ED 481D / ED 581D ELL Methods

Instructor: Susan F. Alford, M.S.

Semester: Spring

Course Description

This course focuses on exploring instructional methods and materials to teach English Language Learners (ELL). Methods and materials will be evaluated for age appropriateness and cultural sensitivity.

Required Textbooks

·         Suzanne F. Peregoy and Owen F. Boyle (2001), Reading, Writing & Learning in ESL. Longman (4rd ed.)

Class Schedule





Learning Objectives


Course Introduction



·         Understand the requirements in the syllabus.

·         Introduce yourself to the class and instructor.


Bilingual Education



·         Discuss the concerns teachers have as they first encounter students new to English in their classrooms.

·         Identify who makes up the English Language Learner group of students

·         Discuss how culture and language affects student learning in second language learners.

·         Create learning activities for the classroom that can ease newcomers into the routines of the class when they understand very little English.

·         Identify current educational policy trend which affect English learners.

·         Evaluate bilingual program models that are currently used to meet the needs of English Language Learners.


Second Language Acquisition



·         Identify the main characteristics of a language.

·         Define language proficiency and communicative competence.

·         Discuss how language serves as a symbol & instrument of power, social standing, and personal identity.

·         Chart the 3 main theories of first language acquisition and second language acquisition.

·         Identify the factors that affect second language acquisition.

·         Identify the important social, emotional, cultural, and educational factors that influence English learners’ language acquisition experience in school.


Classroom Practices



·           The student will analyze a classroom case study diagramming the main highlights of a thematic unit presentation.

·           The student will be able to identify what sheltered instruction is and how it is organized and delivered effectively for beginning and intermediate English Language Learners.

·           The student will be able to describe a “community of learners” philosophy of classroom instruction and identify what characteristics are part of this type of learning group.

·           The student will participate in a sheltered instruction learning activity in literature and will identify the learning components of this activity.

·           The student will use the “Effective Learner Instruction Checklist” as a observation tool in an observation activity in an ESL classroom.

·           The student will be able to identify the main characteristics of a thematic unit by concept mapping a classroom case study of how teacher uses a thematic unit and by designing a thematic unit for an ESL classroom.


Thematic Unit



·        The student will be able to list and describe the steps of thematic unit planning after reading and discussion of the handouts and articles.

·        The student will be able to discuss the purpose of theme-based unit planning and will be able to determine why it is a benefit to Second Language Learners.

·        The student will become familiar with and use the sheltered instruction ideas for ELL lesson planning within a content subject area.

·        The student will be able to locate and plan lessons with objectives generated from the Nebraska State Standards (LEARNS) and the K-12 Guidelines for English Language Proficiency (www.nde.state.ne.us/NATLORIGIN/images/Writing), combining both content objectives with language objectives.

·        The student will become familiar with the parts of the OM4A ESL-friendly lesson template and will be able to write a lesson plan based on that model.

·        The student will choose a thematic unit topic and brainstorm a concept map of possible lesson topics that would fit within the theme.

·        Using the model provided, the student will plan a thematic unit on a chosen content area subject with at least 8 lesson plans and with language objectives incorporated into each lesson.


CREDE Five Standards of Effective Pedagogy



·         Watch each video clip from each of the Five Standards of Effective Pedagogy and read the accompanying description of each standard.

·         Read and discuss the main ideas in each of the Five Standards.

·         Reflect on how each of these standards can be used in a mainstream classroom which has ELL students in it.


Listening & Oral Language



·         Provide a rationale for integrating the language arts (listening, speaking, reading and writing) in your classroom instruction.

·         Explain interrelationships among listening, speaking, reading and writing.

·         Discuss Halliday's functions of oral language and identify classroom activities that integrate each of these language functions into daily classroom routines.

·         Describe general oral language characteristics of beginning and intermediate English language learners, providing examples of their speech that illustrate these levels.

·         Describe at least three classroom activities that provide functional and fun oral language use.

·         Explain the cognitive-linguistic demands of mathematics, science and social studies and offer strategies to help students learn the language and content specific to these subjects.

·         Explain how to use the Student Oral Language Matrix for evaluating a student's second language oral proficiency.

·         Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of checklists and anecdotal observations for documenting English learners' oral language growth.


