Language Objectives for ESL Students

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  • 0:00 Language Objectives
  • 0:53 Consider Levels
  • 1:25 Objectives by Level & Skill
  • 3:43 Considerations
  • 4:14 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jesse Richter

Jesse holds two masters, a doctorate and has 15 years of academic experience in areas of education, linguistics, business and science across five continents.

Need a refresher on some standard level-based language objectives for ESL students? This lesson provides level-based objectives that may be adapted to your own unique teaching style, school requirements, and student needs.

Language Objectives

In ESL education, a language objective is a linguistic skill or ability that students are expected to achieve through strategic instruction in order to support learning of core content. The objective should be clear, pedagogically sound, measurable, and challenging yet achievable.

Language objectives depend on the current ability level of the students and always make a connection between English language and core subjects, such as math, science, or history. For example, students will need to learn terms such as ''divide,'' ''multiply,'' ''add,'' and ''subtract'' to be successful in an arithmetic class. Language objectives must be explained to students, but the teacher will generally build these elements into the lesson plan such that students do not necessarily need to know the specific objectives during instruction.

Consider Levels

With ESL students, we must consider their English language ability levels, but we must also consider their academic ability levels. Just as with mainstream student populations, we have ranges of learning abilities, so we must remember that there is a separation between the two phenomena. We must also keep age in mind. Here, we have a correlation: Younger learners tend to have lower English ability levels. This being said, many people do not set out to learn English until later in life, so we do occasionally have older beginner-level students.

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