Question Detail

I am a new ESL teacher looking to build my personal resource library. I will be teaching content-based lessons (English, Science, Humanitites, etc.) for 9/10 year old students to bring them up to speed for the mainstream classroom. I have had plenty of theory and would like to have more practical support, especially on getting my classroom started. I would appreciated any recommendations for my summer reading and preparation.

Jun 29, 2014 1:11am

  • 4
  • Class Culture / Common Core / Differentiation / English Language Learners / New Teachers / Planning


  • You must sign in before we can post your answer.
    Don't have an account? Sign up only takes a few seconds.

    • Jul 5, 2014 6:58pm

      Corrie, I am taking a TESEL course this summer and one of the required readings has been invaluable to me, and I think it would be worth your while as well. It has concrete and useful particulars about assessing ELL's in speaking, listening, reading and writing - ideas and rubrics. The title is "Authentic Assessment for Engish Language Learners: Practical Approaches for Teachers" by J. Michael O'Malley & Lorraine Valdez Pierce. It is a GOOD resource!

      Mary Fahey Fields

      • Jul 8, 2014 6:59am

        I am a former HS ESL teacher in NY. I would encourage you to join your statewide TESOL organization. They will have an annual conference where you can network and get many free resources from publishers. On their website, I would see if they offer a listserv that you can join and reach out to other ESL educators in the state and get advice on them regarding training, curriculum, resources, etc.

        About 6 years ago, I worked with Excelsior College on a project for Educators of ELLs. This checklist of what to do at the beginning of the year is dated now, but still offers some good ideas of what you will need to do to prepare for the new school year (testing and placing students in ESL program, scheduling ELs, communication with classroom teachers, learning about your students, etc).

        Finally, a website that is so valuable for educators on English learners is If you are not familiar with this site, I really encourage you check it out. It is an incredible resources for both parents and educators of ELs and there is an entire section on the Common Core and ELs with lesson plans, video clips, articles, etc.


        • Jul 1, 2014 6:33am


          Definitely check out the information on Universal Design for Learning (UDL). The framework is a very practical way to look at setting up your learning environment to meet the needs of all learners. It's perfect for ELL students and aligns beautifully to the WIDA standards and different language proficiency levels. You can check out a practical book I wrote about UDL which address the practical support you're looking for.


          • Jul 3, 2014 12:05pm

            I would start looking over the standards and being very familiar with what your students will be expected to do. You also need to be really clear about proficiency levels and where your students need the most support. Are they weak in reading? Writing? Listening? Speaking? If you know the proficiency levels and you know the content that students will be covering in each of the subject areas, you can start to scour the internet for accessible resources. Use the domain of strength to deliver content; then move to support the domains that are not as strong.

            • Jul 4, 2014 2:01am

              Thank you Katie and Beth for this very helpful advice. Great suggestions for getting me started!

              • Jul 5, 2014 6:44pm

                Ruth, Could you elaborate on the source of multilingual books for kids. Asian books at did not lead me to a resource. I would love some more details on this! gay

                • Jul 8, 2014 11:10am

                  Corrie, having worked with ELL students of all levels and languages, I would say three things to you: (1) you are doing exactly the right thing by surveying and asking colleagues about their experiences and resources, which will take time to access, absorb and align to your students...but hey, that's what summer's for..ha! (2) 9-10 year olds always benefit from hands-on activities whenever possible, so to that end, gather a variety of materials, from chef's hats to stethoscopes to oil pastels and try to bring in or borrow items that relate to your lessons at least 60% of the time, and (3) use the power of community by setting up and using cooperative learning structures, with students' share out at least once a week. Good luck and enjoy your students!

                  Janice Segall