BICS
Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills

This is the language that is necessary before a child can learn English. It is the first vocabulary and skills they acquire, and may take from one month to 2 years, depending on the student. These are all also developmental. If a child would not know these in English yet, do not try to teach the English Language Learner. They will acquire it when the other students do.

Greetings
ABC’s
Concepts of print
Numbers
Colors
Family
Self (emotions, gender, description, etc)
Weather
Calendar
Foods
Animals
Likes/Dislikes
Classroom Objects
People (teacher, principal, friend)
Shapes
Body parts
Concepts (big, small, high, low, over, under)
Telling time
Follows Directions (stand up, sit down, go to the door, come here)
Basic Sight words (these are very abstract. There must be meaning attached to them, so these come very late in the acquisition process) *Word families and chunks tend to be of very little value to the ELL student, since they can’t always attach meaning to the words
Expose the student to as much language and patterning as possible. Have them participate in Read Alouds, even if they don’t understand. They should be an active part of group work. Music and Rhyme is very important, and any little songs they can learn to help them acquire English are invaluable!! Such as “Down by the Sea…” “Five Little Frogs” etc.