New to Teaching ELLs?
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!
- 10 Strategies for Building Relationships with ELLs
- Creating a Welcoming Classroom Environment
- How to Create a Welcoming Classroom Environment for ELLs
- Taking a Museum Tour in Spanish: What It Feels Like to Be a Language Learner
- Getting to Know Your ELLs: Six Steps for Success
ESOL Specialist Sheila Majdi: Using sentence frames with ELLs
Principal Nathaniel Provencio: The gifts that ELLs bring to school
Tips for new teachers of ELLs: Try one new thing at a time
Expert Advice for New Teachers of ELLs
Tracey Baptiste's Immigrant Story
Professional development activity: Identifying our cultural groups
Building upon student strengths: The "Can Do" Approach
Using the native language as a resourse
Benchmarks for native speakers aren’t appropriate for ELLs
Native language literacy support
How assessments vary among subject areas
Quick ways to check understanding
Working with ELLs
What does effective instruction for ELLs look like?
Part II: Strategy: Pre-teaching science content and vocabulary
Whose Student Is She?
Collaboration Between ELL and Classroom Teachers
Advice: Seek out opportunities
What to do first: Creating a welcoming ELL classroom environment
Advice for ELL Educators
Books and Booklists
Guides and Toolkits
Research and Reports
- Teaching English Language Learners: What the Research Does — and Does Not — Say
- Educating English Language Learners: A Review of the Latest Research
- The Role of English Teachers in Educating English Language Learners (ELLs)
- What Teachers Should Know About Instruction for ELLs
- Lessons Learned: New Teachers Talk About Their Jobs, Challenges, and Long-Range Plans (Part III: Teaching in Changing Times)
These Facebook groups provide a forum for posting questions, ideas, and resources.
- ELL Educator Group: Facebook group (Colorín Colorado)
- ELLs at Home Idea Exchange: Facebook group
- Advocating for ELLs: Facebook group
Twitter: Your Own PLC!
There is a wonderful ELL professional learning community (PLC) on Twitter! Here's how to connect!
- Twitter for Teachers: An Hour-A-Week Plan (Empowering ELLs Blog by Tan Huynh)
- Follow #ELLchat
- Post resources and ideas with the #ELLchat hashtag all week long
- Join the Twitter chat on Mondays at 9pm ET
- Browse the #ELLchat archive
Learn more about how a Twitter chat works from this article.
Note: You can follow the #ELLchat as it's happening even if you don't have a Twitter account, or browse the chat archive after it's complete. To participate and comment during the chat, you need a Twitter account.
- TESOL Blog: Judie Haynes
- Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day
- English Learner Infographics (Valentina Gonzalez)
- English Learners Blog (Valentina Gonzalez)
- ELL Educators to Follow (Thanks to Valentina Gonzalez for this compilation!)
- HELP! I'm teaching ESL next year. What can I do now to prepare? (Valentina Gonzalez)
- 6 Essential Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners (Edutopia)
- 12 Ways to Support English Learners in the Mainstream Classroom (Cult of Pedagogy)
- 10 Ways to Value ELs’ Language Assets (Tonya Ward Singer)
- 5 Strategies to Position English Learners for Success This Year: Blog Post + Infographic (SupportEd)
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.