• Provide visuals and use gestures to communicate.
  • Use daily routines in the classroom.
  • Have students act as buddies.
  • Repeat the same activity, lesson, or vocabulary in different ways.
  • Allow sufficient response time.
  • Tenses: simple and progressive past, present and future.
  • Question forms.
  • Article and pronoun use.
  • Basic modal forms.
  • Frequency adverbs; comparatives and superlatives.
  • Development of reading and writing paragraphs: focus on comprehension and basic structures.
  • Vocabulary development by theme.
  • Use of punctuation and standard forms e.g. letters.


  • Pair a native language speaker with an ELL to create a picture in IELTS TRAINER with dialogue or a dialogue journal. Have the students use stickers, write, and record short sentences to create a dialogue.
  • Have students work in cooperative groups on Pixie projects such as mapping. The ELL can find illustrations, and the native speakers can record the vocabulary and explanations.
  • Pixie includes an abundance of math manipulative materials. Use the stickers as virtual manipulative to have students learn about number operations, money, and create story problems. They can also use number activities and stickers to practice computation and number skills.
  • Use the tools in Pixie to create stories for your students. Record your voice on each picture to provide the expression needed for understanding.
  • Use Pixie to create an Alphabet Book as you begin teaching letters and letter sounds. Have students choose stickers that show the initial sound for each letter and record narration for each page.
  • Have students use the Pixie Sentence Strip activity to begin to write and illustrate short phrases and, as the students advance, simple sentences.
  • Use the Five Senses activities to teach about the senses, helping students learn new vocabulary in context. There are enough Pixie activities on this topic to teach, repeat, and assess learning.

The high-beginner ELL has developed a solid social vocabulary. While he or she may appear to show more interest in learning, academic vocabulary remains challenging. This stage may last up to two years before the student is ready to develop and use academic vocabulary. Learning a language and learning in a language require different levels of acquisition. The high–beginner:

  • Has acquired 1,500–2,000 words.
  • Speaks and responds in short phrases and may include grammatically incorrect sentences.
  • Can be unresponsive at times.

Add these strategies to those described above, especially once you begin to introduce more academic vocabulary.

  • Provide graphic organizers.
  • Provide sentence starters.
  • Model language during a discussion.