Problem: i need to adjust lesson activities to accommodate english language learners (ells), but often i
don’t know where to start. How do i meet the needs of
ells while addressing cultural or affective concerns?
Here’s a solution: adapt-a-Strategy is a free resource
on the TeachersFirst website (www.teachersfirst.
com/content/esl/ adaptstrat.cfm) that lists 19 typical
classroom activities and explains how to adapt each
for english language learners. Click on the links to
each activity to read short explanations about the
needs of ells and find educator-reviewed tools
and resources to meet those needs.
Planning to give a weekly vocabulary quiz? Find
resources and tools to adapt it—or have your ells
adapt it for themselves. reading literature? Find ways
to make it meaningful for your ells by using audio
resources and literature alternatives. reviewing for a
test? Click for suggested study-aid creators. Other
activities to adapt at a click include research, current
events, spelling tests, and reciting or performing
plays. Most, if not all, of the activities in adapt-a-
Strategy will be familiar to you. Many teachers do
them automatically. But the adaptations mentioned
might help you stop, think, and discover tech tools
and resources to ensure ell success.
Adapt-a-Strategy Helps Make Familiar Lessons Work for ELL Students
Candace Hackett Shively has explored and shared technology finds during many years teaching in Ohio and Pennsylvania, USA. She is director of K– 12 Initiatives at the nonprofit The Source for Learning’s TeachersFirst website. She blogs about eaching, creativity, and technology at blog.teachersfirst.com/ thinkteach and is one of the organizers of the new ISTE Special Interest Group for Educational Technology Coaches.
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