Mindsets for English Learners

woman in white shirt wearing eyeglasses smiling

When Teaching English Learners, Embrace These 3 Critical Mindsets

Our students bring many assets to the classroom, not least of which are that, because of their life experiences, research has found they tend to be more creative and self-reliant than those who are not ELLs. Their diverse experiences can provide exceptional opportunities for learning.

In classes, some ways that I have tried to build on ELL student assets include:

  • When teaching themes and related vocabulary, have students describe seasons in their home countries (when teaching weather); have them talk about folktales and fables from their home cultures (when learning to write stories); and have them share popular games from their childhood that we can then adapt for English learning.

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