Using SIOP® Model With Newcomer Students

Sheniqua Johnson
Sheniqua Johnson
11 Jul
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The SIOP® Model is an essential tool I utilize while working with Newcomer students. Consistent use of this framework of techniques and protocols continues to yield an increase in academic performance and social interaction with peers for my Newcomer students. Lesson planning is my first step, as it allows me to plan all other areas of this framework to ensure student growth and achievement!

Lesson Planning
What content and language objectives do I want my Newcomers to achieve? What level of background knowledge will I need to build, in order for the content to be comprehensible? Lesson planning has allowed me to plan lesson facilitation with the end in mind. I organize scaffolding that includes building background knowledge, pre-teaching vocabulary, use of word banks, visuals, sentence stems, graphic organizers, etc. to ensure student comprehension. While lesson planning, I am also able to differentiate instruction and plan for student misunderstandings due to language and cultural barriers. The use of differentiation, including small-group instruction and modifying assessments/assignments ensures our Newcomers have the opportunity to be academically successful.

Value Their L1
It is very important that our Newcomers maintain their L1 (first language). Allowing them to write in their L1 provides comfort, as well as opportunities to truly show their levels of understanding. Having reading materials in their L1 has been very helpful when introducing new concepts. Creating foldables about their cultures is a great way to build relationships and learn more about all students and their home cultures.

Get Up & Move
Singing and dancing has been a great way for us to maintain engagement with our Newcomer students. Videos for learning the alphabet, parts of the body, reading skills and more, are all fun ways for Newcomer students to learn!

Rock it with Realia
Bringing in real-world items (realia) has been a great way for our Newcomer students to grasp certain concepts and ideas being introduced and taught. It also provides opportunities for hands-on experiences, which will help build background knowledge.

Learn more about the SIOP Model here

Sheniqua Johnson, born and raised in Dallas Texas and a graduate of Texas Woman’s University, is an ESL certified teacher who has served 10 years in public education. Sheniqua is currently a language acquisition specialist, allowing her to coach both teachers and EL students utilizing SIOP best practices. 
Sheniqua has often been called “The Kid Whisperer” by her former administrators because she seamlessly and successfully overcomes student academic and behavioral challenges. In 2012, she was nominated for the Dallas Rotary Club’s-Teacher Service Award, which distinguishes teachers who demonstrate excellence in their profession by “going the extra mile.” Her greatest professional recognition occurred in 2013 when she was nominated by her colleagues and received the Cesar Chavez Learning Center’s, Teacher of the Year award. In 2019, she joined the SIOP Advisory Panel and began to write her first blog. Follow Sheniqua on Twitter: @cameylas

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