Reflection: ELL Students Introduction to Figurative Language, Part I - Section 2: Getting Down to Business


The different types of figurative language are, collectively, the most difficult part of a learning a second language.  However, one kind does stand out as being particularly hard to navigate for English Language Learners: the idiom.  Idioms are based on an Anglo-Saxon history that our ELL students are not going to have. 

In my classroom, I have a high percentage of ELL students, and my approach to idioms (and other difficult concepts for these kiddos) has served me well in my years here.

When introducing idioms, I congratulate my ELL students on reaching the very top level of English instruction.  I tell them that idioms are more cultural than linguistic and every time they learn and understand how one is used, they have conquered more English.  I try to make them feel like they have bragging rights rather than making them feel like they're never going to understand them.

I think our gut reaction to middle school students is to be sensitive to their needs.  We all learned in college what a delicate and formative time of development early adolescence can be.  However, I think that with ELL students, there is an argument to be bold when it comes to language instruction. 

Having a second language is a gift, an accomplishment, and I try to impart that on all of my students. 


  The Hardest Part of Learning a New Language
  ELL Students: The Hardest Part of Learning a New Language
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Introduction to Figurative Language, Part I

Unit 13: Introduction to Poetry
Lesson 4 of 12

Objective: SWBAT demonstrate understanding of figurative language by creating a figurative language glossary.

Big Idea: Create your own reference of figurative language examples!

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figurative language
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