Personalizing and differentiating instruction for English Language Learners

Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

On September 26th and October 3rd, I’ll be sharing my most essential strategy for supporting English Language Learners: providing genuinely differentiated instruction that meets my students exactly where they are.

I know from first-hand experience with my students that taking steps to personalize my teaching goes a long way toward empowering my English Language Learners. In fact, getting to know your students’ stories before you teach fuels each child and arms them to achieve and succeed!

To better serve my students, I assess their academic and linguistic abilities early on by introducing a fun survey that requires them to answer questions about who they are in their home country and who they are in their new country. The survey’s engaging questions ease their anxiety about performing in another language by encouraging them to translate and construct meaningful sentences in their first and second languages.

Next, I drive my instruction by being animated and accessible—I use body language. I make sure to face students while speaking. I’m careful to speak slower and enunciate each word. And I employ lots of visuals, lots of academic language, and lots of social language interactive word walls.

Then, I make sure I personalize each student’s learning in a way that meets and then just exceeds their present competencies and comfort level.

On September 26th, I’ll introduce each of these strategies in a free, one-hour workshop designed to show new and continuing ELL teachers exactly what they can do to personalize and differentiate instruction for their students. You’ll have a chance to reflect about these strategies and to begin personalizing them for your own classroom. Then, our group will meet again on October 3rd to share ideas and help fine-tune participants’ approaches.

Register for this TeachingPartners Live Workshop now, and TeachingPartners will send you a appointment you can drop right in your online calendar. You’ll also get a reminder closer to September 26th to make sure you’re ready.

Dorina Sackman-Ebuwa

Dorina Sackman-Ebuwa is the 2014 Florida Teacher of the Year, and a Finalist for National Teacher of the Year. She is a leading authority on teaching English Language Learners, and has spent the past 20 years face-to-face with students of diverse ... Full Bio