English Learners in Charter Schools: A Learning Experience Focused on English Learner Instruction

English Learners in Charter Schools

Introduction

Presenters: Molly Faulkner-Bond, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate, WestEd and Jennifer Himmel, Project Director, National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA), Manhattan Strategy Group

Nearly one in every 10 students nationally is classified as an English Learner (EL). Charter schools are uniquely positioned to serve students learning English based on the autonomy in the charter promise and their ability to be nimble in response to community and student needs. This multi-part learning experience provides charter school leaders and directors of academic learning with an overview of EL instruction and available resources to support educating English learners in charter schools. This learning experience consists of five learning modules as well as two brief profiles and lessons learned of two Charter School Programs (CSP) grantees who are providing high-quality options for students acquiring English.

Module #1: Overview of English Learner Instruction

Module #2: Language Instruction Education Programs for English Learners

Module #3: Selecting the Right Instructional Program for Your Students

Module #4: Tips for Formative Assessment and Supporting Students Following COVID-19

Module #5: Tips for Educating English Learners in Online Learning Environments


Module #1: Overview of English Learner Instruction

At the end of this learning module, you should understand:

  • The legal context related to the education of ELs;
  • The core responsibilities of local education agencies (LEAs), schools, and teachers related to educating EL students;
  • Evidence-based best practices for educating EL students and where to find more information about each of these practices; and
  • How charter schools can create programs that best support the academic achievement of EL students.

Additional Resources:

Office of English Language Acquisition: English Learner Tool Kit
 
U.S. Department of Education’s COVID-19 Fact Sheet
 
Institute for Education Sciences: Educator’s Practice Guide: Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School
 
Institute for Education Sciences: Practice Guide: Effective Literacy and English Language Instruction for English Learners in Elementary Grades
 
Institute of Education Sciences: Farmington Municipal Schools’ Journey: Implementing an English Language Development Program 
 
WestEd: Preparing English Learners for College and Career: Lessons from Successful High Schools
 
Kappa Delta Pi Record: What Does Research Say about Effective Practices for English Learners?


Module #2: Language Instruction Education Programs for English Learners

At the end of this learning module, you should understand:

  • The different program models used to educate EL students and
  • What charter schools need to integrate EL instruction into curriculum to ensure student success

Additional Resources:

Office of English Language Acquisition: English Learner Tool Kit

Office of English Language Acquisition: English Learners and Instructional Programs

Migration Policy Institute: A Matter of Design: English Learner Program Models in K-12 Education


Module #3: Selecting the Right Instructional Program for Your Students

At the end of this learning module, you should understand:

  • A set of key questions to consider when selecting EL instructional models based on your audience;
  • A process to follow in selecting EL instructional models; and
  • Components to measure to determine the effectiveness of an EL instructional model.

Additional Resources:

Office of English Language Acquisition: English Learner Tool Kit


Module #4: Tips for Formative Assessment and Supporting Students Following COVID-19

At the end of this learning module, you should understand:

  • The implications of formative assessment during the pandemic and
  • Ways to approach formative assessments during the 2020-2021 academic school year and beyond.

Additional Resources:

WestEd: Focusing Formative Assessment on the Needs of English Language Learners

The Answer Lab at USC Rossier: How can school systems use the results of state English Language Proficiency assessments along with progress monitoring tools in the classroom to determine instructional implications to supporting language development for English Learners?

The Answer Lab at USC Rossier: How can school systems use the results of state English Language Proficiency assessments along with progress monitoring tools in the classroom to determine instructional implications to supporting language development for English Learners?


Module #5: Tips for Educating English Learners in Online Learning Environments

At the end of this learning module, you should understand:

  • The requirements and tips for educating EL students in online learning environment;
  • Tips for managing the digital divide; and
  • Tips for family engagement.

Additional Resources:

WestEd: Supporting English Learners During School Closures

WestEd: How Educators can Support English Learner Students in Distance Learning

Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL): 6 Key Considerations for Supporting English Learners with Distance Learning

U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development: Supporting English Learners through Technology: Brief: What Districts and Teachers Say about Digital Learning Resources for English Learners Full Report: What Districts and Teachers Say about Digital Learning Resources for English Learners

WestEd: Communicating with Families of ELs During Distance Learning

California Department of Education: Learning From Home Survey

New York City’s Department of Education: Multilingual Learners and English Language Learner Support

WestEd: Communicating with Families of Newcomer ELs During Distance Learning

Teaching Systems Lab at MIT: Remote Learning Guidance from State Education Agencies During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A First Look

Association of California School Administrators: Distance Learning Planning


EL Instruction in Practice

The U.S. Department of Education's CSP grantees play a vital role in closing the achievement gap for students across the country, including English Learners. Hear how two CSP grantees are providing a high-quality option for EL students enrolled in their schools. Click on each school to learn more.

Family Life Academy Charter Schools Logo      Uplift Education logo

Additional Resources:

Office of English Language Acquisition's English Learner Tool Kit

National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition

WestEd Resources for English Language Learners