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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

ELLs Are in Dire Need of Academic Support on all Sides!

Pres. Obama has once again talked about the dismal average high school dropout rate of 31% for the country. Even sadder is that this number more than doubles in poor areas where classes are overcrowded and teachers tend not to stay more than a couple of years for any number of reasons ranging from having no support in the class to class of cultures.

The population I teach starts out behind everyone else since they come to the US with major gaps in their educational background to begin with. Often times the gaps can be anywhere from 2-4 years. This leads to a "sophomore" entering my class 2-4 years behind in formal schooling. Overcoming such gaps was no easy task and yet many did...until now. With the end of the school year around the corner for my district, I have kids asking me about they can catch up on credits. I wish I had some solutions for this. Life without an education is life without hope.

Our students are our future. They are supposed to be the educated work force of the future. What is wrong with us? We are going to be forced to find our top scientists and engineers from outside the US. This will inevitably weaken our nation in all areas of the economy.

I will be spending my summer writing a teacher's guide for boosting writing skills of ELLs in fun and highly engaging ways. If students can't pose quality arguments on paper, they are lost academically. Through my website, teachers will see that there are many highly engaging activities on the net which could beef up any lesson. These sites offer stimulating content written in formal English. Kids can access this content without watering down the content. Teachers need to scaffold material to make it accessible.

This leads to another venture this summer for my colleagues and me-to contact schools with high numbers of kids scoring below basic and far below basic on the CSTs (annual assessment for public school students). Schools with poor AYPs tend to be those with high numbers of ELLs. We hope to do in-services for them on sure fire approaches to start bridging those gaps. The fact that LAUSD has signed a contract with us allowing
www.ellteacherpros.com to offer CTEL Test Prep Review courses in a way validates our effectiveness as trainers:)

Denise

ELD Educational Consultant

2 comments:

  1. Isn't it funny that when teachers are needed most, school districts are laying them off in the thousands. Scores are dropping. Schools are falling into PROGRAM IMPROVEMENT status. Supplies are drying up.

    We are destroying a generation at this rate. America will pay a hefty price for this. Why are corporations more important to "save" than our children and those hardworking individuals who teach them day in and day out for pay far lower than they would receive in private industry?

    Denise

    www.ellteacherpros.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's not much but there are a few sites that offer freebies for teachers. One of my favorites is www.iloveschools.com where you register and let them know what you need.

    ReplyDelete