Ideas and resources for parents of ESL/ELL students

These reviewed resources offer information so share with parents of ESL/ELL students. Some are resources parents can use at home with children to reinforce language skills. Others include suggested activities ESL/ELL learners can begin in school and share with parents. Be sure to read the "In the Classroom" suggestions for ways these reviewed resources can build language skills both at home and at school.

 

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Elementary School Literacy - Thinkport

Grades
1 to 6
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This wonderful site has an extensive list of free video clips of favorite children's books, author interviews, and author documentaries. Users can open them with Windows Media or Real...more
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This wonderful site has an extensive list of free video clips of favorite children's books, author interviews, and author documentaries. Users can open them with Windows Media or Real Player (the listings tell which one is needed). Some clips offer both options. Get the plug ins from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..This site MUST have a high speed connection! It can be slow to load during "peak" times (11 a.m. to 2 pm Eastern time in the U.S.). Be patient while clips download, even on a peppy network. While the videos are downloading, you may not think anything is happening. TURN OFF your pop-up blocker (including the ones built into the Google and Yahoo toolbars) so you can see the video pop-up windows.

tag(s): literacy (109)

In the Classroom

Preview the video clips before recommending them to students or using in class, since the quality of video and audio varies significantly. None is designed for full screen projection, though some will project about half-screen. Share a partial video with the class or as a center to inspire children to read a book or allow them to watch videos after they have read books. (A Dark, Dark tale would be great for Halloween week). Remember to turn up speakers for group viewing or provide headphones at your center. If you are ready to try podcasting, use these dramatic readings as models for students to record some of their favorite selections as a podcast (and possibly illustrate with student artwork). Share this link with parents on your web page or in your newsletter to encourage reading at home. Most of the books will be in our school library, so students can follow along. School librarians should know about this site as well! ESL students and weaker readers always benefit from listening to different voices read the same story as they follow along.

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Little Critter World Wide Network - Mercer Mayer

Grades
K to 3
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The Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer have more to offer on this site. Listen to the author read stories, join in with sing-alongs (turn up your speakers!), watch ...more
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The Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer have more to offer on this site. Listen to the author read stories, join in with sing-alongs (turn up your speakers!), watch videos of the books, and find games, art, and other activities on this great website. The Interactive Read and Play Ativities and the Sing Along require Shockwave and Flash, but this site has a lot more to offer. Students can also read about the author and even write a letter to Little Critter. This is a great reading reinforcement site!

tag(s): preK (257)

In the Classroom

Select items on this site to use as a center or whole-class activity after you read a Little Critter book to your class. Share this link on your teacher web page and/or in a parent newsletter for those who love these books. ESL students will enjoy listening to having the books read as they follow along on the pages of the book. You will want to be sure that students steer clear of the "store" section where Little Critter items are sold.

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KIDiddles Song Lyrics - KIDiddles

Grades
K to 3
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Find the lyrics to favorite children's songs, ready for you to share in the classroom. Many also have MIDI audio files with them for you to sing along. The indexing ...more
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Find the lyrics to favorite children's songs, ready for you to share in the classroom. Many also have MIDI audio files with them for you to sing along. The indexing is well done with songs organized alphabetically by the first word of the song. There is also a subject index helpful for planning a lesson on a certain theme. You can also search by phrase and more (see the explanation of phrase searching as well as substring matching. Some songs include a suggestion how it might be used: dance, fingerplay, etc. Information about song origin, adaptation, and copyright information is available as well.

tag(s): lyrics (15), songs (44)

In the Classroom

Turn up your speakers, then share this site with the school librarian and parents for great times using songs with fingerplays, dances, and other activities. Sing along as a center by finding a song to fit this week's classroom theme or invent your own class set of words to a familiar tune once your students know the original. Students can write verses, and the entire class create a chorus!

Use songs with elementary ESL/ELL students help perfect pronunciation, intonation, and memory of English phrases. Include this link on your teacher web page for parents to help speech or ESL/ELL students "sing along" at home.

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Colorin Colorado - WETA

Grades
1 to 10
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This totally bilingual website (a collaboration between Reading Rockets and the American Federation of Teachers) is packed with information for both ENL/ESL and regular classroom instructors...more
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This totally bilingual website (a collaboration between Reading Rockets and the American Federation of Teachers) is packed with information for both ENL/ESL and regular classroom instructors about how to encourage reading. Although the focus is on Spanish speaking students, the information is specific and easily adaptable for all reading learners. Lots of information is available on the site concerning not only reading instructional techniques, but building partnerships with families of Hispanic students, placement and assessment, and important authors. Webcast information programs include accompanying reading and discussion questions. This site is a good resource to help meet the needs of increasing numbers of students born speaking other languages. Videos and webcasts reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): hispanic (28), parents (60), reading lists (80), reading strategies (99), spanish (105)

In the Classroom

All classroom teachers who have ENL/ESL students should consider this a primary source of information about how to teach and help second language learners. Share this link on your teacher web page and/or in a parent newsletter for those who are concerned with the challenges of the increasing number of ENL/ESL students.

