Reply To: Instructional Strategies for supporting EL and Special Population students

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nafmeadmin
Keymaster

I teach in an inner-city where we have lots of ELLs. In Music class my strategies to help them include lots of visuals.

For Grades K and higher, I have song lyrics on poster paper on an easel next to the carpet. I point to the words as I teach the song, then I have a competent kid point to the words as the class practices the song. (It’s a great way to have them sing the song ad nauseum and not get tired of it!) …. For older kids – Grade 3 and higher – ideally I would put the lyrics on an overhead projector and have the kids follow along with one kid at my computer pointing to the words. …. Well, my room is a converted storage room so needless to say I don’t have a projector!! My strategies are to put ELLs next to higher-ability students, hand out printouts of song lyrics and walk around while teaching phrases and make sure that the ELLs are following. I also ask a nearby student to help given students find the spot in the song or otherwise help the ELL student.

Another strategy is to use pictures and motions to teach songs. These are great anyway to keep kids’ attention and engagement, but for ELLs they are a link between their language and English. There’s no language involved in pictures, which makes them universal communication tools! I have pictures related to the song on the easel with the lyrics – or I tape them to construction paper and laminate them – then let kids hold them up while they’re learning the song.

Re: motions – use songs with motions, or create motions to go with songs you’re teaching. To check comprehension, after a couple times through the song with motions, ask the class how the motions relate to the song (this is probably grade 1-3); what do they have to do with the song. This will help kids realize (though it should be obvious) the relation and purpose in using motions.

Good luck!!