We previously discussed “Challenges and Opportunities for English Learners in the Common Core State Standards” and its broader takes on melding the CCSS with English language learner instruction. Let’s dig a little deeper into the actionable steps the report recommends.
Teacher preparation programs in many states already have stringent ELL guidelines. These states tend to be those that already have considerable experience in English language services, like California and Texas. The influx of ELL students that the country is currently seeing is not limited to those states. Teacher preparation programs need to reflect the country’s current and future needs, as well as reflect the Common Core in the applicable states.
ELL preparation training should not be limited to language teachers. All teachers will serve as the gateway to Common Core success in their subject. They need to be familiar with ELL strategies as well.
Ability-centered vs. deficit perspective
Every educator coming in contact with ELL students—including administration—need to approach instructing these students from an ability-centered perspective rather than viewing the task as a challenge. With the right strategies and mindset, ELL students can not only reach proficiency in English. They can also become contributing and valuable members of the 21st century economy, where cultural understanding and skills in sought-after languages are commonplace.
Pre- and post-Common Core ELL instruction
Before the Common Core, but after No Child Left Behind, ELL instruction had the narrow goal of English proficiency. Critical thinking skills and collaboration took a backseat to rote memorization.
Under the CCSS, not only have those skills become a centerpiece in the instruction of mainstream students, but they can also become available for ELLs with the right alignment between ELL-centered strategies and those developed to meet the more challenging standards.
The role of technology
Online, blended-learning systems have been shown to have considerable success in supplementing the instruction of ELL students, helping them reach proficiency sooner while engaging Common Core-related skills. Interactive and adaptive learning can help bridge gaps and solve the lack of manpower in ELL education by offering the students meaningful ways to practice.
For more insights from “Challenges and Opportunities for English Learners in the Common Core State Standards”, download the report.
Also, we invite you to join us for our “Pathways to English Language Learner Success” webinar on Wednesday, March 11th at 3:00 pm EDT to learn how, together, we can bridge this gap and ensure these students succeed.