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Strategies to Aid the Transition of ELL Students

             You have just received a new non-English speaking student. The student's family came to United States as political refugees. The students and his family have spent the last two year in a relocation camp, in where the student had very limited educational experiences. Unfortunately no other student in the class speaks the same language as the student. As an educator, it is a very challenging yet rewarding task to welcome a new student to your class after the start of the academic year, and it is especially challenging when this is a non-English speaking student. Although this can be a challenging experience, it is the teacher's number one priority to ensure that the student feels welcomed and a part of the class from day one. In an effort to ensure that the student feels a part of the classroom culture, we want to reduce any anxieties that the student may be feeling by creating useful aids to assist in the transition. Immediately upon the student entering the room, the teacher and students will greet the student and introduce themselves to the student. The student will also be paired with peers who will assist in showing the student key areas of the classroom and school building such as restrooms, cafeteria, gymnasium, auditorium, and school office. Some additional things the teachers and students could prepare might be a booklet of activities, a dictionary in the student's native language and English to help students make connections, a classroom schedule, a list of student names, engaging English books, and even manipulatives for mathematics tasks. All of these activities/items will help the ESL student feel greeted and engaged in the learning process immediately. Also the teacher has to be sensitive about the student's emotional state. Teacher should contact guidance counselor and social workers to help the student and the family with any emotional problems. The teacher will also be in communication with the students' parents on a consistent basis to ensure that the needs of the student are being met.

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