RL & RI standards typically require students to demonstrate understanding of
how texts are structured and created. For students still learning to read and write
in English, texts can be supported with visuals, read aloud, simplified, or
translated, and understanding can be demonstrated through pointing, dictating,
drawing, or using sentence frames.
W – For beginning writers, writing can take the forms of drawing, dictating, or using sentence frames. These supports can become progressively smaller as students grow in their English abilities.
SL – For newcomers, writing down their thoughts before speaking can help them say more. Opportunities to speak and listen to native speakers using academic language are especially important for ELs.
L – Many ELs lack the grammar background for some L Standards. Reviewing previous concepts of language can help them progress toward this standard.
Math does tend to have a language of its own as students learn to write and analyze equations, and teaching math typically uses a lot of modeling – a great strategy for EL students. However, the need to speak about math in English presents opportunities for Academic English practice for EL students. For instance, ELs often have difficulty understanding the syntax and following the story in word problems, in addition to understanding connections between words and operations. Conceptual Skills also are more difficult for EL students, particularly in probability and geometry, as well as skills that require students to prove math concepts typically are more difficult for EL students. EL students also need more support with math vocabulary, and newcomers may need support learning words for numbers, shapes, and materials.
Scientific Concepts are often language heavy at the word and sentence level.
Models, videos, and other visuals can help ELs better understand the processes
and ideas of science.
Academic Vocabulary is prevalent in science and can be difficult for all students. ELs may need extra support, including visuals, native language support, examples, and non-examples. Beginner and Intermediate ELs may also need similar support with vocabulary other students already know.
Syntax – Scientific language has its own sentence structures. To begin learning these, sentence frames can model ways of talking about science for EL students. Processes – For topics such as chemistry equations, Mendelian genetics, experiments, and other procedures students must use to solve a problem, modeling helps EL students follow the process.
Background Knowledge –EL student’s prior education will greatly impact the
background knowledge they have about history, particularly US/Mississippi
history, but also viewpoints on world events. All students have some historical
knowledge, and tapping into that background knowledge to draw connections will
help historical content “stick.”
Academic Vocabulary – All levels of ELs and students in general will need to learn some vocabulary for history standards. Beginner and Intermediate ELs will need extra support with this vocabulary and with vocabulary other students may already be familiar with.
Reading & Writing Strategies – LTELs typically need support with reading historical texts, including word recognition strategies. All students will need instruction to write historical texts, but EL students especially will greatly benefit from sentence frames to begin learning how to write like a historian.