English Language Learner Families and Schools
The English Language Learner (ELL), student population is growing. According to the California Department of Education, as of the Spring of 2011, 37.4% of public school enrolled students speak a language other than English in their homes. Knowing this, teachers and administrators must reach out and meet the needs of the ELL student, in order for those students to succeed. There are several areas that they need to look at to have a successful program; the sociocultural influences on ELL students, bilingualism and home language, parental and community resources, and a partnership between families and schools.
The teachers need to know how the ELL student’s culture can influence and make a difference in that students’ academic success. Teachers need to get to know their students and their families. By knowing their families, teachers can incorporate teaching methods using culturally effective methods. By integrating the students’ culture and language gives the ELL student a sense of acceptance within the classroom. Also giving the student the opportunity to share his or her culture will promote self-confidence and pride of who they are. According to an article on the Colorin Colorado stated that understanding family values, expectations, family relationship, and their home environment will increase success with the ELL. A great way for a teacher to inform herself of the ELL students’ background including where they are from, religion, and customs is to visit and talk to the parents. This concept is called Funds of Knowledge. “Funds of Knowledge is based on a simple premise: people are competent and have knowledge, family heritage and life experiences as a result of which they have knowledge that can be used as a basis for education and in support of communities.” (English Language Learners Symposium)
A teacher needs to understand and take into consideration the student’s home language. A teacher should know how to...