Preparing Teachers to Meet the Needs of English Language Learners

English Language Learners are populating classrooms across the United States in unprecedented numbers.  Their teachers are in need of professional development to appropriately meet their needs.  

English Language Learners in the Classroom

Read the following quote from Waren, Reeder, Noftle, Kaiser, & Jurchan-Rizzo (2010):

“The number of ELLs in K–12 classrooms has steadily increased in the United States. According to the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (2006), there were 5,074,572 ELLs in U.S. schools during 2005–2006. This represents more than 10% of all K–12 students. California, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Puerto Rico, and Texas have had the largest number of these students enrolled in schools, with each of those states or protectorates educating more than 100,000 ELLs. Arkansas, Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia have experienced the largest growth, more than 200% from 1995 to 2006. A report by Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (Flynn & Hill, 2005) reveals similar rapid growth of ELLs in Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, and Wyoming. These statistics indicate that high numbers of ELLs is no longer an isolated phenomenon in large urban cities. As a consequence, many schools in these locations with rapid ELL growth do not have trained teachers or resources to support these students (Garcia, Jensen, & Scribner, 2009).”

What does this mean for educators?  We need to be vocal about what we need to ensure we are providing a research-based and equitable education for our English Language Learners.  Talk to colleagues, your principal or program director.  Tell them you need professional development, materials, and funding to help all of your students succeed.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 at 1:18 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Scott Shoemate
Scott Shoemate



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Everyday ELL is now Every Language Learner.