Having a variety of English Language Learner resources will help keep students stay engaged. If students are busy with listening and reading, students will learn and apply their new understanding and eventually be able to complete a small interactive online quiz. Teacher’s need to ensure that resources are all connected with a theme. It is also important for the teacher to consider online resources, as many students will have access to technology and access to internet. For those who do not have internet access, teachers can help by providing before and after school assistance and look for community supports such as the public library where there are public computers that students can use or find books of interest. It is important to consider a resource that may be able to track student progress and/or be able to provide worksheets for students to take home to check for understanding.
Somethings to consider while choosing an online resource:
- Is it available online? LearnEnglish Kids is available online, being online is makes the resource accessible to those students who are learning from home or that may need extra practice during or after school with or without the teacher assistance.
- Is it easily accessible? The website is well organized with a menu list at the top of the website that include: “Listen and watch’, “Read and write”, “Spell and speak”, “Grammar and vocabulary”, “Fun and games”, “Print and make” and lastly a spot for “parents”. Each of these main menu items consist of subheadings.
- Is it free? This website is free for anyone to access.
An online resource that fits these criteria from above, that I discovered and would use in my future teaching practice is called “LearnEnglish Kids”. It provides support for teachers who teach English Language Learners. It can help support students who are learning from home and may help students with their English language understanding through interactive readings, videos, and activities and games.
In addition, when you find a song, game, video to watch, the website provides the user additional related material. This section is on the right side of the screen, titled “More About This Topic”.
For the purpose of this assignment, I will focus on early elementary students that may or may not have some understanding of the English language. I will elaborate on the “Listen and Watch” menu heading, with the subheading “Songs”. There are over fifty songs to chose from ranging in a variety of topics. The song that I have decided to elaborate on is “Feelings are Feelings”. This song is almost two minutes long; it talks about the different feelings and emotions and some movements that we may feel ranging from happy to sad to excited to wanting to dance. If students do not have any prior knowledge, listening to the song allows them to move freely and explore the rhythm and sound. I like that this song uses basic terminology and shows diversity in skin colour in the video.
Some activities related to this song that I could do with my class are:
Activity One: Making Learning Memorable
Listen to the full song and try our best to sing along. The first time we would listen and move freely. Secondly as a class, we could create some actions to do while the song while being played. This may help student comprehension and ability to remember the song lyrics more efficiently.
This activity supports the principle of automaticity and self-regulation. Automaticity is where students can choose to participate and scaffold become more independent learners. The students can choose to participate in singing and following the created actions. When student participate, they may use self-regulation in their learning as students can set their own goals and determine whether they are meeting their goals or not. The student might have a goal of learning a new emotion each day or applying the word to daily conversation with other people.
Activity Two: Cross-Curricular Connection
- I would create a cross-curricular connection with art. I would have students decide on a colour that makes them feel happy, sad, excited, and what colour reminds them of dancing or makes them feel like dancing. Everyone has different ideas of what colour represent what emotion. Remind students that there are no wrong answers.
- I could create an assignment where students have to draw a picture related to the feeling. For example, a happy picture may be a family spending time picking berries.
These activities support the LanguaCulture, where teachers help foster culture within their language classrooms. Teachers can help teach English culture while being careful to not destroy other students’ cultures. Students may associate happy feelings with different events or colours than other students. We must consider these differences in the way the student will express himself/herself. This further supports the principle, Identity and Investment, where new language may construct new identity; teachers must ensure that students do not lose their identities while learning the new language English.
Activity Three: Matching
I would have students match the picture/emoji to the word. The teacher may have to prompt students by using the word happy and associating it with a smiling face. To expand there can be a discussion on what makes you feel happy, sad, excited, etc. This can help students become more familiar with day-to-day words that the learners would and could use frequently within daily conversations of how your day was, how you are feeling, etc.
This activity supports the principles Transfer and Interaction. Transfer is using knowledge in L1 and relating it to your learning in L2. English Language Learners may choose to teach the class how to say happy in their native language and the other classmates may help English Language Learners how to say happy in English. Interaction is the input/output that allow students to be able to have conversations and interact in the language they are learning. Learning about feelings and emotions can help English Language Learners with daily conversations that the students may hear from other students or other people within the community.
Having a variety of English Language Learner resources will help keep students engaged. If the students are busy with listening and reading, students will learn and apply their new understandings and eventually be able to complete a small interactive online quiz. Teachers need to ensure that resources are all connected with a theme. It is important to consider a resource where you may be able to track student progress and/or be able to provide worksheets for students to take home to check for understanding.