Teaching Eng. Lang. Learners

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The students sitting in our classrooms throughout the U.S. have changed as the number of English language learners (ELLs) has increased dramatically over the past ten years. Help your English language learners become active participants in the mainstream and subject area classroom. Join the group to post your comments and questions. Here are some quick resources:



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Most Recent Group Videos

    • Kenji Hakuta on Facing Challenges

    • Stanford professor and author Kenji Hakuta discusses facing challenges in this short profile of him. Meet Kenji during his presentation on ELLs and ESEA at ASCD's 2011 Annual Conference & Exhibit Show in San Francisco, March 26-28.
    • Cable Elementary School: Critical Transformations

    • Given the ASCD 2010 Annual Conference is in San Antonio, we wanted to capture a profile of a local school -- in this case, Cable Elementary, which went from being a low-performing school to a high-performing, state-recognized campus. See their story.
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Most Recent Group Photos

    • Total Participation Techniques

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    • Daoist Musings

    • Daoist Musings

    • Authors Debbie Zacarian and Judie Haynes

    • ASCD authors Debbie Zacarian and Judie Haynes check out the ASCD booth at the TESOL 2010 Convention in Boston.
    • A Picture Walk (The Language-Rich Classroom)

    • Get Students "wondering" before you introduce a new content chapter, unit or story.  Do a picture walk and increase engagement dramatically!  "When [teachers] started experimenting with CHATS strategies, they saw instant reults, in terms of students' understanding and engagement.  That enthusiasm just propelled them forward into trying out other strategies... They're able to reach kids that they didn't know how to reach before.  Teachers are feeling empowered" (Dr. Janette Hewitt, Principal, Washington Elementary School).     The Language-Rich Classroom: A research-based framework for teaching English language learners, introduces a 5-part framework toward better teaching, better learning, and bridging the achievement gap (Persida & William Himmele, ASCD, 2009).


  • Hi Judy,
    We had the pleasure of meeting each other at TESOL Day at the Capitol. I'm glad to join the group and am excited to keep conversations going about English learners.

    Former member, 4 years ago| Flag
  • Hi to members of the English language learners Group on EDge. I posted a question about ELLs in Special Education on the ELL message board. It is easier to exchange ideas in that forum. Please join me there!
    Judie_Haynes, 4 years ago| Flag
  • In reply to Edna, I think that we have to be very careful when referring an ELL for Special Education. Determining whether a child has normal language acquisition issues or a learning disability can be a difficult process. There are many questions that must be answered before a Child Study Team (CST)decides to recommend referral. Classroom teachers often view ELLs from a different perspective and often see their language development issues as a learning disability.
    First,the school must go through the prereferral process. The prereferral process is a screening and intervention process that involves identifying problems that a student is having and ways to help deal with these problems. The purpose is to avoid unnecessary referral to the CST. The ESL/bilingual teacher should attend meetings involving one of their students.

    The referral of a student for testing should not be taken lightly. All avenues must be explored before inclusion in Special Education. It is important when evaluating a student to throw away the traditional testing model and to collect data in a portfolio. Input from the ESL teacher, the bilingual teacher, the classroom teacher who works with the student regularly, and the family should all become the basis for the assessment process.

    Ideally, students should be tested in their native language. Unfortunately, a test does not exist for many languages and the next best thing to do is to use an interpreter. Do not use friends, family members, or siblings. Schools are legally responsible for providing a professional translator.The law requires that all state and local education agencies ensure that test and evaluation materials be provided and administered in the child's native language, when possible. ELL students have the same rights as the students in the general population. ESL teachers should be advocating for their students.

    The Child Study Team that evaluates the child needs to be aware of the many aspects of the child's life such as length of time in the U.S., emotional well-being, stage of acculturation, health status, child's playmates, and the child's caregivers before and after school. All four skill areas need to be assessed: Listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Auditory processing, auditory memory, visual deficits, and learning style should be considered. It is important to determine whether the difficulty that the student is exhibiting exists in both languages or just in one language.

    I hope that this helps you.
    Judie_Haynes, 4 years ago| Flag
  • Hi! I am currently enrolled in an educational leadership program. I am presently completing my administrative internship and was wondering how a principal deals with ensuring all the teachers are receiving the support and guidance necessary to help ELL students succeed in the content-area classes. I would welcome your expertise with regards to this issue.
    Grace_Nathman, 4 years ago| Flag
  • Hi! I am a pre-service teacher currently taking ESL to get my certification. I already have my Elementary Ed. degree. I am currently working with an ELA teacher in her fourth grade classroom. There are many ELLs in the classroom, including a few who have only been in the country for a year. These few students are trying very hard to learn English but are really struggling. There is even one student who is being referred to fo Special Education services. What do you do when you have an ELL who is also in need of Special Education services? What strategies can you use with them to help them be successful?
    Erin_Garber, 4 years ago| Flag

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