English Language Learner Checklist

North America is entering an unprecedented period of virtual learning, with most students doing some form of remote education as they enter the new school year.

This will impact all students, but particularly the 10 percent of students in the United States who are considered English language learners (ELLs). There is at least one English language learner in the majority of American high schools. 

These students and their families may require special assistance during distance learning. From letters home to parent-teacher conferences to individual learning plans (ILPs), educators must make a conscious effort to communicate in more than one language in order to achieve mutual understanding. 

Our new checklist is meant to stimulate thinking and guide schools through the process of empowering English Language Learners and their families during distance learning.

DOWNLOAD: Distance-Learning Checklist for Educators of English Language Learners

What Defines an English Language Learner?

An English language learner is a term used in some English-speaking countries such as the U.S. and Canada to describe a person who is learning the English language in addition to their native language or any other languages they may speak.

English-language learners may not have the English-language ability needed to achieve their full academic potential in schools and learning environments in which instruction is delivered entirely in English. In most cases, students are identified as “English-language learners” after they complete a formal assessment of their English literacy, during which they are tested in reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension. If the assessment results indicate that the students will struggle in regular academic courses, they may be enrolled in either dual-language courses or English as a second language (ESL) programs.

 Moreover, the families of these students will likely require language assistance for communication. This may be interpretation in the form of video or phone, or the translation of written materials.

Are There A Lot of English Language Learners?

According to New York University, English language learners are the fastest-growing student population group, according to the National Education Association. By 2025, an estimated 25 percent of public school students will be ELLs.

While the numbers suggest these students are no longer the outliers in today’s schools, a look at their support resources suggests otherwise. There were more than 4.6 million ELL students in public schools during the 2015-16 school year, yet only 78,000 teachers dedicated to addressing their needs.

The Distance-Learning Challenge

Typically ELLs have one-to-one contact with English Language Learners. ELLs and their teachers have a routine. During distance learning, explanations that were implicit now must become explicit.

DOWNLOAD: Case Study – How Language Access Allows One School District to Manage 23 Languages

Their families will also need unique assistance in understand what will be expected during remote learning so that they can be collaborators in educating their children.

Our checklist covers:

  • Registration
  • Websites and community outreach
  • Inbound phone calls and hotlines
  • Remote teaching sessions
  • Parent-Teacher conferences
  • Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) and Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
  • Technology instructions
  • Specialist appointments

We invite you to download our checklist today.

LanguageLine Can Help

For nearly four decades, LanguageLine has assisted schools around the United States and Canada in empowering English Language Learners and their families. We take great satisfaction in partnering in creating a learning experience that can change a life.

LanguageLine is able to get you connected to our team of 12,000 professional, on-demand interpreters via audio or video in 30 seconds or less.  We do this in more than 240 languages. LanguageLine can also translate and localize your written content.  We provide these services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

It all starts with a conversation. Please contact us via our website or by calling 800-752-6096.

Distance Learning Checklist for Educators of English Language Learners