New to Teaching ELLs?

man helping young girl as she writes

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.

For related information, take a look at this Education Week article: 10 Assumptions to Rethink About English Language Learners.

Spanish Classroom Glossary

Don't miss our glossary of classroom words and phrases in Spanish!

Featured Articles

Related Video

Books and Booklists

Guides and Toolkits

Research and Reports

Recommended Resources

Social Media

Follow us and connect with Colorín Colorado on the following channels:


Recommended Resources

Online resources

Blog Posts

Ways a Mainstream Teacher Can Help a Newcomer ELL

Veteran teacher Larry Ferlazzo and some of his colleagues answer the question: How do I teach a newcomer, with next-to-zero English proficiency, who is placed in my mainstream classroom without any additional outside support being provided?

What Teachers Should Know About Instruction for ELLs

This report from Education Northwest outlines 14 key principles that will help guide classroom and content-area teachers in their planning for ELL instruction and provides instructional implications for each principle.

TESOL: 6 Principles for Teaching ELLs

TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) International Association has defined a core set of principles for the exemplary teaching of English learners based on decades of research in language pedagogy and language acquisition theory.

English Language Learners: A Policy Research Brief

This brief produced by the National Council of Teachers of English gives an excellent quick overview of ELL issues, including population statistics, recent ELL policy, and recommendations for effective instruction. There is also an extensive reference list where you can find other great resources.

Help! They Don't Speak English Starter Kit

This toolkit offers great ideas on a wide range of topics, including ways to promote literacy and math learning, fair assessment and evaluation practices, and suggestions for getting ELLs' parents actively involved in school. You'll find lots of "grab and go" resources like games, lesson plans, and graphic organizers, as well as step-by-step descriptions of effective classroom strategies, such as total physical response and cooperative learning.

What! I Lost a Year!

Miscommunication between ELLs and native speakers can result from cultural differences, as well as language differences. This article describes how ESL teachers can help colleagues understand the role culture plays in their ELL students' interactions with others, and includes specific examples of cultural differences that sometimes cause misunderstandings.

Video Bonus: Advice for New ELL Teachers