Differentiating Instruction: A Guide for Teaching English-Language Learners

Differentiating Instruction: A Guide for Teaching English-Language Learners

November 26, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


– Teaching for English language learners is good teaching for everybody. – It is definitely about building their literacy skills but also their confidence. I have a range of students from beginners to high intermediate students. So I use the inductive strategy because it can meet the needs of everyone. Yes, making connections because
she said the word, remember. This makes me remember. – The goal is to make the lesson
accessible to all students. Wanna see my picture? (cross-talking) You do like or you don’t like my picture? – [Student] I don’t like. – Aw, that makes me feel sad. Background knowledge is not just what students bring to the class, what they’ve learned previously. It’s also providing students
with the information they need to be able to
access an upcoming lesson. Also, the students in my class actually speak three or more languages. Okay, English just doesn’t happen to be one of them yet,
so they’re learning. Write it, yeah, in your lan– in Pashto or in Farsi. – Fair is not equal, you know. And it’s true, if with
differentiation too. I mean, not everybody will
get the same exact text or use the same strategy, but it’s fair because you’re meeting every
student where they are, and we’re helping them
progress to the next level. Okay. – [Student] We don’t like it. – Sometimes I pair students
by same proficiency. Other times I might choose
a more difficult text but pair my beginners with a
higher proficiency student. – [Student] Red tile, middle
school the worst years. – An easy way to differentiate is to have put videos at slower speeds. It’s not just a list of strategies that comes out of within
relationships of students. When I was first starting
Spanish, I was very scared. Being a environment where
students are going to risk. Where people are gonna
have a sense of humor. There’s 2/3, it’s two, four. I teach English, not math, two, four. – I think of differentiation more like a mindset, than on
Tuesday I differentiate. You’re constantly thinking how do I make this accessible to everyone? All right, last step.