Resources for Educators - Blog

Jun 29
3 Considerations for Reopening Schools in Meeting the Needs of English Learners, Written by Dr. Yee Wan

The global pandemic caused an unexpected pivot to distance learning in spring 2020 and now educators have begun envisioning what the instruction of English learners might look like this fall. On CDE's Stronger Together: English Learners guidance, it states,

An English learners' English proficiency level may have decreased because the student has experienced limited instruction for an extended time during school closures. Therefore, close monitoring is key to ensure that English learners have the opportunity to recover any academic losses incurred during school closures.

Here are three considerations that are crucial for English learners as they enter the upcoming school year. They can be used by educators providing distance learning exclusively, face-to-face instruction with social distancing, or a hybrid approach.

  1. Building community and relationships: It is very important to address the social-emotional needs of our students. Educators can open each class or day with a welcome activity or routine that builds community. For example, have students share something they feel proud of about themselves or recall a time that they experienced success. Students can share what contributed to the success or how the experience made them feel.

  2. Formative assessment: Educators can strategically use formative assessment data to evaluate English learners' English language proficiency levels at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year or during the summer so that students can be placed in the appropriate level for ELD instruction. Teachers can use formative data in content areas to design instruction in response to where the students are when they begin instruction in a new content.

  3. Intentional language practice: Make sure students get as much quality language practice in meaningful ways as possible during face-to-face or synchronous virtual instruction. It is critical to provide designated ELD in small homogeneous groups on a regular basis. This may mean that focused ELD teaching happens in small groups.

Hybrid Learning Playbook: English Learners, California Collaborative for Educational Excellence

Reflection Tool: ELs Returning to School in 2020, SupportEd​


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