How to help English language learners in the classroom

February 16, 2019

Are your English language learners getting hung up on their science homework? Do you need homework help for 6 – 8th grade science? If so, you need to read this article.

Most middle school science classes broadly cover the natural science, from basic physics, chemistry, earth sciences, and biology. Grasping so many concepts can be tricky, especially someone learning English for the first time. If your ELL students need help with homework, you should consider using visual flashcards.

Junior high (especially 8th grade) is the time when schools change from general ideas to specific concepts in terms of teaching science. Teachers are preparing you for high school the more rigorous science classes you will take in high school. Therefore, it is vitally important that you start building good study habits ASAP. Up until this point in school, you could probably get by without studying or readying the book too closely. Also very important is to do the homework and understand what you’re doing! You will eventually be tested on the material covered in homework–that is a guarantee.

If you believe your student is spending enough time reading the book but aren’t getting the grade you want, you should consider using visual flashcards to quiz the student on what they just read. If you’re already spending 4-6 minimum per week studying (that should probably be enough studying to get an A in most junior high science classes), then you need to seek alternative ways of studying.

Getting kids interested in science at an early age is very important. It’s easier than you think. Science does not have to be something mysterious. It is happening all around us, and you can use everyday things to encourage your children’s interest and knowledge.

Most parents believe that they can’t help their children with science. But you don’t need an advanced scientific degree to teach kids science. All you need is a willingness to try, to observe the world, and to take the time to encourage their natural curiosity.

You can help by having a positive attitude toward science yourself. Then start simply by asking your child questions about the things you see every day. Why do you think that happened? How do you think that works? And then listen to their answer without judging it or judging them. Listening without judging will improve their confidence, and help you determine just what your child does or does not know.flashcards

You can turn every day activities into science projects. For example, don’t just comment on how bright the moon is one night. Ask questions about why it’s brighter tonight, why does it change shape, etc. You can observe the moon’s phases throughout a month, and turn that activity into a science project, without even mentioning the words “science project”. For a preteen that likes cooking, observe how milk curdles when you add vinegar, or how sugar melts into syrup. Try baking a cake and asking why does the cake rise? What happens if you forget to put in some ingredient? Voila! Instant science project idea, without being intimidating to you or your child.

Different kids have different interests so they need different kinds of science projects. A rock collection may interest your English language learner, but another student may need something more involved. Fortunately, it’s not hard to find plenty of fun projects. Knowing your child is the best way to find enjoyable learning activities.

Visual Brand Study Guides are excellent tools to help English language learners connect language with science and social studies content. Detailed images and thorough definitions of key vocabulary terms provide limitless opportunities for students to explore the English language and acquire new vocabulary and knowledge that support classroom instruction. As students develop language proficiency in science and social studies topics, they also gain transferable reading comprehension and oral communication skills that lead to overall academic success.

Sign up for our newsletter HERE and you will receive a FREE print and online version of the best-selling astronomy study guide!