All children bring unique backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to the classroom. ELL students’ diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds can offer many advantages for the entire classroom by bringing a different perspective about the world based on their customs and beliefs. One way schools can help boost English profiency among ELL students is to learn who they are and value their uniqueness. When the experiences and perspectives of ELL students can be seen as a resource and used for instruction, the whole class benefits. Here are questions to consider:
- How can administration support teachers, who already have a packed list of objectives, to mainstream ELL students into their classrooms?
- What might be some myths or assumptions about ELL students that need dispelling so that teachers can better instruct them?
- What kind of classroom environment and activities can foster English proficiency and minimize fear and apprehension for ELL students so that they are free to thrive?
By JAVIER C. HERNANDEZ
Published: March 17, 2009
Days after it was criticized by lawmakers for failing to make gains with students struggling with English, the city’s Department of Education released a report on Tuesday showing that unprecedented numbers of those students became proficient in English last year and that more of them passed state tests in English and math.
But despite efforts to improve the performance of the city’s 150,000 students who are still learning English, nearly 70 percent of them do not graduate within four years and older students in particular lag behind their peers on state tests.
According to the report, about 29 percent of fourth graders struggling with English passed the state language-arts test last year, compared with about 4 percent in 2003. Among eighth graders, 5 percent passed, up from about 1 percent in 2003.
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