Building Networks for Learning

Supporting English Language Learners, Grades 1 to 8
Video and Print Resources

This video package was created to help teachers, principals and other members of the school team provide optimal support for English language learners. Each video segment shows a promising practice for meeting the learning needs of ELLs in a range of whole school, whole class and small group settings. The print resources facilitate note-taking, inquiry, reflection and planning before, during and after viewing. Download the Viewer's Guide in PDF for complete instructions on how to use the print and video resources.

Supporting English Language Learners, Grades 1 to 8 contains ten video segments:

Segment One: Understanding English Language Learners | Segment Two: Building a Whole School Approach | Segment Three: Closing the Learning Gap | Segment Four: Learning Through the Curriculum | Segment Five: Talking About Language Acquisition and Learning | Segment Six: Finding Starting Points to Enable Learning | Segment Seven: Adapting the Classroom Program for ELLs | Segment Eight: Differentiating Instruction for ELLs | Segment Nine: Aligning the Work | Segment Ten: Concluding Thoughts


Segment One



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Understanding English Language Learners

Who are ELLs? What are their challenges? What can schools do to support their learning?
Length: 10 minutes

Click play to view online, or download a podcast file:

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Download print resources in PDF:
Who are English language learners?  |  Everyone is a Language Teacher

Segment Two



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Building a Whole School Approach

How can schools build a whole school approach to welcome and support ELLs? What can schools do to engage students and parents in the school community?
Length: 17:02 minutes

Click play to view online, or download a podcast file:

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Download print resources in PDF:
Building a Whole School Approach

Segment Three



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Closing the Learning Gap

Which learning strategies benefit not just ELLs but all students? What are the advantages of co-teaching and small group instruction?
Length: 12:22 minutes

Click play to view online, or download a podcast file:

Windows Media (WMV)
iPod ready (M4V)

Download print resources in PDF:
Adopting Assignments to Support ELLs

Segment Four



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Learning Through the Curriculum

How can teachers make the most of a student's first language skills in classroom experiences? Which instructional supports help ELLs acquire English while meeting the demands of the curriculum?
Length: 11:43 minutes

Click play to view online, or download a podcast file:

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Download print resources in PDF:
A Personal Plan of Action

Segment Five



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Talking about Language Acquisition and Learning

Why is early exposure to reading and storytelling so important for ELLs? What are the benefits of direct teaching of word knowledge and how language works? Listen to experts Elizabeth Coelho and Jim Cummins discuss the role of first language(s) and the concept of "universal design."
Length: 11:04 minutes

Click play to view online, or download a podcast file:

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Segment Six



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Finding Starting Points to Enable Learning

How do initial assessment practices impact learning? How do you establish an effective learning environment not only for ELLs, but for all students. Why are multiple opportunities to talk and process thinking so important for ELLs?
Length: 13:45 minutes

Click play to view online, or download a podcast file:

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Download print resources in PDF:
Analyzing Instructional Strategies

Segment Seven



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Adapting the Classroom Program for ELLs

What modifications and accommodations allow ELL students, even at beginning levels of English proficiency, to participate successfully in the classroom and acquire understanding in content areas?
Length: 16:22 minutes

Click play to view online, or download a podcast file:

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Download print resources in PDF:
The Gradual Release of Responsibility

Segment Eight



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Differentiating Instruction for ELLs

How is differentiated instruction beneficial for ELLs? What instructional strategies are especially powerful?
Length: 25:30 minutes

Click play to view online, or download a podcast file:

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Learning Content and the English Language  |  Differentiating Instruction for English Language Learners  |  Conferencing with English Language Learners – An Anchor Chart

Segment Nine



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Aligning the Work

Why does the whole school community need to support ELLs? Listen to system leaders discuss alignment (school/district/province) to support ELLs in Ontario schools.
Length: 8:15 minutes

Click play to view online, or download a podcast file:

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Download print resources in PDF:
The Strengths and Challenges of Different Support Models

Segment Ten



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Concluding Thoughts

Synthesis of key ideas presented in the video.
Length: 2:35 minutes

Click play to view online, or download a podcast file:

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Other Ontario Ministry of Education Resources to Support ELLs


If you have any questions about Supporting English Language Learners, please contact Tayo McEwen.

Hosted by The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat in partnership with Curriculum Services Canada