Log in

Primary ESOL Online's blogs

  • Today I am summarising some recent discussion in response to my first post on ELLs and oral language and continuing the discussion.

    Several people have mentioned what a great resource Learning Though Talk is. Remember that there are two books which all schools should have. Learning Through Talk: Oral Language in Years 1–3 and Learning Through Talk: Oral Language in Years 4–8. You will find links to each booklet on the ESOL Online oral language page along with other useful oral language readings. Unfortunately Learning Through Talk was distributed to schools at the same time as National Standards were being implemented and therefore many school leaders were not able to commit PD time to it.

    Jane van der Zeyden has observed that "there is no consistency of expectations for oral language across schools in New Zealand. Most teachers are unaware that expectations for oral language skills and knowledge for different year levels including School Entry are in Learning Through Talk. If teachers could begin to use these expectations to inform their practice we would be making progress towards achieving some consistency.”  It would appear that this would need to be a focus of professional development in many schools.

    There are 10 oral language exemplars, covering the functions of speaking and listening as set out in English in the New Zealand Curriculum. They are available on video which has been distributed to schools: Speaking and Listening: Interpersonal Speaking: Group Discussion. See Literacy online for details

    Jane van der Zeyden also suggests that the only thing missing from Learning through Talk is guidance with practical tasks that can be used across the curriculum to build oral competence. This is where the knowledge of the strategies on the ESOL Online teaching strategies page can be helpful.  They are not exhaustive and there are many more out there. I have links to some other documents with oral language strategies below.

    Teachers need a range of strategies that they know and are confident in using. But they also need assistance in knowing how to use these when planning a new unit of work. Where are they are best used in the teaching cycle? Why you would choose to use them? What type of learner would they be effective for? Etc.  The Making Language and Learning Work DVDs can be effective for demonstrating how to use oral language strategies to scaffold across a unit of work.  

    The other crucial skill is knowledge of how to scaffold classroom talk. Pauline Gibbons, in Scaffolding language, scaffolding learning (2002) has great examples of real dialogue demonstrating effective teacher scaffolding of classroom discussions. (In particular see chapters 2 and 3.) She talks about ‘talking with children’  “where the teacher provides scaffolding be clarifying, questioning, and providing models for the speaker, so that the learner and teacher together collaboratively build up what the learner wants to say.(p34)”

    Pauline also illustrates the “Mode Continuum” to illustrate how certain linguistic features change as language becomes increasingly closer to written forms. On page 42 Gibbons writes, “As teachers we need design teaching activities that are sequenced from the most situation-embedded, or most spoken-like, (and activities thus for ESL-learners the most easily understood), to the least situation-dependent or moot written-like (a written journal).   `

    This resource Great Idea: Scaffolding, on the British Council EAL Nexus website suggests that as teachers we can provide these types of oral language scaffolds.

    ·         Planning for guided talk sessions in small groups

    Modelling and demonstrating language orally or in writing to the learner

    • ‘Recasting’ language to develop the learner’s language and extend vocabulary
    • Encouraging learners to use L1 ability on which to ‘hook’ learning in the additional language
    • Activating prior knowledge about a new topic to create a context for the new learning
    • Incorporating collaborative work into lessons
    • Using visuals and graphic organisers such as pictures, models, diagrams, grids, tables and graphs to support understanding
    • Providing language prompts and frames for speaking and writing

    There is a lot of knowledge to take on board and grow in the oral language field. Personally, I think using the teaching as inquiry cycle is the best way for teachers to engage with the topic and as a starting point for professional development using, Learning through talk, as one of the resources you will look at to deepen knowledge around their personal inquiries. Teaching as Inquiry requires teachers to be open to new ideas and possibilities as to what strategies might work for different students. The Education Gazette, Volume 95, Number 5, 21 March 2016, has a great feature article: Teaching as inquiry – a refresher, which clarifies the inquiry process and asks some pertinent questions.

    Oral Language Readings I have discovered

    Building to CodeVirginia “Jenny” Williams uses assessment and scaffolding to support the five stages of second-language acquisition

    Linguistic Scaffolding Strategies for ELLs, Texas education Agency, LEP SSI Instructional Excellence Center: Project Tesoro 2009. This has simple explanations and examples of different strategies you can use to develop oral language skills.

    Strategic oral Language Instruction in ELD Teaching Oracy to Develop Literacy by Dr. Connie William and Dorothy Roberts

    Extending English Language Learners' Classroom Interactions Using the Response Protocol By: Kathleen A.J. Mohr, Eric S. Mohr

    ELL Voices in the Classroom, Capacity Building series #8 Ontario schools SECRETARIAT SPECIAL EDITION.

    Gibbons Activity Cycle Adapted by T. Fortune and D. Tedick from: Gibbons, P. (2002). Scaffolding language scaffolding learning: Teaching second language learners in the mainstream classroom. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

    Attending to Language, Engaging in Practice: Scaffolding English Language Learners’ Apprenticeship Into the Common Core English Language Arts Standards George C. Bunch, University of California, Santa Cruz Aída Walqui, WestEd Amanda Kibler, University of Virginia Chapter 2. This chapter looks at how teachers can provide micro scaffolding to support ELLS.

    Strategy 4: Using Scaffolding Techniques, CoBaLTT , Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA). They have links to other pages with good strategies.


  • I am loving this oral language discussion and the great resources that have been recommended whilst I am not familiar Teaching Language in Context by Beverley Derewianka and Pauline Jones O am familiar with some of Beverley's other work. I was privileged to hear Beverley speak whilst studying for my TESSOL Diploma, it was an outstanding lecture on incorporating language teaching into curriculum areas.I am sure her book would be equally powerful. 

    Jannie made the point that "minimal oral language capabilities can often mean the difference between being a power-holder and having the means to be involved and be fully participatory, or being only somewhat or not much at all." This reminded me of a story which illustrates this point "Being a Teenager is Hard Enough Without Having to Learn English as a Second Language,"By Chin Lu February 22, 2016. 

    Chin ends her story with this statement "During my first few years in America, none of my ESL teachers asked about my background—how smart and confident I'd been back in Taiwan, and how much I struggled to bring that confidence to classrooms where I could barely grasp the language. I felt powerless without my voice. I couldn't prove my worth, stand up for myself, or make friends. It was well into high school when I could adequately express my thoughts and emotions in English, when I stopped dreading being called on in class. And if that moment can come sooner for the thousands of other immigrants who will enroll in American schools this year, we'll all be better off." 

