Supporting English Language Learners through their comprehension and engagement in a text is vital if they are to come to a love of reading in English.
In preparing for a presentation on Supporting the ELL’s in our Ontario Classrooms, I was looking for current Canadian resources teachers can easily incorporate into their language arts curriculum for ESL students. One such resource I wanted to share right away was StorylineOnline. Storyline Online is a fabulous website that has popular English children’s picture books being read aloud by celebrities! How interesting. Not only can children experience a range of pronunciations by listening to books read aloud, they can increase their engagement in a text either in the class on the computer or at home.
I recommend choosing a text with a student and doing a “picture walk” with them through the book. Discussing the pictures helps students to make predictions, and it activates the schema they already have for the topic making learning more meaningful. You may want to ask them to share any experiences they have with the topic either orally or in writing. Go over any challenging or new vocabulary, idioms, slang, and cultural references in the book. Next, read it along with the student and let them have some time alone to read through it at their own pace if they’re able to do this. You can then pull up this resource Storyline Online and have them listen to the book alongside reading it. They may wish to do this a few times. Finally, choose a consolidation activity you feel will best match their learning goals and needs. This could be drawing pictures and describing their favourite part. Identifying parts of the story such as the main characters, plot, setting, etc. And one of my favourites is to have them change one of these parts and re-tell the story aloud.
Definitely check out this free online resource and let me know your thoughts! 🙂
One of my favourites? Harry the Dirty Dog ready by Betty White
There are a plethora of incredible resources I’ve been exposed to and come across here at Lakehead U, and this link I’m sharing today is by far one of the best. For videos, resources, assessment and instructional strategies, and much, much more, make time for this link. For ELT’s there is a whole section of resources for ELL’s worth checking out. Dig into the links and look around, there is a lot of amazing information here.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog post – 25 Challenging Vocabulary Words from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina – I’ve undertaken a Literacy Project with a couple of my advanced ESL students who were interested in joining me in reading books from the Modern Library’s 100 Best Books List.
This extra-curricular reading project was inspired when, after browsing the list and realizing I had only read a mere 17 on the list of 100, I felt quite embarrassed with myself! Since then I’ve read two more to up my count to 19 – Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, which was fantastic, poetic, quick and wonderful that I read it in two short days (keeping in mind that I’m a working mom to a toddler, I felt this was a great feat! ^^).
I wonder how many of the books from this list you’ve read? What’s your count? How literary are today’s English teachers? If you don’t mind sharing your answer, please leave a comment. This could be interesting! Again, the link is here.
While on the topic, I thought I’d throw in a couple of helpful links I’ve found for teachers on…
PROMOTING LITERACY in the ESL CLASSROOM
Adult ESL Literacy Survival Guide for Instructors – By Janet Massaro for ELSAnet
Literacy Connections – Promoting Literacy and a Love for Reading
BC Ministry of Education – Resources for Teachers: Improving Literacy