As a second language learner, I can distinctly remember how difficult it was for me to learn to write in English. By third grade, I knew I hated writing! I dreaded getting my papers back from Ms. Silva, my 3rd grade teacher. I recall mixing English and Spanish words in my writing, but my greatest challenge when writing was spelling and vocabulary.
In Spanish, words are spelled phonetically with few exceptions. In English, however, this is not the case. I lacked the foundational phonics taught in the earlier grades and this made spelling one of my weakest areas. I didn’t have the vocabulary my native peers had so if I did not know what something was called in English, I would simplify my writing or go in another direction altogether.
Visuals to Support Writing
Because I did not fully understand the English language, I became very dependent on visual to help me understand things. Perhaps that is one reason, I consider myself a visual learner to a fault. English Language Learners (ELL) need visuals to make sense of the second language. For this reason, I feel that it is important to provide ELL students with visual to help them when they are writing. The visual gives them more details they can include in their writing.
Vocabulary and Spelling Support
As I mentioned earlier, an ample vocabulary in English was an obstacle for me as I attempted to write in English. By providing students with visual vocabulary list, ELL students can concentrate more on developing their writing instead of getting stuck on basic vocabulary and the spelling of words.
Write About It! Winter Edition
A couple of years ago, I developed the writing station you see below. This Write About It! winter edition includes the visual, vocabulary and spelling support ELL students need to develop into confident writers.
Take time today to download this writing station and start developing your ELL students into confident writers.