December 1, 2013

Article: Busting ELL Myths


Teacher Nichole Berg writes:

“'Why am I in this class? I know how to speak English!’
‘ESOL is for kids who don’t know English! I don’t want to be in here!’
‘How can I get out of this class?’

“I was shocked to hear these comments from my students the first year I took a new position as an ESOL “unified arts”/”exploratory” teacher at my middle school.

“Once I became aware of the negative perceptions surrounding the ESOL/bilingual skills class, I knew I had to prioritize classroom safety and create an environment where students felt supported and respected enough to learn. This meant addressing stereotypes associated with ELLs, explicitly teaching students about language proficiency and academic language, and empowering students to embrace their bi/multilingualism.”

Read the full article to see what Ms. Berg has done at

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