Opportunity Ripe For Online ELL Ed.
Among special populations of students, English-language learners may represent virtual learning’s last frontier.
With the dual challenges of grasping a new language and keeping up with other academic studies, ELLs would seem poised to benefit greatly from the prospect of self-paced study, direct teacher correspondence without other students observing, and an adaptive curriculum. Yet, such students appear to represent one of the smallest slices of virtual student enrollment, and they typically encounter online learning through pathways that differ from the experiences of most online learners.
For example, across virtual schools run by the Herndon, Va.-based K12 Inc. , only about 2 percent of enrolled students—or roughly 1,800—qualify for English-as-second-language, or ESL, instruction and support. Of those students, more than half have been adopted into native English-speaking families, estimates Jenny Kendall, K12’s...
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