Tag Archives: No More Low Expectations For English Learners

PLC Series: Focus on the Strengths of Your ELs

Welcome back to the Heinemann Professional Development Professional Learning Community (PLC) series. We are excited to present a new format for the 2017-2018 year! 

Each month, we'll share 2 posts designed to provoke thinking and discussion, through a simple framework, incorporating mini-collections of linked content into your professional development time. 

This month, our posts will challenge us to examine literacy practices so we can be more inclusive of students who speak varieties of English as well those learning English.

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After discovering a pattern of deficit thinking about her child’s reading struggles, Cohort 1 Heinemann Fellow Lisa Birno embarked on action research to investigate instructional strategies that would “increase equity and engagement through the use of purposeful talk”.

In this post on the Heinemann blog, Lisa tells the story of how she began critically examine patterns of deficit language we sometimes use to describe learners. She writes, “In order to make sense of why the child isn’t learning the way we expect, our deficit language kicks in and it damns every child we use it on.”

Take a few moments to read her post and think about a time you recall defaulting to deficit-thinking, whether it be with a student, a family member, or yourself. What phrases of deficit language dominate this memory?

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How English Learners Elevate Learning in the Classroom

English Learners are often seen through a deficit lens, particularly in mainstream classrooms in which teachers have little or no training in how to meet their needs. In No More Low Expectations for English Learners, esteemed EL researcher Jana Echevarría argues that teacher attitude affects student achievement, and describes what best practice methods for supporting ELs academic achievement look like.  Julie Nora, an educator and advocate, offers strategies to provide the instructional supports ELs need for both language acquisition and content-area learning.ntbt-el-aug31

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How Can Teachers Address the Needs of English Language Learners

English Learners are seen through a deficit lens, particularly in mainstream classrooms in which teachers have little or no training in how to meet their needs. In No More Low Expectations for English Learners, esteemed EL researcher Jana Echevarría argues that teacher attitude affects student achievement, and describes what best practice methods for supporting ELs academic achievement look like.  Julie Nora, an educator and advocate, offers strategies to provide the instructional supports ELs need for both language acquisition and content-area learning.ntbt-el-aug31

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The Ways We Deny English Learners Access

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Too often in classrooms, we describe English Learners by what they cannot do rather than by what they can do. Particularly in mainstream classrooms—in which teachers have little or no training in how to meet their needs—English Learners are seen through a deficit lens.

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