Developing Confident ELL Writers

Developing Confident ELL WritersAs 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.

Visit these other bilingual bloggers for more classroom ideas and free resources.

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  • Reply
    January 1, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Visuals are sooooo important not only for LL for all students (especially if we have diverse classrooms with students and their full range of needs).

    Loved reading your post (I am still a LL)…


  • Reply
    Nicole Sanchez
    January 2, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Thanks for linking up with us this month! As an ESL teacher I’m always looking for more ways to help build my students’ level of confidence when writing. Great tips and reminders for us all! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kristen Vibas
    January 2, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Love this post!!! Nancy, I always find it interesting to hear the perspective of an adult who was an elementary ELL student. I feel as though it gives me a glimpse into how some of my Ells are feeling. And I agree completely that Ells NEED visual and vocabulary support! It’s so important!

    • Reply
      Nancy Alvarez
      January 3, 2016 at 12:32 am

      Thank you.

  • Reply
    A La Escuelita
    January 3, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Love it! What a great way to start the year! Thank you for the freebie!

    • Reply
      Nancy Alvarez
      January 3, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Thank you, Angie.

  • Reply
    M&M Bilingual
    January 3, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Great tips Nancy! Thank you for sharing those prompts and posters, they will be perfect for after winter break 🙂

    • Reply
      Nancy Alvarez
      January 3, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      You are welcome, enjoy!

  • Reply
    Leah Meiser
    January 4, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    What a great post on writing! I love all of these ideas and thank you for the free writing activity! I love all of your materials!

    • Reply
      Nancy Alvarez
      January 5, 2016 at 10:51 pm

      Thank you, you are very kind.

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