Strategies for Supporting Newcomers to English

How can I group students so that a newcomer is successful?

Like all students, newcomers should work with a variety of students and groups throughout the day. The teacher should use different groupings strategically for different purposes. Here are some ways:

  • Group students so that they are only one English language acquisition level apart. Anita Archer recommends this strategy so that the child with the more emerging English language acquisition level has a peer model, but not one that will likely dominate the conversation. Sometimes grouping a newcomer with a student who is already proficient in English results in the proficient speaker dominating the conversation, and the newcomer ends up speaking even less.

  • Group students with other Emerging students. This gives students an opportunity to participate without a proficient speaker taking over.

  • Group the newcomer with bilingual students who speak the same language as the newcomer. This allows for the group peers to help the newcomer interpret the English into the primary language. It also gives them an opportunity to make sense of the English input by discussing the topic in their common primary language.

What strategies can I use to scaffold lessons for a newcomer?

sentence frames, visuals, Total Physical Response, color coding, primary language support, contextualized definitions, etc. Here are some additional examples.

What assessment can I use to diagnose what the newcomer needs to acquire English efficiently?

To assess a newcomer’s language needs in English, the student be given the ADEPT test to diagnose what needs to be taught. Once the teacher has the results of the ADEPT test, they can use this document to find lessons for each skill identified on the ADEPT test. Of course any skill that is at their grade level should be taught in tier one, but any skill that is below their grade level can serve to catch their English language acquisition up to their peers. You can also find these resources from the portal. Go to:

  1. staff portal
  2. Teacher Tools
  3. Common Core
  4. Language Standards (Don’t scroll down to a grade level, just click where it says just, “Language Standards.”)
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click, correlation to the ADEPT test.

How can I communicate with the child if I do not speak the child’s primary language and the child is not understanding my English?

If communication in English is not working and the teacher does not speak the student’s primary language, Google Translate can really help. The teacher can use their voice to talk directly into a device or type into the device, and Google Translate will translate it into the desired language. Conversely, the student can talk or type into the device, and Google Translate will translate the student’s input into English. Your site’s Digital Learning Coach can support you in learning how to use this tool.

How can I support students in accessing the general academic words taught in the vocabulary program?

If the student speaks Spanish, the teacher can use the Spanish cognates slides for their grade level that go with the vocabulary programs. This will help Spanish speaking students unlock prior knowledge that will support them in learning the English words. Click here for the list of Spanish cognates for Kindergarten, for 1st grade, for 2nd grade, for 3rd grade,for 4th grade, for 5th grade, or for 6th grade.

What software can support the newcomer in learning English?

Rosetta Stone can support a newcomer in learning English.

Strategies for Supporting Newcomers to English Was Last Modified: August 12, 2019