Tch Talks 27: Five Things You Can Do to Reach & Teach English Learners


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School just got out, so hopefully, as an educator, you’re taking time to relax. But we all know that most teachers don’t shut their minds off completely in the summer. You’re probably already thinking about the year ahead. One thing you might be thinking about is how to better serve your English Language Learners (ELLs), especially since they continue to be a growing population in U.S. schools.

In this episode of Tch Talks, educators Sarah Ottow and Nicole Shimizu share their list of five things you can do to reach and teach your ELLs during the next school year. Their ideas are practical and fairly easy to try, and there are some ideas you can staring work on this summer! Listen to find out more.


Sarah Ottow Podcast Bio Headshot

Sarah Ottow, founder of Confianza, has partnered with countless school districts and companies nationally and internationally. Her focus is on reinforcing relationship skills and value-identification of the ever-growing ELL population, while improving student outcomes and profitability within organizations. With Sarah’s extensive and diverse background in identifying needs of faculty, students, and employees coupled with her education in curriculum and social justice, she creates programs and tools tailored to the exact needs of each organization and population of English learners. Connect with Sarah on Twitter: @SarahOttow.

Nicole Shimizu Podcast Bio Headshot

Nicole Shimizu has over 16 years of experience in education as a classroom teacher, gifted and talented teacher, ELL teacher, ELL facilitator, professional developer, course developer and instructor for Seattle University, K-12 multilingual learner curriculum developer, consultant, and equity coach. As an Asian woman who grew up in one of the nation’s most diverse zip codes, race has always been front and center for Nicole. She grounds her work with Pacific Educational Group as a Courageous Conversations About Race Affiliate Coach in the theoretical and historical underpinnings of systemic racism and Critical Race Theory. Nicole is particularly interested in the intersection of race and English Language Learners. She is also a Certified Project GLAD® Consultant, the Northwest Region’s representative of Teaching Channel's ELL FabFive Squad, and a contributing blogger for Confianza. As a coach, consultant, and professional developer, Nicole has had the unique privilege of working with educators throughout the country, from Hawaii to New York City. Connect with Nicole on Twitter: @ShimizuNguyen.


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1 Comment

  • Private message to Josee Klentak

Tips I love:

Get to know new student. Ask them about their culture; ask them to take pictures of some favorite things in their culture.

 Learn some words in their language and use them. The kids love when you mispronounce.

Spend time somewhere where you are the only English speaker, and learn what is helpful for your communication. Put yourself in students’ shoes. Feel the discomfort to learn. Pictures really help.

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