Research Matters/Successful Strategies for English Language Learners

Cut through the fog of competing claims made by researchers and policymakers about effective approaches for meeting the needs of English language learners (ELLs) and one fact remains: Educators daily face the challenge of teaching this large and growing student population. More immigrants arrived in the United States during the 1990s than during any other decade on record. This fall, in response to this trend toward linguistic and cultural diversity, the New York City school district created an office to translate information for parents into eight languages. The Los Angeles Unified School District already spends more than $6 million yearly to translate its materials (Zehr, 2004). This article takes the time to not only address this issue, which calls for immediate attention, but also provides answers for teachers.

Getting to Know Your ELLs: Six Steps for Success

This article written by Colorín Colorado Manager Lydia Breiseth provides ideas for getting to know your English language learners. The article includes guidance on what information will be helpful to gather as well as ideas on how to find what you need, who will be able to help, and recommended resources. There is never enough time to do as much as you would like, and at first you may feel discouraged at all the information that you won’t be able to learn. Nevertheless, taking some small steps may yield big results in your classroom and you will learn information that will serve you well when teaching other students in the future as well. Just remember Katie’s message – if you focus on the who, the what will start to care of itself!