I had an assignment this week to compile a list of 10 ELL Resources and provide a small annotation of what you might find if someone looks at the resource. The assignment required me to find five websites that “provide support for working with ELL / ESL children” and five links to “brochures about programs or services, books, software, games, or other appropriate materials.”
I do recognize that this list is not exhaustive. If you are looking for a greater wealth of resources, I suggest you click on over to @cybraryman1 who has put together http://cybraryman.com/eflellesl.html, @Larryferlazzo who has put together http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/, and @judiehaynes who is a prolific blogger/writer about working with ELL students at http://www.everythingesl.net/ and http://everythingesl-everythingesl.blogspot.com/.
So, with all this in mind and my disclaimer written. Here is the list along with annotations that I turned in.
1. Wallace, S. (2004). Effective Instructional Strategies for English Language Learners in Mainstream Classrooms. Retrieved September 20, 2010 from New Horizons for Learning: http://www.newhorizons.org/spneeds/ell/wallace.htm.
Effective Instructional Strategies for English Language Learners in Mainstream Classrooms provides teachers with a beginning approach to make sure they are best preparing for ELL/ESL students and provides a list of more additional resources. They do this providing some models for making sure lessons are “accessible” and “comprehensible” for ELL students, sharing ways to link content back to student backgrounds, and giving ideas on how to build their emerging vocabulary. This article is loosely based on Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners: The SIOP Model by Echevarria, Vogt, and Short. The only reason I say loosely is that it does not cover the entire book.
2. Haynes, J. (2010). Holding Conferences with Parents of English Language Learners. Retrieved September 20, 2010 from ASCD EDge: A Professional Networking Community for Educators: http://edge.ascd.org/ _holding-conferences-with-parents-of-english-language-learners/blog/ 2320180/127586.html.
While this is blog/article, I felt like it provided teachers with a good introduction on meeting with the parents of ELL students since most of us don’t know how to hold a conference with a parent who either has no and very little English language background. Haynes covers ideas such as the need of a translator, body language (both the teachers and the parents), and room/conference set up. I found that Haynes has a number of articles/blog posts on this network that may also be a great resource for those who are working with ELL students. Her blog off the network is http://everythingesl-everythingesl.blogspot.com/ .
3. Wahl, L., & Duffield, J. (2005). Using Flexible Technology to Meet the Needs of Diverse Learners. Retrieved September 20, 2010 from WestEd: http://www.wested.org/online_pubs/kn-05-01.pdf.
First, let me note, that this brief by Wahl and Duffield is a bit of a promo for WestEd and some of the services they offer, but I still found that it gave some great support to teachers of diverse classrooms and pointed to some additional resources that could also be of use. They talked about the use of and tried to give practical (real-life) examples of how teachers could use graphic organizers, audio text, and word processing software (such as Microsoft Word) to reach these students individually to differentiate instruction.
4. Power, T. (2010). Teaching Index Approaches & Methods in Second Language Teaching. Retrieved September 20, 2010 from English Language Learning and Teaching: http://www.btinternet.com/ ~ted.power/teflindex.htm.
Ted Power has compiled numerous resources for both students and teachers. He has dedicated this page of the site to the research behind and actual instruction of English Language Learners. He covers a wide array of topics such as reading, writing, placement, and assignments.
5. Chevalier, C. M. (2007). Tapestry for Teachers of English Language Learners. Retrieved September 20, 2010 from Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages: http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/ cat_tapestry.asp?cid=1585&did=8732.
Dr. Chevalier for the organization, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) compiled this resource for teachers. Dr. Chevalier includes as part of this “Tapestry” both teaching resources as well as research to back up what they are recommending. They are offering support is a wide selection of areas such as literacy foundations, vocabulary, and comprehension. Links are also provided to other resources as well as more information how to get the community and family more involved (http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/cat_tapestry.asp?CID=1598&DID=8755 ).
6. Elementary Web Sites for English Language Learners. (2010). Retrieved September 20, 2010 from EverythingESL.net: http://www.everythingesl.net/inservices/elementary_sites_ells_71638.php.
This site is a robust resource of web sites that for English Language Learners. The site does give some ideas on how to introduce these to students so that they implemented effectively. One of the emphasis’s of this page is that its use is both at school and at home when properly introduced to ELL students.
