A Book to Help ELLs and Their Teachers Thrive

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( Since this is starting to look like an evaluation, heres my complete disclosure: In the past I have written for Larry Ferlazzos EdWeek blog site and appeared on his podcast.).

Nor is it an in-depth treatise on second language acquisition, ENL pedagogical research, or ELL population growth. The book works hard to provide you the best and brightest of this details, but its genuine richness lies somewhere else. (As it turns out, however, this concision results in numerous brief photocopy-worthy sections that might be shared fruitfully with any associate.).

Who is the ideal audience? Its crucial to understand that this is mostly a book by secondary ENL practitioners for secondary ENL professionals– something you may not always glean from the title. While the requirements of elementary and adult learners are dealt with in smaller subsections, the large bulk of this resource is planned for middle and high school ENL students and ENL/ELL/ESL teachers.

After a stint in the non-profit sector, I remain in my 3rd year back in school with ENL kids. I d forgotten how much I like them– and, it turns out, I needed a refresher on a lot of ENL content.

The first area, “Getting Started,” covers both the basics of the broader ENL landscape and the ideal ENL class with effectiveness and grace. Its “3 Rs” for the effective ENL class– resources, relationships, and regimens– are solid gold, and walk their talk by instantly offering concrete practices and procedures for all three.

The 2nd section addresses what may be the most immediate question of all for an ENL instructor: “What do I do if my student doesnt speak any English?” Here the book not only gives you all the crucial elements of a curriculum for new language students, it also maps those elements out for you in a design unit strategy. This type of thoroughly practical and neat packaging is among the fantastic strengths of the book. It genuinely is a resource that can help an ENL teacher endure– and even grow.

By working teachers, for working teachers.

This is why two years back, when I was working with K-3 ELL trainees in a co-teaching design, the first edition of this book primarily remained on my bookshelf. Now that Im back in a middle school hybrid ENL design, nevertheless, I found a lots or more suggestions, methods, and lesson ideas in the book that I might take into place tomorrow, literally within just the very first couple of pages.

Go Into Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Hull Sypnieskis The ESL/ELL Teachers Survival Guide, now released in its second edition. It is a beast of a book, clocking in at 552 pages written in six parts and bonus web content. But dont let this discourage you: for the ideal audience, it is a useful and accessible compendium of the deep practical knowledge of these 2 highly knowledgeable educators, plus supporting content from 10 other ENL professionals.

My profession as an ENL instructor has a big pause in the middle. I taught ENL (English as a New Language– New Yorks acronym) in grades 6-8 for almost a years prior to making a second certification in ELA and moving into the mainstream classroom for a while.

The book is also centered nearly totally on what we hire New York State “stand alone instruction”– that is, ENL instruction that is self-contained and/or included in a content-area class directed by a content-area teacher. (On page 419 the authors state plainly, “we have zero experience with co-teaching.”) While the book does talk about other ELL program designs, it does so just briefly.

That the book is written and organized by living, breathing, presently working class teachers who know what other teachers require is evident.

Im still reading!

Its crucial to understand that this is mostly a book by secondary ENL specialists for secondary ENL practitioners– something you may not necessarily obtain from the title. While the requirements of adult and elementary learners are dealt with in smaller subsections, the huge bulk of this resource is meant for middle and high school ENL students and ENL/ELL/ESL teachers.

The book is also focused nearly completely on what we call in New York State “stand alone guideline”– that is, ENL instruction that is self-contained and/or contained in a content-area classroom headed up by a content-area instructor. The very first section, “Getting Started,” covers both the basics of the larger ENL landscape and the perfect ENL classroom with effectiveness and grace. It genuinely is a resource that can help an ENL teacher survive– and even prosper.

Part II of this post, set for May, will cover Sections 3-6 of The ESL/ELL Teachers Survival Guide. Stay tuned!

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