Fluency & Fitness+ for ESL Students

Most teachers have one question in common and that is “how do I better help my ESL students?” When given the task of meeting the specific needs of each child, it can be overwhelming to know that there are some students who need help not only with the new concepts you will be teaching them, but also with learning the language in general. There are simple ways to help ESL students in the classroom each day that will not have you planning for hours on end! Fluency and Fitness+ is one of the ways you can provide students with the support they need. Find out how Fluency and Fitness+ can help you help your students below!

PROVIDE VISUAL CUES

ESL students are learning to process spoken language. Therefore, learning a new concept or understanding even the most basic instructions can be difficult. Whenever possible, it is helpful to support information with pictures to bridge the gap between what students are hearing and what they are seeing. Providing a visual aid can help to reduce student anxiety as well. Rather than feeling the pressure of decoding what you are saying on their own, a visual aid will provide a stepping block to help them reach the goal. Visual guides are essential to help ESL students process and enhance overall comprehension. 

Here are some ways Fluency and Fitness+ provides visual cues: 

  • Fluency and Fitness+ brain breaks provide visual cues on each slide. Students use the cues/pictures to answer each question (with a fun exercise here and there too, of course!) This will help ESL students to retain what they are learning by using the visual cues to answer each question all while having FUN doing so! 
  • Fluency Find It games provide visual cues on each slide with an added worksheet that students will need to match with their answers. This will help students to retain what they are learning by matching their answer to the visual cue on their worksheet. 
  • Digital Task cards provide visual cues with each question. Students are asked to complete a task and answer a question correctly using the prompt provided. 

BUILD VOCABULARY 

One of the key ways to teach an ESL learner is through vocabulary. Think of vocabulary as the foundation on which students can build their learning. As vocabulary improves, so will all other aspects of learning both academically and socially. 

Here are some ways you can use Fluency and Fitness+ to build student vocabulary: 

  • Fluency and Fitness+ games always begin with student instructions using key words that will help to build student vocabulary. 
  • There are many Fluency and Fitness+ games that include vocabulary practice. 
    • CVC  Words
    • Compound Words
    • Sight Words
    • Sentence Practice
    • and more! 
  • Digital Task Cards ask students to complete specific tasks. This requires students to practice listening to instructions and answer the questions appropriately. Digital Task Cards are also self-checking, so students can see whether they have answered correctly and make changes as needed to help with understanding. 

PRO TIP: Speaking of vocabulary, sight words are key to build good readers! For extra sight word help, check out this blog post from Tickled Pink In Primary.

USE GROUP WORK 

Help your ESL learners by providing plenty of opportunities for team work. Group activities are an excellent way for students to immerse themselves and practice language skills socially. 

Fluency Find It games are the perfect opportunity for ESL students to develop their language skills in a setting with minimal pressure. During  Fluency Find It games, students CAN work individually, but you can also put students in small groups. Try playing in teams by assigning each student a color or number. As they play the game, it will be their turn to answer the questions when their color (or number in the group) is up! 

PRO TIP: Before placing ESL learners in a group, be certain they understand the expectations of the task at hand and provide visual cues if possible to prevent any confusion. 

READ OUT LOUD 

Reading out loud for both the teacher and student will benefit ESL learners. As the teacher, when you read out loud, you are modeling your reading. ESL learners can observe the words you are reading, how you decode words, how you use inflection while reading, etc. As a student, reading out loud will help to practice putting their skills to use. 

Fluency and Fitness+ will read instructions and many answers out loud. Students are able to practice reading out loud when shouting their answers for each slide.  

CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING

After providing students with all of the above, it is important to check for their understanding. While it may seem that students are grasping concepts and instructions, sometimes it can be difficult to know if they are truly moving forward in their understanding. 

Check for understanding within our student Task Cards by creating a classroom, assigning specific games to students based on their needs and then receive data on how they answered the questions in each game. Watch for progress, print a data report, and tailor each activity to the student.

PLAN ENGAGING ACTIVITIES

As with all students, providing engaging activities will enhance learning. Students are able retain information more easily when they associate a concept with FUN. Fluency and Fitness+ is the perfect way to provide this! Students are able to get up and moving while still learning! Choose from any of our games and watch student engagement skyrocket! 

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