Education

Resource: Reaching Out to Latino Families of ELLs

By Mary Ann Zehr — August 09, 2011 1 min read

A kindergarten teacher tried to reach the parents of one of his students by phone but didn’t have any luck. The child traveled to and from school by bus, so he didn’t have a chance to intercept the parents after school. The parents didn’t show up for teacher-parent conferences to discuss their child’s progress. Finally, the teacher made a home visit, and he had a fruitful conversation with the parents.

Adjusting one’s approach to interacting with parents, as was true of the kindergarten teacher, can produce positive outcomes, according to a book published by the ASCD, Reaching Out to Latino Families of English Language Learners.

The book gives lots of ideas of simple ways to connect with Latino families, such as assigning students to research famous Latinos or posting phrases around a school in both English and Spanish. Trabajemos juntos por nuestros niños, for example, translates into English as “Let’s work together for our children.”

But the book also describes more substantial and coordinated efforts to engage Latino parents, such as identifying community resources to support parents and students and forming a task force to improve Latino engagement.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.