Category Archives: Community

ELL Home Visits

This is a truly touching story which emphasizes the importance and effectiveness of home visits. This one probably changed this little girl’s perception of school- giving her something to look forward to instead of dread- the math club!


original publication here

A few years ago, I was called to translate by a social worker at a primary school. A teacher had complained that one of her students never looked her in the eye when spoken to and was painfully shy. The child never participated in class unless it was obligatory and only under duress. She was frequently absent, particularly on days when she had to make a presentation before the class. However, the student was very bright, with excellent grades and careful, neat work. The social worker wanted me to contact the parents and arrange a meeting to discuss a special education placement.

Some intuition obliged me to wonder about the need for special education. I stepped out of my usually neutral role as interpreter and asked the social worker why it was necessary. The more questions I asked, the more both of us questioned the recommendation. I…

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Filed under Community, Culturally Responsive Schooling, Culture, Effective Communication, ELLs in the Classroom, Immigration, Teacher Development

Bridging Gaps For Immigrant-Origin Children


It is an urgent matter to prepare schools for immigrant and immigrant children.  Excerpt:

The nation’s foreign-born population is projected to reach 78 million by 2060, making up 18.8 percent of the total U.S. population, according to new Census Bureau population projections. So there’s no time like the present for improving intervention and support systems for immigrant-origin children and their families.

Read more here:

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Filed under Community, Effective Communication, Immigration

Community Involvement with ESL Students

So, You Think You Can Teach ESL?


Volunteering and ESLvolunteer-work-for-teens-1

For many teens in school, volunteering is typically a requirement for graduation. Many teens probably don’t like spending their free time cleaning up trash in the park, talking to elderly people in a nursing home, or repainting some old building. I certainly didn’t. Like most teens, I rather wanted to hang out with friends, watch movies, and fool around.

But volunteering is truly a beneficial way for teens to discover new interests, make connections, help others and make an impact in their communities.

Volunteering projects and experiences help teens build character, social skills, independence, and responsibility. Volunteers are given chances to work with people they may or may not know, understand differences of opinion, and solve problems using teamwork.

It also provides ESL students with the perfect opportunity to use their skills in real-life interactions.

Kelly Hobby, Katherine Olivieri, Mirta SotoTeenage ESL students are seldom given chances to practice speaking English outside…

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Filed under Collaboration, Community, Culture, ELLs in the Classroom, General

Video of English Learner Perspective in the USA

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Filed under Community, Culture, ELLs in the Classroom, General

Boone County Schools

A classmate of mine has been given the February 2015 Break the Mold Honor for her county.  So proud!  Check it out!

Boone County Schools.

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Filed under Collaboration, Community, ELLs in the Classroom, ESL Teaching Methodologies, Leadership