    I am sure that there are many New Zealand immigrants who would tell similar stories to that of Chin. For these students explicit oral language teaching is crucial but it is also important that all students have the opportunity to grow and develop their own oral language skills throughout their schooling. It is also about "knowing your learner" our first ESOL principle. 

    I agree with Jane's point that "many teachers struggle with how to integrate focused and strategically designed oral language tasks across the curriculum. My belief is that oral language should be an integral part of all learning areas  and that we need to deliberately structure oral language tasks in order to ensure that students are learning new language rather than sticking within the known." I look forward to viewing her book on this topic. 

    Jane also suggested that ESOL teachers "are the people who have most knowledge about how to structure oral language teaching and learning and that we can play a pivotal role in upskilling the wider education world."

    My questions then become: 

    1. Who leads oral language in my school? 

    2. What does the current state of oral language teaching look like? How will I find out? (Can I talk with teachers/school leaders about this and undertake some in class observations?) 

    3. Do I have something more to offer our teachers on how to incorporate oral language teaching into all curriculum areas? If so, who do I need to have conversations with? How can I start to build these conversations and develop oral language teaching skills with teachers? How can the ESOL Online community assist me in this role? 

    4. Am I comfortable leading these discussions and professional development within my school? (I ask this as in many schools ESOL teachers are not in a position of power or authority). If not, how could I challenge the current position on oral language and maybe improve the way I am positioned? 


  • Oral language

    In her Week 6 Literacy Online Weekly Update Sue Bridges challenged us about how we teach oral language. Sue outlined why oral language is important and stressed that oral language should be explicitly taught at all levels of the New Zealand Education system.  I would encourage you all to read her update

    Sue said teachers should consider whether the planned learning experience offers the opportunity to i) apply/practise existing speaking and listening skills, or ii) deliberate acts of teaching of newly-introduced/developing oral skills. We need to integrate this across the curriculum in authentic contexts. Sue encourages the use of explicit modelling of oral language skills prior to students performing tasks, followed by ample time to practice the skill and the provision of teacher feedback and feedforward to the student’s, on their use of the skill.

    Sue “observed that for many older primary school children, speaking and listening skills are assumed to have been previously established, and now can be merely called upon. The oral language element is often covered in regular news sharing and a few weeks of ‘speeches’. And yet so much about appropriate use of register, pragmatics, word choice. pitch and so on can create difficulty in communication for those who are not lucky enough to just ‘pick it up’.” 

    ELLs and Oral Language

    Sue’s observations fit with what we know to be best practice for English language learners (ELLS).

    The Introduction booklet to the English Language Learning Progressions pages 21 – 22 says, “Oral language is often as complex as written language and is sometimes more difficult to process. It challenges the learner in different ways from written language.” The following excerpts help to explain the oral language challenge for ELLs. 

    An English language learner may not have an existing basis in oral language on which to build English literacy skills. There are many interrelated factors that may influence an English language learner’s proficiency in oral language, including:

    • the content of their previous English language instruction (if any);

     • the teaching approaches used in previous English language instruction (if any);

    • the age at which they begin (or began) learning English;

    • their level of confidence in speaking English.

    …. All new English language learners face significant challenges when speaking and listening to New Zealand English. At the same time as they are learning the vocabulary and grammatical structures of the new language, they’re also working to gain control over other features of oral language. They need to learn the sounds of English words, the subtle meanings conveyed by changes in tone and speed, and the differences in meaning that a change in stress can make. (For example, “refuse”, with the stress on the first syllable, is a noun that means “rubbish”, but “refuse”, with the stress on the second syllable, is a verb that means “to say no to something”.) These are called theprosodic features of a language. Prosodic features combine with non-verbal language features, such as facial expressions, to create and convey meaning, and both are culturally determined dimensions of the language. It takes time to learn the significance of the prosodic features of a new language. Some learners will need to adjust their prior learning of one variety of English (such as American English) in order to learn New Zealand English, which has its own distinct features of pronunciation and vocabulary. For example, New Zealand English includes some words from te reo Màori.”

    “…When English language learners begin to speak English, their first language is likely to have a strong influence on their grammar and pronunciation (such as in stress patterns or accent).  Many factors can affect a learner’s speaking proficiency. Each time a learner speaks, what they say will be affected not only by their knowledge of the language but also by the sociocultural context, for example, whether they know the person they are speaking to. The English language learner may also need to explore and discuss the differences between non-verbal and prosodic features of their first language (such as body language and intonation) and those of English, as these features are often culturally specific. Because of the complexity of oral language production, teachers (and other listeners) often need to allow additional “wait time” to give learners a chance to initiate, respond, and interact with others. English language learners should be encouraged to continue to develop oral language skills in their first language and to use critical-thinking skills (and other oral language skills) in their first language to help them develop oral language in English. Cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP) develops better when the first language develops alongside the additional language.”

    As ELLs now make up about a quarter of all learners in New Zealand classrooms and their numbers continue to grow it is important that all teachers know how to explicitly teach oral language to ELLs. Recording a student’s progress on the ELLP listening and speaking matrices will help us to check that a student is making progress over time and to identify an appropriate next learning step. Our job is then to plan how we will deliberately teach the necessary skills and how we will incorporate the teaching and practice of that skill into daily curriculum learning tasks, whilst scaffolding student to success.

    As Sue pointed out the job doesn’t finish at any particular year level but rather we continuously build upon the students’ knowledge as they move up the school system. It is a daily focus through all curriculum subjects through all parts of the school day.

    Back in 2014 I wrote two weekly updates with some ideas and strategies on how to teach oral language which you may like to check out again:

    Sept 16, 2014 Weekly Update Key Instructional Ideas to support oral language development

    Sept 22, 2014 Weekly Update , Part two, Oral Language Strategies

    See also this Guest post,  Oral Language: To think, shape and convey ideas by Dr Jannie van Hees, 16 October 2014 weekly update.

    You will also find useful suggestions on explicit, guided and independent learning activities appropriate to r each level of language learning across different curriculum areas in the Supporting Language Learning in Primary Schools (SELLIPS) booklets.   These make a great starting point for thinking about what type of support is appropriate and how you might practically teach this in an age appropriate manner.

    The English language Intensive Programme (ELIP) Years 1-6 and 7-13 will also help teachers to identify appropriate oral interaction language features that may require explicit teaching , provide models of these features and some suggested strategies for teaching them.

