ESL Pull-Out Model: Definition & Strategies

Instructor: Sarah Mills

Sarah is an educational freelance writer and has taught English and ESL in grades k-12 and college. She has a master's degree in both Literacy and TESOL.

In this lesson, teachers will learn about the English as a Second Language (ESL) pull-out model of instruction. The lesson offers strategies for working with ESL students in a small-group, pull-out setting.

The Pull-Out Model: Definition

It's a challenge to meet English as a Second Language (ESL) students' needs for English language learning during an already packed school schedule. Your school may use one of two major models for meeting this challenge.

Some schools prefer for ESL teachers to work directly in students' classrooms, providing instruction in a push-in setting. Other times, teachers utilize the pull-out approach. The pull-out method consists of the ESL teacher pulling students out of their general education classes to work with the teacher either one-on-one or in a small-group setting.

The Pull-Out Model: Benefits

The pull-out model can benefit your students in several ways, including:

  • More individualized support
  • A low-risk setting
  • The ability for teachers to closely assess student progress
  • Flexible grouping opportunities for enhanced student support

The Pull-Out Model: Strategies

Now that you know what the ESL pull-out model is, let's look at some specific strategies for using this model.

When NOT to Pull Students

You never want to pull students from fun activities and risk making the students resent ESL instruction. Activities students typically consider fun include recess, lunch, gym, art, and music. You also don't want to pull students during special activities, such as a class pizza party or school talent show.

On the other hand, you don't want students to miss important instruction, either. Math class is important because so many of the skills taught are sequential. You don't want students getting behind in math.

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