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Katherine Melilli

Observation for ELL/LEP Student

1. The teacher uses a variety of techniques to assist JR, a Spanish speaking ELL

student in the class I observed. For example, when the students have to read

independently reading and during their reading tests JR sits with the teacher and

together they read the passage. They will take the reading one sentence at a time

and depending on what the subject matter is, either the teacher or JR reads the

passage. If the passage is from their reading lesson, JR will read the passage while

the teacher typically reads stories from the science lessons. The teacher will stop

after either she or JR reads a word she thinks JR might be familiar with. She will

ask JR if he knows what the word means and if he does not, they use a Chrome

book to look up the translation of words. The teacher then highlights or underlines

the word in the reading and write the definition or a synonym that JR is familiar

with next to the word, so when he goes back to the reading while answering

comprehension questions he is able to see what the definition or synonym was.

When the teacher is not able to read JR but she knows him listening will be more

effective for his understanding of the topic, she allows him to listen to the story on

a CD. Additionally, the teacher has the students work in small groups. This is

instruction is effective not only for the general education students but also for JR

because he is able to ask his classmates questions about the activity they are doing

to help him better comprehend the material. The teacher also will sometimes

allow JR to provide an oral response instead of having him write his answer on

reading tests. Lastly, the teacher provides JR with vocabulary for science lessons
prior to them being taught. This allows him to be familiar with the words before

the teacher goes over them in class, thus giving him a better chance at mastering

the topic. All of these techniques seem to be effective, as JR has been improving

throughout the year in all subject areas. He is fairly high functioning, so he mostly

uses the techniques described above to assist him with learning Tier 3 vocabulary

and higher-level concepts.

2. As far as unusual behavior, JR does not display any. JR has been living in

American for a few years so he is familiar with American customs and knows

what is socially acceptable in this culture. As far as other students in the class,

there are students who have difficulty listening to directions but no student has

serious behavioral issues.

3. JR gets along with his peers very well as he is highly developed in his BICS. He

has many friends and seems to enjoy the company of others. He is able to play

with his classmates at recess and is able to converse with them in a proper

manner. JR also feels comfortable asking his peers questions during lessons when

he is confused. His peers understand that he is not 100 percent fluent in the

English language, so they are also willing to assist him. Jas far as JR’s

interactions with the teacher, they are similar to that of his interactions with his

peers in that they are very natural and normal. He feels comfortable asking her

questions and for assistance when he is confused during a lesson. He will

typically ask the teacher for assistance after he asks his peers. If his friends are not

able to answer his questions, then he will go to the teacher.


4. One of the resources that JR uses is a Chrome book. He mostly uses Google

Translate to look up the definitions and synonyms for words he is not familiar

with. He can also use Google Translate to listen to the pronunciation of the words

in either Spanish or English. JR also often uses manipulatives during the math

lessons. This allows him to be able to visually see the quantities being discussed.

This seems to be especially helpful for JR when he is working with word

problems where the numbers are written in word form. The teacher will provide

him with the appropriate number of manipulatives in order to help him translate

the word into a numerical value.

5. The classroom is very warm and inviting for the ELL student! I determined this

by looking around the room and taking note of the resources readily available for

JR. One example of these resources is that the room is covered in English and

Spanish labels. Additionally, a picture sometimes accompanies the labels. For

example, in the morning the students have to come in and choose what they want

for lunch by looking at the calendar and reading what the options are for that day.

In order to assist JR, the teacher provides pictures next to each of the options so

even if he is not able to read what the choices are, he is able to see a picture of it

and make his choice that way.

6. JR is comfortable with the English language. He is fully sufficient with his BICS

and is able to communicate with his peers and teachers in an effective and proper

manner. He is doing a good job at developing his CALP. While he still needs to

use the Chrome book to look up words, they are typically Tier 2 or more often

Tier 3 words. I would place JR at either stage 4 or 5. Stage 4 is classified as the


emerging level and stage 5 is classified as the bridging level. I came to this

conclusion because he is able to speak and write with few phonological errors

(which is required for stage 4) but he is also able to use vocabulary and technical

language that is associated with a topic after he has learned it (which is necessary

for stage 5). For these reasons, I would place JR somewhere in between stages 4

and 5.

7. As far as accommodations and modifications that the teacher has made for JR, she

a. Will read the tests to him.

b. Helps him look up the vocabulary on tests (if it is not a vocabulary word

he should have learned during the unit).

c. Highlights and write definitions of words on his assignments.

d. Pre-teaches concepts and vocabulary for JR as well as review materials

afterward. This allows him to better conceptualize the information as he is

it is being reinforced multiple times.

The highlighting, providing repeated reviews, and directly teach and define

vocabulary used throughout the lesson are all instructional modifications that are

included on the checklist that the teacher uses. These are present on the checklist

because these are common modifications are also for students with disabilities.

This makes it easier for the teacher to incorporate these in the classroom because

he or she might be doing this already for students with IEPs. Additionally, these

might be included on the checklist because they are extremely beneficial

specifically for ELL students. The highlighting brings the students attention to the

vocabulary words, helping them identify and remember them. By having repeated
reviews the ELL students are able to hear the information several times in

different fashions. Lastly, the direct teaching of the vocabulary is beneficial

because the ELL students have most likely not been exposed to these words like

an English-speaking child could have been. Theoretically, a child who grew up

with English-speaking parents has the potential to hear the vocabulary words

being taught whereas it is very unlikely that the ELL student heard the word

before. Additionally, while the checklist does include using recordings, it does not

include the teacher reading the tests to the student. This might be because it is not

common that the teacher would only have one ELL student in their classroom so

this type of accommodation would not typically be provided.