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Hip-Hop Culture to Support ELL, Teachers are on a challenging road, now even more than ever before. Alongside online schooling that was brought by this horrific pandemic, there are new challenges ahead. For example, did you know that English Language Learners (ELLs) are the fastest-growing student population in the US?
According to an NEA Policy Brief, nearly 25 percent of public schools will be English Language Learners by 2025. Indeed, this is a dramatic increase, which means teachers should adapt their teaching style and address their struggles.
Believe me when I say they are vast. Especially if you get a student who barely understands you. Being a good teacher in those conditions is undoubtedly complicated. Luckily, I have some strategies ready for you to take your teaching skills to the next level and help you give those kids the best training possible.
Trust me, they will need it.
ELL/ESL students often struggle academically
Hip-Hop Culture to Support ELL, Learning a new language, with all its exceptions and dialects, is hard. It can be frustrating, which leads to a lack of motivation. Not only those students struggle with the workload. They may also lack communication skills to participate in a regular classroom setting.
Mentally, that can be utterly overwhelming, so creating a supporting classroom is paramount.
So, how can you prepare to be the best possible teacher to those kids? Unfortunately, many teachers have little or no training at all for ELL/ESL students. However, all of them can learn the most effective methods to ensure their future success.
It’s time to up your game
I know you have your own challenges to face. Those kids need to make adequate yearly progress, and that is your responsibility. Hence, you need to up your game when it comes to class preparation and activities you combine to make it easier for ELL/ESL students to participate.
These are the strategies you can use to help those students. The good news is these are pretty straightforward. Moreover, use those, and you will help everyone in your class perform better since the strategies are beneficial for all your students.
1. Assess your students’ needs
Do a quick English-language proficiency quiz to get a clear picture of where their skills lie. Then, you can make your battle plan.
2. Empathy is the key
The situation these kids are in is challenging and overwhelming, so help them not to feel alienated. Encourage socializing with classmates and make sure they’re not left out. The sense of belonging is invaluable.
3. Track their language progress
I recommend making a portfolio of students’ progress during the year. Making audiotapes is also an excellent way to do that.
4. Support bilingualism
Your students’ first language should not be neglected when it comes to literacy development. So, feel free to encourage them to continue using their native language in their free time.
5. Get the family involved
The parents should feel like a part of the community, so involve them if they wish. You can explain the expectations and routines while discovering certain unique traits or skills these kids might have. Take an interest in their culture, talents, and interests.
6. Foster cultural diversity appreciation
Why not make an excellent, creative project to really honor ELL/ESL students’ heritage? Grab a bulletin board and a world map, then ask your students to pin their family names over their countries of origin. Better yet, plan a classroom international food festival, and make sure to involve parents also.
Make a tradition out of it, and your class could quickly become one big, happy family.
7. Make it visual
ELL children typically need more time to process spoken language, so make sure you write whenever possible and support your words with pictures, diagrams, and alike.
8. Make time for group work
Engagement is the key to successful learning. Encourage small group projects where your ELL/ESL students can practice speaking with their peers in a less tense setting.
9. Honor their silent phase
Some ELL/ESL students have a hard time opening up once they start in a new classroom. So, don’t push them. Let them have their silent phase without being forced to talk. This is a perfectly normal stage in second language learning, so make sure not to put too much pressure on them.
10. Allow playing with their native language
Let the students express themselves or ask questions in their first language if that’s the way they are able now. Let them first get a bit more relaxed.
11. Learn about their background, but don’t make them speak for their entire culture
Population grows more diverse every year, so it’s wise to learn the basics of where your students are coming from to show them you respect their culture and heritage. Once they feel that, they will be more open to learning.
Ebonics/AAVE in classrooms
Ebonics in schools was a controversial issue in the past. However, teachers were always well aware of the most significant issues some kids have to deal with. Kids come from different places – from their socio-economic status to their language skills. Many black Americans speak a language that Standard American English speakers tend to call “slang.”
Ebonics, which is literally ebony phonics, is a mixture of African languages and standard English. Basically, Black English.
Ebonics’ origins trace back to the time of slavery. Hip-Hop Culture to Support ELL the language is a dialect made up of an African structure/grammar. However, Ebonics is not a mere dialect; it is a whole different speech. Moreover, it is a different formal language. Its morphology and phonology often cause reading problems with many black children.
Theoretically speaking, the language scholars who prefer the term Ebonics highlight the African roots in African American speech. Also, to honor connections with languages of the Black Diaspora. However, in practice, AAVE and Ebonics basically refer to the same speech form sets. Therefore, Ebonics is currently a widely known and more popular term.
So, the reality is, many kids came to schools carrying within them a language that is not standard English. Therefore, we as teachers must do our best to help them transition while being culturally sensitive and empathetic.
But the truth is, some Black students fall back because their home and street language are vastly different from the language they are supposed to use in class.
What can teachers do?
First and foremost, you should be aware that the language those kids bring to class is deeply connected to their community, roots, and personal identity. So please, refrain from referring to this form of speech as “wrong.”
Since we’re talking about culture, I have a suggestion for Hip-Hop Culture to Support ELL.
Bring some Hip-Hop Culture to Support ELL
Hip-Hop Culture to Support ELL, This is undoubtedly one crazy fun way to have a more culturally inclusive and equitable classroom. And not only that, by bringing hip-hop into it, you will help improve the educational outcomes of ELL/ESL students.
In addition, you can actually use this fantastic genre to facilitate the acquisition of their standard English skills.
Why not try getting your students to write their own rap lyrics using the language concepts they’ve learned in your classroom? I guarantee it; kids will have loads of fun sharing their original poetry. And as we’ve already learned, engagement leads to better learning.
Studies have shown that the human brain is better at memorizing new words sung or chanted. Moreover, it includes sound patterns, especially repetition and rhyme elements, primarily found in hip-hop music.
It is empowering for kids to feel like their interests, culture, and experiences count. They truly shine when they see that what they identify with is valid and valued in their classroom Hip-Hop Culture to Support ELL.