The Coaching and Self-Reflection Tool for Competency in Teaching English Learners

The Coaching and Self-Reflection Tool for Competency in Teaching English Learners

Indicator 1c

Domain 1: Classroom Environment, Student Engagement and Commitment to Learning

Teachers promote student engagement, independence, and interdependence in learning and facilitate a positive learning community through:

icon1c. Maximizing instructional time by effectively managing routines and transitions

Managing routines and transitions for English learners may be affected by a student’s understanding of appropriate behavior based in his or her home culture. School is the primary place in which immigrant students encounter and learn the aspects of the majority, mainstream culture and learn its norms and values (Suárez-Orozco & Suárez-Orozco, 2001). An English learner, particularly a newly arrived English learner, may be unfamiliar with routines and procedures upon entering school. Both the flow of the school day and the flow of lesson, class, or course may affect a student’s access to the content or his or her language development.

Specific practices to maximize instructional time for English learners may include:

  • Consistently and clearly teaching, modeling, and/or positively reinforcing the norms, routines, and procedures.
  • Implementing consistent routines and procedures and fully explaining any changes to those routines or procedures.
  • Using linguistically appropriate methods to strengthen understanding of the norms (e.g., role-play, visual supports, discussion).
  • Grouping newly arrived students with a peer, preferably one who speaks the same native language to reinforce routines and procedures

Sample “Might See” for 1c

In a high school algebra classroom, six of the 26 students are English learners from a variety of backgrounds and languages. All six students are newcomers. An observer might see:

  • A visual schedule for the day’s lesson with an image for each section of the lesson (i.e., a notebook and pencil for the warmup).
  • Two students who speak Mandarin are in a group together, and one student guides the other through the lesson.
  • The teacher uses the fist to five visual cue to rate their comprehension of the concept to determine when to move on.

Sample coaching and reflection questions

  • In what ways have you supported newly arrived ELs in learning the routines and procedures in your class?
  • How might you use different cultural understandings of concepts (e.g., nonverbal communication, collaboration, attribution or citation of text and ideas, concepts of time) in establishing a routine in the classroom?