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Introduction to English Language Learners (ELL 101)

Course Coordinator:

Giselle Lundy-Ponce

About the course

ELL 101 has six components:
• Component One: Policy and Advocacy
• Component Two: Second Language Acquisition and Learning
• Component Three: Connecting Culture and Student Achievement
• Component Four: Language and Literacy
• Component Five: Planning for Student Success
• Component Six: Increasing Family Engagement

This course is designed to provide pre-K-12 mainstream educators with the preliminary information and tools they need to begin meeting the needs of ELLs in their classrooms. Topics cover a broad base of areas related to meeting the needs of ELLs. The information across the components will enhance the instructional practices that mainstream educators of ELLs are currently implementing and expand their repertoire by introducing new research-based strategies.

Providing equitable access to grade-level standards, connecting research to practice, and applying new learning to educators’ unique students and educational settings are overarching themes in this course.
The principles and practices examined throughout the course are focused on English learners; however, they are easily applicable to and necessary for a wide range of students. Engaging participants to reach a deeper understanding of the connections between cultural proficiency and academic achievement is another central theme of ELL 101.

The course is not meant as a comprehensive specialization course on English-as-a-Second-Language knowledge and methods. Course participants are encouraged to delve deeper into areas of interest and further research on what works for their particular ELL population. The course is designed to be interactive and build supportive relationships among educators.

Course Objectives:
• Increase knowledge of state and federal laws that ensure services for ELLs;
• Examine research-based instructional strategies to optimize academic learning for ELLs;
• Develop an understanding of second language acquisition to increase awareness of students’ strengths and empathy for their needs;
• Improve participants’ ability to meet the diverse needs of ELLs and increase their academic achievement;
• Identify strategies to differentiate and scaffold instruction to help students access learning along the stages of language acquisition;
• Discern myths and misconceptions about immigrants;
• Connect the diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds of ELLs with their academic needs;
• Identify ways to draw on students’ knowledge as a resource;
• Define culture and cultural proficiency;
• Discuss ways of implementing culturally responsive teaching practices;
• Discuss institutional and societal structures that limit access and equity;
• Assess the impact of culture on learning;
• Analyze and describe ways that culture can be used to enhance learning and academic achievement;
• Identify current research findings on what works for ELL literacy development;
• Apply ELL literacy research to best practices in literacy curriculum and instruction for ELLs;
• Demonstrate strategies that develop literacy skills and reading comprehension for ELLs;
• Describe assessment strategies that provide diagnostic feedback on ELLs’ reading skills and comprehension of text;
• Experience the unit planning process with differentiation strategies for language and culture;
• Examine best practices and strategies for the effective assessment of ELLs;
• Develop a differentiated, standards-based curriculum and instruction plan;
• Identify and describe the difference between parent engagement and parent involvement;
• Identify and recommend meaningful strategies to strengthen parental engagement;
• Create an effective parent engagement plan to target specific academic outcomes for ELL;
• Experience instructional strategies designed to increase academic language production and content comprehension; and
• Reflect on changes in professional practice as related to ELLs.

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