Tips for Delivering Instruction to ELL Students
- Teachers must consider the students’ first language literacy, second language literacy, and the reading level of materials used with ELLs.
- Content must be adapted to ELLs’ needs through the use of graphic organizers, outlines, labeling of pictures, study guides, adapted texts, reading comprehension strategies and highlighted texts.
- Supplementary materials should be used to promote comprehension. These include charts, graphs, pictures, illustrations, realia, math manipulatives, multimedia, and demonstrations by teacher and other students.
- When possible, concepts should be directly linked to students’ background experience. This experience can be personal, cultural or academic.
- Key vocabulary should be emphasized. New vocabulary should be presented in context and the number of vocabulary items should be limited.
- Use simplified language and a variety of techniques to make content concepts clear.
- Provide meaningful activities integrating language practice opportunities in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Provide extra time for ELLs to process information and respond to questions.
- Present material which provides and combines auditory, visual and other sensory stimulation.
- Provide direct and explicit instruction in reading comprehension strategies to develop student independence.
- These strategies will benefit all students in your classroom.
BICS: Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills
BICS refers to face to face conversational fluency, including mastery of pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. English language learners typically acquire conversational language used in everyday activities before they develop
more complex, conceptual language proficiency.
- Students acquire BICS more rapidly (e.g., 1-2 years)
- Conversational fluency: social language
- Includes “Silent Period”
- Lasts 1 – 3 years
- Early production: 1000 words (0-1 year)
- Speech Emergence: 3000 words (1-2 years)
CALP: Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency
CALP refers to language proficiency associated with schooling, and the abstract language abilities required for academic work. A more complex, conceptual, linguistic ability that includes analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
- It takes longer to learn CALP (e.g., about 5-7 years)
- Academic proficiency: “school” language
- Intermediate fluency: 6000 words (1-5 years)
- Advanced and continuing language development: 7000 words+ (5-7 and even 10 years)