    In response to all of this my challenge is:

    1.       What strategies do you advocate? What oral language strategies do you find most successful?

    2.       Do you build multiple opportunities throughout the school day into your lessons for deliberately teaching and practising oral language skills?

    3.       Will there be even greater opportunities and challenges for quality oral language development in innovative /modern learning environments? What are the opportunities and challenges for ELLs? How can we personalise and manage these to give ELLs the chance to be the best communicators they each can be?

    4.       What further support do teachers in your school need in order to better teach oral language to ELLS? What are the gaps? How can they be filled?

    Oral language readings and links

    Here are a few additional oral language readings, and links that I have recently discovered.

    Using pair and group work to develop ELLs’ oral language skills, by Diane Staehr Fenner and Sydney Snyder on Colorin Colarado, posted November 17, 2014

    Socratic Circles and the Common Core: An Introduction (Part I), By Diane Staehr Fenner, Sydney Snyder on Colorin Colarado. (See also links to part 2 and 3.)  

    Key Strategies for Developing Oral Language, by Jeff Zwiers on Teaching Channel, October 29, 2014 3:30 pm .

    Why are Academic Discussions So Important for our ELLs?, by Nicole Knight on Teaching Channel October 24, 2014.

    Video Series: Engaging ELLs in Academic Conversations, by Lydia Breiseth on Colorin Colarado.

    18 Pronunciation Sites and Apps for Language Learners February 29, 2016 American TESOL.

    Ten Pre-Listening Activities, By Hall Houston, EFL Magazine, 26/02/2016. 

    Scaffolding Structures to Support Academic Conversations for English Learners, REL West, West Ed webinar, published November 2015.

    Integrating pronunciation into classroom activities, by Barney Griffiths, Teaching English.

    Top 10 Tips for Teaching Pronunciation in ESL classes, on Busy Teacher.

    How to start academic conversations, Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford, in Educational Leadership, April 2009.

    Other Links

    Online Journals for English Language Teachers , Marisa R Constantinides on Listly.

    What are the hardest languages to learn? by Sam Gendreau on Lingholic.

    SIOP Activity: Right Away Questions, Pearson SIOP Model on You Tube.

    Closing English Language Learner Gaps Early, Benjamin Heuston and Haya Shamir in Language Magazine, April 2015, examine how adaptive learning software makes the curriculum effective for English language learners worldwide.

    What we talk about when we talk about best practices: Reading and writing by Debra Josephson Abrams, Multibriefs, April 30, 2015.


  • In today’s update I am focusing on how students who speak a language other than English transition into primary school and on what more we can be doing as a school to help these students to become fully bi/multi lingual.


    One of the findings from the literature review in, “An analysis of recent Pasifika education research literature to inform and improve outcomes for Pasifika learners”,  Author(s): Cherie Chu, Ali Glasgow, Fuapepe Rimoni, Mimi Hodis and Luanna H. Meyer, Victoria University of Wellington, published: July 2013, was the importance of positive transitions, particularly in the early primary years.

     Transitions: Transition support for bilingualism is related to both Pasifika language maintenance and positive transition experiences in the early primary years. Although the evidence for Pasifika is limited, smooth transitioning from early childhood settings to primary school has been related to factors such as systematic planning for transition, valuing of Pasifika languages and culture, and strong connection between educators and the home/community.”

    How we welcome and transition students into our school is important and sends vital messages to students, parents and the community. What are we really saying about our beliefs and about them in the way that we behave often unwittingly?  I am interested in knowing, what has your school has found to be successful? What do you do that is unique to your school and your communities? What are you proud of?


    1.       How does your school plan for successful the transition of Pasifika students from early childhood language nests to primary school? (And other cultures and language groups?)

    2.       How do you show that you value Pasifika languages and culture? (And other languages and cultures?)

    3.       What makes for strong partnerships between educators, homes and the community? What are the key messages you need to be stating?

    4.       How are you supporting students’ use of their home language?

    5.       Do you provide opportunities for first language use and growth at school?

    If you are a school leader, is there more that your school should be doing to support bilingual students? Are their gaps or areas of weakness that you need to fill or strengthen?

    Please feel free to add your thoughts and suggestions to this discussion.

    Supporting Bi/Multi lingual Students

     Right at the end of last year John McCaffery shared some research findings from Hammer, Holt, Uchikoshi, Gillanders 2014.pdf Early Child Res Q. 2014 ; 29(4): 715–733, which are also related to the above discussions.The research shows that:

    ·         children will rapidly lose their family bilingualism over time unless family language/s literacy is also used extensively at home or in their ethnic community i.e. Church.

    ·         children’s attachment to their mothers and warm and affectionate relationships with their teachers were related to higher language abilitiesIn fact, children’s relationships with their teachers contributed to higher language abilities above and beyond parental attachment."

    ·         pressure will come on them rapidly after starting school not to speak family language/s any more from peers and from out of home sources.

    ·         speaking English to children at home has little effect  on student’s level of English now they  are in an all English environment in NZ . Whereas it does if they are back in their home country.

    The number of students, who speak a language other than English as their first language, continues to grow.  How schools support these students is crucial to their education success. Research shows that students do better when they maintain a strong first language and feel that their culture and language is valued at school. Bi and multi lingual students are part of New Zealand’s future and increasingly their language skills will be vital in a multi global world. As a nation and as educators, we need to support first language maintenance and the learning of English as an additional language or risk seeing a decline in the percentage of students achieving in literacy whilst at school.

    Much of the research supporting the development of bilingualism is fairly recent and I believe that for whatever reason, we as a nation have been a little slow to respond to the research and to the needs of our changing population. I don’t want to apportion blame, but rather to challenge school leaders to inquire into how your school can best support bilingual students?

    ·         What does the research say?

    ·         What should your school be doing?

    ·         Where are the gaps?

    ·         What professional development is required?

    ·         How can you be innovative in supporting bi/multi lingual students within your current budget constraints?

    ·         Is this an issue for your school that requires further response, or not?

    ·         What strategies work when a cohort has one predominantly native language? Do different strategies work when students have many different native languages?

    ·         When are dual language strategies most important and effective?

    ·         If you are an ESOL teacher, how can you start this discussion with your principal and colleagues?

    New on ESOL Online

    The new Getting Started section is now live on ESOL Online and has its own tab. This section is designed to assist teachers new to teaching ELLs including

    • teachers with responsibility for ELLs,
    • mainstream teachers with ELLs in their classes
    • senior management staff in schools that are new to teaching ELLs.

