Before I can give you examples that I use for my ELL (English Language Learners) students, you should be familiar with terms such as ELL, BICS, and CALP.
BASIC TERM TO UNDERSTAND
ELL – English Language Learners. A person who is in the process of learning English as a second language.
BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills)
What is BICS? It refers to a linguistic skill needed in everyday situations in life. For example, talking to a friend, talking on a cell phone, social face-to-face interactions, are some of the interactions that students who have completed BICS or have become proficient with BICS can do. Typically, these interactions are meaningful, cognitive undemanding, and not specialized in anything. These skills will normally take an ELL about six months to about two years to develop BICS.
CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency)
CALP stands for Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency and it focuses on proficiency in academic language or language used in the classroom in many content areas. Academic language is specialized, can be abstract, and it is context reduced. Learners who are CALP
So why BICS and CALP?
As you can see, there is a huge difference between BICS and CALP. Knowing at what stage a student is, will help teachers understand the appropriate curriculum to provide those students as well as the correct support. Typically, a student is in the process of acquiring BICS will fall into level 1 or a level 2 student. However, a student who has acquired BICS and is or has acquired CALP will be in level 3, 4, or level 5.
The biggest issue with teachers that teach ELL students, and I include myself in this group, is that many times we hear
What assignments can I offer my beginning BICS students?
Students who are currently still trying to acquire BICS or are students who have been trying to learn English for less than two years will require picture/word base matching. Many of these students will fall to level 1 or level 2. Obviously, as the teacher, you will have to determine the level of complexity that the student will need. For example, one of my students recently arrived
The esolcourses.com website has many different topics to be covered for ELL students. Some of those topics include:
- Classroom words
- Classroom tasks
- Numbers 1- 12
- and many more…
Primary Use of Home Language
Another option available to students that are just beginning to acquire
Assignments for more Advance BICS students
For those students almost proficient in BICS and are ready to move on to CALP there are many assignments that they can complete. Many of those assignments are offered as well by the site esolcourses.com and range from pre-intermediate to advance.
- Reading activities
- Listening lesson activities
- Spelling and vocabulary activities
- and many more lessons provided.
- Esol courses online Free English Lessons Online (Retrieved from
Ferlazo, Larry Response: ELL Students’ Home Language Is an Asset, Not a ‘Barrier’ Retrieved from (https://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2010/11/how-to-cite-something-you-found-on-a-website-in-apa-style.html