Teaching English Language Learners (ELL): An Introduction

This course focuses on effective strategies for English language instruction. Participants will go beyond a one-size-fits-all approach to explore and implement innovative ways of teaching vocabulary and grammar, listening and speaking, reading and writing, and designing fair and accurate assessments. Learn more about ELL (English language learner) students and their needs and how to choose the most appropriate materials and activities for the classroom. Explore how teachers can choose and fine-tune the principles that exactly fit their teaching situation. Participants will rethink the traditional native vs. non-native distinction, see why teaching English is so different from teaching other subjects, and explore innovative approaches like Communicative Language Teaching and the lexical approach. 

For more information and to enroll, click:

Teaching English Language Learners (ELL): An Introduction


Check out what other teachers from your area and across the country are saying about this course.

California | Washington


I learned a lot in Chapter 6 regarding the different types of vocabulary knowledge. This is something that had not occurred to me earlier. My students often have receptive/expressive language difficulties which affect their overall school performance. They like over use like words like to like tell someone like something. They lack the vocabulary to express themselves any other way. I will be using many of the vocabulary activities discussed in Chapter 6 in my classroom. I also appreciated conformation of the value to using skimming and scanning as a way of “reading” material. Many of my students get so bogged down with the process of reading text that they completely miss the content/context of the text. I have always felt a little guilty teaching students to read around the text – including previewing any ‘end of the chapter questions’ – prior to reading text. I feel much more confident that what I am doing to help poor-reading students navigate content-specific text is what I should be doing. CA, 2014


This course covered a lot of information that I will apply to my teaching. One of the most important concepts that I will take away from this course is the importance of knowing my student(s). For example, why is the student in my class? What is the student hoping to learn from my class? What are my student’s interests? Doing this will help me to plan and design activities and opportunities that are of value to the student. The end result of this will hopefully be a student that is excited and motivated to learn and use English. I also found the principles of Murphy & Byrd discussed in Lesson 2 to be informative to my work with students learning English. I have already touched on the concept of student motivation in the previous paragraph but the idea that the ‘quantity of motivation’ is more important than the ‘quality of motivation’ was new to me. If as an English teacher I can increase a student’s motivation, there is more likelihood that the student will progress. According to Alene Moyer, “students who are highly and consistently motivated can become successful language learners.” Another principle presented by Murphy & Byrd is, “Learners progress when they are ready.” In this context ‘ready’ means the student has the prerequisite skills and understanding to move on to learn new concepts and skills. I will keep this in mind when I notice that a student does not seem to be ‘learning’. When I encounter a student that may be struggling, I will ask myself if the student is ‘ready’. In other words does the student have a good understanding and mastery of the earlier skills on which the current concept/skill is built. WA, 2014

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