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Article of Interest - ESL/ELL

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Resources for Mainstream Teachers of English Language Learners

by Sally Morrison, ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics

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The placement of English language learners in mainstream classes has become more and more common in recent years. Many of these students have not developed the necessary English language proficiency to keep up with their classmates. "Even though language minority students may take up to seven years to develop the level of language proficiency necessary to compete on an equal footing with native speakers of the school language, they are likely to be in mainstream classes long before then" (Harklau, 1994). What can mainstream teachers do to help English language learners in their classes excel?


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Bridging Identities Among Ethnic Minority Youth in Schools

Content-Centered Language Learning

Critical Behaviors and Strategies for Teaching Culturally Diverse Students

Educating Language Minority Children

Effective Approaches to Teaching Young Mexican-American Children

Enhancing the Communication Skills of Newly-Arrived Asian American Students

Integrating Language and Culture in Middle School American History Classes

Promoting Successful Transition to the Mainstream: Effective Instructional Strategies for Bilingual Students
Reforming Mathematics Instruction for ESL Literacy Students

Strategies for Success: Engaging Immigrant Students in Secondary Schools

Using Cognitive Strategies to Develop English Language and Literacy

What Early Childhood Teachers Need to Know About Language
What Elementary Teachers Need to Know About Language

Working with Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Families



The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) offers the Web document Conversations with Mainstream Teachers: What Can We Tell Them About Second Language Learning and Teaching? This list of frequently asked questions concludes with an annotated bibliography.

The Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence (CREDE) offers the publications Successful Transition to Mainstream English: Effective Strategies for Studying Literature, Teaching Language Minority Students in Elementary Schools, and Teaching Secondary Language Minority Students.

Eastern Stream Center on Resources and Training offers a series of starter kits for teachers, Help! They Donít Speak English! Starter Kit for Primary Teachers, Help! They Donít Speak English! Starter Kit for Teachers of Young Adults, and The Help! Kit: A Resource Guide for Secondary Teachers of Migrant English Language Learners.

The Education Alliance at Brown University offers a Diversity Kit and other resources in the Equity and Diversity section of their Web site.

The ESL/Bilingual Resource Guide for Mainstream Teachers from Portland public schools covers the basic concepts of language acquisition theory, essential tips for mainstream teachers of ESL students, teaching reading tips, and a list of terms related to ESL and bilingual programs.

ESL Infusion: Principles for Teaching English Learners in the Mainstream Classroom describes key concepts for effective instruction for English language learners, such as comprehensible input, meaningful access to the curriculum, and conversational versus academic language.

ESL in the Mainstream: How Technology Can Help is intended to give teachers resources and hands-on practice in using technology to assist in their instruction.

ESL Resources for Mainstream Teachers is a list of links from Carolina TESOL that directs mainstream teachers to resources ranging from ESL assessment to legal issues and technology.

ESL Students in Mainstream Classes covers some of the similarities and differences between ESL students and native English speakers.

ESL Versus Mainstream Classes: Contrasting L2 Learning Environments, from TESOL Quarterly, documents differences in the goals and organization of instruction of mainstream and ESL classrooms.

EverythingESL provides many resources for working with newcomers including Activities for Newcomers, Tips on Communicating With Newcomers , and Organizing Your Newcomers' Day.

For Mainstream Teachers of ESL Students, from Frankfurt International School, provides information to answer mainstream teachersí most basic questions about teaching ESL.

The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction Educational Programs (NCELA) has a section in its online library devoted to Strategies for Mainstream Teachers. NCELA also provides the publication Helping Language Minority Students After They Exit from Bilingual/ESL Program: A Handbook for Teachers. NCELA's In the Classroom: A Toolkit for Effective Instruction of ELLs is a user-friendly guide designed for teachers who know very little about ESL and includes links to descriptions of each method, sample handouts, and activities.

TESL Manitoba provides links to a number of online resources for content-based ESL teachers and for teaching ESL students in mainstream classes.



Adger, C. T., Snow, C. E., & Christian, D. (Eds.). (2002). What teachers need to know about language. McHenry, IL, and Washington, DC: Delta Systems and Center for Applied Linguistics.

Cary, S. (2000). Working with second language learners: Answers to teachersí top ten questions. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Claire, E., & Haynes, J. (1994). The classroom teacher's ESL survival kit #1. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education ESL.

Claire, E., & Haynes, J. (1995). The classroom teacher's ESL survival kit #2. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education ESL.

Franklin, E. (Ed.). (1999). Reading and writing in more than one language: Lessons for teachers. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Freeman, D. E., & Freeman, Y. S. (2000). Teaching reading in multilingual classrooms. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Gibbons, P. (2002). Scaffolding language, scaffolding learning: Teaching second language learners in the mainstream classroom. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Helmer, S., & Eddy, C. (2001). Look at me when I talk to you: ESL learners in non-ESL classrooms. Toronto, Canada: Pippin.

Irujo, S. (Ed.). (2000). Integrating the ESL standards into classroom practice. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Jameson, J. (2002). Professional development for bilingual and ESL paraprofessionals: The aspire curriculum. McHenry, IL, and Washington, DC: Delta Systems and Center for Applied Linguistics..

Grognet, A., Jameson, J., Franco, L., & Derrick-Mescua, M. (2000). Enhancing English language learning in elementary classrooms. McHenry, IL, and Washington, DC: Delta Systems and Center for Applied Linguistics.

Jameson, J. (1998). Enriching content classes for secondary ESOL students. McHenry, IL, and Washington, DC: Delta Systems and Center for Applied Linguistics.

Peregoy, S., & Boyle. O. (2001). Reading, writing, and learning in ESL. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Reed, B., & Railsback, J. (2003). Strategies and resources for mainstream teachers of English language learners. Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory.

Spangenberg-Urbschat, K., & Pritchard, R. (Eds.). (1994). Kids come in all languages. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

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