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Three Tips to Better Serve English Language Learners with Dr. José Medina

Dr. José Medina, an educational advocate for English Language Learners (ELLs) and dual language education, has recently posted a video on his Twitter with three resources for educators.

In the video, which can be found here, Dr. José Medina discuss three tips to better serve ELLs in “preK-12 traditional monolingual settings.”

  1.     Be reflective about your mindset regarding serving language learners

Dr. Medina asks educators to reflect on additive/subtractive bilingualism, underlining that we are not teaching children to “transition into English,” but rather our job as educators is to “add English to the students’ existing linguistic repertoires.”

  1.     Explicitly plan for lessons that will create access to grade level standards, regardless of language proficiency

Educators should follow detailed lesson plans that are both “specific and targeted because [education] goes beyond comprehensive input and building background.” Dr. Medina reminds us that we serve as facilitators of instruction, “rather than a depositor of information.” Furthermore, students should be gaining sociocultural competency in the classroom in order to become global citizens later on.

  1.     Make cross-linguistic connections to students’ native language(s), and also to cultural backgrounds

Finally, Dr. Medina suggests that comprehensive, detailed lesson plans can assist educators in creating curricula that leverages “what students know in their native language or languages, and really allow them to learn not only the content but also the language of the content.” To conclude, Dr. Medina reminds us that “each and every one of us is a content and a language expert.”

-Melissa Hoppie, Graduate Student Researcher with thanks to Dr. José Medina

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TWIN-CS advances the Catholic tradition of academic excellence by empowering Catholic schools to systematically transform from a monolingual to multilingual educational model in the service of vibrant culturally diverse populations.

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