Understanding Language Acquisition for English Language Learners (with Kathy Salmon)

Teaching ELLs is more than "just good teaching". By understanding some basic language acquisition theory teachers can better select appropriate materials, resources, strategies and supports for the ELLs they teach. This interactive session will introduce teachers to basic language acquisition theory including Cummin's BICs and CALP, Krashen's Comprehensible Input, Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development, Roessingh's Vocabulary Thresholds and Oxford's Strategies. Participants will have the opportunity to connect the theory to their practice during the session.

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Handouts and Resources

Introduction to ESL Theory.ppt

More than Good Teaching Intro to Language Acquisition Handout.docx

About the Facilitator

Kathy Salmon

Kathy Salmon is the PD Director South for the ESL-C. Currently she is a Curriculum Manager, ESL for Alberta Education, seconded from the Calgary Board of Education. Kathy's teaching degree is an Elementary Language Major with an ESL Minor and she received her Masters of Education, TESL from the University of Calgary. Her experience includes ESL Designate K - 6, ESL Learning Leader K-9, ESL Specialist K-12 and Assistant Principal at Connaught Elementary. She recently taught Gr. 3/4 Literacy, Kindergarten Oral Language Development, and Gr. 5/6 Math, Science and Phys. Ed. Kathy was involved as a writer of the new Alberta K-12 ESL Proficiency Benchmarks. She embeds explicit language instruction into differentiated outcome based learning experiences for ELLs. She believes that understanding language acquisition helps teachers to teach ELLs more effectively in the context of the classroom.

This resource was developed by ERLC as a result of a grant from Alberta Education to support implementation.