English language learners (ELLs) or those students learning English as a second language comprise over 10% of today’s students in U.S. schools and are present in all areas including urban, suburban, and rural. That percentage amounts to almost 5 million school age children (Migration Policy Institute, 2020).
How prepared are you to teach these students?
If you’re like most K-12 teachers in the U.S. chances are you’re not well prepared. Researchers have found that general education teachers are “not equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the needs of English-learners” (Mitchell, 2019).
Here’s the problem, there are many ELL kids in district classrooms, and without the proper training, it can lead to students and teachers frustrated and set up for failure.
According to an Education Week Special Report, to position ELLs for success:
Teachers working with English-learners must be aware of the similarities and differences between first- and second-language development, and the importance of nonverbal communications and visual aids in language acquisition; recognize the difference between conversational language and academic language—the vocabulary that helps students understand story problems or science concepts, which can be difficult for native-English speakers to grasp and is often even tougher for ELLs; and, perhaps most importantly, teachers must recognize that the cultural norms of their classrooms may be vastly different than what students experience at home (Mitchell, 2019).
If you want to learn more about teaching ELLs and helping them be successful learners, you might want to consider our online graduate course Teaching the English Language Learner™. In this 7-week course, you’ll:
- Enhance your understanding of the linguistic, social-emotional, and content-area needs of today’s ELLs.
- Provide new and improved connections between teaching ELLs and 21st century issues, such as culturally responsive teaching and 21st century skills, including the use of current technology.
- Deliver specific strategies to teachers of all content areas and grade levels for making content more accessible for ELLs while enhancing learning for all students.
- Discover the tools necessary to nurture ELLs, who are assets in our society. (For example, bilingual individuals contribute to global commerce and politics, national security, and enhanced cultural understanding for all.)
This course is being offered this spring in a 7-week online format.
Spring Start Dates: January 12th and March 9th
Migration Policy Institute. (2020, February 13). English learners in k-12 education by state. Retrieved from https://www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/data-hub/charts/english-learners-k-12-education-state
Mitchell, C. (2019, May 14). Overlooked: How teacher training falls short for English-learners and students with IEPs. Education Week. Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/overlooked-how-teacher-training-falls-short-for-english-learners-and-students-with-ieps/2019/05