Effective Classroom Experiences For English Language Learners

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Situation: A new teacher in my school is trying to create effective classroom experiences for English Language Learners (ELLs) and has asked for my help. Language Acquisition Theories: A great way to begin learning how to effectively educate ELLs is to ask for the help of a mentor teacher. According to Peregoy and Boyle (2008), there are many things yet to learn about second language acquisition and even the experts disagree on some aspects, however there are three prevailing theories that all ELL teachers should consider when developing an effective classroom experience for their students (p. 46). The Behaviorist Theory, as explained by Peregoy and Boyle (2008), emphasizes that children learn language due to stimulus, response and reinforcement (p. 46). For example, when my children were young, I would point to an object, say the name of the object and wait for each of them to repeat what I had said. This worked well for objects that are found readily in our home, such as ball, towel, chair, etc. Teachers have used these same strategies in the classroom by using taped conversations and videos that students are able to memorize which is called the audiolingual method. After memorizing the dialogue students verb forms and sentence structures. Errors are always corrected immediately, so students do not form bad habits. Although some merit can be found within the Behaviorist Theory, it does little to help one understand how children are able to create original
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