    The Getting Started section includes information on

    • -Key documents
    • -Support for ELLs
    • -What to do when a new EL arrives
    • -Support programmes and funding
    • -Teaching materials
    • -Additional language learning
    • -Family engagement
    • -Professional development


    TED talks on the Refugee situation

    I discovered an interesting TED talk by Alexander Betts: Our refugee system is failing. Here's how we can fix it, filmed February 2016 which I encourage you to listen to if you are interested in finding better solutions to the current refugee situation.



  •  This conversation has been sparked by a paper I read this morning published by TESOL International which looks at The Preparation of the ESL Educator in the Era of College- and Career-Readiness Standards. It is a summary of a meeting of leading Educators and teachers which focused on two themes: (1) how to strengthen English language teaching (ELT) professionalism and (2) how to make connections between teacher training programs and K–12 schools. My interest is on what might apply to our New Zealand context. I think their recommendations could open up some interesting discussion in our forum.

    Thinking about English language teaching and Teacher development

    The discussion paper in America was prompted by the implementation of their new standards. Whilst the American standards for ELLs, are very different from our own national Standards they are adopting a more similar teaching approach to ours. The new focus is on a more collaborative teaching approach based on teaching ELLs within mainstream classrooms, and teaching language across all curriculum learning areas. They see a need for a more inclusive teaching approach and to keep up with developments in second language acquisition theory. I think in New Zealand we are also striving towards doing this.

    The American educators noted the following points:

    • Content teachers tended to lack the level of training needed to support English learners in accessing content and gaining the content-specific academic language required of them.
    • ESL teachers’ roles needed to be redefined so that they could be seen as experts, advocates, and consultants. The participants noted that if ESL teachers are viewed as teacher leaders in their schools, they will be better positioned to model strategies and share key understandings that content teachers need to support the achievement of English learners (e.g., role of academic language in accessing content).
    • Administrative support was essential if ESL teachers were to be able to redefine their roles in schools and function in a new capacity
    • A more inclusion-based model of instruction in which co-teaching plays a greater role is now more desirable. Collaboration among ESL and content area teachers (particularly for English learners at earlier levels of proficiency) is essential (Valdés et al., 2014). They also noted several areas of research that needs to be done on teaching ELLs in more inclusive based models of instruction.

    They also noted three developments or shifts in second language acquisition theory should affect pedagogy (Valdés et al., 2014). They said that “these new understandings of second language acquisition and literacy must be incorporated into the discussions about what ESL teachers need to know in order to best support English learners within this new era of standards and constructs.” I am interested in how aware New Zealand teachers are of these changes and whether we are changing the way we teach as a result of these developments? Do we need more guidance on these from policy makers or not?

    1. A move away from viewing second language acquisition as a linear process and instead recognizes it as a nonlinear, variable process (Larsen-Freeman & Freeman, 2008) that is based on the language that learners are exposed to and interact with (Ortega, 2014).
    2. A move away from seeing monolingualism as the norm and bi/multilinguals as nonnative speakers. Instead, bi/multilingualism is increasingly considered the norm and bi/multilinguals are seen as multicompentent multilanguage users (Cook, 1992, 2002a, 2002b, 2003) and plurilinguals (Beacco, 2005). This shift means that the goal in English language learning is reframed from producing native-like English speakers to helping students develop language skills and understandings in multiple languages so that they can easily move between languages depending on the context.
    3. A third shift, which is seen in the understanding of what it means to be literate in today’s world. This new understanding defines literacy as a construct that is constantly changing and that requires flexibility and adaptability (Bellanca & Brandt, 2010). Literacy in this new sense includes multimodal and digital literacy (Avila & Pandya, 2012; Gee, 2007; Kress & Bezemer, 2015; Roswell, 2013) as well as critical literacy (Pandya & Avila, 2013) that requires students to analyze information from varied, multicultural perspectives (Yoon & Sharif, 2015).

    Here are their main recommendations, I am interested in what you think is relevant in our context here in New Zealand? I will add a few comments myself after each in italic font. These are just my opinions but I would love to know what you think and which areas you think we need to particularly focus on?

    • A focus on leadership development for ESL teachers within the revised standards so that they can serve as experts, advocates, and consultants.

    (Increasingly I feel it would be beneficial for ESOL teachers to be better positioned within a school so that they can confidently lead teacher professional development and have input into school policy decisions. Is it time for the extra training that we do to be recognised within teacher pay scales or in the provision of leadership units (similar to literacy leaders and RTLBs)?)

    • Provide further research on the needs of unique populations of English learners, such as students with interrupted formal education.

    (We need to know our learners and ELLs are a very diverse group. New Zealand based research tends to be thin on the ground particularly in the primary school area. Even at a national level data is often not disaggregated for ELLs and their various sub-groups so it is difficult to form policies and to know how well they are learning. [Note this is mostly due to the relatively small number of students which means the results are not statistically significant.])

    • How to embed more of an emphasis on effective collaboration between ESL and content teachers in the standards, specifically in light of the complexities of the CCRS and the level of collaboration they call for.

    (Our ESOL documents encourage ESOL teachers to be working closely with classroom teachers. Each school implements this advice differently. Our standards don’t require us to be working in this way but would ELLs achieve better results in relation to our National Standards if we did? Could we be doing more to collaborate with classroom teachers particularly at the planning stage so a greater emphasis is placed on providing appropriate language support in all planning documents? We could then model different ESOL strategies and approaches until teachers are confident in using them themselves.)

    • Develop resources targeted at administrators so that these crucial stakeholders are better prepared to support increased collaboration between ESL and content teachers.

    (How well do school leaders and policy makers understand the needs of English language learners and second language acquisition research? How could we better inform them? What types of guidance are required? How can we keep their needs in the forefront of their thinking? )

    • Wider outreach and distribution of the revised standards so that educational leaders and administrators are more aware of the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students.

    (The above recommendation may not apply in the NZ context but how could we better demonstrate to school principals / leaders, policymakers etc the importance of teaching language in order to improve ELL/diverse students  learning outcomes in relation to the National Standards /and in all curriculum learning areas? How do we increase understanding and knowledge of the guidance provided in the English Language Learning Progressions and other ESOL resources? Do we provide adequate models and information? )  

    • Inservice training needs to provide content and ESL teachers with the skills they need to effectively teach all English learners. Content teachers must receive training in working with English learners and also in how to co-teach with ESL teachers. Administrators need training as well to create welcoming climates for English learners and understand the strengths and needs of the diverse population. They must be supported to create a space in which collaboration can fulfill their roles as experts, advocates, and consultants.

