Education

Taking a Break in an ESL Cafe

By Mary Ann Zehr — September 10, 2007 1 min read

I’ve been writing a lot more about education policy on this blog than I intended. Part of the reason is that it seems that every time I turn around, someone has new ideas--or more proposals--on how to reauthorize provisions for English-language learners under the No Child Left Behind Act.

So on Friday, at the end of the work week, I took a break and browsed Dave’s ESL Cafe, a Web site that’s been around longer than the seven years I’ve been writing about ELLs for Education Week. Dave Sperling launched the site, which evolved from an online “ESL Graffiti Wall,” in 1995. It’s become really extensive, with all kinds of “stuff for teachers” and “stuff for students.”

I was intrigued by this matter-of-fact post on the subject of “how to deal with the plateau problem,” submitted by “zhaoguihe:"

“I have studied English for several years, the first few years I can feel improvement every semester, but this year I hardly feel any improvement anymore, do you have some good ways to help me pass the stage.”

I think that if educators could answer this question, the education policy issues concerning English-language learners would be much less complex--and I’d probably be out of the blogging business.

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