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Curriculum Q & A Blog, Question 27

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    EL Education

Do you have questions about teaching the EL Education K–5 Language Arts Curriculum? We've got answers!

Come back every week for the latest from the Curriculum Q & A Blog.

Question: What’s the best way to empower and engage English language learners?

The best answer to this question comes from a blog post previously written by EL Education’s Anne Vilen and Kevin Jepson. That post, which was originally published in ASCD Express, features Language Dives. Language Dives empower students to analyze, understand, and use the language of compelling sentences, which can often seem opaque to students. During a Language Dive, the teacher and students slow down for 10 to 20 minutes to have a conversation about the meaning, purpose, and structure of a compelling sentence from a complex text. 

In addition to linking you to that excellent blog post, we also want to point you to a few new videos that EL Education has produced this year to support English language learners. The first is an overview of various supports offered in the curriculum, with commentary from ESL expert Rebecca Blum-Martinez. The other three videos are all about Language Dives. 

ESL expert Rebecca Blum-Martinez guides us through four high-leverage approaches to supporting English language learners (Language Dives, Conversation Cues, Levels of Support, and Diversity and Inclusion) as we see this in action across grades and disciplines at Lead Academy in Greenville, SC.

See the rigor and joy of Language Dives in a fourth-grade classroom at Lead Academy in Greenville, SC. Following the engaging deconstruct-reconstruct-practice routine, students play with the smallest "chunks" of the sentence, acting them out, rearranging them, or using them to talk about their own lives.

This video is a long version of the small group Language Dive featured in the previous video from Lead Academy in Greenville, SC. This small group consists of six English language learners whose native language is Spanish, and two language minority students, all on various academic levels.

Dive into Language Dives with the instructional coach and two reflective teachers at Lead Academy in Greenville, SC. Sarah, Stephanie, and Sloane describe their approach to Language Dives and Conversation Cues. We see them in action supporting English language learners—and all learners—to access complex topics and texts and explore how language works.