Back to Blog

Tips & Strategies for Working with Emergent Bilinguals

bilingual ed classroom csp curriculum educational equity resources Jun 08, 2022

 When working with emergent bilinguals in the classroom it is important to have a well-developed toolbox of strategies that celebrates their strengths and builds on their needs. This work doesn’t have to be a mystery. It is about intention and preparation. In this blog post, we have some research-based strategies that are classroom-ready. 

The 7 step vocabulary strategy: It supports the development of academic language and content knowledge by providing meaning to the words, review, and reinforcement throughout the lesson. This vocabulary strategy also provides multimodal (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) learning to students, and communication time with other students in order to develop language skills. Learn more here. 

One pagers: This includes using a graphic organizer that provides organization of information, critical thinking, sequencing of events, and a way to present content knowledge in multimodal ways by the student (visual). Here are some examples. One Pager Examples Students can add words, phrases, and/or sentences to the graphic organizer. This lowers the affective filter of the student (check out this post, explaining what ‘affective filter’ means), and adds a sense of comfortability knowing they are owning their learning by adding what they know in either their home language or in English.  #onepagers 


Question cards or sentence frames: This strategy provides a model to answer orally and/or begin a written answer. Also, you can provide a way to scaffold for students who are emerging language learners. Consider this blog post with some examples


Student pairs: In this strategy, students are paired up throughout a lesson by sharing out oral sentences during partner talk. Students answer questions orally to check understanding by using sentence frames to help guide conversation with their partner. Teachers can model with students what a productive conversation can look like and sound like prior to independent release. If students are monolingual, they can still participate in their home language by engaging with another student who speaks the language. In this way, everyone can participate and the approach is inclusive! 


We wish your classroom to be a superb research-based, affirming learning hub for emergent bilingual students! 


Special thanks to our team member Roxana Vanatta for her writing and research on this blog post. 

Don't miss a beat!

Get our blog delivered to your email whenever we post!

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.