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Foreign Languages - South Carolina ETV and ITV

Grades
1 to 6
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This Website is designed to meet the needs of schools that would like to offer foreign languages but have no language. It serves as an introductory-level course in French, German, ...more
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This Website is designed to meet the needs of schools that would like to offer foreign languages but have no language. It serves as an introductory-level course in French, German, or Spanish. Each 10-15 minute lesson presents many words, with emphasis on the spoken word rather than the written word. Teachers of gifted may have students who want to learn a language as independent study using this site. This site requires Adobe Acrobat Reader and Windows Media Player. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): french (74), german (48), spanish (105)

In the Classroom

Share the videos as a whole-class lesson on a projector. You will need speakers for the audio portions of this site. Include this site on your teacher web page for students and parents to access as a reference. As you study different continents or cultures, include a little of the language to expose your students to the "sounds" of other places. If you have ESL students in your class, share a video for the native English speakers to better understand the experience of learning a new language.

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Soaring High With Kites - everythingesl.net

Grades
1 to 6
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This multi-level lesson plan for ESL students offers opportunities for vocabulary development, reading, writing, and cultural sharing by responding to stories and books about kites....more
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This multi-level lesson plan for ESL students offers opportunities for vocabulary development, reading, writing, and cultural sharing by responding to stories and books about kites. Primary grade teachers could also use it in a unit on weather or as an interdisciplinary science/language arts activity. Because of its high interest level, it motivates students to participate in understanding new words and in expressing their ideas about the books they read and the techniques and history of kite flying in their countries. Students also read and talk about kite safety rules and examine websites about kites. Writing opportunities include writing rules,original stories, cultural histories haiku, and diamante poems. Students also get to design, make, decorate and fly their own kites.

tag(s): poetry (190), vocabulary (236)

In the Classroom

Plan a kite day in the fall or spring and use all or part of these plans to learn new words, build kites, and even fly them before you write about them. This would be a terrific activity to include parents at school year's end.

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Transparent Language: Hear Portuguese Survival Phrases - Transparent Language

Grades
K to 12
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Learn the basics of Portuguese. This could be very helpful for teachers working with Portuguese-speaking ESL/ELL students or for your English-speaking students who are curious about...more
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Learn the basics of Portuguese. This could be very helpful for teachers working with Portuguese-speaking ESL/ELL students or for your English-speaking students who are curious about other languages. Gifted students might enjoy comparing languages using this site and other tools.

tag(s): gifted (65), portuguese (22)

In the Classroom

Use the Portuguese "word-of-the-day" tool to help ELL students transition into an english speaking classroom. In addition to their daily lessons, use this translated word of the day to provide them with extra vocabulary. To help students overcome social shyness, have them teacher their classmates the word of the day in Portuguese and English - allowing them to practice speaking in and English as well as maintain ownership of their primary language.

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ESL Teacher Handouts, Grammar Worksheets, and Printables - Using English.com

Grades
K to 12
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Find ESL Teacher Handouts, Grammar Worksheets, and Printables on this site. These will give you a quick source of easy-to-use handouts for instant extra practice with your ESL/ELL students....more
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Find ESL Teacher Handouts, Grammar Worksheets, and Printables on this site. These will give you a quick source of easy-to-use handouts for instant extra practice with your ESL/ELL students. Parents may elso find the handouts helpful at home.

tag(s): grammar (133), worksheets (70)

In the Classroom

ESL/ELL teachers may want to share this source with regular classroom teachers and with parents to help provide students with extra practice. Some of your larning support students may benefit from them, as well. Don't forget to print the answer sheet, as well!

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Tips for Parents of Third Graders - Reading Rockets

Grades
3 to 3
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Read the tips on this web page or download a single sheet of suggestions to make reading together fun and funny for parents and kids together, while encouraging the skills ...more
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Read the tips on this web page or download a single sheet of suggestions to make reading together fun and funny for parents and kids together, while encouraging the skills to make a lifelong reader. Teachers can download the tips for third grade in NINE languages in addition to English to print out and send home with your ESL/ELL students. Their parents will appreciate the opportunity to participate in their learning, and everyone wins. Printables require Acrobat Reader.

tag(s): literacy (109)

In the Classroom

As students approach their first high-stakes testing, every little bit helps. Give these tips out at conferences, in backpacks, or as a link on your teacher web page.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Tips for Parents of Second Graders - Reading Rockets

Grades
2 to 2
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Read this web page or download a single sheet of suggestions to make reading together fun and funny for parents and kids together, while encouraging the skills to make a ...more
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Read this web page or download a single sheet of suggestions to make reading together fun and funny for parents and kids together, while encouraging the skills to make a lifelong reader. Teachers can download the tips for th in NINE languages in addition to English to print out and send home with your ESL/ELL students. Their parents will appreciate the opportunity to participate in their learning, and everyone wins. Printables require Acrobat Reader.

