This school year, my English for Beginners class is quite different than last year's class. This year I have a lot more newcomers <1 year in the USA than I did last school year.
Just in case you didn't know, this is only my second year teaching HS ESL and I'm loving it!
One of the challenges I am facing this school year is having so many different levels of English proficiency in one class. This is a challenge when planning one whole group lessons and not all your students are at the same level on the proficiency continuum.
My biggest group is in the entering stages of the continuum (Level 1), a couple in the beginning stages (Level 2), and another group of 5 students are in the developing stages (Level 3).
Of course providing whole group instruction would not provide all with the needed support to grow linguistically. I've tried a couple of lessons but I still had to end up diving students in the corresponding groups to work with students at their level.
So what I started doing is working in small groups! I started assigning them readings and projects as groups and they work with peers completing the assignment if they are not in a group with me. These assignments could be assigned by language domain or a project of choice.
I created this Wakelet with resources they can use to help them practice each language domain.
Newcomer ELs and students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE) need a respectful and safe environment to function at their full potential. This session will provide culturally responsive pedagogy strategies to cultivate the environment diverse students need. Participants will discover that cultivating such environments needs to start from within. As a ripple effect, a commitment to culturally responsive pedagogy will transform our instruction, school culture, families, community engagement and (ultimately) our students.
I am so excited about sharing this upcoming book study. If you don't know about the #ELLchat_BkClub Twitter community, I'd recommend you check it out and join us. There's a wonderful group of passionate English learners' educators who join round-after-round learning through wonderful books published specifically to support ELs. To learn more about how these studies work, check Katie Toppel's blog - PD in Your PJs.
A couple of months ago I came across the book Latina Teachers by Dr. Glenda M. Flores. The book is a research on the impact of the growing number of Latinas who are going into education. I was so excited about it that I twitted it to see if anyone in the professional network had heard about it. I was impressed by the response and interest, (especially Latinas,) that we decided to add it to the #ELLchat_bkclub rounds.