One of the cornerstones of teaching ELL students is vocabulary. Vocabulary is not only vital to reading,writing, speaking, and listening, but also to understanding broader concepts and making connections between subjects.
The introduction of these new words and phrases are usually well received by students, but difficulties can arise in terms of retention. We recently attended the national Title I conference in Salt Lake City, and noticed that a number of sessios focused on engaging students, and specifically sessions on engaging ELL students to help them retain content. Joanne Billingsly, in her presentation "Making Content Sticky," outlined ways to build academic vocabulary and increase retention among ELL students: "The availability of color illustrations and teaching diagrams that support student understanding and retention of new words."