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Resources for First-Year ELL Teachers

By: Colorín Colorado (2010)
school children walking

The first year of working with English language learners (ELLs) can be full of challenges. Fortunately, there are a number of resources to help! Colorín Colorado has compiled this list to help new ELL teachers navigate their experiences in the classroom. These resources may also be helpful for veteran teachers who are new to teaching ELLs.

ELL Instruction

ell starter kit

ELL Starter Kit for Educators

This booklet from Colorín Colorado offers informal assessment and monitoring forms, a bilingual glossary, and a list of English-Spanish cognates. The booklet can be downloaded for free as a PDF.

You can find more great ELL instruction resources in our For Educators section!

About ELLs: Guides for Instruction

English Language Learners: Day by Day K-6

These professional books written by experts offer a great introduction working with ELLs of all ages. Each guide covers a number of helpful topics, including:

  • Getting to know your students
  • Teaching reading to ELLs
  • Homework and assessment for ELLs
  • Working with parents of ELLs

Monthly Newsletter for ELL Educators

The T.ELL.E-GRAM is Colorín Colorado's free monthly e-newsletter for ELL educators offering research-based strategies, book and resource recommendations, and news from the ELL field.

Twenty-Five Quick Tips for the ELL Classroom

Judie Haynes is a veteran ELL educator and creator of, an excellent website filled with tips, strategies, and great ideas! This particular list offers a number of tips that will be particularly helpful for new ELL teachers as they plan for instruction and classroom management.

Teacher Diary: Chronicle Of A First-Time ESL Teacher

Meet Jacqueline Gallo, a young teacher who took the time to share her experiences with ELL Outlook as a first-year ELL teacher when she first entered an ELL elementary classroom in Lynn, Massachusetts. Learn more about that first year from the following articles on the ELL Outlook website.

Reflections: Understanding ELLs and Ourselves

This group of teacher-researchers met and became friends during the graduate school program (MAT in teacher education) at Lewis and Clark College. Their shared goal was to learn about the strengths and needs of their ELL students through the power of conducting and sharing case study research. This article shares a glimpse of their conversations and reflections about their ELLs.

Video: What advice would you give new ELL teachers?

Whether you are brand new to the teaching profession or are a veteran educator who is just starting to work with ELLs, you'll find these tips from other ELL educators helpful!

This video playlist is also available on YouTube.

Featured educators include:

More Resources for First-Year Teachers

Teaching Reading

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