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Trend Watch: Preventing "Summer Slide" in English

| 1 Comment

I've been intending to report the story for several years, but only this summer I finally wrote an article about how many school districts now offer summer classes for English-language learners to help them prevent "summer slide" in their English skills. My article, "Summer Classes a Draw for English-Learners," based on a visit to summer English-as-a-second-language classes at Loudoun County, Va., schools, was published yesterday at edweek.org.

It turns out that a lot of other newspaper reporters had the same idea this summer to visit and write about ESL classes. Here's a round-up of such stories, which will permit you to compare and contrast goals of the programs, which often target subsets of ELLs.

Kids Show off English Skills (via Colorin colorado)
ELLs learn about squirrels, nut trees, and berry bushes in Poughkeepsie, N.J.

Students Work on English (via Colorin colorado)
ELLs get computer time during summer ESL in Burlington, Vt.

Program at Gainsville State Offers English Language Learners High School Credit (via TESOL in the News)
Gainesville State College in Gainesville, Fla., offers Steps-to-College program for ELLs.

Phila. Summer Program Helps Refugees Conquer English (via TESOL in the News)
The Philadelphia School District offers special help in English to high school students who are new to the country.

Class Targets Spanish-Speaking Preschoolers (via TESOL in the News)
First Chance for Children, a nonprofit organization in Columbia, Mo., introduces preschoolers to English over the summer.

Summer Camp Helps Kids Enrich Their English Skills (via Colorin colorado)
Clarksville-Montgomery County schools in Tennessee focus on reading and writing for elementary school ELLs.

Creative Camp Activities Keep English-Language Learners Interested (via Colorin colorado)
Mountains is the theme this summer at an ESL camp offered to K-8 students by the Thompson School District in Colorado.

1 Comment

It is fun for the kids to have summer school and I don't think it is necessarily a "summer slide" in English which drives the need. It seems in the summer school realm, more and more summer school are becoming skill and drill for tests and many kids, younger and younger, are being threatened with retention and grading in the summer.
Summer programs for ESOL students should be about getting together for company and sharing with a bit of preparation for the coming school year. My students are often lonely and isolated in the summer. They are outsiders in the community and their parents spend most of the summer working at jobs that consume all their waking hours. These kids are left home lonely and without friends in the neighborhood.
Summer school for them is a way to get together with the people they know well in their ESOL class and spend time with them and the their ESOL teacher who has become an important person in their lives. It is a relief to the doldrums and the loneliness of their home lives. They get to read Manga again and have fun. (Many of my students are Chinese, Japanese and Korean, Manga is very important to them and I've learned to like some too!) It is really like coming home and relieving some stress. English just comes in as a language of communication in speaking and reading.

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