7. Story Books. (2010). Retrieved September 20, 2010 from Mightybook.com:http://www.mightybook.com/story_books.html.
This is an interactive website that can be used by ELL students in the classroom. I referenced here the actual storybook page because of its connection to literacy. The site also has songs, books, puzzles, and more. Like many story sites on the internet, it does read the story, however, unlike more story sites online, it highlights the text as it is read thus putting the print and audio word together. Since it is online, it can also be used repeatedly to build vocabulary familiarity. While this site does offer many resources free, to gain access to about 500 stories as well as lesson plans and extension activities, you will have to purchase a subscription.
8. MeeGenius. (2010). Retrieved September 20, 2010 from MeeGenius.com: http://meegenius.com/.
This, like MightyBook.com, is also an interactive website that can be used by ELL students in the classroom for most of the same reasons. It reads the text to the students and highlights the text as it is being read making the connection between what is seen and heard. While this site does not have as many options as MightyBook.com, I included it because it is FREE. Currently, you can also customize some of the stories, record them over, and save them as well with your free membership.
9. Sight Words With Samson. (2010). Retrieved September 20, 2010 from Try: Sight Words With Samson: http://www.sightwordswithsamson.com/sw/sight_words.asp.
I referenced the try page because it shows how the program works. The try page is free and can be used by you or a student to try it out, but this is program to purchase and requires a yearly subscription. The only reason I listed it here was that I liked part of the process it used to teach sight words. They use a process of saying (and seeing) the word, spelling it, and using it in a sentence. Next, they have the student interact with it several times through a number of activities. I think the process of working with a word a number of times and also using and seeing it in context it good for vocabulary development. On the demo, there are twenty-eight lists of words on four different levels. The paid version has worksheets, flashcards, lesson plans, and tracks student progress.
10. Kizclub – Learning Resources for Kids. (2010). Retrieved September 20, 2010 from Kizclub: http://www.kizclub.com/.
Kizclub is a website with downloadable resources for ELL students in early childhood/elementary classrooms. It has books, flashcards, interactive manipulatives for trade books and more. I included it because it had resources that were not dependent upon the internet to use. These can easily be downloaded, printed, and given to students to use in the class and at home.
11. Essential Skills – Products. (2010). Retrieved September 20, 2010 from Essential Skills: http://www.essentialskills.net/products.html.
I included the Essential Skills software collection because of my personal use with it working with ell students, at-risk, special ed, and general education populations. You do have to purchase the software by content area and grade level to use, but unlike some of the above, it is not a subscription service. This is a one- time purchase and can be purchased for one computer, a lab, or a school. The programs I used the most with ELL students were the vocabulary programs that gave students multiple interactions with leveled words for auditory, visual, and tactile learners. Another thing I liked about the program was that it also tracked the students by their login name and could let you, as a teacher, know what they have been doing and how well they have been doing.
12. Ferlazzo, L. (2010). Larry Ferlazzo’s English Website. Retrieved September 20, 2010 from Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day: http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/larry-ferlazzos-english-website/.
I felt the need to include this because I hear many people in some educational circles I run note Larry as one of the best resources for ELL education. His website is full of resources, articles, websites, and practical examples of ELL education at work. He sorts his resources by the levels, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. He also notes different resources in various content areas.
By no means am I saying these are the best resources on the web, but they are a start. If you know of any others, add them below in the comments.
Also, I want to say a special thank you to some of my Twitter friends who helped point me in the right direction to find some of these resources. These are @judiehaynes, @evmaiden, @readtoday, @SimpleK12, @pafirth, @cybraryman1, @lisamonthie, @paulmaglione, @cecilialcoelho, @jennymoon, @Stacy_Learning, and @tomwhitby. Let me add, if you aren’t using twitter as a PLN (Professional Learning Network), you are missing out! All of these guys responded to a simple question I had about pointing me in the right direction to find ELL/ESL resources.
******** Added resources, suggested by other teachers********
- http://www.colorincolorado.org/ – A bilingual site for families and educators of English language learners
- http://www.english-attack.com/eng/ – se clips from movies, hit TV series, and global news channels; online games; and networking access to an international community of learners to create a truly different and stimulating way of improving language skills
- http://www.diigo.com/list/eflclassroom/articles-and-research – someone’s list on Diigo of articles and research for ESL/ELL education