Essay on English Language Learners

7197 Words 29 Pages
Annette Zehler

At the beginning of this school year, you may have discovered that there were one or more students in your class who did not grow up speaking English. They were raised in another country, or perhaps even in the United States, but where another language was primarily spoken at home. These students, who may not speak English at all or, at least, do not speak, understand, and write English with the same facility as their classmates, are commonly referred to as "limited English proficient" (LEP) or "English language learner" (ELL) students. If, in the past, you taught only native English-speaking students but now have some ELL
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The important point to remember is that any individual student presents a profile of aptitudes and abilities in subject areas and skills, and that this is true for students who are learning English as much as for native English speakers. However, the student who is learning English will have more trouble in expressing his or her level of understanding and capabilities in the second language, English.
All children bring unique backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to the classroom. ELL students' diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds can offer many resources for the entire classroom including:
· Information -- about other countries and their cultures, customs, and resources;
· New perspectives -- about the world, about society, about beliefs; and
· Opportunities -- for exposure to other languages, for sharing ways of thinking and doing things that might otherwise be taken for granted.
When the information, perspectives, and opportunities offered by the presence of students from other language and cultural backgrounds are used as a resource for instruction, the whole class benefits. Students build awareness of other points of view and other ways of understanding and, consequently, come to learn more about themselves.
As a classroom teacher, you can

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