Quick Tip: Make it Visual!

Hello again, y’all! I have been MIA from blogging due to back to school chaos, but am hoping to get back in the swing now. My plan is to post at least a couple of times per month, but we will see how it goes.

The quick tip for today is Make It Visual! I was inspired for this particular post by a new student at our school. Mari (not her real name of course) began pre-K at our elementary school on our first day. Mari’s grandmother, who she is currently living with, completed her language questionnaire by indicating Mari has been in a Spanish-speaking only environment until very recently. Shortly before school began, Mari moved from her home in Mexico to her English-speaking only grandmother’s house without her parents. Bless her heart, she is now without any Spanish speakers AT ALL in both her home and school. Not to mention, she is away from home and family. Her teachers wanted to know how best to help her.

In our school system, we very rarely have ESOL students. I think we have only had three in the last ten years. We do have a certified ESOL teacher who provides services as needed, but Mari’s regular pre-K teacher wanted some suggestions and help for providing Mari with continued support throughout her school day. Luckily for all involved, our pre-k program is very language-rich. We often see children blossom in several areas just from attending school, so that is one plus for Mari. After consulting with other language experts and the ESOL teacher, I talked with the pre-K teacher about also making language visible whenever possible.


By using pictures and symbols along with verbal language, another source of information is being provided. Mari can look AND listen and is more likely to understand the content being presented. Like some of my other students who are struggling with language, peer modeling and gesturing have also been effective for Mari. She is soaking up everything like a sponge and it amazes me how fast she is learning our language. While she is not a “special education” student, some of our special education “tricks” have been extremely helpful for her. This situation reminds me how ALL students can benefit from multiple modality teaching. The pictures above are some examples of items that have helped Mari. I hope they give you some ideas as well. Please comment with any additional suggestions you might have for students who have ANY kind of language weakness. Until next time!

1 comment

  1. So glad to see that all teachers are so helpful and considerate towards their students and put effort into making sure that every individual adjusts in class.

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