Research shows that there is a positive and strong correlation between vocabulary and academic success. Further, having a strong vocabulary is necessary for reading and reading is necessary in order to achieve academic success. Teachers working with English Learners (ELs) have an additional barrier to overcome, as EL students have little to no prior vocabulary in English. However, there are several ways that teachers can help increase the vocabulary of ELs to ensure school success.
A good way to help young ELs increase their vocabulary is by labeling everything in your classroom. Label the chairs, tables, whiteboard, books, pencils, crayons, etc. Teach them how to sound out the words, so that they can learn how to pronounce the written words. ELs will learn and retain more words as they are making connections between physical objects and words. In no time, students will have greater sight recognition with objects they see and use on a daily basis.
Reading aloud exercises are another good way to increase the vocabulary of young ELs. Teachers should take the initiative to start the read-aloud sessions so that the students can see that their teachers are freely reading without embarrassment and fear. As the session goes on, teachers can find different ways to engage students and get them to read aloud. For instance, he or she can instruct individual students to read a sentence or paragraph aloud. This will encourage students to speak aloud in the classroom and gain confidence while learning with and from their peers.
Assign Bilingual Books
Assigning bilingual books is an efficient way to increase the vocabulary of ELs. Students will gain a better understanding of certain words in English when compared to those same or words with similar meanings in their native language. Lectura Books offers an array of bilingual books for EL students of all ages. Additionally, Lectura Books offers teachers resources and other information for teachers working with EL students and their families.
For more tips on how to increase the vocabulary of EL students, so that they can achieve success in school, visit the Latino Family Literacy Foundation for additional information. The organization offers webinars, workshops, and additional resources that inform teachers how to work effectively with EL students in order to ensure academic success.