Teaching English Learners

Five (5) million students in the United States are considered “English Language Learners” or “ELL’s”. Educators are faced with the dilemma of teaching these students both content as well as English.

The US education system has developed three models for teaching ELL Students – sheltered instruction, dual-language model and dual immersion.

Within the sheltered instruction model, students are placed in a sheltered classroom to learn math, science and social studies focusing on the content areas, rather than English mechanics. In the dual-language model instruction is split into English and their native language where the teachers are fluent in both languages. Finally, dual immersion teaches students within an inclusive classroom where half are native English speakers and the other half are not.

Further complicating teaching ELL students lies when these students are also living with learning disabilities. Often ELL students are undiagnosed with a language or processing disorder. This occurs because the students’ difficulties in school are often attributed only to their lack of English proficiency, rather than another, or compounded deficit to their learning.

These students are often pushed from grade to grade, labeled an ELL student, which therefore is considered the only contributing factor to any lack of progress. Labeling these students as ELL’s often delays the assessment process to determine whether or not the student also suffers from a learning disability and an additional hurdle to their education.

More info: http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/10/23/493167803/how-we-teach-english-learners-3-basic-approaches?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=2049

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