3 Mistakes You Might be Making When Teaching Reading/Writing to ELLs and How to Fix It


Click below to hear mistakes when teaching reading/writing to ELLs:

There is a big difference in how the ELL brain learns to read and write compared to native speakers. Reading and writing are the two most difficult domains for our ELL students. It makes it even more challenging for those students when we are using materials that were designed for native English speakers, not ELLs. 

In today’s episode, I’ll share some of the mistakes we make while teaching reading and writing to our English language learners and what we can do to better support them and build a strong foundation. We will focus on phonics, comprehension, and writing. I’ll share ways to reduce the frustration and anxiety your students feel around reading and writing and how to increase their chances of success.

If you’re looking for ways to support the writing of your ELLs, check out my brand new resource, Give Your Writing a Workout. This resource walks you through the foundations of writing and includes anchor charts, interactive grammar notebooks, games, and mo

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Ways you may be adding unneeded frustration to your ELL students with commonly used phonics activities and what you should be doing instead
  • Why more phonics instruction is not always best for ELLs
  • Ways to build comprehension skills and why it’s important to strengthen comprehension skills even when students can’t read on their own
  • Challenges our ELL students face with writing and tips for building a strong writing foundation for our students

Related resources:

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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.


One Comment

  • I really enjoyed this podcast and believe I have found my anchor in you.

    A few years ago, I transitioned from a general ed elementary teacher (where I developed into an effective and passionate reading teacher) to a middle school reading specialist/dyslexia specialist. This was in Title 1 public schools in the DFW area of Texas. All of my classrooms have been with struggling, native English speakers. I have an intermediate level of Spanish, too.

    Now, I’m transitioning to a stand alone K-3 ESL teacher position in a small, Title 1 school in Culebra, Puerto Rico. Each class/grade will come to my room for approximately 1 hour per day. As far as I know, I won’t have any curriculum and my only instructs thus far are, “Teach them English.” I asked if I could use a centers-based model and they said, “Your job is to teach them English.” I asked if I could teach them to read in English as that is my love and passion. “They said, “Your job is to teach them English however you feel is best.” As you know, that is exhilerating and scary at the same time. My Guatemalan husband laughs and says, “Honey, they aren’t used to teachers like you.” I’m working on PD and lesson plans already and the school director said they don’t do anything related to next year until a couple of weeks before school starts.

    I moved all of my leveled and decodable readers, centers, Hokki stools, teacher toolboxes, etc. down here so I’m well-supplied. In fact, half of our house is my teaching stuff.

    I am wondering if you know anything about the Reading Simplified program? I already have a membership with them, but I’m worried it might not be a good fit for my new kiddos. Also, I have tabs open for your ELL Strategy Academy and your Curriculum membership. I really can’t afford both right now so I’m hoping you can give me insight into what to purchase today.


    Maria Gonzalez


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