November 3, 2020 | McREL consultant and author Jane Hill was among several educators offering advice in the Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo blog on common mistakes that teachers make with English language learners—and what they should do instead.
Jane’s top tip: Avoid the temptation to ask the student’s parents to speak as much English as possible at home. Parents and caretakers who have limited English proficiency themselves can still have rich conversations with their student at home, in their first language, about what they’re learning in the classroom, which can support the student’s deeper understanding of academic content, concepts, and contexts. For example, a student studying geology and plate tectonics in school can learn a lot about those concepts by talking in their first language with family members who have studied or experienced earthquakes.
Jane is a co-author of Classroom Instruction That Works With English Language Learners and is the instructor of McREL’s online professional learning course, Classroom Instruction That Works With English Language Learners: Student Learning Strategies.