ESL classroom strategies should challenge the student and support successful learning.
English as a Second Language students require additional assistance within the classroom to support speaking, reading and writing. The classroom teacher must incorporate strategies that will allow the ESL student to feel successful as well as to learn. These strategies allow the student to become an integrated part of the classroom and overcome challenges.
Students use a Think-Pair-Share strategy to help process ideas and information. The student thinks about a question or situation that the teacher has posed. He then turns to a partner to listen and share his idea, before forming new ideas. The pair then presents the discussion to the class. This activity allows the ESL student to communicate thoughts in a small group without worrying about criticism from peers.
Graphic organizers help ESL students organize information from text and stories. Students write information into the categories of the organizer and it helps to visually separate information and highlight only what is important. Students can use graphic organizers to assist in reading and writing. This strategy helps students to retain what is learned.
Choral reading provides support for ESL students that are not strong readers. The student reads together with the teacher and other students as fluency is modeled. The student is able to read and to correct errors as he reads. Proper intonation is also modeled for the ESL student. The teacher should choose age appropriate books that are a little beyond what the student can read on his own, to provide a challenge.
A word wall is utilized to introduce new words in a unit and to review vocabulary. The wall should be interactive with students manipulating the words. Various games can be played using the wall, like two students coming up to the board to choose the correct word from a definition. Word walls are also useful in assisting ESL students when writing and spelling.
Before a selection is read in the classroom, pictures should be shown to the class to introduce the plot. The pictures help the student link new learning to prior knowledge. The pictures should be discussed and the teacher should ask the ESL students to form predictions about the selection. Adding pictures to the lesson helps boost the students’ comprehension of the text.