2 Replies Latest reply: Nov 14, 2010 4:56 PM by Imme RSS

How to Balance for Secondary ELLs

Imme New User
Currently Being Moderated



I've been teaching ELL in grades 7-12 for quite awhile now (ie 17 years), and I still struggle with the tug and pull for ELLs at this level.  By that I mean that while these students obviously must learn English, at the same time, they must learn the content area of their grade level so as to be successful in the future in school.  But they have to learn English.  But they have to learn the science, math, social studies, PE, etc. too.


Can someoe please give me some way to figure out this dilemna.  It's also more complicated now with AYP, standardized tests, etc.  They have to take those too, even though they may not yet know English (some will let them take the tests in their native language).


Or is there a balance even???? 


I thank you in advice for your kind advice.


Oh, and a welcome center for brand new ELL's is out of the question. No appropriate property nor funds to do so now (which I've been hearing for 17 years!).




  • How to Balance for Secondary ELLs
    mso Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Imme,

    Great question...one that I, too, have grappled with...

    What I started doing on the middle school level, is to have a monthly content area focus...

    Example...November ties in well with Social Studies - elections, democracy, pilgrims and Thanksgiving, Emancipation Proclamation...US government, etc...

    Depending on grade level and abilitiy level of students, I modify content accordingly...

    Please check resources/documents that I just posted.


    I then dedicate, another month to social studies, 2 months to science topics, 1 for math, 1 for world cultures (usually Dec. and tie in with holidays), 2 for reading and literature, 1 for writing and grammar, and 1 for general/common vocabulary development...


    For elementary grades it means breaking the year into time frames and covering grade level content area topics during each unit/set of weeks...I coordinate this with school curriculum and grade level teachers...


    That is the reason I have created monthly focus/discussion topics, for us to share content area material and suggestions...

    Hope this helps...


    • How to Balance for Secondary ELLs
      Imme New User
      Currently Being Moderated



      That makes so much sense, except with all the standardized testing we're getting (*jammed down our throats* ahem) I think it would be hard to cover enough contact area information in 2 months for them to do well on the tests (but that's a bit self-defeating for my non-English students).



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