Common Core Tips for English Language Learners


Currently, there is a lot of talk and thinking about how teachers will support English Language Learners in meeting the Common Core Standards. These are important discussions mostly revolving around the linguistic demands that the Common Core requires at each grade level.  Importantly, as formal assessments become linked to the Common Core, how will English Learners be evaluated?  Will they be judged for their understanding of concepts or will they be judged on how well they know the academic language related to the concepts? Or both?  The Common Core standards require comprehension of a heavy linguistic load.  The mantra, lately is, "Every teacher is a language teacher now."  For example, one of the mathematical practices states that students, "make conjectures and build a logical progression of statements to explore the truth of their conjectures" (CCSS Math).  In other words, students need to be able to say and write, for example, "I think that the answer will be larger than 100 because if you round both numbers and add them, the answer will be more than 100."  No matter how teachers and community members decide to address these challenges, utilizing research-based strategies to teach content and language will still be essential - foundational to supporting the success of K-12 students learning the heavy linguistic load in English.  To support teachers in thinking about how research-based teaching can align with Common Core standards, I post teaching tips and note the Common Core Anchor Standard that the tip matches.

Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen
Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen


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Everyday ELL is now Every Language Learner.