Five Things I've Learned In My First Month Teaching ELLs
I teach in a small, rural Massachusetts school district. Which maybe, might, sort of, explain why this is the first year I have ELL students in my classroom. We’re only a month in, yet figuring out how to teach and support these students has been one of the highlights of my career. Here are five things I’ve learned so far:
Imagine being 15 years old, moving to a new country where you don’t speak the language under traumatic circumstances, and then being plopped in a health class. Start from that place of empathy.
Google Translate isn’t perfect but it’s better than nothing. Use it. And put it in your email signature.
Students can translate easily in Chrome (but the translation doesn’t seem to work well in Google Slides).
You are an adult, the burden is on you to learn about the student’s home country and culture. And you can also ask questions to build rapport and connection.
Slow down. Speak clearly. Embrace wait time.