Teacher Helps

Do you have an English Learner in your class? 


The ELD team at RTMSD is available to help you make decisions for teaching your students, to make suggestions for strategies that work, and to help you choose appropriate materials. Here are some websites to help you with some of the issues you face.


What is Academic Language???

Academic language is the higher level language that is required for success in academic situations. It includes vocabulary as well as the more complex language structures found in academic text. Puzzling, isn't it?



This list contains the head words of the word families in the Academic Word List (AWL). The numbers indicate the sublist of the AWL. For example, abandon and its family members are in Sublist 8 of the AWL.  www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/resource/academicwordlist/default.aspx


Sublist 1 contains the most common words in the AWL. Sublist 2 contains the next most common words, and so on. You can download the Headwords document either as a text (.rtf) file or as an Acrobat (pdf.) file.



Don't know how to determine academic language in the content areas? Try this website. Just type in the copy from any source and then click on "Do It!" Academic language will be color coded according to types of vocabulary. This will help you determine what needs to be pre-taught to your English Learners and other struggling students.



Social Studies Content and Academic Language for the ELL

Check out this website to find help with teaching Social Studies to your English Learners.



The Language of Math

English Learners often struggle with Math - not the computation, but with word problems. Here is a presentation from a TESOL Conference. This may be helpful for understanding why English Learners students (as well as others who struggle with language) have trouble in Math. We hope it will help you deal with the issues -- before they become issues!


Using Mathematical Concepts as Scaffold for Academic Language

View this powerpoint presentation to help understand the place of math educators in academic language development.



Math Language That Works:

Background for Teachers

Why do math students need to learn vocabulary? Read this article to find out why and how you can help.



New Teacher Induction Workshop

This presentation was prepared for the Induction program for new teachers in RTMSD in 2007-08. It is a basic introduction to ELD in RTMSD and will help teachers get started who are new at having English Learners in the classroom.


A Great Resource for Learning More about Language Acquisition

The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition is a goldmine of information to help you learn more about language acquisition. Check it out!



Adjust Your Teaching Style to Your Students' Learning Style

With the implementation of higher standards on all of the grade levels, we face the challenges of raising the instructional levels in our subject area classes. There is an ever-increasing amount of curricula to “cover” and a limited amount of time to cover it. There are also many students in our classes who have instructional support through inclusion models; children who have special needs and have Individualized Education Programs (IEP’s); and children who are English  Learners. Our challenge then, is to address the diversity in learning needs and styles while also maintaining the integrity of the content so our students will attain high scores on standardized achievement tests.



Several articles with how-tos for helping your ELs are listed at this link, which is part of the website above. It contains all kinds of helps for all content areas and age levels.



Games in the Classroom

Here are some suggestions for using manufactured games as well as teacher-made games in different ways to meet the standards you are teaching. The information in these handouts was given in a session at TESOL '08 in New York City.

Using Board Games in the Classroom

Game Adaptations