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Teaching Multiple Proficiency Levels

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Joined: 09 May 2012
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:26 pm    Post subject: Teaching Multiple Proficiency Levels Reply with quote

This past year, I found myself teaching students with a wide range of proficiency levels. I expected the challenge of teaching students ranging in English skills from a level 1 to nearly a level 6 on the WIDA English Proficiency scale. I knew my position responsibilities included teaching ELL students in grades 4-8. I also had ELL special education students. To be honest, I did not anticipate having ELLs with special learning needs for pull-out instruction. Yet, I quickly adjusted and made the necessary modifications to allow for an equal access classroom. However, I was NOT prepared to deal with all of these variables in one classroom and at the same time! Due to schedule conflicts, it was the only feasible way to see all of the students for both push-in and pull-out instruction.

In order to effectively manage the classroom, I had to consider the difference between student proficiency versus student ability. Student competency skills varied among the four skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Through diagnostic testing I was able to pinpoint linguistic objectives that would benefit all of the students. I had to offer the students lots of opportunities to make choices to meet the needs of all proficiency levels, ages, and grades (i.e., drawing/writing one paragraph/writing detailed reports). I do know the students progressed academically this year. However, it was a very difficult year and there were often times when I did not feel efficient as a teacher.
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Joined: 26 Oct 2011
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can understand your concern and feeling of discouragement as an ELL teacher. I myself, feel that it is extremely difficult to teach such a diverse group of learners. We as ELL teachers and regular education teachers must know each one of our students and how to reach them. We must find new and engaging ways to motivate them. We must challenge them at all different levels and keep them interested in the task at hand. In addition, we must work with teachers to adapt lessons that coincide with the teacherís curriculum. Being an ELL teacher is challenging yet rewarding as ELL students will and do make progress.
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Joined: 03 May 2012
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally hear your concerns. Classroom management is the key to successful teaching in a classroom. It is hard at the beginning of the year especially that you donít know your students or their learning levels. Talking to the regular education teacher might be helpful as she/he will tell you more about the ELL students you are pulling out. Also, classroom management depends on many factors. The classroom set up, the physical layout, and even the room temperature plays an important role in the success of a lesson or lessons. Also, a lot of times teachers forget that the way they speak to their students can affect their students. Like if a teacher is too loud she/he can be scaring the shy students. That will discourage them to speak or participate in the classroom. By creating a warm and safe classroom climate, you will allow your students to feel welcome in their learning environment.
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