This week with two sets of graduate students, I've done an activity that I regularly do in my courses and workshops with teachers: I teach them an academic lesson in Spanish and expect them to participate. Many of the teachers I work with do not speak Spanish, or speak only very limited Spanish. For many, this is the first experience they have ever had as a language learner in an academic context, where they had to function in the second language in order to learn the content that I was teaching.
In my last post, I outlined what word sorts are and how to use them with ELL students. This post is a deeper look at using word sorts specifically to preview vocabulary and build background knowledge before a lesson. Enjoy!