• Working with LEP (Limited English Proficient)


     Suggestions for Content Area Teachers

     1.     Adapting Instruction:

     a.     Limit the amount of time spent on lecturing.  However, when presenting new information
    -   Simplify your English using simple sentence structure and simple vocabulary.
    -   Keep terminology constant.
    -   Try to avoid idioms and contractions
    -   Speak clearly.  Your enunciation is very important.
    -   Speak a little slower, but not loudly.
    -   When questioning a student, begin with yes/no questions, then proceed with “wh” questions.
    -   Use actions and body language to reinforce oral statements (check acceptable non-verbal behavior prior to using gestures)
    -   Face the student when addressing him or her – they detect the meaning from your facial expressions, your tone of voice, posture and etc.
    -   Present information in small, discrete and sequential steps.  Simplify directions. 
    -   Check students’ comprehension on a regular and frequent basis (e.g. ask questions, have them repeat or paraphrase directions or have them demonstrate their understanding).
    b.    To increase comprehension use multisensory teaching techniques:
    -   Increase “doing” or hands-on activities for students that do not involve reading or writing.
    -   Use as many different kinds of media as are available to get a concept across (slides, films, overheads, visuals of any sort).
    -   Increase use of demonstration.
    -   Include both verbal and non-verbal activities in each lesson.
    -   Provide oral and written (print) instructions for each day’s assignments.
    -   Encourage group projects so that peer modeling and instruction can be utilized.
    -   Choose a Buddy Tutor for your newcomer – a native English-speaking student can help your ESL student to feel at ease.  It is better if your Buddy Tutor will not speak the language of his/her Buddy Learner.  If you have students who can translate for the newcomers, use them to help with content areas, such as social studies, science, and mathematics.  Rotate Buddies as you feel appropriate – it is better not to rely on one student to be the only Buddy.   A good reader in your class can perhaps tape a picture book, providing a model to which the ESL student can refer again and again.  Let this be a privilege that students will vie for.  Even the lowest student can make a significant contribution by providing vocabulary words for classroom objects or in an elementary phonics book.   

    c.     Provide bilingual assistance to students.

    -   Pair a bilingual student with a LEP student of the same language background.
    -   Arrange for a bilingual tutor (community volunteer, paraprofessional, student, etc.) to give assistance after class.
    -   Identify and obtain bilingual/native language materials for students.
    d.    Help students develop his/her English language skills
    -  Build an oral and written inventory of key vocabulary and language structures to be taught/used in a lesson – introduce these using:   
           a.cassette tapes, b.language master, c. flash cards, d. dictionary/pictionary, e.  manipulatives (essential tools, materials)
                -  Label important classroom materials, areas, safety regulations – preferably with bilingual signs.
                -  Clarify proper use of English in individual basis to avoid embarrassment.

                -  Work with language instructor to develop coordinated curriculum.

                 -  Encourage students to indicate when they don’t understand you.  Praise them for doing this and try to reword what you are saying.


                       e.    Help students understand cultural differences/similarities in education and the world of work.


                     - Orient students to your procedures, classroom and instructional expectations.

                     - Acquaint students with school resources (i.e., library, resource labs, counseling office, etc.)

                     - Explain expectations of American worker and related worker benefits and rights through discussions, guest speakers, field trips, etc.

                    - Provide bilingual role models.

                    - Use community projects which utilize students’ occupational of language skills.

                    - Provide opportunities for students to do projects, which are culturally meaningful to them.  Also, student sharing of these helps cross-cultural understanding in class.

    2.     Adapting Materials
                      a.     Supplement reading materials (texts):


    -   Provide other activities to teach or reinforce concepts presented in text.
    -   Provide additional visuals to illustrate concepts
    -   Provide brief outlines or student guides in simplified English or in native language.

    b.    Highlight key points and language in material:


    -   Teach students to use index cards, chapter headings, and other resources to skim content and identify salient concepts.
    -   Circle, underline or mark important words and statements.
    -   Utilize fill-in-the- blank type assignments using content and concepts from books (allow open-book completion).

    c.     Adapt or rewrite materials into a simpler English:


    -   Use simple sentences; only one-clause – four to six words when possible.
    -   Use only simple tenses and avoid passive tense.  Please note that the greater the grammatical complexity of your sentences, the greater is the difficulty factor.
    -   Use only one concept per sentence.
    -   Eliminate unnecessary description.
    -   Substitute short, common synonyms for words that may be unfamiliar to students.
    -   Use symbols instead of words when possible.