English-Language Learners

Teaching and Welcoming English-Learners: New Guide Offers Advice

By Corey Mitchell — May 19, 2017 1 min read
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Teaching Tolerance, an education project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, has published an online guide designed to help educators ensure that English-language learners and their families have equitable experiences at school.

The primer offers advice on topics ranging from family engagement and anti-bias strategies to classroom culture and instruction. The recommendations were adapted from Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education, the organization’s professional-development guide, and advice from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s legal team.

“For many educators, helping children learn English is a joy and a privilege,” the report authors wrote. “But classroom educators may not always know how their administration is approaching ELL students and vice versa. Reviewing a few key practices as a staff can help move the entire school toward a comprehensive and culturally responsive approach.”

The guide also reviews best practices for enrolling English-learner students, providing translators for family interaction, and distinguishing between conversational English and academic English, the sort of language that allows students to solve word problems in math or understand complex science topics.

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Schools Often Fail to Educate, Support English-Language Learners

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