English Learners

The Many Benefits of Using a Strengths-Based Approach with English Learners
Monday, August 26, 2019
The Many Benefits of Using a Strengths-Based Approach with English Learners

Rochester, Minnesota-based teacher Laura Lenz works with English Learners (ELs) at a center for students who are immigrants and refugees. In a blog post on the website Cult of Pedagogy, Lenz posited the following: Imagine a school where we focused on the strengths of English language learners. What if these...

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Biliteracy Seals Offer Hope, Recognition for EL Students
Thursday, September 5, 2019
Biliteracy Seals Offer Hope, Recognition for EL Students

Millions of K–12 students in the United States are non-native English speakers or English learners (ELs), a status that has historically been seen as a deficit or problem requiring correction. Indeed, as teacher and linguist Kristen Lindahl wrote in a post for the TESOL blog, “While the overwhelming majority of teachers...

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English Learners and Dyslexia: A Guide
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

There are students who are English Learners (ELs), there are students who have dyslexia... and there are also ELs who have dyslexia. In a video presentation on the subject of EL students who may also have dyslexia, Dr. Fumiko Hoeft of the University of California, San Francisco discussed the difficulty...

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What is an emerging bilingual and why does this new label matter?
Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Schools and districts commonly use the terms “EL” or “ELL” when describing English (language) learners in the United States. While this terminology is widely accepted and understood, it fails to highlight one of the most important aspects of students learning English in schools: They are becoming bilingual. In fact, some...

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Addressing the English Learner Teacher Shortage
Monday, April 1, 2019
Black male teachers in a circle with students on carpet

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Education awarded a multimillion-dollar grant to Aquinas College in Michigan intended to address the shortage of English Learner (EL) professionals in that state. A press release about the grant outlined the gravity of the situation, noting that “about 88,000 students in Michigan need an...

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Only 5 States are Meeting Targets for English Learners: What Can They Teach Us?
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Only 5 States are Meeting Targets for English Learners: What Can They Teach Us?

In an October 2018 report to Congress, the United States Department of Education revealed troubling statistics regarding English Learners and their teachers: Only five states are succeeding in helping ELs meet language, reading, and mathematics goals. Even more discouragingly, the data indicates that success rates are declining. What can this...

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How to Help the Rising Number of English Learners Succeed in School
Thursday, February 21, 2019
How to Help the Rising Number of English Learners Succeed in School

In classrooms across the United States, there is a growing number of English learners (ELs)—students who need support in order to become proficient in English—and their numbers have been rising steadily since at least 2000, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Per the center's data, just over 9...

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Adolescent Literacy: Addressing the Needs of Refugee Students
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Adolescent Literacy: Addressing the Needs of Refugee Students

Students who come to the classroom as refugees often bring with them a host of unique opportunities and challenges. First, a little clarity: Refugees end up in the United States after fleeing unsafe situations in their home countries. Immigrants, in contrast, are people who have purposefully chosen to come to...

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Take Your EL Classroom Outside! How to Use Gardening to Facilitate Conversation
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Using Gardening to Facilitate Conversation

There are several strands that feed into successful language acquisition for an English Learner (EL), as students must master skills such as vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and syntax. Blended learning with language-learning software allows students to learn these skills at their own pace with targeted instruction as needed. Another important component...

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