Colorín Colorado Blog: Helping ELLs Succeed

Welcome to our Colorín Colorado blog!  This blog is focused on helping English language learners (ELLs) succeed in the classroom, with a special focus on strategies and tools that that support the use of college- and career-ready standards (such as the Common Core) with ELLs.

The blog includes updates from the ELL field about topics such as language proficiency standards and assessments, as well as practical tips for developing academic language, helping ELLs tackle grade-level content, and collaborating with colleagues.

For related content, see our  Common Core and ELLs resource section.  You can also browse blog posts by topic.

This blog post focuses on ELL considerations that are important for schools and districts to address in planning their assessments, including accommodations on CCSS content assessments and aspects of computer-based assessment might prove to be especially challenging for ELLs.  It also recommends some resources to support ELLs’ success in computer-based testing.

Guest blogger Emily Miller served on the Next Generation Science Standards Elementary Writing Team, as well as on the Diversity & Equity Team. Drawing upon that work, she has put together this seven-step framework for engaging ELLs and for developing language with the NGSS and shows how to use it with a science lesson about sound.

We’d like to start off the new year by sharing an example for developing text dependent questions for ELLs in the middle grades. We have selected a 6th-8th grade exemplar text in the category of Informational Texts: Science, Mathematics and Technology titled “The Evolution of the Grocery Bag” by Henry Petroski.

In this blog post written for Colorín Colorado, Rhode Island administrator and WIDA trainer Julie Motta walks through a read-aloud activity for first grade and highlights how she engaged the students with the story, brought in content-area connections, and included informal assessment to check comprehension.

In our last post, we shared information about the new Teaching Channel ELL video series based on Academic Conversations (2011) by Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford. This week we’d like to delve deeper into these resources and provide strategies for building the oral language skills of ELLs across content areas that are framed around four practices.

Following our recent series on using Socratic seminars with English language learners to build oral language skills, we learned about an exciting new video series from the Teaching Channel focused on academic conversations with ELLs featuring…you guessed it!  A Socratic seminar.

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