Lesson 4: How can I support my ENL/ESL students?



Thank you for participating in Unit 1. Now, you know much better about ENL/ESL students! During Unit 2, it is your time to think about the problems of YOUR STUDENTS and the way to support YOUR STUDENTS.

The participants will be able to identify the main difficulty and problems of ENL/ESL students to design their assistant for those students.

The participants will be able to find at least two means to support ENL/ESL students to design their assistant for those students.

Case Study

Maria’s cousin, Lilia is seated with a group comprised of both native speaker and non-native speaker of English. Along with Maia, Lilia has just arrived in the U.S. and speaks no English. Yet she smiles and laughs as she looks intently at the others who are gesturing and repeating to her and to each other. This group is working around a computer screen when they see a half dozen pictures. Their job is to decide what order to put the pictures in, then compose a story about them. The children, including the non-native speakers, are excited and animated. They gesture at the screen and at each other. Lilia points to a picture and holds up one finger – “First! Yeah, that’s first.” cries, one child. Lilia smiles and repeats “first.” “Yes!” replies another child. “Yes!” Lilia joyfully repeats. Once the group has reached a consensus on a good order for the pictures, they assign one of the ESL learners to take dictation on the keyboard. Lilia has been put in charge of pointing out the pictures as they are discussed. A native speaker is to watch for spelling. Another acts as council and makes sure the group stays on task (Meskill, 2009).

  • Let's think
 Can you tell the difference between the support for Maria and Lilia? 

You will define your answer to this question in "Reflection" below this page after reviewing "Introduction" and "Investigation".


  1. Read the following article on "12 ways to Support English Learners in the Mainstream Classroom"; https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/supporting-esl-students-mainstream-classroom/ As you read, consider if you can apply those ways to support YOUR STUDENTS.
  2. Read the following article on "How can I support ELLs in my classroom?" https://ed.psu.edu/pds/elementary/intern-resources/esl-handbook/supporting-ells. As you read, consider how you can use those ways to support YOUR STUDENTS.
  3. Check the following tips to for Teaching ESL To Children. As you read, consider which tips you can apply to your everyday classroom. https://www.eslbase.com/teaching/teaching-esl-children

It is important to know that ESL/ENL students need continuous support. Therefore, it is important for you to rethink and review your support from time to time. We will have more detail about this in Lesson 5: Is my support for ENL/ESL Students effective?.


Thank you for your participation in Lesson 4! Here are some questions for you to self-assess your understanding.

  • How do you explain your findings of the difficulties of your ENL/ESL students?
  • Can you choose at least two tips that you can use to support your ENL/ESL students?


Go on to the final lesson Lesson 5: Is my support for ENL/ESL Students effective?

Return to Encouraging Young ESL Students in the USA