Tuesday, May 8, 2012

We all do better when we all do better.

Former Minnesota senator, Paul Wellstone, used to say, "We all do better when we all do better."  I believe in this statement, and it is especially true in trying to ensure the academic success for ELLs.  In a recent blog post at Learning the Language, April 30th, 2012 "A Case for Training All Teachers to Meet Needs of ELLs" the blogger describes a study that highlights how successful ELLs are when they are taught by teachers who are knowledgeable in language instruction methods.  Approximately 25% of K-12 students speak a home language other than English, and 60% receive English-only instruction, while 9% receive no language support.  Our educational system has put an awful lot of pressure on ELLs to succeed, but has changed very little when it comes to providing academic support.  Many teacher preparation programs have minimal courses on ELL instructional strategies and language development.  Student teachers I've talked to recently feel that they were not prepared well for the realities of the classroom and the diversity of ELLs.  Imagine if all teachers knew how to instruct with language in mind and could promote literacy and language development within content..... it would help the ELLs, and also the mainstream students.  So, we'd all do better when we all did better.  I'd be interested to hear about current experiences with teacher preparation programs and courses on ELL instruction.

No comments:

Post a Comment