English Learners

Biliteracy Seals Offer Hope, Recognition for EL Students
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

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?

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
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?
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
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
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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The Importance of Emphasizing Oral Language with English Learners
The Importance of Emphasizing Oral Language with English Learners

No one knows the intricacies of the English language better than a student who is learning it for the first time. English Learners, or ELs, need support in mastering all aspects of the language. While educators may be inclined to focus on academic language or written expression, ELs also need...

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