8) Are there additional strategies I can use to support my Multilingual Learners’ English language development (ELD)? 

Multilingual Learners (MLs) often need additional targeted support to help develop English language skills, particularly those who have minimal exposure to English.42 There are many things you can do that include both verbal and non-verbal strategies. Such strategies are important to include in daily teaching because ML children often know things in their home language that they may not yet be able to understand or express in English. Providing non-linguistic cues and specific social-emotional supports can provide a bridge to help them access what they already know in their home language.43 To help support their oral language and literacy development in English, use the following strategies along with the others in this Toolkit (for example, use visual cues as described below when supporting vocabulary instruction as described in Question 4). 

Strategies in action

Evidence-Based Strategies and Resources

 

8A) Use visual cues, gestures, and signals to accompany speech.

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8B) Use instructional tools (e.g., videos, graphic organizers) to develop language in context.

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8C) Teach word learning strategies (e.g., use of context clues, word parts, cognates) to help children learn the meaning of English words.

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8D) Conduct supplemental small group instruction, in the home language and/or English, with ML children of similar proficiency levels to help support content learning.

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8E) Preview concepts in the home language to activate and build background knowledge, prior to teaching new content in English.

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8F) Permit ML children longer wait times to allow them to process speech.

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8G) Introduce longer phrases and sentences and offer less support as ML’s English proficiency grows.

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8H) Talk with ML children one-on-one, providing targeted, language interactions based on their needs.

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8I) Provide children opportunities to work in pairs or small groups with English proficient peers who can serve as language models.

 
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Great Tips

Strategies are interrelated

Individual strategies across the different instructional topics are interconnected and should be implemented together, in a purposeful and connected manner throughout instruction, and not in isolation. Make sure to also consider your classroom or school’s language model when implementing the strategies and adapt accordingly.


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Strategy and Resource Tips - Multilingual Learners Toolkit
 
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