Thursday, October 3, 2013

Canadian Born ESL Students

Building Capacity Series

In this issue of the secretariat the issue of Canadian Born ESL students is discussed.  Our Canadian born ESL students come from a variety of language based homes which range from speaking only their first language to no longer speaking their first language with their parents and other relatives.

This report states that “Canadian-born ELLs are underperforming academically not only in comparison with their English-speaking counterparts but also with more recently arrived immigrant students” (Coelho, 2007; Jang, Dunlop, Wagner, Youn-Hee Kim, Zhimei Gu, in press; Ontario Ministry of Education, 2008).

The article discusses how it may be difficult for some Canadian born students to achieve because they do not have academic words in their vocabulary.

Some of the ways we can help these students are: (Adapted from Coelho, 2007)

  • Give instructions in more than one way – oral, written, and have students repeat instructions to ensure understanding of the task
  • Explicitly teach – sentence structure, double meaning words, academic words (content words and thoughts), idiomatic expressions
  • Use simple vocabulary along with new academic terms to help understanding
  • Allow opportunities for students to practice their learning through the day both orally and written

I hope this helps in understanding how to help our Canadian born ESL students have successful academic careers!
Canadian Born ESL students

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