Applying the Right Technology for English-Language Learners
There are numerous barriers in place when it comes to the instruction of English-language learners (ELLs) in
Tracking and documenting the progress of ELLs is complicated, even within the scope of what just one teacher has to do. There are forms to fill out, assessments to be administered and regular day-to-day learning activities to track. Understanding specifically how ELLs are progressing is important though, particularly since the
ELLs on the rise
From the school years of 2002-2003 to 2011-2012, the percentage of ELLs went up in 40 states, with the highest hike experienced in the western U.S. ELLs are also present in higher numbers in urban areas. In the 2011-2012 school year, ELLs made up just over 14 percent of public school enrollees—up to nearly 17 percent in the largest cities of the
So how can we teach this growing subset of K-12 students more effectively, particularly within our public schools? The answer lies in how we best harness the technology available and couples it with our best ELL teaching practices.
ELL technology solutions
Companies like EduSkills are actively working on ways to bridge the gap between educators and what they are able to provide to their ELLs when it comes to academics and even social skills. EduSkills offers ELL data portfolio software (AccountabELL) that helps educators better manage the often fragmented school system data for ELLs. By streamlining the management side of ELL initiatives and documentation, the AcountabELL system makes it possible for all educational stakeholders to make informed decisions about ELL instruction and progress.
A few of the features of the program include scanning and uploading capabilities that help track the Home Language Survey and other ELL forms, calculations of immigrant/bilingual/ELL students across a chosen selection, and support of Title III requirements like language instruction education plans, parent notification and reporting. All of these specific tasks centralize ELL tasks and give educators easier ways to look at the data sets, and apply what it all means to real-time classroom activities. The software makes it easier for communication between all of the important people in a student's career: current teachers, future teachers, administrators and parents.
The company was founded by an educational software designer and former teacher and ELL program coordinator working toward a doctorate in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the
School systems do not need sweeping change in educational practice to effectively address the growing numbers of ELLs in
Dr. Matthew Lynch is the author of the newly released textbook, The Call to Teach: An Introduction to Teaching. To order it via Amazon, please click on the following link.