When it comes to English Language Learners, it is critical that students have the opportunity to see their native language as an asset. Particularly for native Spanish speakers, a way to do that is to help them understand the sheer amount of academic vocabulary they have at their disposal through the use of cognates. […]
Over the last few weeks, we have looked at the different strategies for improving students’ ability to acquire new vocabulary words. Teaching prefixes and suffixes (together known as affixes) is just one more strategy teachers can provide to students in order to help them infer the meaning of unknown words that are encountered as they […]
Yes, students need access to a large bank of words in order to be successful readers. But they also need to be able to process and analyze new words for meaning as they encounter them. Without this skill, readers miss important parts of text that hinders their ability to make meaning. These “word learning strategies” […]
In part 1 of this series we talked about word consciousness being whether students grasped that words are the currency of the English language and whether they “bought into” reason why words are essential. We offered a number of strategies to achieve this: from having a word-rich environment, time for metacognition, student choice, and student […]
“Word consciousness – and especially understanding the power of word choice – is essential for sustained vocabulary growth. Words are the currency of written language. Learning new words is an investment, and students will make the required investment to the extent that they believe that the investment is worthwhile.” Judith Scott and William Nagy. Because […]
Looking back on my years as a classroom teacher, I now wonder if I did enough to boost students’ vocabulary, their ability to manipulate word parts, their curiosity of the words chosen by an author, and their overall love of words. I know the answer is no. This is in large part to the fact […]
We are all different. Some of us are short, others are great readers, some are into sports, and others where glasses. There is no right or wrong, good or bad. Our differences are what make us unique. These differences create the possibility of existing in an amazing world where we are able to share skills, gifts, and intelligences. We need differences in the world. It is what gives life color.
The classroom is no different, rather a smaller version of our everyday reality. Teachers working especially with English Language Learners can create an environment where their language learners thrive by helping them to understand that their differences are precisely what are needed in order for us all to be successful. But teachers must remember that just like any amazing lesson, this environment must be carefully planned and fostered. And the first few weeks of school are critical to the classroom culture’s success.