Teaching Writing to English Language Learners

Updated on May 11, 2018
Luke Holm profile image

Luke works as a middle school English, ELD, social justice, and mindfulness teacher in the sanctuary city, San Jose, CA.

Typically, it is quite difficult for foreign students to get acclimated to a new culture. Difficulty with language and communication often pose some of the biggest problems for these students in their education. In order to help English Language Learners (ELLs or ELs) develop as better writers, it is the teacher’s duty to provide effective practices that enhance the student’s comprehension and reciprocation of the new language. Some practices that should be examined are cooperative learning environments, diversity in cultural milieu, and student engaging instructional conversations.

Source

Cooperative Learning Environments

It is important to provide a cooperative learning environment for ELL students so that they may interact with other students and share materials with other members of their group. When each group is given a specific function, not only will the ELL student be given a determined goal to accomplish with their group, but also the students will achieve a higher level of learning when they are not merely copying work from each other.

As topics and transitions progress, later in the semester, it is important to relate material and subject matter to experiences the ELL students are familiar with. By doing so, the ELL student will be better motivated to work in their new and environment; one they might find threatening. As students feel more acclimated in their classrooms and around their peers, it is also important to provide cooperative activities that promote intellectual discussion. For ELL students, it is important for them to be well versed not only in written rhetoric, but in verbal rhetoric as well. Here, we learn that single response question and answers provide no benefit for the ELL student. They need to engage their environment and do so in an aware and cognitive fashion.

Source

Writing Assignments for English Language Learners

Many English Language Development (ELD) textbooks require ELs to copy down sentence frames in response to material they read or discuss in class. Copying down the frames allow students to learn the syntax and conventions of writing in English. Over time, the frames tend to have a gradual release allowing students to provide more of their own information, rather than copying down prescribed sentences. This approach to learning how to write is effective, but can also be limiting for a more advanced learner. It is the teacher's job to determine where their student is at in their education, and provide them with material that promotes constant academic (and social) growth.

As ELL students develop, it is important to remember that their language acquisition is a gradual developmental process. Because of this, there are certain writing assessment practices that may be beneficial to the learner, and possibly the teacher as well. After receiving a paper from a new ELL student, it is important to focus on fluency rather than correctness.

Source

Assessing ELLs

Since learning a new language and applying it in a paper is a difficult task, the teacher must remember that the student is engaging in a process; one that should be expected to develop over a period of time. It is also important to have meaningful interaction with the student when evaluating their end product. Instead of merely giving a letter grade for their work, teachers should give ample opportunity for a revision process. If the work submitted is the final revision, then teachers should take some time and provide feedback that promotes positive growth both for the student and for their work.

For ELL students, this feedback should be both oral and written. Since the language may be new to the student, oral feedback provides not only social interaction, but also an auditory display of what the problem or situation may be. After the student has been debriefed about their paper, it is also important to provide a written response for their work. Providing a written response will help the student clarify what you meant during your oral discourse, and will allow for the student to look back on the information provided at a later date.

Writing Strategies for English Language Learners

Education is an Experience

I feel that it is important that teachers realize school is not all about grades and right and wrong answers. A student’s schooling is not only an educational experience, but also a learning and life experience. In particular, when dealing with an ELL student, the teacher should be very subtle in his ways when first approaching or engaging the student. ELL students may feel as though they are in a threatening environment and may seclude themselves from society because of fear and anxiety when learning a new culture and language. As long as teachers promote a productive growth that engages these students, ELLs can strive toward a brighter future.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 JourneyHolm

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)