Teaching tip

Teaching Tips

Access 73 inservice ideas and strategies for both ESL and mainstream educators

Featured teaching tips

Challenges for ELLs in Content Area Learning
Do you want to help classroom teachers in your school with their English language learners? Begin by understanding the challenges ELLs face in their content area learning.

How long does it take to learn English?
The most frequently asked question of ESL professionals by mainstream teachers, administrators, and even politicians concerns how long it should take English language learners to acquire English. Includes classroom resource picks.

Seven Teaching Strategies for Classroom Teachers of ELLs
Learn 7 key strategies classroom teachers must know to provide an effective learning environment for ELLs.

Year-round teaching tips

Activities for Newcomers
When brand new English language learners first enter your school, it can be overwhelming for the teachers responsible for their instruction. It's hard to know what to do first. Here are some activity-based tips to get you started. Includes classroom resource picks.

August 1, 2011 #ELLCHAT
At the August 1st #ELLCHAT, we discussed free and inexpensive resources for teachers of English language learners. Join us on Twitter Monday evenings at 9:00-10:00 PM. Be sure to use the hashtag #ELLCHAT.

August 15th #ELLCHAT Resources on Parent Engagement
On August 15th #ELLCHAT discussed how to increase parent engagement in our schools.

August 8th Twitter Resources on Co-Teaching
Thanks to Karen Nemeth for leading the August 8th #ELLCHAT on strategies for co-teaching and collaborating.

Bloom's taxonomy and English language learners
Your English language learners should be developing thinking skills as they acquire English. Dust off your copy of Bloom's Taxonomy and ask questions from all levels. There are activities that ELLs can do on every level. Includes classroom resource picks.

Collaborative Teaching: Are Two Teachers Better Than One?
Over the past few years co-teaching has become more popular as low incidence school districts search for ways to best serve the needs of their English language learners. What is co-teaching? Does it work? Read this article to find out.

Comparing Educaton in Finland and in the U.S.
Diane Ravitch visited Finland recently. Read her article about that experience and see my comments.

Comprehensible Input and Output
How do newcomers learn English? Can they soak up language by sitting in the mainstream classroom? Learn how Comprehensible Input and Output are important to the acquisition of a second language. Includes classroom resource picks.

Creating a letter of introduction
Learn how a new teacher of English language learners introduces herself to the mainstream staff and administrators. Includes downloadable activities.

Culturally Responsive Teaching and English Language Learners
See how to take the Geneva Gay's work on Culturally Responsive Teaching and tie it to effective teaching practices for English language learners.

Developing a Multicultural Curriculum
Read about River Edge, N.J. teacher Carolyn Brush and her successful multicultural curriculum. This program combines teaching students about world cultures with the talents of the diverse student population. Includes downloadable activities and classroom resource picks.

Differentiating Instruction for English Language Learners
Attention all elementary ESL and classroom teachers! Do you want to discover great web sites for the English language learners in your class? Here is a painless way to give students English language practice in the classroom or at home. Includes downloadable activities and classroom resource picks.

DSL - Digital as a Second Language
Today's students are "digital natives." They have grown up in an environment that has always included computers, the Internet, cell phones, digital cameras, and MP3 players. Teachers, on the other hand, are "digital immigrants" and speak digital as a second language. Find out how this affects the way we teach our students. Includes classroom resource picks.

Elementary Web Sites for English Language Learners
Attention all elementary ESL and classroom teachers! Do you want to discover great web sites for the English language learners in your class? Here is a painless way to give students English language practice in the classroom or at home. Includes classroom resource picks.

English Language Learners and the "Hidden Curriculum"
Teachers of English language learners know the importance of teaching their students to use English in socially and culturally appropriate ways in a variety of situations. Includes classroom resource picks.

ESL Program Forms
Why reinvent the wheel? Check out our home language form, oral language survey and our new ESL report card. If you're starting a new ESL program in your district or revising your forms, you may wish to see what another district is doing. Includes downloadable activities.

ESL Teacher as Cultural Broker
Simple awareness on the part of mainstream staff members will help them deal more effectively with cross-cultural dissension. As ESL/bilingual professionals we need to teach strategies which help our colleagues understand the role culture plays in the behavior and reactions of second language learners and their parents. Includes downloadable activities.

Establishing a Bully-Free Environment for ELLs
Are the ELLs in your school the target of bullies? Learn how to design programs so that they can protect themselves.

Establishing an Atmosphere of Acceptance
Discover how you can alleviate many newcomers' fears by creating an atmosphere of acceptance and welcome in all of your classes. Includes classroom resource picks.

everythingESL- a blog by Judie Haynes
Read my new blog, everythingESL, on Blogger. I will write about my thoughts on teaching English language learners in U.S. classrooms.Type http://everythingesl-everythingesl.blogspot.com into your browser to find it.

Explaining BICS and CALP
Classroom teachers need to understand the difference between social language and academic language acquisition. Here is a simple description of BICS and CALP as theorized by Jim Cummins. Includes classroom resource picks.

