Here are some strategies for using picture books across the curriculum with English language learners. The strategies and lesson model provide examples of how to help students master the Common Core Anchor Reading Standards at all grade levels and in a variety of content areas.
Helping English Learners and Newcomers Become Resilient
As ESL/ELD teachers we care passionately about our students to succeed. We feel their struggles, celebrate their successes and encourage them to try harder, even though we recognize the obstacles that challenge their lives every day.
One of my plans for retirement, aside from traveling as much as possible, was to focus more attention on advocacy. It was difficult to do this while working for a school for two reasons. One was obviously time. Visits to many of the people at the local and state level needed to occur during working hours. Secondly, such visits were discouraged by the district because they wanted their 'authorized' representatives making the contacts. One of the biggest problems with that is those representatives did not understand the issues specific to second langauge students.
Working the English Language Learners is much more than just teaching a language. The job by its very nature becomes a combination of social worker, employment counselor, cultural liaison, ambassador, nurse, chauffeur, and sometimes surrogate parent. (Not because the parents are abandoning their role, but often may not understand what is expected of parents in their new country.) One additional critical role that ESL/ESOL/ bilingual teachers play is that of the voice for the voiceless.