Teaching English Language Learners

What are some quick tips for teaching students who are English Language Learners (ELLs?)

Resource: Tip sheet: Teaching English Language Learners by Tracey McConnery, Manager, English Programs & International Student Services

  • Here are 10 quick tips and check out the tip sheet for more information on each tip.
  1. Get to know your students
  2. Honour the silent period
  3. Simplify your language without “dumbing it down”
  4. Increase wait times
  5. Provide students with frequent opportunities to work together
  6. Use non-linguistic cues
  7. Pre-teach whenever possible
  8. Modeling
  9. When possible, allow chances for feedback and revisions
  10. Check for understanding

Resource: Teaching International Students: Pedagogical Issues and Strategies from the Center for Research on Teaching and Learning at the University of Michigan

  • In this user-friendly resource, explore issues and strategies for teaching international students. Topics include bridging differences in background knowledge and classroom practice, teaching non-native speakers of English, improving climate, and promoting academic integrity.

Resource: Teaching International Students by Humber College

  • This site has a collection of videos with common questions about teaching international students

What resources do you recommend for a deep dive?

  • CAST’s one hour webinar, Teaching ELLs: UDL Strategies that Work! is a useful place for context about how to apply a UDL approach to teaching ELLs. Some of the content isn’t specific to higher ed, but it has some useful context and strategies that could be applied.
  • CAST’s one hour webinar, Cultural Variability, provides an introduction to cultural variability vs. cultural diversity and how those two important concepts impact teaching and learning. This is led by Loui Lord Nelson and Joni Degner. Also, you can access the presentation slides here.