Ideas for a Class Full of English Language Learners

English: Sign Language Alphabet Fast

English: Sign Language Alphabet Fast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Question:
After the first week of school the English as a Second Language teachers came to tell me 17/18 of my students qualify for ESOL, with about 8 different languages and countries. Any tips how to teach to an inclusive ESOL?
Do a lot of visuals. I used to have a class like that. I taught letter sounds using a hand gesture to represent each sound/letter. Example “d” we pretended to knock on a door while saying the letter sound.
 Do as Jodi says and be ready for the best year ever!!!
Lots of word walls! Include as many pics as possible. I had another teacher teach sigh language with letter names and sounds, for the visual and kinesthetic learners.
 WOW!!! I thought I had it rough I have 19 students and 2 ELL kids… I am using pictures and sign language also! Good luck…
 Use picture cues to show what to do at centers–I have a small metal bucket (check the dollar spot at your favorite discount retailer) with a star painted on it for each center. The picture cues are laminated and mounted on magnets, and the first cue is always on the star. Allows them to work independently and follow multi-step directions!
 I have mostly ESOL children as well. Lots of modeling and visuals, and tons of patience. Try and integrate key vocabulary into everything you’re doing to help them develop the language.
 I’ve done it for the last 9 years. I found teaching sign language with picture cards with words & signs on the cards is the best way to do it. I have music for every transition so kids know what is next. My schedule is very rigid so they always know what to expect. Working with parents I usually have a small class picnic at the beginning of the year, parents never have to enter the school so it is more inviting to them and not as threatening. It’s the best experience!
Be patient and try to make the environment as safe and nonthreatening as possible when doing language activities. Try to find little ways to connect everyone, like humor or cool science experiments…
 Google SIOP
 Lots of ‘whole language’ & pictures, smile it will be amazing! I had 12 languages and 15 students. It was a very quiet fall, after Christmas they were all jabbering.
Use lots of pictures!
 Tons of pictures, acting out things, body movements, and being silly!! If the kids are having fun and feeling comfortable, learning will take place.
 Lots of pictures (I have done google image searches for about anything, I include the words clip art if I want a non real pic). Tons of songs. A very routine classroom so kids know what’s coming and going. It will be fun!
Label (word) everything in your room and visit each one as often as you can. Like everyone else says, pictures….It can be somewhat overwhelming at times, but just focus on the children and what they need. What an amazingly fun, challenging year ahead of you! You’ll do just fine….believe.
Thanks for all your advice! A lot of people mentioned transition songs throughout the day. Any great resources to find them?
Great ideas, I’m also new to ESOL/ELL
Visuals and music!
 Harry kindergarten on Youtube…

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