    (How do we best approach this in our New Zealand context? Do we provide enough training? Is our approach to training and upskilling teachers working? What works best?  School leaders decide what training is required; do they have the data and knowledge to determine whether further training on teaching language and supporting diverse learners in needed? ESOL teachers/leaders need to become experts, advocates and consultants in our schools?  If so, what further support do you require? We do you currently get that support from?)

    What a mind field of thoughts and questions. What would you recommend? In order to help you think about this I have rewritten the questions they used to guide the discussion to make them more relevant to the New Zealand context.

    1)In what ways has your role changed during the past years particularly in primary schools since the National Standards and the NZ curriculum were implemented?

    2)In what ways have national and school policies had an impact on how teachers instruct English learners?

    3)What professional preparation has supported you?

    4)What professional preparation would you have benefited from to prepare you for this?

    5)What are your recommendations for changes that need to occur so that ESOL educators/classroom teachers are fully prepared to support English learners

    6)What recommendations do you have for policy changes that are needed to better support ESOL educators/ classroom teachers?

    Another question I would like to add is:

     7) Have they considered the three developments or shifts in second language acquisition theory enough in their recommendations? If we consider these shifts what else would you recommend in our New Zealand context? Where are our gaps?

    Remember that we do have some good BES research in New Zealand on leadership and professional development to guide your discussions. See:

    Other News

    TESOLANZ membership

    You may be interested in joining TESOLANZ the professional body for English language teachers particularly if you plan to attend the CLESOL conference. If you are already a member your subscription ends on 31 March and your April newsletter will be the last for the 2015-2016 membership year. Please go to the "Join" page on the website to join or to renew your subscription.

    CLESOL: We hope that you are planning to attend CLESOL in Hamilton this July. The registration fee for TESOLANZ members is set at $100 less than for non-members. See CLESOL 2016. As for previous conferences, TESOLANZ is providing a fund to assist members who would have difficulty paying the costs. If you need this help, please go to the TESOLANZ website www.tesolanz.org.nz and follow the links on the homepage.



  • Syrian Refugees

    Wellington has welcomed a new group of Syrian refugees to our region so some of you will have new Syrian students being enrolled at your school this week.  You may like to check out my 27 October 2015 update  with useful links to information on Syrian culture and the Arabic language. (Remember that you can access any of our searchable archived discussions by using the archive link on the sign-up page of Primary ESOL Online. Enter the username and password combination: The username is: eesollonline. The password is: mailinglist.)

    I also recommend this article which I recently shared, TRAUMA + SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING = ALTERNATIVE PEDAGOGY, January 11, 2016 byMaria Margaritis on a TESL Ontario blogpost 

    The traditional song 'Tala' al-Badru 'Alayna' is one of the oldest in Islam and its message is one of welcome and hope. This link has the lyrics to this song and a video of school children singing it to welcome new Syrian children arriving in Canada.

    Also please don’t forget the MOE ESOL Refugee Handbook for Schools has practical information on meeting the needs of refugee students.

    Two storymap resources that I found informative on the worldwide refugee situation are:

    The Uprooted, 2016 story map 

    Syria: Epicenter of a deepening Refugee Crisis                        

    2016 Conferences

    Below is a list of 2016 conferences being held in New Zealand which you may find relevant. This list is not exhaustive and I will add to it as I hear of others. 

    Language Conferences

    The two most relevant conferences in 2016 are:

    The Association for Language Testing and Assessment of Australia and New Zealand (ALTAANZ)  conference to be held at the University of Auckland from the 17th to 19th of November 2016. The theme is “In the classroom and beyond: Assessing language ability in different contexts.” The purpose of ALTAANZ  is to promote best practice in language assessment in educational and professional settings in Australia and New Zealand and to foster collaboration between academia, schools and other agencies responsible for language testing or assessment . I think this is the first time their conference has been held in New Zealand.

    Community Languages and ESOL (CLESOL) Thursday 14 – Sunday 17 July 2016 at the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, brought to you by TESOLANZ (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages New Zealand) and CLANZ (Community Languages Association New Zealand). This year’s theme is Learners in Context: Bridging the Gaps. This may be gaps that may exist for learners and for teachers, and also in the broader context of policy and provision. The conference is held biannually.

    Other Conferences

    International Board on Books for Young people (IBBY) to be held 18-21 August in Auckland which will also coincide with the 23rd Storylines Family Day.  The theme Literature in a Multi-Literate World, The Congress has three sub-themes that present a major challenge for those involved with children’s literature and literacy education in the 21st century:

    • Global, local and indigenous literature
    • Diverse literary forms and formats
    • Engaging readers

    International Education Association (ISANA)  their national conference will be in Wellington on the 6th – 9th December.  ​ ISANA NZ is an association for professionals who work in international student services, advocacy, teaching and policy development in international education in New Zealand.

    New Zealand Literacy Association  (NZLA) Conference is to be held 25-28 September at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands.  The 2016 theme is Navigating Literaseas”, with 4 main strands:

    • Future Focused Education - Looking to the future to prepare our learners for what lies ahead.  - Innovative learning environments, personalised learning, digital, critical and multi literacies.
    • Catering for Diversity - Giving all individuals equal opportunities to learn making connections and creating unique pathways for all our learner’s literacy needs. - Inclusive Education, Literacy challenges, culture, ELLs, Reading Recovery
    • Love of Literature - inspiring our students with a love of literacy and learning.  - Library, Engagement, Authors, Creativity, Rich Literature, Poetry
    • Foundations for Learning - Exploring the literacy skills and processes that underpin literacy learning. - Spelling, Oral Literacies, The Brain, Assessment, Phonological Awareness

    The Inclusive Education Summit (TIES) University of Canterbury in Christchurch from 8 -10 July 2016, Theme: Belonging. This annual conference seeks to strengthen inclusive education practices serving students from early years settings to further and higher education. Improved equity in education can only be achieved by eliminating the economic, cultural and physical barriers that currently impede learning for disadvantaged students. These include students from low Socio Economic Status (SES) backgrounds, migrants, Indigenous students and those from refugee backgrounds as well as young people with a disability.

    uLearn16,  5-7 October 2016, in Rotorua.  The uLearn16 programme is structured around three key strands that focus on transformational aspects of future-focused learning and assessment, professional practice, and leadership

    • Transforming Learning and Assessment
    • Transforming Professional Practice
    • Transforming Leadership

    Personal learning

    We are all responsible for our own personal professional development; I know that in the past I use to spend a small fortune on teaching books. We are now fortunate that have access to the internet where we can find and access research, articles, and blogs on any topic of personal interest and even participate in webinars and online courses. I am curious to know which blogs / tweets etc. you follow professionally? Which are the most informative? Who do you learn from? Which sites do you value most highly?