Fostering Literacy Development of English Learners
Colorin Colorado recently posted a guest blog by researcher Karen Ford on the fostering literacy skills for English Language Learners. Here are my reflections on that blog.

Getting Started with English Language Learners: How Educators Can Meet the Challenge
This new book by Judie Haynes will provide you with basic concepts and canít-miss strategies for boosting the achievement of your English language learners whether youíre new to teaching ELLs or an old hand. Real-life scenarios from actual classrooms are presented to illustrate strategies. Includes downloadable activities.

Giants Steps with Nonfiction Writing
Teach your English Language Learners to write using nonfiction text and the writing process. See this article adapted from my June, 2006 article in Essential Teacher. Includes classroom resource picks.

Graphic Organizers for Content Instruction
Graphic organizers make content area information more accessible to second language learners. They convert complex information into manageable chunks. Download graphic organizers from this page. Includes downloadable activities and classroom resource picks.

Hello to Okaloosa County, Florida Teachers
I just spent four wonderful days working with classroom teachers in Okaloosa County, FL. The weather was great and the southern hospitality outstanding. It's terrific for me to get to see a new area of the United States. Includes downloadable activities.

Help Your Newcomers Develop Pride in Their Heritage
Do you know how to use the diversity in your classroom to help your newcomers develop pride in their native languages and cultures? Try some of these ideas. Includes classroom resource picks.

Holding an Effective Group Meeting with Parents of ELLs
Do you want to hold a group meeting for the parents of your English language learners to help them learn about your school? Learn how to involve parents in their children's education. Includes downloadable activities.

How Culture Shock Affects Newcomers
Don't underestimate the results of culture shock. The emotional upheaval of moving can be devastating to any child. These symptoms are compounded when the child comes from a different culture and does not speak English. Includes classroom resource picks.

How Does Your School Rate?
Participate in a district goal to make your school a wonderful place for newcomers. Here are some practices you could adopt.

How to Develop Questioning Strategies
Involving English language learners in the discussions in their content area classes can be frustrating if teachers do not develop strategies for asking questions. Includes classroom resource picks.

How to hold an effective conference with parents of ELLs.
Do you feel unsure of how to hold productive conferences with the parents of your ELLs? Sharpen your communication skills by reading these tips.

Keys to Effective Communication
Do the classroom teachers in your school need strategies to help them communicate more effectively with English language learners? Just stick this article in their mailboxes. Includes classroom resource picks.

Language Acquisition vs. Language Learning
Should grammar be taught to young elementary age English language learners? Learn what the difference is between language acquisition and language learning. Includes classroom resource picks.

Learning Disability or Language Development Issue?
Have you ever found yourself debating whether one of your ESL/Bilingual students has a learning disability that is hindering his/her progress in school? Determining whether a child has normal language acquisition issues or a learning disability can be a difficult process. Many questions must be answered before appropriate decisions can be made.

Meeting the Challenge of Content Instruction
Discover how the standards movement currently sweeping the US will have a positive impact on the education of ESL students, while also presenting instructional challenges to ESL and mainstream professionals. Includes classroom resource picks.

NJEA Convention - Differentiating Instruction for English Language Learners
Welcome to all of you who attended my workshop at NJEA in Atlantic City. It was a pleasure to meet you.

NJTESOL/NJBE Fall Conference on Using Technology to Build ELL Literacy
Karen Nemeth and I are presenting the opening workshop at the NJTESOL/NJBE Fall Conference. The Conference is on October 22, 2011 at Stockton College in Pomona, N.J.

November 21st #ELLCHAT on Oral Language for ELLs
We had a very lively #ELLCHAT on November 21st on teaching oral language to ELLs. Join us on the 28th for Teaching beginning ELLs.

October 3rd #ELLCHAT Resources on Differentiating Instruction for ELLs
On October 3rd, #ELLCHAT had a lively discussion about how classroom teachers can plan differentiated lessons for ELLs.

Organizing and Assessing in the Content Area Class
How do you help mainstream teachers accurately monitor for student comprehension, organize the content class, and design realisitic assesments? These questions will be addressed in this article, which is the second part of "Meeting the Challenge of Content Instruction." Includes classroom resource picks.

Pair Your Newcomers with Buddies
Assign a buddy or a cross-grade tutor to your English language learner and watch them both blossom. Buddies gain in self esteem and your ELLs will feel welcome in your class

Pre-production and the Silent Period
If your new English language learner is not speaking, don't worry. Most newcomers go through a stage during which they do not produce language. This doesn't mean they are not learning. Includes classroom resource picks.

Preschool Teaching
One of the most frequent inquiries on the Ask Judie Bulletin Board is from preschool teachers all over the world. They have asked for themes, lessons, and materials to implement in their preschool classes. Here are some ideas that will help answer their questions. Includes classroom resource picks.

Preschool websites for teachers
"Help! I am teaching four and five year olds. What do I do?" you ask. Have you searched the internet? There is a wealth of information on early childhood or preschool teaching. These sites are designed to teach basic concepts to native English speakers but lessons can be adapted for ELLs. Includes classroom resource picks.

