ELL Update #12- ELL Levels 4 and 5
We have just finished the first half of the school year. As a result it is time for me to check up on our ELL level 4 and 5 students. These students are still identified as ELL, but are not served directly by the ELL teachers because they have generally completed most of the items on the LPS ELL checklist rubrics and are able to be successful in the general education classroom with out the intensive ELL support from a pull out class. However this does not mean that these students do not need to have support from the general education teacher. As I have been communicating with grade level teachers about our Level 4 and 5 ELL students, I have come across similar concerns and I know that some of these are for ANY student.
1. Many of our ELL students are hard workers who want to do their best and please their teachers.
2. Some are easily distracted and need help to get focused.
3. Some need to have extra time to complete their work.
4. Some need extra background experiences or vocabulary instruction.
5. Some need additional grammar work since they don’t understand basic English that we as Native speakers just know.
6. Some need extra writing help.
All of these similarities are normal, yes some of them are time consuming and frustrating. However when you compare our Level 4 and 5 students with our Level 2 and 3 students (we really only have level 1 in Kindergarten) our higher level students are excelling. The CELEBRATION is that most of our ELL students started as level 1 students in Kindergarten so to see where these students are is a TESTAMENT to the great work that our staff is doing with our students. Our students are not always going to be perfect, but in reality how many general education students are perfect? If they were, we would not be teachers. The ELL Teachers at West Lincoln have suggestions to help and the district also has ELL Coaches to help support general education teachers in teaching our level 4 and 5 students. We are here as a team to help our students be as successful as possible.
In the past, ELL used to serve level 4 and 5 students but it was found that the level 4 and 5 students actually did better in the general education classrooms with their English speaking peers than just with each other or with level 2 and 3 students. These higher level ELL students will rise to expectations of a general education classroom after they have been given the TLC and skills from the intensive and supportive ELL pullout classroom when given the opportunity. Level 4 and 5 ELL students need to have positive general education role models that an ELL pull out classroom cannot provide.