Guilford County Schools in accordance with the state of North Carolina has cancelled school sessions until at least March 27. We all have great relationships with our students and will work to support their learning as much as possible.
There are many great resources for our families, especially when it comes to English Language Instruction. Until we meet, there are few things that will greatly aid in advancing our academic language skills:
Exposure - It is vastly important for all ELLs to continue to hear and try understanding English from as many resources as possible. The most important thing is to provide context for understanding. There are many different types of English, and research indicates that the many exposure to many different types of context is the best way to increase comprehension when it comes to second language acquisition.
Literacy - Many of our students rely on school to be exposed to reading and writing. Encouraging this practice, however, can be very tricky. Having a "family reading" time for at least 30 minutes can do a lot to show that the value for reading does not just come from school, but that it is an essential part of life.
Learning in Native Language - Perhaps the most important goal of an English Language class is to provide students access to learning in their classrooms. While many of our students have functional English, the real concern is to develop understanding in our childs brains of important things about the world. Whether this be a curiosity of science, solving complex math problems, or enjoying a wonderful story, this type of learning can continue even in their native language. Sharing your understanding of things that your children are reading and learning about not only helps in developing their understanding of educational content, but it also helps them understand the cultural context in which they are being raised. We consider many of our ELLs to have an advantage over other students as they are beginning their lives with an understanding of different cultures that escape many native English speakers. For these reasons, we strongly advocate teaching students not just to communicate in their other language, but to read and write in it as well. Public Libraries have a great stores of books in languages other than English.
Please feel free to email me for further suggestions on how to keep your children learning and engaged as we all work through this difficult time.