This school year, I started working in Grade 6 and I noticed that the academic language demands are much higher than in the elementary school. In middle school, students have to learn the new vocabulary of Science, Social Studies and English at the same time and this proves to be challenging.
At ISManila, the emerging ESL students are submersed in all core classes and the content materials and assessments require a heavy language scaffold so that the ESL students can access them. These English language learners require a lot of attention from all the teachers. They need a structured approach. They need to know where to start, and how to get ready for school at home.
To help beginners as well as intermediate/advanced ESL students, I create vocabulary cards for each unit that students take home and study with their parents and tutors. I usually share an email with my parents that contains a link to a soft copy of the cards and information, how to study the cards, and what is the timeline for the upcoming assessments in core classes. In addition, I share the cards with all SS/English/Science core teachers who often share them with all their students as a revision tool.
Each vocabulary card contains a definition of the word, an image, a part of speech that the word belongs to and a sentence to show how to word is used in context:
Here are some examples of the vocabulary sets I prepared this school year: