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Weekly Update 5: What are your thoughts on our most recent questions?

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Last updated by Breda Matthews


I am hoping that you will fit some time into your busy weeks to share your thoughts on out most recent conversations.


I’m sure Angel would love any more responses to her post on EAL teachers experiencing marginalisation: Experiences and Strategies for moving forward.


As would Athlyn on her question on the best physical location of ESOL classrooms. Athyln’s classroom is being moved and one possible location is close to her school's Special Needs Department.


Here’s my tuppence worth on this one - In my experience ELLs often see ESOL lesson as ‘special’ but not in a good way! I have had my fair share of students (and parents) who believe that if they just work harder or longer, that will make it without any ESOL lessons.


One of the best things that ESOL teachers can do for their students is to make ESOL ‘special’ in a good way. This can be by:

  • closely aligning ESOL to subject content

  • making explicit links to skills required in other subjects  e.g. ensuring students know in what subjects they will use the text type you are teaching

  • explaining why they are learning specific vocabulary lists 

  • getting subject teachers to highlight texts types and vocabulary that you are teaching

  • increasing student engagement e.g. with relevant but none-the-less 'cool' technology

  • and perhaps by having their own attractive and high status teaching spaces that are physically close to mainstreamed students


How do you make ESOL special in a good way for your students?


Kath has shared a new resource for unit standard 28058 on our VLN group. A couple of people contacted me about difficulties accessing this group. The VLN does have a Help Desk which you can contact at help@vln.school.nz.


Julie Luxton and I have tidied up the English Language Unit standards Group assessment resources. Hopefully you will be able to share and find resources easily.


Thanks to Sue Bridges (Primary Literacy Online) for alerting me to the online versions of the 2015 Connected series. These provide in-depth content in science, technology, and mathematics for students, support literacy learning in these areas and are aligned to the curriculum at level 2, 3, and 4. They are developed for students in years 4–8 but may be useful for English language learners. Try out these


or check out all of the resources. I particularly like that the resources includes separate files of images for teachers to reuse in Google Drive.


On other communities


Secondary Literacy Online has discussed the different forms literacy takes for our students.


Primary ESOL Online shared a link to Cambridge University Press’  free webinar series for teachers of ELLs. The webinar: Teaching young learners to paraphrase was last week but you can catch up here.

You can check out other free events from Cambridge here.

Have a great week.


Breda Matthews

Facilitator: Secondary ESOL community 


To post to the list email: secondaryesol@lists.tki.org.nz


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