English as a Second Language (ESLX)

ESLX 500   College Readiness for English Language Learners 2 credits

Traditional language instruction can sometimes overlook what English language learners (ELLs) really need to succeed in the classroom and in post-secondary education. For example, writing instruction might focus too much on memorizing grammar rules and not on actually practicing writing. Or reading and listening instruction might involve rote, inauthentic practice lessons rather than how to interact with real lectures and learning materials. This course focuses on equipping teachers with instructional techniques that help your ELL students learn the academic language that they need to succeed in high school and college. In this course, you will develop strategies to enhance ELL students’ ability to read critically, discuss effectively, and cohesively present ideas in writing. You’ll be equipped with tools to aid students in achieving a balance of language skills, which allows them to perform on par with their native English-speaking peers. In addition, you’ll explore several examples of research-based lessons and assessments that you can implement in your classroom to provide your students with a framework upon which to build their language skills. Using the tools and techniques from this course, you will be equipped to give your ELL students the practical skills they need to speak, listen to, read, and write academic content alongside their native-speaker peers. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ESLX 501   Game-Based Strategies for Language Instruction 3 credits

Every teacher dreams of creating lessons that fully engage their students and help them retain key knowledge and skills. Gamification and game-based learning tap into students’ natural brain processes to create student-centered, fun, and interactive content that will keep students engaged and wanting more. These techniques can be particularly impactful in challenging disciplines such as language instruction. In this course, you will investigate the effectiveness of gamification and game-based learning compared to traditional language instruction. You’ll review a variety of examples of games and how each of them helps to deepen students’ engagement and understanding. In addition, you’ll learn how to incorporate gamed-based strategies into language instruction and how to scaffold and differentiate activities to meet the needs of all learners. Finally, you’ll create a set of games that you can immediately implement in language lessons with your students. Using the resources and techniques from this course, you’ll be equipped to knowledgeably integrate game-based strategies into your language instruction to instill vital skills in your students in a fun and exciting way. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ESLX 502   Instructional Strategies for Diverse Student Populations 3 credits

Today’s classroom is more diverse than ever before. This diversity enriches the lives of everyone involved, but it can also bring challenges if you and your students do not approach it with the appropriate mind-set. In this course, you will learn how to build cultural competence and awareness in both yourself and your students. You’ll discover strategies for building community and differentiating instruction to create a learning environment in which all students can reach their potential. For example, you’ll have the opportunity to examine the demographics of your own state and school district, and to cultivate techniques for getting to know different cultures’ norms and expectations. You’ll learn to create a positive learning environment by reaching and supporting all learners and by helping students build relationships with one another regardless of cultural differences. Using the techniques from this course, you will be able to create a rich, culturally sensitive environment where all students can grow and learn from each other. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ESLX 503   Integrating Native and Heritage Speakers in the Language Classroom 3 credits

Linguistic diversity is an ever-increasing reality in the 21st-century classroom. Considering the large influx of immigrant students and the growth of ESL education programs, teachers in all grades and subject areas must be prepared to create culturally diverse classrooms that support and encourage students from a variety of linguistic backgrounds. In this course, you will explore the latest terminology and instructional techniques used to support ESL students and native and heritage speakers in all types of classrooms. You’ll develop strategies for making your classroom more linguistically inclusive and create a toolkit that will help you support these students regardless of their experience with English. In addition, you’ll take a deep-dive look into how you can incorporate tools and approaches such as the language experience approach (LEA), project-based learning (PBL), the cognitive apprenticeship approach, reflective journaling, and concept development and attainment. Using the techniques from this course, you’ll be equipped to create scaffolded, differentiated lessons that will meet the needs of all language learners and foster a more inclusive classroom and school where these students feel nurtured, supported, and encouraged to succeed. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ESLX 504   Own Your Words: Effective Vocabulary Instruction 3 credits

Regardless of what subject you teach, the meaning and usage of key vocabulary terms are essential building blocks for instructional content. But how can you teach vocabulary to students beyond providing a list of words and their definitions? In this course, you will learn how to select appropriate vocabulary terms for instruction and create meaningful learning activities and games based on them. In addition, you’ll learn to address the needs of English language learners (ELLs) and plan differentiated vocabulary instruction for students of all levels and learning styles. You’ll come out of this course with a vocabulary program that combines direct instruction with a classroom environment that uses rich discussion techniques to enable students to interact with words in a meaningful way. When we “own” our words, we are effective speakers, listeners, readers, and writers. Vocabulary acquisition promotes not only academic success, but also students’ abilities to build peer relationships and effectively convey their thoughts and feelings no matter what topic they encounter. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ESLX 506   Teaching Reading to English Language Learners 3 credits

