ESL Support: Stages of Language Development

Education Technology for Teachers

Teachers are often faced with difficult challenges regarding students who are learning English as a second language and who are also part of a mainstreamed program of study.  The number of ESL students in non-border states has increased significantly in the last several years requiring teachers to adapt instruction to better meet the needs of ESL students.

The issue of vocabulary development is a key barrier to the early success of international students, therefore, understanding the 5 Stages of Vocabulary Development can help teachers better track and assess a students ability in the classroom.

Stage 1 – Silent Period

Characterized by:

1. Prolong periods of silent or no interaction with teachers and peers.

2. Simple gestures such as nodding or shaking of the head, pointing, etc.

Stage 2 – Early Production

Characterized by:

1. Use of basic words, simple greetings, etc.

2. Response are only a single word.

Stage 3 – Speech Emergence

Characterized by:

1. Reciprocal dialogue…

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