semantic webs to help students organize their information and thoughts into a functional visual. The topic of the...
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