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Succeeding with English Language Learners

Succeeding with English Language Learners
A Guide for Beginning Teachers

Edited by:

November 2005 | 176 pages | Corwin

"Very relevant to the real-life teaching situations that first-year teachers often encounter."
-Joanne Ho, English Department Chair
Clark High School, Las Vegas, NV

"Easygoing and relaxed, a welcome break from over-flowery 'academic' language for students ready to enter the 'real world' of the classroom."
-Elise Geither, Instructor
Baldwin-Wallace College

"The 'exploratory breaks' throughout each chapter provide readers an opportunity to apply their learning in a focused fashion."
-Theresa Rouse, Superintendent/Principal
San Lucas Union School District, CA  

Novice teachers can apply best practices for a successful ELL classroom experience!

This easy-to-navigate resource offers beginning teachers a carefully phased-in guide to teaching strategies they can use with their ESL-ELL learners to enhance reading, writing, speaking, listening, and grammar skills. Each chapter provides clear guidelines and step-by-step coverage of these essentials and more:

  • Using different models for lesson planning
  • Monitoring classroom behavior and interactions
  • Using prepared skill-building activities or developing new ones
  • Assessing students for placement in ESL or general education classes
  • Reflecting and exploring the development of their own teaching practice

This sourcebook offers a solid reality-based plan for all new teachers who want to create a successful classroom experience for themselves and their ESL-EFL students! 

About the Author
Ch 1: Teaching in the First Year
Exploratory Break 1.1: Teaching in the First Year

Exploratory Break 1.2: First Year Phases of Development

Exploratory Break 1.3: Stages of Development

Exploratory Break 1.4: Stacy's First Years of Development

Exploratory Break 1.5: Stacy's First Years of Support

Exploratory Break 1.6: Mentors

Exploratory Break 1.7: Teaching Load

Exploratory Break 1.8: Nature of Classes during the First Years

Exploratory Break 1.9: Helping Yourself

Chapter Reflection

Ch 2: Planning English Language Lessons
Exploratory Break 2.1: Why Plan Lessons?

Exploratory Break 2.2: Benefits of Planning Lessons

Exploratory Break 2.3: Lesson Plan Details

Exploratory Break 2.4: Writing Lesson Objectives

Exploratory Break 2.5: Lesson Design

Exploratory Break 2.6: Questions to Consider Before Lessons

Exploratory Break 2.7: Components of a Language Lesson

Exploratory Break 2.8: Questions for Teachers to Consider After the Lesson

Exploratory Break 2.9: Questions for Students to Consider After the Lesson

Chapter Reflection

Ch 3: Classroom Management
Exploratory Break 3.1: Teacher: Manager or Conductor

Exploratory Break 3.2: Organizing the Class

Exploratory Break 3.3: Conducting Group Work

Exploratory Break 3.4: Dealing with the Disengaged ESL Student

Exploratory Break 3.5: Facilitating Classroom Communication

Exploratory Break 3.6: Investigating Patterns of Interaction in Your Classroom

Exploratory Break 3.7: Facilitating Diversity

Exploratory Break 3.8: Facilitating Different Learning Styles

Exploratory Break 3.9: Looking Ahead

Chapter Reflection

Ch 4: Teaching Grammar
Exploratory Break 4.1: Teaching and Grammar

Exploratory Break 4.2: Grammar

Exploratory Break 4.3: Teaching Grammar

Exploratory Break 4.4: Inductive and Deductive Grammar Teaching

Exploratory Break 4.5: Why Is English So Hard?

Exploratory Break 4.6: Grammar Activity Using the CRISP Method

Exploratory Break 4.7: Create your own Grammar Activities Using the CRISP Method

Chapter Reflection

Ch 5: Teaching Writing
Exploratory Break 5.1: Writing

Exploratory Break 5.2: Purpose and Audience

Exploratory Break 5.3: Writing as Product

Exploratory Break 5.4: Writing as Process

Exploratory Break 5.5: Teaching Writing

Exploratory Break 5.6: Assumptions About Writing

Exploratory Break 5.7: Peer Evaluation

Exploratory Break 5.8: Peer Editing

Exploratory Break 5.9: Feedback

Exploratory Break 5.10: The Place of Grammar

Chapter Reflection

Ch 6: Teaching Speaking
Exploratory Break 6.1: Speaking a Second/Foreign Language

