5-Step plan to create long-term academic success for ELLs

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5-Step plan to create long-term academic success for ELLs by Mind Map: 5-Step plan to create long-term academic success for ELLs

1. Step 2: Promote parent envolvement

1.1. Who: Teachers, administration, parents and students

1.2. What: Many parents want to help to be involved in their student's school life, but are unable to due to language barriers. This can be seen in the fact that almost half of all V immigrants are LEPs, but they have a strong cultural focus on the value of education. ES immigrants also have a high percentage of LEPs, and creating an opportunity for them to strengthen connections with their children's education might create a higher interest in assisting them in school.

1.3. How: Host free ESL classes for parents, preferably leveled classes with upper levels targeting the specific academic english necessary to help their children in the classroom. To finance this, the school could offer a credit hours in conjunction with the local university or community college to degree-seeking students. Parents might "pay" for these classes by participating in PTA or volunteering a certain amount of hours at the school.

1.4. When: Over the course of the student's academic career

1.5. Where: At the school. Possibily online?

1.6. Why: According to research, increased parent involvement in school means an increased chance for success from students. Parents can more easily accompany student work in and out of class, communicated with the teacher and administration, and be able to better function in society.

2. Step 4: Increase Cultural Awareness in the Classroom

2.1. Who: Teachers, students, community

2.2. What: Increasing cultural awareness and respect for eachother's cultures promotes acceptance between students, and gives students a chance to explore their own home culture and identity in more depth and detail. V and ES students have strong home ties, so this is a way for them to express thier cultures and stimulate interest.

2.3. How: There are many strategies we can use to encourage cultural awareness, and the first can be done within the first few weeks of school. Students will be asked to create some sort of visual media (for example, a poster with pictures) that represents their homes, cultures, and family; depending on the age, it may include art, important societal contributions, language, etc.. These will be displayed around the classroom to stimulate students' interest in other cultures; they can do gallery walks and can ask eachother about the content of the posters, etc. The visual representation style also relieves pressure from ELL students and provides support for their limited English capabilities.

2.4. Why: Multiculturalism is prevelant in our society today, and as world citizens it is in our benefit to be accepting of others. Exposure creates opportunties for learning not just tolerance, but acceptance and interest in others outside of our own communal circle. This is for all students, ELLs and thier peers. This sort of project is also useful for involving families, as students can use them as a point of reference for research.

2.5. When: Beginning of the year, but students can add to the poster throughout the year

2.6. Where: At school, with research done in their communties.

3. Step 5: Reflect

3.1. Who: teacher

3.2. What: Reflect on the fruits of your labor. How are ELLs adapting in the classroom? Are your modifications working?

3.3. How: Keep a log of the student's English development, together with their ESL teacher. Are they approximately where expected in their learning stages? Note the progress they've made socially; do they have friends, esp. friends with a different first language?

3.4. Why: It's important for us as educators to keep track of our students' successes and weaknesses, so we can continually adjust our teaching to meet their needs. We can see which strategies were successful and which were not, and plan for the next year accordingly.

3.5. When: Periodically throughout the school year, at least twice a quarter, minimum.

3.6. Where: At school

4. Step 3: Support English language growth through relationships

4.1. Who: Teachers, ELLs, Class

4.2. What: Encourage language growth by encouraging friendships between not just students of the same cultural background, but between students with varying backingrounds and langauges.

4.3. What:

4.3.1. How: Many, many team building activities is one method. A teacher I worked with would start and finished every day with a 5 minute team building activity, which created one of the most unified classes I've ever seen. Another way is by creating opportunities for students to work in groups where they can become aquainted with one another. These are especially usefully for ES and V students who excell in team work, and can have the chance to demonstrate their talents to the class.

4.4. Why: This will promote a rapid developement of at least social English skills, encourage students to speak English outside of the classroom setting, provide a good source of modeling for the student's language development, and help students to adapt to their new culture and integrate into school life more easily through socializing and friendships. Overall, they will probably be more satisfied with the idea of going to school.

4.5. When: Throughout the school year

4.6. Where: At school

5. Step 1: Know your audience

5.1. Who: Elementary teachers, ELL, specifically Vietnamese (V) and El Salvadorian (ES) students

5.2. What: As teachers we should learn about the ELLs home culture, so we can adapt our teaching methods as necessary. As soon as we know who are students are, we should do preliminary research into their cultures to understand their values, strengths and weaknesses. As V and ES students and families value collaboration, we should allow many opportunties for collaboration in the classroom.

5.3. How: Create many team-based projects, where success is dependent on the students working together as a harmonious unit. For example, as part of a social studies class the students might create a country, designing a map, creating a new culture, language, etc. They would need to work together to syncronize this project, and ELLs could work on the less language intensive (but still appropriately challenging for their grade level) section. Another possibility would be to let students work together on classroom duties, such as cleaning, which are usually assigned to individual students to learn how to assist others.

5.4. Why: To promote comfort and familiarity for the ELLs, and to teach native students necessary teamwork skills and the concept of social responsiblity. Collaboration is also one of the skills currently cited as necessary to succeed in tomorrow's workplace, so it is important that we focus on this. It has the added benefit of reinforcing home values, which should please the parents.

5.5. When: At the beginning of the school year; throughout the school year

5.6. Where: In the classroom