ELL Families and Schools
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English language learner population is experiencing an increase in population by a high rate as compared to the whole population in America. The increase in rate comprises of 10% of the student population. This is a challenge to the country, and thus leaving The United States with the challenge of giving equal education opportunity to the English language learner, who wants to study in America schools.
Meeting the needs of the ELL students the administration and teachers must consider issues that affect learning to the ELL students. This issues include social cultural influences on English language learners, bilingualism and home language use, parental and community resources and working together with families and schools. (Cummins, 1981)
Socio-cultural influence plays a crucial role on how people relate and interact with each other. Children raised in a certain culture know what type of behavior to act in school and other social areas. At home families’ traditions, styles of discipline, attitude toward education and prejudices vary. It is significant for teachers to understand the role that English language learner culture influence on the student’ success at school. Connecting the student culture and family should come up with appropriate teaching technique.
This forces English language learners’ students to cope with many changes in their new country, to get used to new home, new schools and also forces to learn how live in a new country. This challenge to the children of ELL because changing from the old way of life to new is not that easy. At school, the ELL students struggle to learn a new language and the social expectation of their friends and teachers. This social cultural influence ends up increasing more pressure if the ELL students have no other students from their native land to interact with one another. (Crawford, 2004)
ELL student should be given an opportunity to share their culture with their classmates. This will help in incorporating the student culture and native language. Use of multicultural literature in class helps students to feel connected and gain confidence in class. To understand ELL student culture teachers need to understand the student’ family values, their expectation, relationship with their family and the environment at home. ELL student’ country, region and customs must be known by their teachers. When teachers invite the students to share with their experiences with the entire class this will help promote students confident and respect in class. (Faltis, 2006)
Bilingualism and home language use is a fundamental aspect which requires consideration, when planning for the success of ELL students. For the success of the students understanding how to use bilingualism and home language in the classroom helps students to understand the English language. An ELL student needs to be provided with adequate opportunities to read and write in a meaningful context using their first and second languages. English language learners should be motivated to come up with literacy skills in their first language and translate these skills to English learning. (Ovando, Combs, & Collier, 2006)
The teacher needs to be patient in dealing with ELL students. ELL students should be allowed to speak their home based language in school, as well as the English language. Teachers should work on the students’ strength and build students’ knowledge on what they already know. Students’ background experiences should be drawn and the connection between academic related facts and students way of life should be motivated. This will help appreciate the value of communicating in multiple languages, thus, boosting their academic performance at school. Teachers should look at their ELL students at an individual level with background knowledge and culture. The aim of bilingualism is to teach the student English language while appreciating the student’s native language, their ability to write, speak and read in their home language. (Krashen, 1985)
Parents and the community resources at large play a vital position in the course of learning English language learners. The involvement of parents in school activities in programs that aim in promote the academic achievement of students and preparing students to another level of English learning process, plays a crucial role in increase the chances for success of the English leaner student. The reason behind this is that parents understand the needs and challenges facing their children. Parents are able to see the progress in reference to their academic skills, thus, encouragement, support and evaluation of learning are vital to their children in school. (Cummins, 1981)
Parents and the community should be aware of resources that will help their children learn the new language and be able to participate in school. Parents should play an active role in their child success at school and community. Parents should guide their children in understanding of the culture surrounding them and find a safe place for their children either in school or home. (Faltis, 2006)
School should create a relationship with parents and the community where the ELL students reside. It is the role of the school to inform parents on progress of their children, their child development and stages they have learnt. With this, parents will be able to know where they need to support their children at home so that they can achieve more and more. Parents and school relationship helps in understanding the culture and background of parents and their children. This will help the teachers to come up with objectives of teaching the ELL students because they do understand them well.
To improve home and school partnership with ELL families a lot can be done. This is through; I can be able to give reading materials to the ELL students which will assist them to learn in an easier way. Also, through providing newsletters to invite parents to become active in the ELL students education both at school and home. Empowering of parents and the community members by making sure parents are aware of resources given to them by the school and the community at large.
Introducing monthly meeting with the English language learner parents, to promote a relationship with the school and ELL families, this is to motivate the ELL students so that they feel component of the school society.
It is highly vital for the school, and the ELL families to interact to enable one other understand their students and children. The ELL students face many challenges in their new school, country because of change in culture, language and the way of living. Therefore, ELL families and the school must work together hand in hand so as to ensure success of the students in their learning process. Teachers should be alert of the requirements of the community, parents and their students.
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