What To Do With Only an Hour and a Half Week? That Depends

By Suzanne Irujo, ELL Outlook™ Contributing Writer

A reader sent in a question that will be familiar to anyone who has ever taught ESL in a pull-out situation (or in a push-in situation if it is not truly an integrated team-teaching model). She taught grades K through 5 in two different schools, and had an average of 45 minutes two times a week to spend with each class. She wanted to know if there was any advice I could give her about the most important things she should be doing with the limited time she had with her students.

Well, as with so many complex issues, the answer to her question is, “That depends.”

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Why Can’t Teachers Just Teach in a Way Kids Can Understand? Suggestions for Teaching Main Ideas

By Jeanette Gordon, ELL Outlook™ Contributing Writer

As an educational consultant, I am forever indebted to Miguel. The first time I met him was at a Summer Olympic-type athletic competition for migrant students. I was teaching high school ESL, and he was in the eighth grade. It was evident that he had been drinking alcohol before coming to the event, and it was even more evident that his teacher, at least a foot shorter than he was and somewhat intimidated, had just about had enough of him. She told me Miguel couldn’t read or write in Spanish or English and that his discipline was terrible. She advised that I refer him for special education right away because he was “worse” than his brother. I had his brother, a 20-year-old diagnosed as Educable Mentally Handicapped. After challenging adjustments for both of us, he was making exciting progress.

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What Teachers Need to Know, and Be Able to Do, About Norm-Referenced Tests

By Natalie Kuhlman, Ph.D., ELL Outlook™ Contributing Writer

“How do I make decisions based on this test?” is a common demand among teachers in general, and even more so among teachers of English language learners (ELLs). Many teachers of ELLs may wonder what the tests they are required to administer are measuring: an ELL’s English language proficiency? Academic achievement in a specific subject area? Something else? Furthermore, teachers want to know how, if at all, the results of standardized norm-referenced tests should affect their curriculum decisions and teaching methods.

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