4 Essential Language Domain Routines for Teachers of ELLs

ESL language domains
Could you use some support implementing all four of the language domains into your lesson plans? In this episode, host Beth Vaucher shares teacher-friendly, student-friendly routines for each of the language domains!

Why do routines matter? Routines are not just about structure; they play a pivotal role in your students’ language development. They create a sense of comfort, predictability, and safety, lowering the affective filter and allowing students to thrive. Furthermore, routines provide accountability and ensure that you, as educators, consistently focus on strengthening the language skills of your ELLs!

Listening Routine: Preparing Active Listeners
Listening skills are the foundation upon which language proficiency is built. Whenever you present a new text or passage, give your students the opportunity to pre-listen. This might involve presenting the text at a slower pace or even in their native language.

Speaking Routine: Building Confidence through Daily Practice
Daily speaking is key to building confidence and fluency in ELLs. Establish a daily speaking warm-up routine. Begin with a picture that engages students. Have them describe, ask questions about, or compare and contrast things in the picture. This routine promotes both social and academic language skills, and it can be easily adapted for various grade and language levels.

Reading Routine: Strengthening Literacy Skills
Reading significantly enhances overall language proficiency. Implement a reading routine that starts with front-loading vocabulary. Select 5-6 vocabulary words based on their frequency and relevance to the upcoming reading material. Additionally, introduce tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary words, abstract terms, and common prefixes and suffixes to enrich students’ vocabulary.

Writing Routine: Unlocking Self-Expression
Writing can be a powerful tool for self-expression, but it’s often the last skill to develop for ELLs. To make writing enjoyable and pressure-free, introduce the “Strengthen A Sentence” routine. Using a picture as a prompt, each student writes a sentence, then passes it to a peer who makes one modification. This collaborative process helps students enhance their sentences and fosters teamwork.

Implement these routines in your classroom and watch your ELLs thrive! And listen to the full episode as Beth spells out an example of a lesson that includes all 4 language domain routines! This lesson plan template takes little prep and helps you be sure to address all four language domains!
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More about Equipping ELLs:

We all know that teaching isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be this hard. Equipping ELLs is a podcast for both ESL specialists and homeroom teachers who are looking for effective and engaging ways to support their English Language Learners without adding to their endless to-do list. Tune in each week to hear tips, strategies, and inspirational stories that will empower you to better reach your ELL students, equip them with life-long skills, and strengthen relationships with colleagues and parents.

Your host, Beth Vaucher, is the founder of Inspiring Young Learners. She is an ESL certified homeroom teacher with over 10 years of experience teaching in the US and internationally. Her background of M.Ed in ESL and Curriculum and Instruction combined with her experience has led her to develop a bestselling newcomer curriculum that has sold in over 90 countries around the globe. She brings a different perspective to teaching ELLs from her years teaching and living abroad and working with ELLs from around the world. You will walk away from each episode with the ideas and tools you need to transform your experience as a teacher and cultivate a thriving and welcoming environment for your ELL students.



Find a variety of best selling resources created specifically with the diverse needs of ELLs in mind.