Learning a new language can be difficult. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. The length of time it takes to learn a new language is dependent on a person’s ability, literacy skills, natural abilities, commitment to learning the new language, and whether or not they are in an intensive English program. There are five stages that each English Language Learner (ELL) goes through, when learning a new language. Read on to discover the 5 stages of learning a new language, so that you can better assist ELL students in your classroom.
Stage 1 of Learning a New Language
The first stage of learning a new language is called the pre-production stage. It is during this stage that ELL students normally sit silently in the classroom. They are usually listening to new words being spoken, as well as gaining an understanding of the English language.
Stage 2 of Learning a New Language
The second stage of learning a new language is called the early production stage. During this stage ELL students begin to practice pronouncing new words that they are beginning to learn. Typically, ELL students learn at least 1,000 new words and their meanings – all in a short period of time. At this stage, ELL students are also beginning to use the new words they’ve learned to speak in short phrases.
Stage 3 of Learning a New Language
The third stage of learning a new language is called the speech emergence stage. At this stage the vocabulary of ELL students begins to expand, and they should have learned a minimum of 3,000 words by the time they reach the end of this stage. Additionally, at this stage, ELL students begin to speak in longer phrases and sentences. They also begin to ask questions, and start reading and writing assignments.
Stage 4 of Learning a New Language
The fourth stage of learning a new language is called intermediate fluency stage. During this stage ELL students begin to think and form responses in English. When ELL students reach the end of this stage they will have learned over 6,000 different words and their meanings. At this time, ELL students are also speaking English more fluently and are continually improving upon their English reading and writing skills.
Stages 5 of Learning a New Language
The fifth stage of learning a new language is called advance fluency. When ELL students reach this stage they are continually improving upon and expanding their vocabulary and language abilities in English. Additionally, they are constantly improving their literacy skills in English. Sometimes, it is helpful to read bilingual books, in Spanish and English, so that ELL students can get a better and quicker grasp of the English language.