Instructional Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners Math

1812 Words May 26th, 2013 8 Pages
Instructional Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners Math

EDU 534: Diverse Family Structures

October 10, 2012

This paper investigates and examines the needs of English Language Learners (ELL) in our classrooms today. It defines who they are, gives statistics at three different levels, nationally, statewide and at the school level. A few general concerns about ELL are discussed and also some positive indicators are given to give a foundation to work from. Academic goals in English language development, reading and math; that can be applied for all students, and assessment considerations are reviewed. Finally, proven instructional
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71% of the ELL students are elementary school age (K-6) and 29% are in secondary grades, with a very small percentage in college. 94% of ELL students speak one of the top ten languages. The top three languages are: Spanish 87.2%, Vietnamese 2.7% and Cantonese 1.7%. (Facts about English Language Learners in California 2012)

General Concerns Achievement data suggests that ELLs lag far behind their English proficient peers. Nationwide only 12% of ELL scored “at or above proficient in math in the 4th grade on the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress, compared to 42% of their peers and the gap grew even bigger at the 8th grade level, 5% vs. 35% respectively. (English Language Learners 2011). In 2008, about 29% of ELL students scored Proficient or higher on the California English Language Development Test (CELDT), but only 9% were reclassified as fluent in English. (Zehr 2008). And according to Jasper (2006) it usually takes an ELL more than one year to develop conversational language five to seven years to develop sufficient academic language to learn in English.
Positive Indicators Although we have seen low test scores and reclassification rates nationwide, there are a few indications that tell us we are headed in the right direction. The percent of students who spoke a language other than English at home and had difficulty speaking English decreased from 41% in 1980 to 24% in 2009. Additionally, school

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