Saturday, October 3, 2009

10 Ways to Support English Language Learners in Libraries

Colorin’ Colorado posted an excellent article by Jacqueline Jules on "10 Ways to Support ELLs in the school library". Here is the list, but see the full article for details and a short video.

  1. Provide Foreign Language Materials in Easy-Access Displays. There are a number of ways to keep bilingual or foreign language books front and center in the library, and to integrate them into the curriculum.
  2. Provide Books and Information on Countries of Origin. ELLs love seeing colorful pictures from their birth countries in books or online. You can offer them access to those resources by making these materials available.
  3. Provide Electronic Access to Materials in Other Languages. Many online resources are also available in other languages.
  4. Provide Audio Materials and Instruction on How to Use Them. Audio materials can be very helpful to ELL learners, from books on CD to free podcasts.
  5. Share Culturally Meaningful Stories. With curricular demands, classroom teachers have little time to acknowledge holidays through stories and read-alouds. This can be done in the library.
  6. Watch Your Words! ELLs sometimes need help with instructions, vocabulary, or understanding a key piece of background knowledge in a story. It's important not to take their comprehension for granted as you might for English-speaking students.
  7. Make Story Time Interactive. Interactive story time is a favorite activity for many ELLs at our library.
  8. Use Visuals at Story Time. Using visuals will help ELLs learn new vocabulary words and will add meaning to stories or read-alouds.
  9. Use Visuals in Your Correspondence Home. The concept of a lending library may be new to immigrant families. You can help them get familiar with library books.
  10. Promote the Public Library, too! There are a number of things that school librarians can do to encourage ELL families to use the public library, including library cards, inviting a public librarian to a school event, arranging a family night at the public library.

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