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Teaching Tips: Summer School for English Language Learners

Veteran teacher Sharon Eghigian has nearly 15 years of experience teaching in a variety of ESL summer programs. Some of those programs include ESL summer school (Grades K-5), "Jump Start" classes at non-profit agencies (ages 8-16), and cultural orientation/ESL classes for newcomers (K-5). Sharon draws on her experience and shares some of her favorite summer ESL school activities and tips in the following article. Most strategies are geared towards elementary ELLs, although many can be adapted for older students.

Writing Poetry with English Language Learners

This article discusses strategies for writing poetry with ELLs, presents an overview of poetry forms that can be used effectively in writing lessons, and suggests some ideas for ways to share student poetry.

Developing Writing and Spelling at Home

Writing is a terrific way for children to express their thoughts, creativity, and uniqueness. It is also a fundamental way in which children learn to organize ideas and helps them to be better readers. Here are some suggestions that engage your child in the writing process.

Handwriting: What's Normal, What's Not

This article lists some milestones to look for as your child's handwriting skills begin to develop. The article also describes some signs and symptoms of dysgraphia, a learning disability that affects a child's handwriting and ability to hold a pen, pencil, or crayon.

Writing Ideas from the Classroom

This article offers some ideas from ELL educators around the country about getting ELL students (children, adolescents, and adults) to write more enthusiastically and creatively.

Developing Writing and Spelling at Home: Pre-K

When engaging in writing, young children often mirror what they see around them; adults and older children writing lists, notes, text messaging. They are observing the way writing is used in our everyday lives. Here are some simple things families can do to support young children's writing.

Writing a Winning Essay

As part of assessments and/or high school graduation requirements in many states, students must pass a writing test. For ELL students, the writing test often poses one of the biggest challenges in testing and in meeting graduation requirements. In this month's Bright Ideas article, we offer a strategy for overcoming those obstacles and writing a strong five-paragraph essay. The article outlines the process from start to finish, starting with helping students develop a deeper understanding of writing test requirements to planning, organizing, and editing the essay's final draft.

Escritura basada en los estándares para estudiantes ELL

Escribir es comunicación, creatividad y colaboración. Escribir es un proceso social para los estudiantes ELL, igual que para cualquier otro escritor. Para los estudiantes que están aprendiendo inglés lograr el equilibrio entre escribir bien y respetar los estándares depende de la calidad del proceso de enseñanza, la práctica y el entorno de la clase para aprender.

Teaching Writing to Diverse Student Populations

Writing is a complex operation requiring knowledge of text structure, syntax, vocabulary, and topic, and sensitivity to audience needs; so it is not surprising that many teens find writing challenging. This article identifies the qualities of strong writing instruction, and offers advice to teachers for incorporating writing instruction into their practice, using tools like notebooks and journals, and sharing strategies that reinforce the importance of pre-writing and revision.

The Writing Road: Reinvigorate Your Students' Enthusiasm for Writing

Teach your students to avoid the avoidance of writing. Learn how to lead them down the path of enthusiasm and self-confidence about writing through research-proven strategies.

Helping Young Children Develop Strong Writing Skills

Writing is an important part of our daily lives, but it is a difficult skill to learn and master. By getting a head start with some simple activities, though, you can help your child begin to develop her writing skills at an early age. By doing so you will be contributing to her future success as a student and as an adult while teaching her how to express herself. In this article, we provide some of the reasons that writing is so important in our lives, as well as a list of suggestions that will help your child become a stronger writer.

Tips for Parents of Struggling Adolescent Writers

This article discusses some of the reasons that older students may want to avoid writing, as well as some ways that parents can help their teens become better writers.

Improving Writing Skills: ELLs and the Joy of Writing

There is a very important correlation between writing and language development. Find out how you can help your ELLs improve their writing skills. Find ideas on differentiating writing activities, and other ways to help ELLs discover the joy of writing.

Standards-Based Writing for ELLs

Writing is a social process, and each culture has its own conventions about sharing narratives. Help ELLs become successful writers by fostering self-expression and explicitly teaching English writing conventions.

Standards-based writing for ELLs

Encourage Your Child to Write

Writing is a great way for your child to become a better reader. Here are some fun ways to get your child writing at home. Even very young children can write stories!

Student Essay: Fulfilling a Family's Dream

This essay was written by a former ELL student during her participation in programs offered by College Summit, an organization dedicated to strengthening a college-going culture for all students, and for supporting low-income students' college application process. The author describes her experiences as a young girl having to care for her younger brother each day while her mother worked in the afternoon, and remembers an incident that nearly broke apart her family. "I felt I was an adult before I was a kid," she writes.

Writing and Spelling: Practical Ideas for Parents

As children learn some letter-sound matches and start to read, they begin to write words and sentences. Seeing how words are spelled helps children in reading and writing.

Writing and Spelling Ideas to Use with Kids

As children learn some letter-sound matches and start to read, they also begin to experiment with writing. These activities can be used with children to develop their writing and spelling abilities.

Children's Writing in ESL

In teaching second language learners how to speak and read English, it is important not to neglect their writing development. Here are some strategies for teaching ESL children to become writers.