In the Classroom

Bring in the parents to help prepare children for third grade reading testing by getting them involved. Send home the printable, give it out at conferences, and/or include the link on your teacher web page. Everyone will win!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Tips for Parents of First Graders - Reading Rockets

Grades
1 to 1
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Read this web page or download a single sheet of suggestions to make reading together fun and funny for parents and kids together, while encouraging the skills to make a ...more
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Read this web page or download a single sheet of suggestions to make reading together fun and funny for parents and kids together, while encouraging the skills to make a lifelong reader. Teachers can download the tips for first grade in NINE languages in addition to English to print out and send home with your ESL/ELL students. Their parents will appreciate the opportunity to participate in their learning, and everyone wins. Printables require Acrobat Reader.

In the Classroom

Send these home in the backpack parade or include the link from your teacher web page (or both).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Tips for Parents of Kindergarteners - Reading Rockets

Grades
K to 0
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Read this web page or download a single sheet of suggestions to make reading together fun and funny, while encouraging the skills to make a lifelong reader. Teachers can download ...more
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Read this web page or download a single sheet of suggestions to make reading together fun and funny, while encouraging the skills to make a lifelong reader. Teachers can download the tips in NINE languages in addition to English to print out and send home with your ESL/ELL students. Their parents will appreciate the opportunity to participate in their learning, and everyone wins. Printable require Acrobat Reader.

In the Classroom

Send these home in the backpack parade or include the link from your teacher web page (or both).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Word-to-Picture/Picture-to-Word Games

Grades
5 to 12
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Reinforce basic English language vocabulary with this collection of interactive games. Students can select word topics from animals, clothing, insects and bugs, food and drinks, etc.;...more
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Reinforce basic English language vocabulary with this collection of interactive games. Students can select word topics from animals, clothing, insects and bugs, food and drinks, etc.; each topic has 9 words and 7 games like concentration-style memory activities, pairs, matching and more,

tag(s): animals (283), geometric shapes (136), sports (78), verbs (27), vocabulary (236)

In the Classroom

Use these games to help students practice English in an ENL/ESL classroom. Pair students on classroom computers, trying to place students with comparatively achieving peers. Have students compete to see who can get the most words matched, or who has the best memory. This allows students to have fun with the games, especially if they get tired of playing some of these alone. Be sure to mark the site on classroom computers, making it easier for students to get there and to post a link on your classroom website for students and parents to use together at home.

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A Tale to be Told - Martha Sullivan/Missouri Schoolweb

Grades
4 to 7
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This Webquest challenges students, working in small groups, to read, share, and compare/contrast folk tales from different parts of the world. A printable chart is provided to guide...more
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This Webquest challenges students, working in small groups, to read, share, and compare/contrast folk tales from different parts of the world. A printable chart is provided to guide the analysis, and a graphic organizer can be downloaded to help students organize their thoughts for the final activity - the creation of an original folk tale. Links to online fairytales are provided.

tag(s): air (105), webquests (21)

In the Classroom

Use this web-quest as a hands-on practice activity for students following a lesson on folk tales. Have students complete the activity in cooperative learning groups on classroom computers. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard and highlighting them in the text as you come to them. English teachers will like the interactive part of this site, and students always enjoy a chance to work on computers!

To make it more interactive, have students create and illustrate their stories on an online book-maker, such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Teachers can post the stories on the class webpage, allowing parents to get to see the finished products!

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Aaron Shepard - Aaron Shepard

Grades
1 to 8
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Author's On Line homepage for Aaron Shepard is a site that provides lots of info and resources for using reader's theater in conjunction with plays, manuscripts, and folktales; appropriate...more
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Author's On Line homepage for Aaron Shepard is a site that provides lots of info and resources for using reader's theater in conjunction with plays, manuscripts, and folktales; appropriate for all elementary grade levels. On this page you'll find loads of resources and treats (printable posters, music etc.) for teachers, librarians, storytellers, children's writers, parents, and young people -- all from award-winning children's author Aaron Shepard. His specialty is retold folktales. You'll also find information on Aaron, his books, and his author visits. Other offerings include worksheets, examples of scripting sheets you can use or learn to do it yourself, tips for using RT, and links to other references. You can search among the many materials available by genre, country, historical period, theme, etc.

tag(s): folktales (34), plays (27), readers theater (10), stories and storytelling (41), writing (316)

In the Classroom

Click on Aaron's RT Page to find scripts for plays and tales you can use in the classroom. Use this website to find hints on how to dramatize the literature or folklore you're studying in the classroom. ESL students will find using Reader's Theater particularly helpful as they can read, speak, and listen to the materials and have more chances at comprehension. Similarly, students who are visual or oral learners will benefit from the multi-sensory presentations.

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