English Learners (ELs) are the fastest growing student population, as there has been a huge influx of individuals from around the globe coming to the U.S. The arrival of non-English speakers creates a bit of disconnect between theory and practice in the classroom. However, there are measureable ways to bridge the gap and promote academic success among ELs. Continue to discover 3 ways to bridging theory and practice with ELs.
The first way to bridge theory and practice with ELs is to utilize ELs background knowledge as a foundation to increase comprehension. Learning is a building process. The more you know, the more you can learn. Due to language barriers, teachers may not always be aware of what their students already know. For that reason, teachers assess the background knowledge of their students by conducting written and verbal surveys and games. Once teachers are able to assess their students, they will be more apt to get their students to connect their banked knowledge with the new academic knowledge they acquiring in the classroom.
Encourage Parent Involvement
The second way to bridge theory and practice with ELs is to encourage EL parent involvement. Regardless of the home language spoken or English language abilities of EL parents, parental involvement is crucial to the academic success of their children. Teachers can bridge the classroom and home, by regularly and respectfully communicating with EL parents. Communicating with EL parents in their own language is an inviting gesture; in turn they will be more involved in their children’s school life. The more comfortable EL parents become with their communication skills and their child’s teacher, the better prepared they will be to help their children with their school life.
Create More Opportunities For Writing
The third way to bridge theory and practice with ELs is to create more opportunities for writing. Having students engage in writing activities are sure to help them develop vocabulary skills and the correct way to use words and their grammatical variants. Oftentimes, school curriculum focuses on developing math and reading skills. However, very little time is set aside to develop writing skills. It is important to introduce students to a variety of writing styles. These activities will help teachers develop an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their students.