English as a Second Language (ESL)

ESL teachers help their students to develop proficiency in all aspects of their English language use at one time, a huge task. These students do not have the luxury of having heard and spoken the language for years before they must read and write it. In addition, ESL students must learn academic English as well as social English to get by at school. Figurative language, irregularly spelled words, and unfamiliar syntax can make comprehension extremely difficult.

How Can VocabularySpellingCity Help Develop English Skills?

VocabularySpellingCity can help students develop their English skills by providing fun games and activities that include audio features, contextually-rich sentences, spelling practice, and immediate feedback on answers. By observing each student’s progress and results, teachers can make ongoing assessments and data-driven decisions.

  • Provide fun activities to help students study English vocabulary, writing and spelling.
  • Improve pronunciation and comprehension.
  • Improve students’ academic English as well as their social English.
  • Make decisions on instruction based on individual student data.
Pronunciation and Context for ESL Students

VocabularySpellingCity utilizes both spoken and written English in games and activities, so students learning English can learn to pronounce words correctly. The combination of spoken and written English also helps students connect the words they hear with the words they see. Contextually-rich sentences, read clearly by natural English speakers, allow students to hear words as they are used in social or academic contexts.

VocabularySpellingCity provides choice in word lists, so you can match the lists you use to each class or student. Ready-made lists focus on subjects such as math, geography, literature, and science to help students develop their academic English. You can also make custom word lists relevant to the particular experiences and needs of each student or class. ESL students enjoy learning English spelling, definitions, and applications using interactive online games. Assign an interactive word list to your ESL students, and open up a world of games, activities, and assessments that will ensure learning.

ESL students often struggle with sound alike words (homophones), multiple meaning words, and various kinds of figurative language.

    Same Word, Different Meaning: Keep in mind that some key words or terms may have different meanings across disciplines and may be used as different parts of speech in different contexts (i.e., noun vs. verbs):
  • Lunch table (Social language)
  • Periodic Table of Elements (Science)
  • Table of Contents (ELA)
  • Multiplication tables (Math)
  • To table (delay) the discussion (Social Studies)
  • Your foot (Health)
  • One foot in length (Math)
  • Put your foot in your mouth (Idiom)
  • Foot of the mountain (Geography)
  • To foot the bill (Idiom)

VocabularySpellingCity has lists to help ESL students practice these tricky words. Assign these lists to your students as regular work or as bonus practice. Your students will make connections and learn new words while they’re having fun.

Cognateswords that have a similar spelling and meaning in two languages, can be an effective tool to boost academic language learning for ESL learners. VocabularySpellingCity’s cognates lists can help Spanish speakers learn English. Believe it or not, about 40% of all English words have similar cognates in Spanish!

For example:

  • institution – institución
  • dinosaur – dinosaurio
  • artist – artista

Note: There is such a thing as a false cognate, the most famous one being that embarazada in Spanish is not “embarrassed” — it means “pregnant”! It is not a 100% foolproof strategy — but it is generally a very useful tool.

Record Keeping for ESL

With a VocabularySpellingCity Premium Membership, you have a comprehensive automated grade book to track your ESL students’ progress and monitor their activities. You can view, copy, and print detailed results by topic or by time frame. In addition, students can electronically submit writing assignments for you to grade. For differentiated instruction, you can assign specific lists and activities to individual students, groups of students, or an entire class. You can even create Review Lists for each student, based on results from previous tests. Learn more about the benefits of Premium Membership.