« Spanish Dominates Dual-Language Programs, But Schools Offer Diverse Options | Main

Teaching, Technology, and English-Learners: 5 Things to Know

29-minors-students-international-academy-cardozo-600.jpg

Teachers who work with English-language learners are more apt to use general digital resources rather than tools designed specifically for English-learners, a recently released report from the U.S. Department of Education indicates.

Eighty-five percent of teachers reported using digital learning resources, such as applications, programs, software, or websites, to support learning goals, according to Technology Use With English Learners, a fact sheet from the Education Department's office of English-language acquisition.

English-learners are a diverse group of nearly 5 million students with hundreds of different language backgrounds. To date, researchers have not compiled much national data that reveals how teachers use digital technology to support these students.

Using a nationally representative survey of school district administrators, a separate teacher survey that included mainstream teachers of English-learner students and English-learner specialists, and case studies of six school districts, the education department report collected data on the use of digital learning resources with English-learners during the 2016-17 school year.

Here are five takeaways from the report:

  • Teachers were more likely to report weekly or daily use of general education digital learning resources than of digital learning resources designed primarily for English-learner students (85 percent versus 65 percent).
  • About two-thirds of teachers reported using digital references and resources, language tutorials or practice tools, and academic tutorials or practice tools weekly or daily in instructing their English-learner students.
  • Few teachers reported assigning English-learners to use digital learning resources outside of class, in part because of concerns about students' lack of access to the technology at home
  • English-learner specialists reported fewer hours of professional development with digital learning resources than did mainstream teachers.
  • Educators suggested that digital learning resources could improve by engaging students in academic content while building language and literacy skills; making resources available in multiple languages; and providing grade-level content and age-appropriate design for older beginner-level English-learner students.

Earlier in 2019, the department released a lengthier report on English-learners and technology use. Here's a look at the report:

   Supporting English Learners Through by corey_c_mitchell on Scribd

Related Reading

English-Learners and Ed Tech: A 'Tool Kit' From the Education Department

Quality Learning Materials Are Scarce for English-Language Learners

Schools Often Fail to Educate, Support English-Language Learners

Photo Credit: Students in the District of Columbia's International Academy at Cardozo Education Campus, immigrants from Central America and Asia, work on an assignment in history class.

--Greg Kahn for Education Week

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments