ESL Part 1 is off to a good start and I have now completed my first full week in the course. Thus far we have discussed some of the theoretical foundations for working with English language learners. I have had many English learners in my classroom over the past few years, each with their own strengths and supports needed. I have done my best to support these learners with the skills that I have but I am not an expert nor do I expect to be at the end of this course. Now that I have finished the first module, I have a few things that I can take away as resources/reflections on my learning thus far. One of the major components to this first module was to produce a KWL table based on what we Know about ELL learners, Want to learn about ELL learners and have Learnt about ELL learners. I have included my chart (still a draft as it will change throughout the course) for you to take a look at. I have decided to share this table with you since it shows a snap shot of where I am at in my learning and how much I have learnt in only 1 week.
One aspect that I wanted to focus on during my readings for this module was how people of different ages pick up a language and how much a native language should be incorporated into the classroom learning. Other than the course readings, I found the article “Why is it Easier for a Child to Learn a New Language Than an Adult?” by Sharon Perkins ( Link to Article) to be a great summary to why younger children might pick up a language faster than an adolescent or adult. A few points to consider about this are that younger children are more willing to make mistakes and not worry as much about their self-esteem, their brains are still developing rather quickly, and they are able to mimic the correct sounds. Also younger children are exposed to a lot of feedback and repetition from their parents when learning this new language
Also during this module I prepared as short animated video (Link to Video) to address some useful principles for teaching ELL learners.
Making this video was beneficial for my understanding of how to work with ELL students and my development as a teacher. It required me to slow down and think critically about what is important and what I would want to share with anyone trying to find out more about teaching ELL students. I am pleased with the outcome of this video