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Researchers are reporting and expressing concerns about online learning and English language learners. As an educator and parent, I agree that online learning comes with various challenges. Schools and families would have to overcome these challenges during these difficult times. However, as parents, there are multiple steps we can take to support our children in this new journey.
Connect with the school
Schools are trying their best to prepare and adjust to online learning. Most schools are constantly communicating via email, social media, or telephone about the status of transitioning to online learning. Make sure your contact information is up to date at the school. Additionally, sign up for their email distribution list to get updates.
You can do this by contacting your child’s teacher to ensure they have you under their distribution list. You will also want to look up the school social media pages to follow those pages to get updates. Don’t forget to check social media regularly to see new information or updates.
Set up a routine
Most articles about online learning discuss the idea of setting up a routine that students can follow at home. English language learners need a learning routine more than ever. For the most part, adding more uncertainty to their daily routine may hinder their learning progress.
Develop a routine that provides guidance from the moment your child wakes up to dinner time. This may be as simple as a list of items to do throughout the day. You may also provide a timed schedule that provides specific times for academic learning, exercising hubbies, or screen time. Use the below form to request a daily planner to help set up a routine.
Set up for Online Learning
Most schools will be using an online platform such as Schoology. Schoology is an online learning platform that allows teachers to provide online learning to students. Schoology has a meeting feature that allows teachers to provide recorded or live instruction online. However, other schools may use Zoom to do online meetings.
Many elementary teachers will use the Classdojo application to communicate with bilingual families. Familiarize yourself with the online learning platforms to support at home.
Encourage Reading at Home
Many websites offer free online access to books or applications that you can use from home. Some websites offer online English or Spanish books that students can read online. There many free online websites that provide access to digital libraries.
Encourage students to read non-fiction books. Non-fiction books provide English language learners exposure to academic vocabulary. This strategy helps increase academic vocabulary which in turn supports reading comprehension.
Parent and Teacher Collaboration is important
Although online learning can be a challenge for English Language Learners it is definitely a challenge that we can overcome together. Thus this ensures that students continue to grow as learners. Collaboration among parents, teachers, and schools is key to maximize the benefits and challenges of online learning.