The job of teaching reading to a classroom full of students with varying English language skills can be overwhelming. This course is designed to support English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers as well as general education and subject area teachers who have ESL students to whom they teach reading. This course outlines the classroom conditions necessary for successful reading instruction of English language learners (ELLs) and describes best practices employed by highly effective teachers. By the end of the course the teacher will have the skills necessary to teach students at all levels of language reading comprehension and how to distinguish between social and academic language. Further, the teacher will be able to confidently reach out to the families of their ELLS, build trust, and encourage involvement in their child’s academic career. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ESLX 507   Teaching Speaking and Listening Skills to English Language Learners 3 credits

English language learners (ELLs) are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, with one in five public school students coming from a home where English is not the primary language . These statistics are projected to increase as the United States becomes more diverse. Teaching language acquisition skills is no longer the sole job of English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers. Educators at every level and in every subject need to be prepared to meet the needs of this growing population of students. This hands-on course offers a teacher resources designed to maximize learning for ELLs. This is a course both for ESL teachers and for general education or subject area teachers that would like to gain effective, research-based best practices for fostering the personal and academic success of ELLs. The teacher will learn practical strategies to encourage active involvement of his or her ESL students, techniques for helping with listening and speaking skills. Finally, teachers will learn tips for instruction and assessments for ELLs and forging a positive, culturally inclusive classroom environment. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ESLX 508   Teaching Writing to English Language Learners 3 credits

Speaking, listening, reading, and writing. These are the four disciplines of learning a language, and the four challenges that your English language learners (ELLs) are working through every day. Speaking, listening, and reading often come up as natural parts of existing lesson plans. But addressing the unique writing needs of ELLs can be a bit more challenging, and requires planning and intentionality. In this course, you will review the classroom conditions necessary for successful writing instruction of English language learners (ELLs). You’ll cultivate lesson ideas for teaching students at all levels of language acquisition how to make connections, ask questions, visualize, infer, determine importance, synthesize, monitor meaning and comprehension, and revise their writing. In addition, you’ll choose effective mentor texts, create assessments that accurately assess ELLs’ writing progress, and learn best practices for providing appropriate feedback and error correction. Using the strategies from this course, you’ll be able to reach students of all levels of language proficiency to motivate and inspire them to learn and grow. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ESLX 509   Cultural Diversity in the Digital Classroom 1 credit

In any learning environment, teachers are typically responsible for 20-plus students representing potentially 20-plus different cultures, perspectives, and learning needs. In the best of circumstances, it’s challenging to include and celebrate all these cultures in your curriculum, but with the added difficulties of remote learning, the task can feel nearly impossible. However, with the right strategies and resources, you can help all your students feel represented, without overloading your already-demanding lesson prep. In this course, you will learn how to infuse cultural diversity into the digital classroom in a way that meshes authentically with your academic content instead of operating in a vacuum. You’ll examine the importance of diversity to a classroom culture and how to honor differences among learners through student-centered instruction, differentiated learning, and student-choice initiatives. In addition, you’ll get strategies for continuously improving culturally responsive teaching strategies to help draw out students’ strengths and unique points of view. By the end of this course, you’ll have practical, meaningful strategies and ideas to become more culturally responsive in a digital learning environment and help your students feel more included and motivated even when they’re physically far apart.

ESLX 510   A Practical Guide for Supporting English Language Learners 3 credits

The number of English language learners (ELLs) entering our classrooms is increasing every year. Although teaching ELLs is incredibly rewarding, many educators feel underprepared to meet the needs of these students—especially given existing time and classroom management constraints. In this course, you’ll learn best teaching practices for helping ELLs on their journey to acquire English language skills as well as assimilate to your school’s learning environment. These techniques include creating a positive, culturally responsive classroom, introducing easy-to-use graphic organizers and visuals, and scaffolding your instruction without making major changes to your lessons. In addition, you’ll review key concepts in language acquisition and get resources for helping students with beginner, intermediate, and expanding levels of English proficiency.