    Leap Year Resources

    By the time you receive this update these may be a little late. However you may get a chance to include something small into this week’s planning.

    Leap year holiday resources on Apples for Teachers

    12 Lesson Ideas for Leap Day 2012 by Brandi Jordan in The Teachers’ Lounge

    Celebrate Leap Day on Scholastic

    Mrs Jackson’s class has links LEAP Year Resources

    Our Community

    Using student’s given names

    Thank you to everyone who contributed to the discussion last week. The story that Michelle shared on, The colonisation of Lily and Rose was a very powerful reminder as to why we need to use student’s given names and pronounce them correctly.

     Rae also shared her own Mother’s story which reminds us that recolonisation of our children and grandchildren may have long lasting effects on their identities and on their 'naming'. She challenged us all to ask the question, why? Why do these young people and families feel it necessary to change their names (and by default, identities)? Rather, schools have a responsibility to speak out a message of encouragement to families to maintain their names, their identities, their languages and their cultures. 

    We should celebrate and utilise linguistic and cultural diversity as essential resources for teaching and learning,) and change the power relations between marginalised communities, families, and their schools by privileging the knowledge of home within the school domain. 

    We have a responsibility to speak out within our own schools and to seek ways to empower our marginalised communities.  

    As a follow-up to this discussion Christina shared a useful website, Hear Names which will help you to pronounce student’s names correctly.  

    Thank you to everyone else who also commented on this discussion.

    Down the Back of the Chair survey - please remember to complete the survey – go to

     https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Z28C8SXFEB2016 .

    Cluster Group meetings

    • Central Otago ESOL Cluster Group are meeting on Thursday 17 March, 1.30pm-3.15pm at Remarkables Primary School, Queenstown. 
    • Wellington primary ESOL cluster group are meeting on Thursday 10th   of March,  at 3:45 for a 4pm start, Te Aro School , 360 The Terrace. They are discussing cultural celebrations. Please contact Cathie at ccahill@tearo.school.nz to confirm attendance.





  • Talofa lava!

    I can’t believe how fast February is disappearing. At this time of year classroom teachers often have questions on how they can best support ELLs in their classroom, so this is the focus of today’s update. I am also sharing my latest gems from around the world.


    Google Translate now includes Samoan language

    If you're keen to use more Gagana Samoa in your classroom learning - then check out Google Translate which now includes Samoan language in its database of languages. There are more than 144,000 people in New Zealand who identify as Samoan so I am sure that this will be a useful tool for teachers when communicating with both students and families.  Check out the NZ Herald article.

    Latest MOE ESOL News Update

    Here is a link to the web version of the ESOL Update which has been sent to schools. It takes a look at:

    • ESOL Professional Learning Communities
    • 2016 Period 1 funding applications due Tuesday March 1st
    • ELLP online professional support modules 
    • Paraprofessional ESOL PD options ELA (English Language Assistant) and PTAP (Pasifika Teacher Aide) programmes. 
    • A school spotlight story which looks at the way staff at Greerton Village School have integrated learning from the ELA (English Language Assistant) programme into their school.

    ESOL Cluster meetings

    ESOL Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are a great forum for collegial support. They are supported by the MOE and are available in most parts of New Zealand. If you are not already a member then I would encourage you to join your nearest cluster group. They usually meet once a term.

    For ESOL PLC contact details, or if you would like to find out about establishing a new ESOL PLC in your area, please contact senior advisor ESOL: Shanley Gamble: phone: 09 632 9357, or email Shanley.Gamble@education.govt.nz  .

    I am happy for ESOL cluster leader’s to share details of their first meeting for the year on this forum.


    Supporting ELLs' in Mainstream Classrooms

    The ESOL Online pedagogy pages  particularly the ESOL principles section are a good place for teachers to begin learning more about teaching ELLs. .  

    Teachers may also find update from two years ago helpful, Janet’s 11 Tips for Teaching English language learners in Mainstream Classrooms. (You will need to scroll to the bottom to find the linked update.)

    Assisting students who are new learners of English - most FAQ by primary school teachers... -Jannie van Hees © 1996/2012 First published in Many Voices, 1996. Jannie kindly shared this paper with us at the end of this archived link.

    (Remember that you can access any of our searchable archived discussions by using the archive link on the sign-up page of Primary ESOL Online.  Enter the username and password combination: The username is: eesollonline. The password is: mailinglist. You will need to join the primary esolonline mailing list before you can access the archives.)

    ESL Students in Mainstream: 10 Online Resources for Teachers posted 19 February 2016, by Elena Shvidko on TESOL International. Elena shares ten sites which have sound advice for mainstream teachers on how they can best support ELLs.  Most are aimed at American teachers but the content is still relevant to our New Zealand context and based on current second language research.

    Questions for ESOL Leaders and Teachers

    How can you use these links to support teachers in your school? Which links will be most relevant to their situation?

    How can you assist teachers to grow their own professional knowledge second language learning?

    What tips would you add?

    What resources can you provide to assist mainstream teachers in their classrooms?

    How will you build teachers knowledge across the school year?

    I welcome any comments and suggestions to our community just email primaryesol@lists.tki.org.nz .

    Our Primary ESOL Community

    Association for Language Testing and Assessment of Australia and New Zealand (ALTAANZ) conference, the purpose of ALTAANZ is to promote best practice in language assessment in educational and professional settings. The theme of this year’s conference is “In the classroom and beyond: Assessing language ability in different contexts”. ALTAANZ 2016 will be held at the University of Auckland from the 17th to 19th of November 2016. It would be great to have a good number of primary teachers presenting.  The call for papers closes on April 18th. See http://www.altaanz.org/ for more details.

     I forwarded Petronella’s email on her challenge to us in relation to International Mother Language day. In response both Rowan and Cookie shared that they are learning a language.

