English Learner (EL) Strategies

PEER TO PEERPeer interaction will boost achievement for ALL learners and can be especially helpful for English Learners.

Teachers of English learners have reported significant struggles with the switch to remote learning. Instructional leaders likely need to ramp up professional development and planning time to help these teachers and teams craft materials and strategies that match students’ needs. For example, while small group instruction is a manageable and helpful online instructional strategy, many of the EL teachers who we surveyed had not yet tried it. This points to the need for more support and practice for teachers to become comfortable with adapting in-person strategies for the online environment, especially for students so at risk at falling behind.

Guiding Questions

  • What strategies work best to increase active learning and engagement for English learners during remote and hybrid learning?
Use these selected strategies and resources
High-Leverage Strategies Aligned Resources

Spoken and Written Translation Tools

Prioritize professional development on using technology tools for translations and subtitles.

Parabola Project recommended tools such as:

  • Google Translate can translate written materials for parents who are not English speakers.
  • Yandex can translate photos with text and websites.
  • In Google Meet, the audience can set their preferred language for captions so a live presentation in English can be read in Spanish, Arabic, and other languages. This option is also automatically provided for videos uploaded to YouTube. Both are free services.
  • Skype offers translation of live conversations into 11 languages and instant messaging translation in 60 languages.

English Learner Videos

Many teachers like to see successful practices in action.

Colorin Colorado has many bilingual resources, such as a classroom video library of EL instruction in middle and high school classrooms. The library includes video modules with lesson plans and teacher reflections.