In this post, we’ll share four classroom games that we also find effective in teaching vocabulary to English Language Learners.
Nine Box Grid
We use this simple game, which we learned and modified from English teacher Katie Toppel, a lot. As you can see from the image, it’s just a matter of putting nine words (or, when we teach phonics, letters) on a numbered three-by-three grid (for a total of nine boxes/spaces) on the class whiteboard.
Unfortunately, teachers may only be given the textbook without any professional development or additional curriculum resources. It can be challenging, especially for newer teachers, to figure out how to use the textbook to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students who may be at different levels of English proficiency. It can also be difficult if the textbook is outdated or not well-designed in terms of instructional practice.
What is a teacher and, particularly a teacher of English Language Learner, supposed to do to be effective and maintain his/her sanity?
Here are four ways I try to do both:
When I was beginning to learn Spanish, there was nothing scarier than trying to communicate in that language to a proficient speaker, nothing more satisfying than when I felt understood, and nothing as deflating as being met with a blank stare.
Here are four ways I encourage my Beginning English Language Learner students to speak English:
1. Use the English Central website
Personally, I just view it as a teacher systematically putting a simplified version of the Scientific Method to use in his/her classroom:
- Formulate a hypothesis
- Analyze the data collected from the experiment.
- Form a Conclusion
Of course, teachers - and everybody else - apply this method constantly, ranging from how we shoot basketballs to how we bake a cake. Teacher Action Research, however, puts it into action in a little more formalized way.
Yes, having engaging lessons is an important element of good overall classroom management, but it's not enough.
We live in the world as it is, and not as we'd like it to be. No matter how good of a teacher you are, not every lesson is going to be engaging to every student. Not only might the content or the process not hit the mark, but our students experience stress both inside and outside of school that affects how they see and act in the world - just as we all do.
I describe it as the ability to seek-out, elicit, and consider different information and various perspectives of situations, fairly weigh the evidence on all sides and how it all connects to existing background knowledge, and then use that process to come to an independent conclusion.
Carol Dweck, the psychologist well-known for her work on a growth mindset suggests that creating opportunities for students to clearly see for themselves the growth in their own knowledge can help give them a
Researchers typically divide goals into two types - learning goals (also known as mastery goals) and performance goals. Learning goals are motivated by a desire to increase one's skills and ability in an area or in accomplishing a task, while performance goals tend to be more motivated by a desire for recognition - from friends, teachers, or family - and a competitive desire to "be better" than others.