Emergent Literacy



·         Explain how the emergent literacy and reading readiness perspectives have influenced classroom practices in reading and writing instruction.

·         Describe various functions and forms of print that children begin to explore and understand in the early years of schooling.

·         Discuss similarities and differences between first and second language learners in the acquisition of English literacy.

·         Explain how home environments, including those in which a language other than English is spoken, can nurture literacy development.

·         Describe and use a variety of classroom strategies to promote emergent literacy development.

·         Describe and use a variety of instructional strategies that explicitly teach children how to recognize and spell words.

·         Describe and use a variety of techniques for evaluating children's early reading and writing development.





·         Describe the writing process and explain why it is a promising way to teach writing to second language writers.

·         Prepare students to work in writing response groups and assist them with responding to one another's writing.

·         Describe and design two activities appropriate for beginning level writers.

·         Describe and design two activities appropriate for intermediate level writers.

·         Assist students with strategies for revising papers.

·         Assist students with strategies for editing papers.

·         Assist students with preparing papers for publication.

·         Collect and analyze writing samples from an English learner over a period of a semester. Describe growth using the traits shown in Table 6.4, "Writing Traits Matrix," on p. 224.

·         Work with students on the errors they make in writing. P. 262 #1


Literature & Reading



·         Describe what research has to say about second language reading processes.

·         Explain the role of background knowledge in readers' comprehension of texts.

·         Discuss how cultural knowledge and experience may play a part in reading.

·         Describe a proficient reader's reading process.

·         Define metacognition and explain its role in proficient reading comprehension.

·         Explain the importance of literature response groups for second language learners and explain how to prepare students for successful work in these groups.

·         Define extensive and intensive reading, and explain how each one helps promote language and reading acquisition for English language learners.

·         Describe at least three different literature strategies for beginning and intermediate English language learners.

·         Describe three informal processes for assessing second language readers' progress.


Content Reading



·         Explain what research has to say about content instruction for English learners.

·         Explain the difference between efferent and aesthetic reading purposes.

·         Explain the importance and function of pre-reading strategies.

·         Describe at least two pre-reading activities and explain how they might assist a reader in a specific content are

·         Describe how you would help students learn to use text information to create questions of their own.

·         Describe how you might use learning logs in a specific content area and explain why learning logs might be used effectively for learning in this particular subject.

·         Select two during-reading strategies and explain how you would use them with English language learners.

·         Explain the importance of text structure in reading comprehension.

·         Describe how you might evaluate students’ interactions with a text.


Vocabulary Instruction



·         Explain the importance of post-reading activities for your students' learning.

·         Describe techniques for teaching vocabulary to second language learners.

·         Explain how graphic/visual techniques can enhance student learning in your content area.

·         Describe the valuable use of various journals in content area postreading.

·         Explain how to structure collaborative research projects in which English learners use oral and written language to extend content area learning.

·         Use the KWL-Plus strategy to assist your students with content area learning.

·         Describe the components of a theme study and develop a theme unit based on the components. Explain why each component helps English language learners in comprehending and learning the material.

·         Describe multiple measures of assessment you can use with English language learners to evaluate their language, literacy and content learning.





·         Describe the relationships among listening, speaking, reading, writing, and assessment for English language learners.

·         Describe the process of reading in English.

·         Conduct an informal reading inventory to assess an intermediate level English learner's reading performance.

·         Discuss in detail the strengths and weaknesses of evaluating an English learner's reading performance in terms of the three levels: frustration level, instructional level, and independent level.

·         Describe and be able to implement a guided reading lesson based on a particular text you have chosen that addresses the needs of a particular group of English learners.

·         Explain the rationale and procedures for using ReQuest and Read Alouds with English learners.

·         Explain the essential importance of silent sustained reading to promote language and reading development for English language learners.


Final Project Peer Review



·         The student will post one lesson from the final unit project on the discussion board for peer review.

·         The student will interact with other class members on their lesson plan submission and give input based on what they have learned in the course materials.


Final Project Submission



·         The Student will demonstrate the use of effective ELL strategies and techniques by completing an ELL-Unit with both content and language objectives.

·         The Student will be able to reflect on what “ingredients” are necessary for English Language Learners to become more proficient in English.