How to Teach with the 5 Stages of Language Acquisition in Mind with Guest Cris Howard


Click below to hear how to teach with the 5 stages of language acquisition in mind:

Do you know what stage of language acquisition your ELL students are in and how to support them in that stage? Understanding the stages and knowing where your students are at is so important in helping them successfully learn the English language. Cris Howard is joining us today to share her extensive knowledge on language acquisition and its importance.

Keeping the stages of language acquisition in mind when we are teaching our ELLs is key to helping them understand and retain the language. Cris is sharing some incredibly helpful insight on language acquisition with us. She is covering her experience teaching English, what language acquisition is and why it matters, why it is important for teachers to understand this approach, what the steps of language acquisition are, and tips on how to teach students at each stage.

Cris Howard is from Brazil and speaks three languages: English, Portuguese, and Spanish. She worked as an EFL teacher for 14 years in Brazil, and as a Family Education ESL teacher in the US for a few years before working as an ELL teacher for the past 7 years in a Southern Indiana district, and as Adjunct Professor for the ENL program at Indiana University Southeast for the past 5 years. She loves languages, Applied Linguistics, teaching Multilingual Learners and connecting with other educators on Twitter.

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Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Cris’s extensive experience teaching English in Brazil and the U.S.
  • What language acquisition is and why it matters
  • Why understanding language acquisition is important when teaching ELL students
  • What the stages of language acquisition are
  • Tips for teaching students at each stage of language acquisition


Related episodes and blog posts:

Connect with Beth:

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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.



  • Where can I find Cris’s research or work on running records with ELL’s? It was mentioned in the podcast.

  • Did Cris say that some schools in California use brain records? I would like to know more about this topic and how this impacts ELs.


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