I am the only Reading Specialist in a small K to 8 private school. Until this past school year my job primarily involved working with students with language based reading disabilities. Last fall, we had two students join us from Korea. They are wonderful students but did experience many frustrations especially at the beginning because they were not as competent in English as they were lead to believe. I did work with them in small groups developing vocabulary and English language skills. We worked through several cultural differences in the teacher/student relationships and I believe we ended the year on a good note but I felt maybe it could have been better if I had more knowledge on ELL instruction. I just found out that this fall, I will not only have these 2 students (third grade and fifth grade) but also another student from Korea (fifth grade) and one from Poland (eighth grade). My question to you all is where do I begin? Are there tests that I can give these students to assess their understanding of the English language? Do you have a program that I can incorporate into my curriculum to help these students gain competence and confidence with their English skills?
Any advice would be appreciated?