Achieving Success for English Language Learners

Achieving Success for English Language Learners

The United States is a melting pot of many unique cultures and backgrounds. We can view this diverse population of people in the millions of students who attend public and private K-12 schools. According to the U.S. Department of Education, "during the 2000-2001 school year, 3,793,764 English Learners were enrolled in public schools in kindergarten through grade 12 in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  This represents 8.1% of total student enrollment.” The U.S. Department of Education further reported that “by the 2016-2017 school year, the English Learner population had grown to a total of 4,858,377 English Learners, representing 9.6% of total student enrollment.” This data represents a growth of more than one million additional students who are learning the English language in United States public schools. 

As time moves forward, these numbers have the potential to increase significantly. This speculation is especially telling as statistics show that most English Learners are born in the United States rather than immigrating into the country. So, what does this mean for K-12 educators and the students they teach?

For students to be successful in school, they need to understand what their teachers are saying and digest the information. When students are trying to learn the curriculum of their grade level while simultaneously learning a new language, especially a difficult language, it can cause stress and anxiety. These challenges can cause students to lose focus, withdraw, or struggle with content they may understand if presented in their native language. 


The Importance of Learning Techniques to Teach English Language Learners

As any great educator will tell you, it is essential to be equipped for any situation.  Whether the situation requires you to adapt your instruction for online teaching or prepare differentiated lessons for both your regular students and your English Learners, finding the right tools and techniques will make it easier to adapt your curriculum.

However, many K-12 educators have not been formally trained in providing instruction for English Learners. Without the basic understanding of how these students acquire a new language, a teacher may think that a quiet student does not understand what is being taught.  This student is in the Silent Period of language acquisition, where he or she absorbs structure and vocabulary.


Benefits of the Course Achieving Success for English Language Learners

To help both seasoned and new K-12 educators achieve better fluency in English Learner instruction, Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne offers the timely course, Achieving Success for English Language Learners.

This three-semester credit course will focus on modern strategies for the K-12 teacher to support English Language Learners. Through the use of a user-friendly format, which includes a wide range of effective teaching strategies to help English Language Learners, K-12 teachers will understand better how to shape their content materials as their students develop their speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. Resources are also provided for those who are not literate in their native language and students who have had an interruption in their formal education.

Topics include:

  • confidently provide instruction for students from diverse backgrounds
  • implement strategies for enhancing instruction through planning
  • provide strategies for supporting student involvement
  • establish strategies for building vocabulary and fluency
  • integrate strategies for building comprehension
  • develop English language learners’ speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills
  • understand theory in the basic principles of teaching and assessing English language learners


Achieving Success for English Language Learners Course Contents

Additionally, teachers who enroll in Achieving Success for English Language Learners, offered by Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne, will learn strategies in differentiation in mainstream class environments, culturally responsive teaching, working with parents and guardians, and the benefits of using technology. K-12 teachers will also find practical supports and lesson plan ideas that teachers can blend into their existing curriculum for various content areas. These instructional strategies are designed to work for both the English Language Learner and English-proficient student. New and experienced teachers will learn how to educate students from diverse backgrounds successfully.

Course content includes:

  • RTI for English Language Learners
  • Cooperative Learning and differentiated instruction
  • Choosing technology based on student needs
  • Guided reading and independent reading
  • Modeled talk
  • Scaffolding English writing
  • Graphic organizers, cloze, sequencing, and other strategies
  • Language Experience Approach (LEA)
  • Writing frames and writing structures
  • Speaking and listening
  • Culturally responsive teaching
  • Supporting ELL students with interrupted formal education (SIFEs)
  • Differentiation for ELLs in mainstream classes
  • Beginning and ending the school year
  • Working with parents and guardians

The curriculum is designed for busy working K-12 teachers who want the flexibility and convenience of a distance learning course that will earn graduate credit from an accredited university. All content is self-paced, written in user-friendly language, and can be completed online or via emailed PDF format.

Successful completion of Achieving Success for English Language Learners can help teachers make noticeable impacts on the lives of their students. The new skills and credits received may also boost your professional career, qualifying you for potential promotions, pay increases, or license renewal/recertification.

This three-semester credit course counts towards the University of La Verne’s 15-credit certificate in Instructing and Supporting English Language Learners. Other popular course options for this certificate include:

 Note, the University of La Verne is accreditedby the Western Association of Schools. Since requirements may vary, students should check with their school district or state department of education before enrolling in any course.


How to Register 

Achieving Success for English Language Learners is completed in an online or via emailed PDF format. It is open for anyone to register at any time during each semester. After completion, students receive graduate, non-degree semester credit reflected on an official transcript from the university. 

Registration is fast and straightforward and can be done online or over the phone. Courses are offered on a rolling basis during three standard semesters, and you can begin whenever you are ready! Students may enroll in up to 15 credits each semester. The registration dates are:

  • Fall: September 1 - January 31
  • Spring: February 1 - May 31
  • Summer: June 1 - August 31

Why wait to make a difference in the lives of your English Language Learners? Register today, and put your new skills and tools to work for your student’s success!

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