Bilingual Education
Bureau of Bilingual/ESL Education
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English Language Learners (ELL) in the Mainstream

Part One: The Students

Sensitizing School Personnel

School Climate: Take a look at your school to determine if your educational environment is welcoming and sensitive to the diverse instructional and interactional needs of English Language Learners and their families. Does your school demonstrate its support for diversity and cultural pluralism? This school self-evaluation will help you reflect on the what your school is doing now and what it needs to do to create an inclusive environment for second language learners. You may print out the School Climate Checklist to rate your school and decide on ways to improve.

  1. Does the school focus on one set of cultural values and holiday celebrations in various school environments? School concerts? Assemblies? Art class and classroom projects?
  2. Does the curriculum incorporate the various cultural groups represented in the school? Through language arts activities? In social studies and geography? Does the science and mathematics curriculum recognize the contributions of non-native professionals?
  3. Do teachers, administration, and support staff model through lessons, school activities, and in their own behavior, understanding and appreciation of cultures that are different from one's own and help all students recognize the inappropriateness of prejudice and discrimination?
  4. Do mainstream classroom and content instructional staff receive regular inservice training to assist them in understanding second language acquisition?
  5. Is the mainstream classroom and content instructional staff aware of the levels on ELL language acquisition? Are they sensitive to the instructional needs of ELLs at each of these levels? Is instruction differentiated for learners at each level from beginner to advanced?
  6. Are teachers given training in alternative assessment procedures and how to develop assessment modifications?