TalkingPoints is a multilingual texting platform developed by a California-based nonprofit with the same name, specifically to link teachers with students’ parents who are not native English speakers. To use the free service, teachers must first log into their account from a browser. They can then type a text message—such as a homework reminder or announcement—and send it to individual parents or a group using their cellphone numbers. Parents—who must sign up to get the message—receive it on their phones as if it were a normal text, and they can respond to the teacher as a text. TalkingPointstranslation is available in more than 20 languages. Costs: Free for teachers; schools pay for premium features
Tell About This is aversatile prewriting or publishing tool that’s easy for young storytellers to use. Dozens of photos sorted into categories, including culture, people, family, and fun, serve as inspiration for prompts.
Vocabulary learning is a pivotal part of any language development program for young learners in both their home language and additional languages. On October 18, 2017, from 10:30a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (ET), TESOL will host a webinar entitled “Vocabulary Riches for Young Learners.”
Researcher and ELL expert Jim Cummins has identified three keys to success in teaching students who are just learning English:
· Engage students in their literacy by providing access to resources.
· Ensure that all teachers are prepared to scaffold their instruction across the curriculum.
· Affirm and value students’ background, culture, and identity.
Across the nation, many schools are using edtech tools to support their teaching of English language learners through these three tactics. Read Middlebury Interactive’s special report on how technology can help address the needs of English language learners.