November 11, 2012

Report: Scrap One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Teaching ELLs


Report: Scrap One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Teaching ELLs
By Lesli A. Maxwell
November 2, 2012

As more and more school districts around the country put the common standards in English/language arts and mathematics into practice, one refrain is growing louder and louder: Instruction for English-learners must change radically.

These shifts will be most critical in the secondary grades, where too often the focus for English-learners is on making sure they learn the language and little else.

So argues a new policy brief released this week from the Washington-based Alliance for Excellent Education.

The Alliance's report zeroes in on what teachers can do to understand and leverage the linguistic and cultural strengths of their ELL students and create supportive, discourse-rich classrooms where students interact and communicate constantly with both ELL and non-ELL peers about complex, academic content across all subjects.

It also calls attention to how state policy governing curriculum, assessment, and teacher preparation could be improved in order to support the changes in classroom practices that English-learners will need to tackle the more rigorous content in the common standards as they develop their language skills.

Read the full article and access the report at

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