English Language Learners is a term that I have just recently became aware of. I do not know a lot about English Language Learners; the one thing that I believe I know is that English Language Learners primary language is not English. I hope to expand my knowledge on English Language Learners and really understand how to accommodate them in the classroom and in general. I have never had any teaching experience with English Language Learners or student connections. The closet thing I have to having a connection to it is one of my friends I had growing up. My friends’ primary language was Portuguese and, in her home, her entire family spoke Portuguese. Vanessa (my friend) did have trouble in school for some time while she was still trying to learn the language.
That is the only connection I have ever had that is remotely close to English Language Learners. I believe that English Language Learners need their teachers to be supportive, understanding, and patient. If teachers are supportive of their ELL student it will help the child to have a good self-esteem and let them feel that they are doing well. I also feel that it would be beneficial for the teacher to be understanding of the child and to know that they may need a little extra help. Providing that the teacher is understanding of the child I believe that will help the child be more confident in themselves to be able to try and make mistakes, knowing that it is okay.
Finally, I imagine that a teacher being patient with an English Language Learner will be valuable for the student. For the student knowing that their teacher is patient with them will help the student know that the teacher is there to help and support them. The best way to teach English Language Learners in my opinion is using visuals. I believe that using visuals in the lesson or instruction is beneficial for them. Having a picture or graphic will help the student understand and aid in helping the English Language Learners to associate the word or phrase to a picture.
Along with using visuals, I think that by imitating/ modeling instructions would also be helpful to English Language Learners. Since if they do not understand the actual words they can at least see a demonstration of what they need to complete. If I had an English Language Learner in my classroom I would want them to feel at ease and self-assured. My question is geared towards that goal. It is, how to best accommodate English Language Learner and make them feel comfortable and confident in the classroom? This question actually stems from one of my fears about teaching an English Language Learner. I want all of my future students to feel that they belong and believe in themselves; and I am worried that I will not be able to accomplish that.
So, my fear and question go hand in hand. I am afraid that my English Language Learner will not feel welcomed and confident in themselves. The expectation I will have for any future English Language Learner I teach is that to try. That is all I ask is to try; I do not care if it takes them a couple of times to understand or to complete something, as long as they put in effort and try. Another expectation I will have for an English Language Learner is to never give up, which goes along with the first one. I just want them to be able to believe in themselves and I think by never giving up and continuing to try helps achieve that. An expectation I will have for myself as a teacher is to help and support my student in whichever way they need.
I feel like these expectations are realistic and reachable. Overall, I hope that I get to learn more about English Language Learners and how to accommodate them as a teacher. I feel that I will learn this and broaden my horizons all at the same time.