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Resources for Teaching English Language Learners

Teaching English Language Learners (ELLs) is incredibly rewarding. Teachers get to work with students from all over the world, learn about and celebrate other cultures, help students and families acclimate to life in America...the list goes on and on. 

With these amazing benefits also come some real challenges. English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers often teach students at multiple language levels in one classroom, which requires a lot of differentiation. Sometimes students act out because they are overwhelmed or don't fully understand how the school system works. Different cultures can also clash, leading to conflicts that need to be resolved.

To help overcome some of these challenges, we asked our September Teacher of the Month, Sarahi Monterrey, a veteran ESL teacher, for some resources teachers can turn to when they have ELLs in their classroom. Below are her suggestions for best books to read.

As we all know, one of the best resources out there are fellow teachers, so at the end we listed inspiring ESL teachers Mrs. Monterrey follows on social media to help her hone her craft. Check them out!

Your Teacher Friend, 


Book #1 

Chock full of strategies to meet all different literacy goals, this handbook is a go-to for teachers at all grade levels. Many of the strategies could apply not just to ELLs but any student struggling with literacy.

Book #2

This is another one-stop-shop for ESL teachers. There are many strategies and reproducibles included in the handbook. 

Book #3

This resource was recommended more for new ESL teachers as it honestly lays out the challenges to teaching ESL and then offers specific strategies for overcoming them.

Book #4

This book offers wonderful suggestions for how ESL teachers can collaborate effectively with general education colleagues to co-plan, co-teach, etc. to improve student outcomes.  

Book #5

Veteran ESL teacher Carol Salva offers honest, classroom-tested suggestions for teaching students whose needs may be greater due to minimal education or their education being interrupted.

ESL teachers to follow on social media:

Confianza: Equity, Language and Literacy  @ELL_confianza
Sarah B. Ottow  @SarahOttow 
Emily Frances @emilyfranESL 
Carol Salva  @MsSalvac
Tan Huynh  @TanELLclassroom
Wendy Hankins  @MrsHankinsClass


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