This year, the back to school season looks different than ever before. While complicated Covid-19 protocols are rolled out for schools, the stress on parents, students, and teachers is significant. However, the strain only complicates things for ESL students. According to Education Week, the number of ESL students has risen 1.2 million in the past decade. Larger numbers of families must now confidently partner with their student’s teacher and school district to get the most out of their education in chaotic and uncertain times. As we head into a new school year, ELSA believes it’s important that families have access to resources and opportunities to connect with experts in the field.
5 Family Resources for English Language Learners
- Know your Rights for Your Family. The Office for Civil Rights, run by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, describes the obligations public schools have to not discriminate based on race, color, or national origin. This website offers fact sheets and documents, translated in more than ten different languages. Schools’ Civil Rights Obligations to English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents is an important resource that ensures English Language Learners and their families can successfully participate in public school programs.
- Use Online Resources. ¡Colorín Colorado! is an excellent example of a comprehensive bilingual site for families and educators of English Language Learners. This Back to School Checklist is just one of the hundreds of articles families can access. Topics range from academics to social-emotional learning, to special education, and the challenges and advantages of raising bilingual kids.
- Read Every Day to Your ESL Students. According to Reading Rockets “A child’s success as a reader begins much earlier than the first day of school. Reading, and a love for reading, begins at home.” There are reading lists and strategies separated by age and grade and reading tips in twelve different languages. Their Free Reading Guides are available to download and print, so you can work on skills at home.
- Play Online Games with Your ESL Students. ESL Authorityprovides fun, interactive, and educational games for both kids and adults. Additionally, Activities for ESL Students offers grammar, vocabulary, crossword puzzles, and a variety of quizzes, tests, and exercises to help students learn English as a Second Language. Both sites are free and easy to navigate.
- Follow Blogs to Educate Yourself. Lindsay Does Languages inspires students, parents, and teachers with diverse topics and offerings in a well-planned and visually pleasing format. She even has a Facebook Group where she takes questions from her followers. Fluent U feature their latest blog posts on Facebook and other social media platforms for ESL families. They publish helpful tips like 7 English Pronunciation Apps to Speak Clear, Confident English in 2020. We are all so connected to our devices, why not use a language acquisition app to improve your skills along with your kids.
The 2020 school year will certainly have its challenges. Staying connected to your child’s education will be more important than ever. These resources are just one way to access support and to find information as we navigate the 2020 school year together.
About ELSA Corp.
ELSA Speak is an AI-powered English learning platform for pronunciation training and accent reduction. Based in San Francisco, CA, Elsa has been helping over ten million English learners across 100+ countries around the world. https://jp.linkedin.com/company/elsa-corp