Training all teachers to help English Language Learners succeed in schools
Regular teachers have a very important role to play in helping English Language Learners succeed in the mainstream classroom. Their overall attitude and teaching approaches can make a big difference for the English Language Learners (ELLs). There is wide agreement that when the overall climate in the classroom is welcoming toward the ELLs and when they are made to feel that they belong in the classroom learning community, learning will take place at the optimum levels.
Teachers can use intentional approaches to include ELLs in learning activities, to be accepted by their peers as part of the learning community. Practices related to content-based instruction have shown that both content and language can be learned simultaneously. The overall goal of this project is to understand and identify the professional development needs of teachers and work with them to achieve those needs through a series of training and support sessions. The professional development needs of teachers will be identified by having teachers participate in the needs assessment survey designed and carried out in collaboration with the superintendents, curriculum directors, principals, and research and evaluation consultants of the school districts involved in this project.
Based on the results of the needs assessment survey, a plan of action will be made to provide training workshops and follow up support sessions to help teachers implement those ideas they have learned from the training sessions. The follow-up support in small groups will be designed to help teachers feel ready to implement positive changes in the mainstream classroom to help ELLs become successful.