Monday, July 22, 2019

ELL Schools and Families Essay Example for Free

ELL Schools and Families Essay The population of English Language Learners (ELL) are increasing in educational institutions primarily influenced by globalization and immigration. It has been projected that within the coming years, the percentage of children attending educational institutions in the country shall be non-English speakers. The term ELL is brought about by the shift in the English language-learning paradigm that represents the trend in language acquisition. (Bank Street) The increasing population of ELL’s are putting pressures on the educational atmosphere as educational institutions are forced to alter their curriculum to accommodate the needs and concerns of the learners. (Abedi, 2002) Integrating a program for ELL’s in the school setting is a great challenge for the educational institution, the teacher, the learner, and one’s family. Teaching non-English speakers who are not able to both understand and speak the language is more difficult than teaching English speakers the rules of the language are, for instance. Challenges include the need for educational institutions to implement a curriculum that fits the requirements of the ELL’s. Teachers, on the other hand need to be aware of the appropriate techniques and strategies that would be efficient in the success of language accommodation and acculturation. For learners, engaging in an unfamiliar environment is not motivating them to eagerly learn. (Mercuri, 2003) To address the problems and concerns that ELL’s face in the learning environment, society looks to the involvement of the family in order to strengthen the school as an institution that fully supports English language learners. (Collier Thomas, 1999) Family involvement play a significant role during the learning process of ELL’s. According to a research conducted in order to determine guidelines that the No Child Left Behind Act shall implement, the involvement of family members to school activities such as programs that aims to promote development of academic standing and preparation for the next level of English language learning increases the chance of successes that a learner shall be able to accomplish. This is because families understand the needs and the difficulties of their children, and are also able to see their progress with regards to academics, pushing them to encourage, support, and value learning as an integral part of their children’s success. (Epstein, 2004) Moreover, it is the responsibility of the school to build a relationship with the family of the learner in order to inform them of the developmental stages and the changes that the children are going to experience, as they grow older. This particular knowledge gives families the idea of how to build a supportive home environment that boosts learning. This particular interaction between the school and the family allows the educational institution to understand the cultural background of families and determine their goals and objectives for their children when it comes to English language learning. (Epstein, 2004) Providing a supportive sociocultural environment is at the heart of tapping into the potential of ELL’s to benefit largely from the English language learning program. Interaction between the educational institution and the families contributes to this objective. Looking at their parents interact with the members of the educational institution motivates learners to build relationships with the institution as well, without any apprehensions as brought about by fear of cultural rejection. (Collier Thomas, 1999) An article written by Rhona Barton for the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory discovers cases wherein active involvement of parents leads to academic success of the learners, especially in socially interacting within the school environment. (Barton, 2006) Educational institutions with English language learning programs do not necessarily implement the use of the English language at home, as decisions regarding the matter are based on cultural considerations. Schools should consider the importance of native language to ELL’s and their families. However, the continued use of English at home and the support of the family when it comes to home language speeds up the learning process, schools still acknowledge that the ELL’s are aware of language learning based on their knowledge of their native language. (Ortiz, 2001) Schools should also provide alternatives for families in order for them to adjust or cope with the changes that ELL affects within their family life. Schools should inform them of educational options such as tutorial services that are made available at home or in schools, support groups within the community that assists families in their needs and concerns regarding the issue of English language learning. Family counseling is also an option as it allows medical professionals to help in determining problems or obstacles that the family shall be facing, and strengthening family relationships in order to withstand the challenges of immersing into a community and cultural environment that they are not familiar with. For specific problems such as financial aspect of English language learning, the federal government entitles families to funding as authorized by the federal Title I funding program. (Ortiz, 2001) Partnership of educational institutions with families are best established through communication and social interaction. Schools should be able to develop and maintain a stable relationship with the families that is primarily grounded on the objective of affecting learning and making ELL’s experience success within the unfamiliar learning environment. Moreover, through this, schools are enriched and enlightened with the knowledge of different cultural backgrounds within the school environment and be able to modify the learning atmosphere to fit the culture, beliefs, and traditions of non-English speakers. Teachers should be able to communicate the needs and concerns of ELL’s to their families, in order for them to understand how they are going accommodate the needs of their children who are involved in English language learning. Schools should establish regular meetings with the teachers, and ask them to get involved with programs and school activities that harness English language learning and support the need of their children to learn the English language. If possible, home visitations are one of the best ways to establish a strong foundation of relationship between the school and the families. (Barton, 2006) References Abedia, J. (2002). â€Å"Assessment and Accommodation of English Language: Issues, Concerns, and Recommendations. † Retrieved May 1, 2008, from NCA Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. Website: http://www. ncacasi. org/jsi/2002v3i1/assessment Bank Street. (2008). â€Å"English Language Learners: Working with Children Whom English is a New Language. † Retrieved May 1, 2008, from Bank Street. Website: http://www. bnkst. edu/literacyguide/ell. html Barton, R. (2006). â€Å"Forging Family Ties. † Retrieved May 2, 2008, from Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. Website: http://www. nwrel. org/nwedu/11-03/forge/ Collier, V. P. Thomas, W. P. (1999). â€Å"Making U. S. Schools Effective for English Language Learners, Part 3. † TESOL Matters, Vol. 9, No. 6. Retrieved May 1, 2008, from TESOL. Website: http://www. tesol. org/s_tesol/sec_document. asp? CID=196DID=826 Epstein, J. (2004). â€Å"Meeting NCLB Requirements for Family Involvement. † Middle Ground, Vol. 4, No. 3. Retrieved May 1, 2008, from National Middle School Association. Website: http://www. nmsa. org/portals/0/pdf/publications/On_Target/family_involvement/family_9. pdf Mercuri, S. (2003). â€Å"Helping Middle and High School Age English Language Learners Achieve Academic Success. † NABE Journal of Research and Practice. Retrieved May 1, 2008. Website: http://www. uc. edu/njrp/pdfs/freeman. pdf Ortiz, A. (2001). â€Å"English Language Learners With Special Needs: Effective Instructional Strategies. † Retrieved May 2, 2008, from CAL. Website:

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