Oral language development

4E) Academic and content-specific words

Select commonly used academic words (e.g., observe, demonstrate, cycle, evaluate, conflict, etc.) and content-specific words or phrases (e.g., energy, habitat, food chain, law, freedom) from texts/unit of study and incorporate them into instruction.

Strategy Overview: Fractions, Factors, and Functions, Oh My! Are My ELs Attaching Meaning to Math Words?

This guide helps teachers plan meaningful activities to make math accessible, hands-on, build on students' prior knowledge, and be language-focused. In these resources, teachers can read about the dos and don'ts of math vocabulary instruction for Multilingual Learners.
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Strategy Overview: Amplify and Facilitate Student Learning about Language

Attention and practice in the language of math is a critical part of instruction for Multilingual Learners. In these resources, teachers can read about the dos and don'ts of math instruction for Multilingual Learners.
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Video: Juicy Sentence Example with Butterflies (K)

This video is an example of a teacher facilitating a "juicy sentence" discussion with a group of kindergarteners learning about butterflies. The juicy sentence strategy helps Multilingual Learners access complex text through the study of a mentor sentence.
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Strategy Overview: Selecting and Using Academic Vocabulary in Instruction

This document reviews criteria for how to select academic vocabulary for instruction with Multilingual Learners and offers other supports for vocabulary instruction.
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Strategy Overview: Juicy Sentence Guidance

This document reviews a strategy to help Multilingual Learners access complex text through the study of a mentor sentence. After selecting a "juicy" sentence, the teacher facilitates explicit discussion about the language structure, word choice, and layers of meaning found in the example.
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Strategy Overview: Graphic Organizers (Spanish)


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Website: Teacher Interactions and Strategies to Support Speaking for Dual Language Learners

This resource provides a list of strategies that teachers can use to support Multilingual Learners’ speaking skills. For example: Repeating and elaborating on children’s talk, reinforcing words from the unit of study, using visual cues and gestures, and providing MLs with more time to process speech.
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Webinar: Supporting Dual Language Learners in the PreK Classroom

In this webinar, presenters discuss several strategies for supporting Multilingual Learners’ oral language and literacy development. Strategies include gathering information on children’s language and cultural background from families and talking with them about their language and learning goals for their children. Presenters also discuss how to display labels and functional print in multiple languages in the classroom, select content-specific words from texts and incorporate them into instruction, incorporate songs, and engage in interactive reading.
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Video: Draw & Label Strategy- 3rd grade

In this demonstration of the "Draw & Label" strategy, the teacher teaches academic and content vocabulary while drawing and creating a language resource for the Multilingual Learners in the class. This resource helps them engage with and practice content area vocabulary and concepts in multiple modalities.
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Video: Dialogic Reading Strategy- 2nd grade

The teacher demonstrates how multiple interactive reads of a key content-based text supports the literacy, oral language, and vocabulary development of the Multilingual Learners in the class. She explains academic and content-specific words and structures opportunities for students to elaborate on their thinking.
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Video: Dialogic Reading Strategy- Kindergarten

The teacher demonstrates how multiple interactive reads of a key content-based text supports the literacy and English language development of the Multilingual Learners in the class. She explains and reinforces target words and provides explicit instruction on book concepts and vocabulary.
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Video: Draw & Label Strategy- Kindergarten

In this demonstration of the "Draw & Label" strategy, the teacher teaches academic and content vocabulary while drawing and creating a language resource for the Multilingual Learners in the class. This resource helps them engage with and practice content area vocabulary and concepts in multiple modalities.
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Video: Shared Research Project- 1st grade

In this video, the teacher provides guidance on how to conduct research projects with Multilingual Learners to investigate a topic in which children are interested. The shared research project provides a hands-on, inquiry-based experience to help give content meaning and develop academic language and literacy skills.
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Video: Shared Research Project- 3rd grade

In this video, the teacher provides guidance on how to conduct research projects with Multilingual Learners to investigate a topic children are interested in. The shared research project provides a hands-on, inquiry-based experience to help give content meaning and develop academic language and literacy skills.
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Video: Integrated Thematic Unit- 3rd grade

This video provides a rich opportunity to look inside a classroom and note the intentional supports for English language and literacy development embedded in a thematic unit of study. The teacher implements a Daily 5 structure, which allows Multilingual Learners to learn both academic language and content across multiple modalities and learning activities.
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Video: Transfer and Integrated ELD in a Bilingual Classroom

The teacher in this bilingual classroom makes an intentional plan to develop literacy and oral language skills in two languages. She begins content instruction in Spanish to strengthen Multilingual Learners' understanding of key concepts, and then purposefully transitions to an integrated ELD block to offer speaking and writing practice in English.
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Video: Integrated & Designated ELD- Kindergarten

In this integrated ELD video, the teacher focuses on developing the academic English language that Multilingual Learners need to access content instruction. She uses chants, repetition, small group instruction, and numerous other supports.
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Strategy Overview: Vocabulary in Context

This resource introduces teachers to all of the ways that vocabulary can be introduced, reinforced, and practiced across multiple lessons and activities. This helps Multilingual Learners learn key academic and content words in context.
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Strategy Overview: Graphic Organizers

A graphic organizer is a visual map or diagram that displays relationships between facts, concepts, or ideas. For Multilingual Learners, this kind of visual display of information can lessen cognitive load and support transfer of knowledge across languages.
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Strategy Overview: Draw and Label

The teacher talks about a content concept while drawing and labeling an image with academic vocabulary. Through this strategy, the teacher uses oral and visual cues to help students develop and practice the language in context and learn key content.
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Video: Engaging Children with Text & Narrative

This video highlights the ways which books and texts can support literacy and oral language development for Multilingual Learners. For example, educators discuss how to introduce and explain new vocabulary words before, during, and after reading.
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Template: Personalized Oral Language Learning (POLL) Planning Grid

This resource provides a Personalized Oral Language Learning (POLL) planning grid template. The planning grid includes spaces for teachers to select words or phrases from a text and to plan on how they will use and reinforce the target words.
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Sample: Personalized Oral Language Learning (POLL) Planning Grid

This resource provides an example of a completed Personalized Oral Language Learning (POLL) planning grid. In this planning grid, the teacher has selected target words and has planned how to reinforce target words by using them throughout the day and across contexts.
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Video: Personalized Oral Language Learning (POLL) Using Planning Tools and Strategies

This video explains how to support Multilingual Learners’ oral language development by using a vocabulary planning document and a Personalized Oral Language Learning (POLL) planning grid. These tools help teachers select target words or phrases from a text and reinforce them throughout the day.
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Video: Intentional Message

In these videos, a teacher explains how to create an intentional message to use with Multilingual Learners. The intentional message helps teachers reinforce target words while they interact with children.
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Video: Anchor Texts

In these videos, teachers discuss the importance of having an anchor text and using target words throughout the day. The videos also show how to engage in interactive reading and explain vocabulary words before, during, or after reading.
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