Giving English Language Learners the Time They Need to Succeed

Farbman, D. (December 2015) Giving English Language Learners the Time They Need to Succeed. Boston, MA: The National Center for Time and Learning.

With the number of students who are English language learners (ELLs) likely to double in coming years, it’s more important than ever for schools across the U.S. to design and implement educational practices and strategies that best meet ELLs’ learning needs. To inform both practitioners and policymakers in bringing about this higher level of school support, the report profiles three expanded-time elementary schools, providing both the framework and compelling examples for understanding how the strategies and effective practices aimed at helping ELL students blend together to produce a high-quality education and serve as the foundation for future success. The report identifies four best practices that worked in the schools: (1) Extended literacy blocks, with upwards of 2.5 hours per day focused on skills needed for reading and writing; (2) Using data to pinpoint areas where individual students struggle, then subdividing those students into small groups where staff can help address the challenges; (3) Maintaining support and services for fluent-speaking English-learners who need to boost their academic English skills; and (4) Ensuring that teachers meet often to align lesson plans, and identify and address student needs.

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