Essay on Building Vocabulary in English Language Learners

1053 Words 5 Pages
Teachers who work with English Language Learners know that academic language takes longer to achieve proficiency in than does conversational language. On average, ELL students need at least two years to achieve conversational language and, five to nine years to develop academic language proficiency. Many English words ELL students are exposed to in school, they have not yet learned or even heard in their first language, which makes transference of knowledge impossible. The vast differences in the ability to use conversational versus academic language can be a hindrance to these students and have lasting effects on their academics and therefore, their lives.
I was interested in finding out how teachers can help ELL students to develop
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It is common strategy to use visual aides with ELL students; graphic organizers are visual aides. More so, they are a visual aide that the student has a hand in creating as they enter information in their own words, this helps to make the link to the information more memorable. A graphic organizer is also an effective study tool for an ESL student. The student can go back to the graphic organizer they created for a particular lesson to review key points and vocabulary, and even use them as they take notes from their texts.
Traditionally, textbooks are written in a compare and contrast format, which is difficult for students that do not know English text to understand. Mastering this can help young learners to comprehend new information and increase vocabulary. When a student’s understanding of academic words increases, so does the likelihood that they will participate in classroom activities. This is an all around positive, as participation improves so will, reading comprehension, social skills/self esteem, and vocabulary base.
Understanding the importance of English text structure with regard to ELL students is vital to helping them understand complicated new information and recall vocabulary. ELL classroom teachers in grades K-3 should understand how important it is for these students to be introduced to informational text early in their academic careers. These types of text structures offer opportunities to not only increase new knowledge and…