Two of the most common questions teachers ask after they start using the AES digital curriculum system is “How can I use AES with my ELL students?” and "Does AES provide the curriculum in Spanish/Español?"

While we don’t provide our digital curriculum in languages other than English, many teachers in your situation have found ways to help their ELL students succeed when using AES.

In speaking with those teachers, they've shared a variety of ways they use the AES curriculum with ELL students.

In this article, we'll discuss the top seven tips to use AES with English Language Learners:

  1. Use Google Translate

  2. Leverage lesson transcripts

  3. Create a buddy system

  4. Allow extra time on assignments

  5. Request a classroom aid

  6. Create a vocab list

  7. Connect with other teachers

You may find one or more of these tips will make a huge difference in your ELL students’ experience in your classroom. Plus, many of them will save you time when it comes to supporting your students in their preferred language.

Related Article: Why Doesn't AES Translate the Curriculum Into Other Languages?

1. Use Google Translate

Using Google Translate is a great workaround to help your ELL students work through the AES curriculum.

Though Google Translate isn’t a perfect solution, many teachers have found it can be a lifesaver!

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“I show the students how to use Google Translate for everything.

That checks a lot of boxes for the administration, in having to modify and differentiate instruction with ESL learners. Now I can say our whole curriculum translates to Spanish - even tests and quizzes.”

- Hollie Cunningham, West Port High School, FL

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To learn how your students can translate the eLearning lessons to another language, read this article: How to Translate AES Curriculum for ELL Students

Pro Tip: Want your students to take assessments in another language? This article will walk you through the necessary steps: Taking Assessments in Another Language

2. Leverage the Lesson Transcripts

Did you know that most lessons within the AES system contain transcripts for the narrated content?

We’ve found that ELL students can use these transcripts to follow along with the narration to better comprehend what they are hearing from the audio.

The combination of hearing and reading information has made a big difference for many students like yours.

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“We have a lot of freshmen for Medical Skills that are English as a Second Language learners and they don’t read well. Listening to it helps them actually comprehend the words that they’re seeing on the screen.”

- Shurene Major, West Port High School, FL

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In addition, your students can use the transcripts in combination with Google Translate to translate the lesson narration into their native language.

To discover where you can find the lesson transcripts, read the help article: Use Lesson Transcripts for ELL Students

3. Create a Buddy System

If you have multiple students in your class with the same preferred language, consider pairing them up.

By creating a buddy system for your ELL students, they can work together and help each other through the curriculum content.

This will also help students feel more comfortable in class. Knowing that they are not the only one with a language barrier can help them be more confident and less discouraged.

4. Allow Extra Time on Assignments

Not only are your ELL students learning the curriculum content, they’re learning the English language as well.

Because of this, we recommend allowing your ELL students to have more leeway when it comes to completion deadlines.

After all, using the transcripts or translating lesson content will inevitably result in it taking longer to complete lessons!

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“Using the transcripts and Google Translate takes them more time, but I don’t have a problem with that. Their test grades have improved and their English has improved too, as they’ve gone through the process.”

- Edina Buzgon, Newark High School, DE

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Additionally, many school ESL programs require that ELL students are given extra time to complete work.

Be sure to check with your school to see if they have specific guidelines or any other requirements as part of the ESL program.

Pro Tip: If you use the due dates feature within your classes, it’s best to set up a separate class for your ELL students in order to assign them different due dates than the rest of your students.

5. Request a Classroom Aid

If your school has the resources available, put in a request for an ESL teacher or aid to come to your classroom on a weekly basis.

Even just one day a week can make a big difference in providing your ELL students with individualized assistance.

6. Create a Vocab List

If you’ve taught for more than a year, you likely have an idea about which topics and phrases ELL students are most likely to struggle with.

To get ahead of the curve with your next group of students, take the time to create vocab lists specifically for your ELL students.

If they know these words and phrases ahead of time, they will have a better chance of understanding the curriculum content as a whole.

7. Connect with Other Teachers

The most important piece of advice we can give you is to remember that you aren’t alone in your challenges of working with ELL students.

Thousands of teachers face similar situations every year, and they have a wide array of experiences and knowledge to help you and your ELL students succeed.

You may be thinking: That’s great, but no one else in my school or district uses AES.

Luckily, there is one place you can go to quickly connect with teachers just like you to discuss ways to overcome language barriers in your classroom: The AES Educator Community.

Join the AES Educator Community to Help Your ELL Students Succeed

The AES Educator Community is a private group of AES curriculum users where you can learn from others’ experiences with common challenges that come up in the classroom.

It’s also a great place to share your own thoughts, ideas, and successes!

Join the community to ask how other teachers help ELL students succeed in the classroom:

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