Welcome to English Learners!
Did you know....
There are important differences between social/conversational English (everyday language) and academic English (the language of textbooks, story problems, written compositions, etc.)
Research shows that it typically takes an EL student 5 to 7 years to master the academic English needed to do well in school. This means that even after a child has mastered basic communication skills, there may still be gaps in understanding the English he or she encounters at school.
At Aspen, we strive to provide each child with the educational resources he or she needs. As such, the EL program at Aspen is individualized to the particular needs of each EL student. Some students are best served with one-on-one pull-out instruction. Others are best served by having extra EL support provided within the grade-level classroom. Still others benefit from small-group instruction. Aspen does not subscribe to a "one size fits all" approach.
For a complete description of Aspen's EL program, click HERE.
Reading is Fun!!!
Up until 3rd grade, students are learning to read. That is, gaining skills in comprehension, letter sounds, sight words, etc.
However, once they reach 4th grade, students actually begin reading to learn. This means gathering knowledge from textbooks, stories, articles, etc.
Because of this, children should already know the basics of reading by third grade! It is SO important for children to learn reading skills in the early grades, both in school and at home. The best part is, it does not matter what language they read-- reading in ANY language boosts student achievement in reading and other academics! So read, read, read!!!
Look to the Future!
It's never too early to be thinking of your child's future... WITH your child. See this article from School to Careers for some tips on how to help your student think about their future and where they want to go after they graduate from high school.
While our job as a teacher of English Learners is to promote academic learning in English, there is A LOT of evidence that bilingual and multilingual children (those who speak many languages) fare better in many aspects of life. This means that your job as a parent who speaks another language at home is just as important as our job in school, just in another language! Don't believe us? Check out these facts below, and read more about them HERE.
- If you know more than one language, you grow more of your brain's grey matter, or mental functions
- Speaking more than one language can slow the brain-ageing process: a sharp, young mind is always a good thing!
- A LOT of people speak more than one language- think of how many people your child can communicate with if they know more than just English!
- Children who speak more than one language do better in school
- Children who speak more than one language are not as confused as you think when learning more than one language
- One language may always be dominant, but knowing more never hurts!
- You can always learn another language (but really, it's better to start early!)
- Being able to speak another language improves all areas of brain function
- People who speak another language are better listeners and can connect with others more easily
- Here at Aspen we love to think globally. If your child speaks another language and has insight into another culture, they have already made a HUGE step forward in thinking about the world and the people we share it with! AWESOME!!
Check these out!
Nothing helps students progress faster than practice, practice, practice. Here are some links to good websites that let students practice skills in a fun way, at their own pace.
ESL Desk- LOTS and LOTS of resources! There are quizzes, podcasts, dictionaries, games/puzzles, audio books, reading practice, writing prompts and guides, and much, much more!
ESL Kids- fun flashcards for young and new learners, and more!
ESL Games Plus- online practice games for Language Arts, Math, Reading and more! Kids can play online, or easily print out games for fun with the whole family!
ESL Games World- choose grammar and word games based on what your student is learning in class!
PBS Kids- videos and games with your some of your child’s favorite TV characters!
National Geographic Kids- learn about our world’s plants, animals, cities and people through games and videos!
Discovery Kids- discover new things about our awesome world while watching live videos and playing fun games! (Some games compatible on mobile devices)
Vocabulary- fun site for vocabulary games and puzzles!
ABCYa.com- Math games for kids!
Khan Academy- Math Skills!
*Aspen is not responsible for the content and information contained on the websites as they are not part of district policy/curriculum.
ESL in Minnesota:
WIDA- source for EL standards, assessments and resources used in the state of Minnesota
EL Education in MN- information on laws pertaining to ELs, the WIDA consortium, EL demographics in schools and communities, and state-wide assessments