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What is ELL – English Language Learner?

First of all, ELL refers to English language learners. They are students who come from non-English speaking homes. Also, these students are learning English. Furthermore, many ELL students have skills in basic English communication. However, they struggle with academic language. This makes classroom instruction difficult for them to understand. Therefore, there is a need for modified instruction for such students. These students are unable to speak fluently and also learn effectively in English. In this article, we will see the importance and ELL strategies that work for the whole class.

ell strategies

Importance of ELL Strategies for Students

Simple speaking, ELL students receive benefits in the following ways:

Take responsibility

The students become aware of how they learn best. So, they are able to put this into practice. They are also able to learn faster with accuracy. This motivates them to keep on learning. Hence, the students become more responsible.

Play to their Strengths

It is very frustrating for a student to not understand something while everyone else understands. Similarly, ELL students can feel this way when they can’t effectively learn English. Students perform very well when playing to their strengths. This happens when students have the strongest learning strategies.

Monitor their Goals

Correct ELL strategies let students see their progress. Also, they will have the tools to monitor it themselves. If the progress is hidden from students, they may become demotivated. This is because they will lose interest.

Learn Quickly

When students stick to ELL strategies, then they can learn anything. The students can learn any aspect of English language quickly. The students can certainly learn faster with ELL strategy than another strategy.

9 ELL Strategies for Whole Class

Following are eight excellent ELL strategies that work for the whole class:


This seems like such an obvious strategy that it is overlooked. Learning a language may seem like an almost impossible task. However, if students plan to do one small task at a time, they will find success. Hence, teachers should teach students proper planning.


A teacher must teach students to monitor their learning. If students monitor their learning, then they can speed-up their learning. This is because students feel personally responsible for their progress. ELL students feel powerless in English speaking environments. However, monitoring helps such students take back some control.


ELL students must evaluate their performance. The self-evaluation is beneficial for both student and teacher. The evaluation takes place after learning a task or lesson. Furthermore, it takes place after implementing a new learning strategy. Evaluation helps the student become aware of where they currently stand in learning.

Making Predictions

Making predictions increases a student’s understanding. Students should not jump straight into a task. Rather, they should take some time for a prediction. Prediction should be about what the task entails. Also, the prediction should be for the knowledge necessary for the task. Prediction raises the existing knowledge of student about the topic. It also generates vocabulary related to the topic.

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Language Transfer

This refers to the influence of the first language on learning the second language. Most noteworthy, this is a very useful strategy. There are similarities between some words in English and other languages. This seems to be very helpful for ELL students. Language transfer is helpful in student comprehension.


There exist many students cannot express themselves during a task. Therefore, such students can find alternative ways of using a language. This alternative way can get a similar meaning across. This is what is meant by substitutions. An example can be collecting information from multiple sources rather than one source.


Here use is made of visual aids for learning. Imagery is very useful for all ELL students. This is because they really struggle when the language is written or spoken. Imagery helps to strengthen meaning for ELL students.


This refers to performing the act of a particular person. ELL students hesitate to speak the language in class. This is because they are afraid of making mistakes. Therefore a role-play event can encourage such students. An example can be to show students a video of political debate. Then the students similarly should do debate as a role-play.

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