ELD Kids & Benchmark

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Furthuron, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Furthuron

    Furthuron Companion

    Oct 25, 2008
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    Dec 10, 2012

    I teach 7th grade English and 7th/8th grade ELD. My classes all took a practice benchmark exam last week, and the class with my ELD students in it had an average of 59.31%. I want to do something to help my ELD kids perform better and feel like they better understand the material, but I am not sure of the best way to approach it. One of my ELD students wrote on her test that she just didn't understand it.

    These kids have all grown up in the US, and while they speak Spanish at home, English is their primary language otherwise. Their main issue is with academic English rather than conversational English. The benchmark includes terms like plot, point of view, internal vs. external conflict, Greek & Latin roots, foreshadowing, etc. They also have to read a passage and then answer questions.

    I would like to take some extra time this week in ELD to give them some extra prep and help. I'm going to start today by asking them to give me some feedback, but I'd really appreciate any insight as this is my first time teaching ELD.

  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Jun 21, 2008
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    Dec 10, 2012

    I mentioned on another thread the book Notice and Note by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst. I saw them present at NCTE, and I think their strategies are excellent; I'm teaching them to my lower-level seniors, several of whom are ELL. There are six "signposts" that students look for--places where they should stop, pay attention, and ask a question. The nice thing is that it's always the same question. For example, one signpost is Contrast and Contradiction: when you notice a character doing something very different from what they've done before, stop and ask, "Why would the character act this way?" You can download a big chunk of the book here: http://www.heinemann.com/products/E04693.aspx Give it a look!
  4. MissMatty

    MissMatty Rookie

    Sep 21, 2011
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    Dec 10, 2012

    When I did a course on teaching ELL, they talked about the difference between conversational English and academic English and one of the most interesting things I learnt was that in order to get to academic English they need to keep talking and discussing.

    The other thing I learnt (and this will depend on what you are teaching, of course) was the importance of visual learning and using visuals to help students understand terminology/techniques and so forth.

    I taught a year 8 ESL (different country, different name) English class this year and when I made both these changes I saw a huge change for the better. And some of my students had only been speaking English and been in the country for six months.

    Hope that helps, good luck!
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    May 13, 2005
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    Dec 10, 2012

    Furthuron, I wonder if there might not be a Website that dissects one or more popular telenovelas in terms of plot, point of view, and internal conflict. Even students who are not themselves interested in telenovelas surely have some idea how they work.

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