    At Rowan’s school the junior syndicate is running 2 language learning sessions four mornings per week in Te reo and Tongan. I especially admire Rowan’s willingness to take on this challenge as Tongan is not her first language. She has also challenged herself to learn more Tuvaluan! Rowan you are an inspiration and role model to us all.

    Latest Gems

    Why some people find learning a language harder than others, The Telegraph, by Sarah Knapton, Science Editor, 10:00PM GMT 19 Jan 2016

    10 FREE Book Apps for School Age Kids, by igame Mom, Games for learning

    100+ GREAT GOOGLE CLASSROOM RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS ,The easy tool educators are using every day by Vicki Davis

    10 Tips For Meeting The Needs Of Diverse Learners,  by Geneviève DeBose, February 10, 2016 2:00 pm, Teaching Channel

    English Language learners, Spotlight on Schools, Education Week

    6 Storytelling Apps That Get English Language Learners Talking, by Erin Wilkey Oh, Common Sense Graphite August 31, 2015

    TeachThought Editor's Choice: The 50 Best Educational Apps For iPad In 2016, Listly by TeachThought

    Utilizing an Online COP: Family, Community, School, posted on 20 February 2016 by guest author Christina Cavage, TESOL International  




    Hi everyone

    As the end of the year draws closer I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a restful holiday break. The focus of my update today is on being a reflective teacher. I will be sharing some “Gems from around the world “for your holiday reading later in the week.  

    Reflection on your 2015 Teaching Year

    In his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, the Brazilian educator Paolo Freire reinforces the idea that reflection is an essential part of learning and of becoming an agent of change in the world:

    Within the word we find two dimensions, reflection and action, in such radical interaction that if one is sacrificed -- even in part -- the other immediately suffers . . .

    Elena Aguilar in Transformation Begins With Reflection: How Was Your Year?,  shares about the importance of how we tell our stories.

     “So how are you telling the story of this school year? We design our lives, in part, by the stories we tell. ….One of the only things in life that I have control over is how I tell my story -- how I interpret my experiences and make sense of them. If I create a story that is one of learning, growth, and empowerment, I feel better.”

    We are all asked to be reflective teachers and this is an important part of the Teacher inquiry and knowledge-building cycle to promote valued student outcomes whilst also using data to support how inquiries.

    I have developed some questions to help you reflect on the year that has been for you as a teacher. I would like you to create your story and to plan what lies ahead for you as a teacher in 2016.

    The Big Picture (school year as a whole)

    What is my overall view on the school year?

    What was my biggest success? What was my biggest failure?

    What short and long term goals did I want to accomplish this year? How did I achieve or not achieve those goals?

    What were some obstacles that I encountered this year? How did I work through any obstacles?

    What is something I would change about this year if I could?

    Planning/Instruction/Teaching style 

    Are there any students that I am under-serving or having difficulty teaching?

    How can I make my classroom better serve all my students?

    Which resources and strategies do I tend to favour, and which do I tend to ignore?

    How can I better support my English language learners? What teaching style best supports their language learning needs?

    What changes in my teaching styles are needed to support equity, justice, and respect to all learners in my class?

    How can I better support my Pasifika and Maori students learning?

    Is my planning and teaching style culturally inclusive? 

    What would my students say about me if asked them?


    How are my relationships with my school leaders, fellow teachers, support staff, students and parents?

    What could I do to improve these?

    In what ways could I experience growth in my relationships?

    In what ways did I change the lives of my students this year? 

    How do I respond when I'm challenged, both inwardly and outwardly?

    Professional Development 

    How did I grow professionally this year?

    What would I like to improve on as a teacher in 2016?  

    What do I puzzle over?

    Have I followed the Teaching as Inquiry model this year? What did I learn from this process and how did my teaching change as a result? What impact did it have on my students? What do I need to do next?

    What do I need to commit to learn in order to stay relevant?

    What additional actions could I take to meet my personal mission?

    Are there any new technologies that I could adopt next year in order to make teaching easier and more enjoyable /or to better engage my students?

    What happens if I don’t change anything at all?


    It would be a great way to end the year to share what you have found to be successful this year? Did you try something new? Was it a success? Then please tell others about it. Just send your email to - primaryesol@lists.tki.org.nz . Or respond on the VLN 

    Or do you want to change something but you are not sure how to go about it or what would be best? If so, then please share your puzzles and struggles for others to suggest what works for them and how they go about it. This is what makes us a community when we share.  


  • Language learning and the summer slide

    With the summer holidays fast approaching now might be a good time to put in place some strategies to support your students to maintain or even grow their level of English over the holiday period. Many of our ELLs' speak another language at home and don’t necessarily have many opportunities to use English during the school holidays.  

    One suggestion is to talk with your students about the importance of continuing to use English over the holidays and then to brainstorm how they could do this. Make sure they develop ideas to practice listening, speaking, reading and writing of English.  Maybe send a copy of their ideas home to parents/caregivers with a letter from you which contains you messages about language maintenance. You could attach links to some useful online tools/games // sites and encourage library membership.Try out some of these digital tools in class over the coming weeks so your students become familiar with them. If they are not already members of your local library consider a class visit and help them and their family to fill out membership forms.You may also need to assist them with navigating local transport options.

    Another idea might be to encourage your students to have play dates over the holidays with someone who speaks a different first language than themselves.  Practice the language forms they would need to be able to invite someone over and telephone etiquette etc.They may need space to exchange phone numbers/email addresses etc. Even going to a movie is a chance to listen to English being spoken with strong visual support.  

    Last year I wrote on this same topic you can read it in the archives under summer slide.

    Below I share some more readings most of these are American and reading them makes me very grateful that our summer break is only for 6 weeks.

    1.       Summer reading: a strategic approach The National Library of New Zealand Services to Schools

    2.       The summer slide and summer reading research The National Library of New Zealand Services to Schools. This page summarises the research both here in New Zealand and overseas and has links to the research reports. This report states:

    Although there is limited New Zealand research, what has been done supports international research. It shows that:

    ·         the consequences are cumulative and long lasting

    ·         the slide can have a powerful influence on reading scores throughout high-school and beyond

    ·         low-income children fall further behind than their classmates.

    ·         the loss is less pronounced or absent in students who have access to books and holiday learning experiences such as travel, museum visits etc.