Exploratory Break 6.2: Rules of Face-to-Face Interaction

Exploratory Break 6.3: Turn-taking

Exploratory Break 6.4: Teaching Turn-taking

Exploratory Break 6.5: Establishing Topics

Exploratory Break 6.6: Topics

Exploratory Break 6.7: Conversation Breakdowns

Exploratory Break 6.8: Repair

Exploratory Break 6.9: Teaching Dimensions of Speaking

Exploratory Break 6.10: Accuracy versus Fluency

Exploratory Break 6.11: Guidelines for Planning Speaking Lessons

Exploratory Break 6.12: Project Focus

Exploratory Break 6.13: Project Information

Exploratory Break 6.14: Class Project

Chapter Reflection

Ch 7: Teaching Reading
Exploratory Break 7.1: Reading Habits

Exploratory Break 7.2: Reading Definition

Exploratory Break 7.3: Models of Reading

Exploratory Break 7.4: Reading Strategy Profile

Exploratory Break 7.5: Reading Strategies

Exploratory Break 7.6: Prior Knowledge

Exploratory Break 7.7: Word Association

Exploratory Break 7.8: Direct Experience

Exploratory Break 7.9: Cinquain

Exploratory Break 7.10: Prediction

Exploratory Break 7.11: Skimming

Exploratory Break 7.12: Scanning

Exploratory Break 7.13: Teaching New Vocabulary

Exploratory Break 7.14: Text Structures

Chapter Reflection

Ch 8: Teaching Listening
Exploratory Break 8.1: Listening

Exploratory Break 8.2: Bottom-up Processing

Exploratory Break 8.3: Top-Down Processing

Exploratory Break 8.4: Interactional Purposes

Exploratory Break 8.5: Transactional Purposes

Exploratory Break 8.6: Back-channelling Signals

Exploratory Break 8.7: Local, Global, and Transitional Repairs

Exploratory Break 8.8: Comprehension Checks

Exploratory Break 8.9: Soap Activities

Chapter Reflection

Ch 9: Language Assessment
Exploratory Break 9.1: Language Assessment

Exploratory Break 9.2: Reliability and Validity

Exploratory Break 9.3: Alternative Assessment

Exploratory Break 9.4: Criterion and Norm Reference Assessment

Exploratory Break 9.5: Selected-response Assessment

Exploratory Break 9.6: Multiple-choice Tests

Exploratory Break 9.7: True-false Tests

Exploratory Break 9.8: Matching Tests

Exploratory Break 9.9: Short-answer Tests

Exploratory Break 9.10: Essay Tests

Exploratory Break 9.11: Fill-in Tests

Exploratory Break 9.12: Oral Tests

Exploratory Break 9.13: Portfolios

Exploratory Break 9.14: Self/Peer Assessment

Exploratory Break 9.15: Constructing Language Tests

Exploratory Break 9.16: Create Your Own Language Test

Chapter Reflection

Ch 10: Professional Development
Exploratory Break 10.1: Professional Development Needs Assessment

Exploratory Break 10.2: Opportunities for Reflection and Development

Exploratory Break 10.3: Action Research

Exploratory Break 10.4: Critical Incidents

Exploratory Break 10.5: Teaching Journal

Exploratory Break 10.6: Classroom Observations

Exploratory Break 10.7: Teacher Group Discussion

Chapter Reflection


"The practicality of this book is profound. The 'Exploratory Breaks' throughout each chapter provide the reader an opportunity to apply his/her learning in a focused fashion. The author does a superb job of drawing the reader into the need for the information and how to apply it in practical settings."

Theresa Rouse
Superintendent/Principal, San Lucas Union School District, San Lucas, California

"The tone of the text is easy going and relaxed, a welcome break from over-flowery 'academic' language for students ready to enter the 'real world' of the classroom. By using the 'exploratory breaks,' new teachers should find it simple to further the given lesson plans and work them into useful plans for their own classrooms."

Elise Geither
Instructor, Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio

"Very relevant to the real-life teaching situations that first year teachers often encounter. Citations for teacher resources are included as the reader moves along; I found them excellent for immediate references for teachers who want to read more on the topics. The 'Exploratory Breaks' are also easy to find and are helpful and formatted to be teacher-friendly."

Joanne Ho
English Department Chair, Clark High School, Las Vegas, NV

"Offers much background information and many teaching suggestions for those who are just beginning to understand how to help ELLs. Farrell invites interaction by providing numerous 'exploratory breaks' within the book to help readers further internalize what they have just read by talking or writing about it."

The Reading Teacher, March 2007

"A valuable starting point for new teachers to get acquainted with fundamental facets of English language teaching."

The Asian EFL Journal, June 2008, Vol. 10(2)
Key features

·         Designed for the new teacher working with English as a second language (ESL) and English as a foreign language (EFL) learners

·         Offers a carefully phased-in approach to ESL/EFL lesson planning, classroom management, writing, reading, grammar, speaking, listening, vocabulary, and language assessment

·         Frequent Exploratory Breaks provide topics for reflection and for discussion with mentors, supervisors, and support providers

·         Appropriate for pre-service teachers, beginning teachers, and experienced teachers who are new to working with English language learners.

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

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