Teaching America's English-Language Learners
A Special Report
May 11, 2016
Nearly 5 million children in U.S. public schools are learning the English language. These students are in classrooms in most school systems—and face some of the steepest odds for graduating from high school—yet only one-third of district-level leaders believe educators in their schools are prepared to effectively teach English-learners, according to an Education Week Research Center survey from late last year. So with the number of ELLs projected to keep growing, educators face an urgent imperative to vastly improve achievement for English-learners. How will they do that? Leer en español (read in Spanish)
- English-Language Learners Video: A Day in the Life of a Multilingual High SchoolAt Pennsylvania's Upper Darby High School in suburban Philadelphia, more than 15 languages are spoken in a student body of nearly 4,000.Federal Home-School Connections Help ELLs and Their ParentsEnglish-language learners whose parents actively support their learning are more successful in learning English and in achieving at school, so how can schools do a better job of building relationships with families that usually speak languages other than English?Federal For Stalled ELL Students, Graduation Is Often an Elusive GoalLong-term English-learners—those who are not considered proficient for five or more years—are at a great risk of dropping out of school. What can schools do to keep these students on track to graduate?Curriculum Quality Learning Materials Are Scarce for English-Language LearnersTeachers and ELL experts say there is an array of problems with curricula and learning materials meant for English-learners. But they all agree on two key points: The materials are usually too simple and too disconnected from grade-level goals.Federal Teaching English-Language Learners: What Does the Research Tell Us?Questions around which instructional strategies work best for English-learners are far from settled, including how much a bilingual approach to teaching puts such students at an advantage.