Proxemics and U.S. Culture
Have you ever heard anyone say "They're in the U.S. now, let them do it our way." This activity demonstrates how deeply ingrained our cultural behavior is and how difficult it would be to change it.

Sensitize Your Mainstream Students
You want your newcomers to be accepted on the playground and on the school bus. Sensitize mainstream students to the challenges that new learners of English face.

September 12th #ELLCHAT Resources
Our September 12th #ELLCHAT was terrific with ideas and resources for helping classroom teachers with ELLs.

September 26th #ELLCHAT Resources
Here are the resources from the September 26th #ELLCHAT on teaching math and science to ELLs.

SIOP: Making Content Comprehensible for ELLs
The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) was developed to make content material comprehensible to English Language Learners. This model is the result of the work of Jana Echevarria, MaryEllen Vogt and Deborah J. Short. Includes classroom resource picks.

Stages of Second Language Acquisition
All new learners of English progress through the same stages to acquire language. However, the length of time each students spends at a particular stage may vary greatly. Includes classroom resource picks.

Study Skills for ELLS
English language learners may need help in learning how to study for content area tests. Here are some helpful techniques that you can teach them. Includes classroom resource picks.

Support the Teaching of World Languages
Although I spent 28 years teaching elementary ESL, my first teaching certification was in K-12 French language education. I have never lost my interest in language education in the U.S

Teach to Students' Learning Styles
It is especially crucial to take your students' learning styles into account when you are teaching English language learners. This articles gives a brief description of each style and how you can teach to it. Includes classroom resource picks.

Teaching English Language Learners across the Content Areas
Here's a book that helps teachers in every subject area become expert teachers of English language learners. Using classroom scenarios that depict common challenges in elementary, middle, and high school content area classes, the authors describe the basics that every teacher needs to begin teaching both content and the English language.

Tips for Teaching ELLs to Write
What are the challenges ELLs face in learning to write in English? How can you help them? Read this article and download my handout on writing from TESOL 2007 in Seattle. Includes downloadable activities.

Tips on Communicating
Show your school's mainstream teachers and students how to communicate with your newcomers from the very first day.

Twenty Cultural Questions
Help the classroom teachers in your school solve cultural differences. Here are twenty new cultural scenerios gathered from participants in my workshops over the past year. Includes downloadable activities.

Twenty-Five Quick Tips for Classroom Teachers
Put any five of the following tips into practice and your English language learners will benefit from the improved instruction. Includes downloadable activities.

Understanding Second Language Terminology
Do you need to teach ESL methodology to your mainstream teachers and administrators? There are some essential terms that they need to know in order to understand basic second language acquisition theory. Includes classroom resource picks.

Unlocking Cultural Puzzles
Understanding and interpreting the cultures of English Language Learners (ELLs) is an important part of the ESL/bilingual teachers' role. Awareness on the part of mainstream staff members will help them deal more effectively with cultural questions. As ESL/bilingual professionals we need to teach strategies which help our colleagues understand the role culture plays in the behavior and learning of ELLs. Includes downloadable activities.

Using iPads with ELLs
I love my new iPad and have been investigating ways that it can be used with ELLs. Here are a few articles that I have come across.

Using the Internet for Content Based Instruction
Need ideas to enhance your content-based ESL instruction? Make your thematic units come alive and put pizzaz in your lessons by incorporating internet sites into your plans. If you teach small groups, you only need one computer to pique your studentsí interest. Includes downloadable activities and classroom resource picks.

Vocabulary Instruction for English Language Learners
Here are some tips on providing effective vocabulary instruction for your English language learners. Includes downloadable activities.

What Language should ELLs Speak at Home?
Parents of English language learners should be encouraged to speak their primary language at home.

What! I Lost a Year!
One of the roles of ESL teachers is to help mainstream staff members unlock cultural puzzles by teaching strategies that help them understand the role culture plays in the behavior and learning of ESL students. Enjoy the reprint of my Spring 2003 column for Essential Teacher.

Who are the ELLs in Your Classroom?
I'd like to introduce Dr. Debbie Zacarian, who co-authored Teaching English Language Learners Across the Content Areas with me. Debbie is the practitioner- research half of our team having worked in secondary education, educational administration and policy and the higher education level. We wanted to share information with you that impacts the lives of the ELLs in the United States.

Why I'm Advocating for Direct Vocabulary Instruction
I'd like to introduce all of you to the excellent professional development resources on the Association for Supervisors and Curriculum Developers' ASCD website.

Wonderful World of Wordless Books
Wordless books are a wonderful tool to use in your ESL classroom. Combine your students' love of storytelling to stimulate their imaginations and develop their writing and reading skills.

Working with Bilingual Parent Volunteers
Develop a resource of parents who can help translate, interpret, and communicate

Out of season teaching tips
Looking for Christmas in July? Here's a listing of 1 holiday and seasonal teaching tips for the rest of the year.