Teachers need to learn what our students know and understand, but assessment can be difficult if language is a barrier for English learners. EL specialist Valentina Gonzalez offers tips to recognize unconscious bias, support learning with formative assessment, and more.
Category: The Unstoppable EL Teacher
Valentina Gonzalez’s blog
ELs are capable of doing the same kind of thinking that non-ELs can do. They might just have to temporarily show their understanding differently than their peers do. EL teacher Tan Huyhn shows how teachers can focus on the ELs’ thinking and differentiate everything else.
Middle graders, especially ELs and newcomers eager to blend in, may not want to involve families at school. Yet partnering with families leads to greater achievement, lower absenteeism, and better behavior. EL expert Valentina Gonzalez shares her favorite strategies.
Instead of peppering English learners around a large network of schools, districts can benefit those students and their EL support teachers by strategically clustering them, writes Tan Huynh. Included: Ideas to help achieve buy-in from content teachers.
It’s important to recognize how the skills we use to learn different subjects are related, says Valentina Gonzalez. Show your students who are good in math how to leverage their success and apply it to reading. And vice versa. It’s all about carrying over our strengths!
End of year is an optimal time for educators to step out of our comfort zones and try innovative techniques with our students. Don’t fall into “countdown mode.” Think of this time as a gift, without the pressure of state testing. Give Valentina Gonzalez’s strategies a try!
Simply making content available to students is not enough. We have to make it accessible to each and every one, including English learners. Specialist Valentina Gonzalez offers ways to identify obstacles to accessibility and create paths to learning in every subject.
Wanting to fit in is not a new phenomena in the middle grades, writes Valentina Gonzalez. Most adolescents experience the urge to be more like their peers. The sooner kids realize how valuable their identity is – how it’s their special power – the better off they will be.
English learners and their classmates can both benefit from efficient and effective instructional opportunities. Valentina Gonzalez points out three practices to leave behind, allowing time to incorporate three others that will advance language and academic performance.
For English learners, academic language is much more challenging to master than social language. Specialist Valentina Gonzalez says EL students need “massive opportunities” on a daily basis to practice using content-specific words and phrases. She shares 10 techniques.