Category Archives: Working With ELLs

ELLs and Music

There is a research article on how some music teachers can handle incorporating SEI into the music classroom.  The article lists two perspectives on problems and solutions to having ELLs in a music classroom, from two teachers in Arizona.  This is a helpful article because it is written by Arizona teachers, and I might be able to access them more, and because it offers specific examples and each one offers something different to take out of them.  The first one, perspective A, offers insight on evaluating the effectiveness of your teaching strategies and practices and how they apply to both ELLs and native English speakers.  The second, perspective B also talks about how certain practices and adaptations to strategies and lesson plans assist in helping all students learn better and even faster, allowing them to help one another.  Perspective B also points out that having ELLs in the class forces teachers to be more aware of their speech and their plans as a whole, and offers specific activities that work well with all students and with making the most of the cultural diversity that you might find in a classroom.  There are different things that can be taken from this article, including teaching strategies, activities, alternative assessments, and what you can teach that ELLs and other teachers might be able to take from your class and transfer to other areas.   It is available as a PDF as well.


NAfME offers a few quick strategies in working with ELLs in a music classroom.  This is not anything long, but it is a quick reference for ideas and strategies for help with ELLs in a music classroom.  A lot of these strategies are just good things to be aware of, no matter what classroom you might be in.


There is a blog that offers some links to websites that can help in using music in ESL (SEI).  When thinking about music and ELLs, it is important to think not only of ways to get them to understand what is going on in music class, but how you might be able to use music to help them learn English.  A lot of the links available on this blog are resources on how to use music to do this.


There is a Canadian website with some helpful activities, the entire website is not really useful for teaching in the United States, but ideas and specific activities can be drawn from it.


This article offers ways of connecting multiple intelligences and the cultures of ELLs, along with a list of articles written by the same author to help with other issues concerning ELLs.  Music education focuses on cultural diversity through music, and by being more aware of the cultures that are in your classroom through your ELLs, you can structure your program to help your students become more culturally aware and to keep some kind of hold on their own cultures.


This blog has tips for getting children to enhance their language learning.  It is fairly short, only offering a short overview of the topic and a few quick short tips, but it is something that can be shared with other teachers if they reach out to you for help, or just to share with ESL teachers when collaborating with them and can be a way to show how your music program can work with theirs to increase the students’ language learning experience.