    3.       TeachMeetNZ Fuatino Leaupepe-Tuala sharing Summer Slide and Holiday Readingon You Tube

    4.       Summer Slide, ELLs, and the Common Core, By Diane Staehr Fenner on Colorin Colarado  This post is packed full of links, tips and resources. It makes a good starting point for exploring this topic a little further.

    5.       The not-so-secret ELL summer slide problem that no one has quantified By Susan Gonzalezon Chalkbeat Colarado published: August 7, 2015.

    6.       Avoiding the Summer Slide in Reading and Writing, by Heather Wolpert-Gawron  posted JUNE 10, 2014 on Edutopia.

    7.       10 Tips for Language Learners to Avoid the Summer Slide Posted on June 16, 2015 by Rosetta Stone Enterprise and Education.

    8.       The Best Resources On The “Summer Slide” June 26, 2011, by  Larry Ferlazzo.

    9.       How I’m Helping My Students Try To Avoid The “Summer Slide” May 30, 2012 by Larry Ferlazzo.

    10.   FROM SUMMER SLIDE…TO READING PRIDE!  July 31, 2013 Language Lizard by Lizzie Pinard.

    11.   Resources to Prevent Summer Slide: Virtual Field Trips, DIY Projects and Summer Reading JUNE 4, 2013, Matt Davis on Edutopia.

    12.   Stop the Summer Slide and Brain Drain Florida Education Association. This blog has age appropriate links to sites as well as tips to stop the slide.

    13.   Summer Reading Loss by: Maryann Mraz, Timothy V. Rasinski on Reading Rockets.

    14.   Ideas for English-Language Learners | Celebrating the End of the School Year By LARRY FERLAZZO and KATHERINE SCHULTEN  MAY 2, 2013 3:07 PM on The Learning Network.

    I am also sharing another reading on supporting Syrian refugees that I have discovered.

    Syrian Refugee Research 

    §  The Educational and Mental Health Needs of Syrian Refugee Children By Selcuk R. Sirin and Lauren Rogers-Sirin Migration Policy Institute. 

    Summer safety

    We also need to be thinking about summer safety tips for our students. The last few weeks of school can be a good time for teaching about keeping themselves safe over the holiday period. I know in my last school we always taught water safety tips at this time of year as many of them went fishing and swimming but were unaware of the danger that our beaches pose. The following post is American but it will prompt you to think about what should be taught and it is easy to convert to our New Zealand situation.

    §  10 Summer Safety Tips for English Learners Posted on 5 June 2015 by Judie Haynes TESOL International Association


    1)      Is the summer slump a reality for our students? Does this apply to all our students or are there some groups of students who would benefit from further support e.g. English language learners? What evidence do we have?

    2)      If so, what can I put in place to support my students to practice and use English over the Christmas holidays?

    3)      How will I communicate with parents/caregivers about this?

    4)      Can I build in a way to provide feedback and to monitor what our students do during the holidays?

    5)      How will we monitor the effectiveness of the intervention?

    6)      For our English language learners what will it be important for them to know to keep them safe during the holiday period? How confident am I that they understand these messages? How can I find this information out/ how can I support them to stay safe?


  • With the shock of the events in Paris over the past two days it would be very easy to react in an inappropriate way.  I came across a great quote on twitter, “The right response to Paris Attacks: solidarity, vigilance, rule of law. Not: mass surveillance, racism, nationalism.” Wenzel Michalski Germany Director, Human Rights Watch. As teachers we need to be careful about our choice of words used when discussing this event and be alert to the language our students are using and to any signs of racism or bullying of our students.

    Inclusive Education

    The Inclusive Education TKI website was developed earlier this year to support teachers to design teaching programmes that support the creation and development of an inclusive culture that recognises and meets the needs of all students. The site uses a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach that can be used by schools to support the design of more flexible inclusive learning environments optimised for personalisation. It has more than 20 online guides to help teachers and school leaders support learners with diverse needs.

    For teachers of diverse students and English language learners they will find the Developing an inclusive classroom culture section particularly helpful.

    I think this approach is a helpful way to consider the needs of all your students. As you think ahead to 2016 it may be a good time to explore this site and reflect on your own teaching and begin to incorporate this approach into your teaching pedagogy in the New Year. You may like to also read this Education Gazette article Breaking down the barriers to learning  (9 November, 2015) in which year 2 teacher Stephanie Kitto from Clyde School in Central Otago provides her thoughts on the Universal Design for Learning guide. 

    MOE Tertiary Fees Funding Support scheme for approved mathematics and literacy papers

    Applications are now open to apply for funding to study approved literacy courses and papers at the graduate or post graduate level. 600 funding scholarships are available. Half the tuition fee will be paid for by the Ministry of Education and half by the teacher’s school, or teacher.  For further information and application forms see: http://literacyonline.tki.org.nz/Literacy-Online/Teacher-needs/Professional-support/Tertiary-fees-funding-support .

    The approved Literacy courses and papers for 2016 are: file:///C:/Users/Phil%20&%20Janet/Downloads/2016+Approved+literacy+courses+for+TFFS.pdf . What interested me is the number of papers at Auckland University that are also approved as part of the TESSOL Scholarships course. It is good to see that these are now also recognised in these literacy scholarships. This is a great way to increase your pedagogical knowledge and to grow your skills.

    Funding to support deeper understanding Education Gazette article (27 October 2015) tells the story of Jan Westfield a teaching principal at Rawhitiroa School, a rural school with a roll of 35, inland from Eltham in Taranaki and her study journey after winning funding through this scheme.

    Maybe it is time to consider whether your school needs in-depth literacy and English language learners PLD. Te Toi Tupu shared the outcomes of the schools they worked in during 2014 in this graphic http://tetoitupu.org/literacy-and-english-language-learners . It does make a difference in order to find out more contact the MOE.

    Useful links and Readings

    Here are a few useful links and readings that I have discovered this week.  

    Our Community

    To access the following links you will need to be a member of the primary ESOL Online mailing list. You can join here.  You will also need to add the user name and password. The username is: eesollonline and the password is: mailinglist.

    The Bilingual Assessment Service information is available on this page. If you have already provided extra support through ESOL funding and are still concerned about the student, you may be able to apply for a bilingual assessment. A bilingual assessment will assess a student’s cognitive functioning and achievement in their first language, and collect information about social and emotional health, and other factors which might be affecting their performance at school.

    Secondary ESOL: discussed Involving students in monitoring progress using ELLP . In this thread nan shared the templates she uses with students to set goals and monitor their own progress against ELLP.