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Supporting ELLs' in Classrooms

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