See the Hotlinks section for links to further resources with specific ideas for ELL family outreach. Specific and measurable goal: Students will engage in a weekly writing activity that will focus on developing a certain skill such as creative vocabulary use, the correct format of an essay or the peer editing process. The ability to write effectively and accurately to convey a message is a very important skill for a college student and in most careers.
However, it often seems as if the curriculum is largely focused on developing reading and math skills. Of course, these are very important too, but students need to have many positive opportunities to develop writing skills in a variety of formats in order to strengthen their communication skills. For ELLs this is particularly important. Depending on their writing skill level in their first language and their English language abilities, writing may be frustrating.
Students need to engage in a variety of writing to develop an understanding of different types of writing and to identify their strengths and weaknesses as a writer. I want to underscore the importance of interacting with writing in a positive way by examining creativity and word usage, in addition to the mechanics of writing. Many ELLs will focus negatively on problems with mechanics and miss the strengths they display in their writing. We write the way we think and speak, and by analyzing our writing we begin to analyze our thoughts and speech as well. When students discuss their writing they are able to see their thoughts and statements from someone else's perspective and they gain awareness of their own language development.
In this age of technology where a lot of communication is done electronically, it is more important than ever that students develop the ability to state their thoughts clearly and accurately in writing — as well as to know the difference between texting a message to buddies and sending an email to the boss. See the Hotlinks section for links to instructional resources for writing. I hope that this list of "Five Things" will be helpful as you set academic goals for the rest of the year. You may find, of course, that if you create your own they will be more meaningful, and you're more likely to stick with your plan.
I hope you will be able to pick at least one thing and give it a try. The other thing I have learned from the resolution experts at women's magazines is that baby steps are better than no steps at all.
So give it a try and go easy on yourself if it doesn't go as well as planned or if you get busy and don't keep up as well as you'd like. The most important thing is that you explore an instructional area that you know will improve the academic achievement of ELLs, and commit yourself to continued improvement in Happy Teaching in the New Year! Note: For more recommended online resources, take a look at the Hotlinks that follow each of these articles and webcasts.
With generous support provided by the National Education Association. By Kristina Robertson. On this page Strategies for the New Year Hotlinks. Strategies for the New Year 1.