Vision for ELLs

My vision is focused on ESL Math courses but it is adaptable to all subject areas.  It is written in the plural as I’m imagining its use in a group setting (like a school or department).

I shared this assignment initially as a form of digital storytelling, but that was a trial version and I no longer have access to modify it.  However, the updated transcript follows.

We want our ELLS who enter our ESL and ELD programs to be able to start school on a path for success. 

It is essential that we prepare our programs in such a way that they will be placed appropriately so that they can get the most out of their education.

First we want to reiterate the shared vision that applies to all of our students, regardless of where they are at in learning English.

1. Learn English within the context of the Ontario Math Curriculum;
2. See themselves reflected in their classroom environment, with their culture and language being valued;
3. Feel comfortable to share opinions and express themselves;
4. Meet high expectations through goal setting and use of appropriate supports;
5. Encounter the course material through pathways that are best suited to their strengths and passions;
6. Grow as individuals and members of a larger community as they learn more about their own unique learning needs

To make sure that ELLs and their families feel welcomed to our school and classrooms we will make use of various supports as we meet them for the first time. For example, we will have interpreters as needed during the welcome process, as well as students who will become buddies and guides to these new students. 

We will meet with families to discuss the student’s educational background as well as to work on getting to know them a bit as we work to build their educational plan.

Working within the guidelines of the Steps to English Proficiency we will determine what level the student is at with their english as well as their overall school level based on prior education.
The student’s educational plan will be shared with the family and all teachers involved.

Once the student is in our class we will use ongoing assessment and evaluation to ensure that they continue to have their educational needs met, as well as to determine appropriate level changes.
Within the classroom setting the backgrounds of all students will be focused on to activate prior knowledge and ensure that students feel empowered culturally and linguistically.

Lessons will draw on students’ identities as we seek to affirm who they are while helping them build their new language skills.

Classrooms will reflect the diversity of our students, including things like resources in their first languages, posters, examples of student work about the places they lived before here.

Learning expectations will also be clear and easy to understand by all learners and will be shared regularly with families.

Class lessons and curriculum planning will incorporate the principles guided in Growing Success. Lessons will be structured with Universal Design for learning and will make use of differentiation to ensure that the diversity of learning needs is met in every lesson.  In more specific ways these principals will include some of the following strategies and accomodations:

  • adjusted assignment schedules for individual students
  • use of graphic organizers to help guide students
  • intentional use of groupwork
  • attention to learning needs (visual, kinesthetic, etc.)
  • use of scaffolding  to support learners at different STEP levels
  • use of technology to support students (vocabulary apps, translators, digital storytelling, etc.)

While this is my vision for ELLs at this point I have an entire career ahead of me in which to continue developing how I will work with ELLs.  


Personal Philosophy of Teaching

Professional Growth and What I’ve Learned