Community Connections: Building Strong Relationships with Communities in an Effort to Better Serve ELL Students

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Schools with significant populations of ELLs in their communities face many different challenges as they think through how to bridge the school-community gap. Although making community connections is important for all schools, the language and cultural differences between educators and business and church leaders in these areas of high ELL concentrations can certainly make the [...]

Beyond Translation: Connecting with Parents of ELLs

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It’s so easy to say that schools need to forge stronger ties with their students’ parents. However, the reality of doing that can certainly be a challenge, particularly when working with the parents of English language learners (ELLs). Often, the parents of ELL students face similar, if not more pronounced, challenges communicating in English as [...]

Factors Affecting Language Acquisition

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Educators know that students learn content and skills at very different rates. Most likely, you’ve seen some students excel, grasping new concepts very quickly, while other students need more time or any number of other pedagogical supports to aid their learning. In our article last month, we talked about Krashen and Terrell’s (1983) five major second [...]

ELL Identification: Perspectives from Michigan Practitioners

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In recent issues, we have discussed why and how schools identify their ELL students.  In this article, we want to provide you with some perspectives on ELL identification from practitioners in Michigan school districts. Most teachers have heard the old adage that knowing your students will help create a positive relationship and improve students’ learning [...]

Growing Awareness, Growing Opportunities

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In the last issue, we introduced Michigan’s ELL identification process, which is the first step in providing language minority students with the instructional and linguistic supports necessary to access meaningful opportunities to learn. In this issue, we will take a close look at some of the policies and research that guide the identification and classification process [...]

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning: Identifying ELLs

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As the school year commences across Michigan, many schools are in the process of getting to know newly enrolled students. This process includes identifying students who need English language development services. Identifying English language learners (ELLs) is really an issue of educational access and equity; students who fail to be identified as ELLs who do [...]