Diversity in Elementary Schools: What I Learned from ESL Academy

Decent Essays

When I first read about the ESL academy, I was intrigued because I had never attended a professional development that addressed the needs of ELL students. I applied for the academy because there were no teachers in my district with ESL training or endorsements and because I saw it as an opportunity for both professional growth and professional advancement. Although I work in a district where there are very few ELL students, most of the surrounding districts have a statistically significant percentage of ELL learners. I hoped by attending the ESL academy, I would have an advantage by receiving training that will soon be essential for teachers in my district. Because of my previous training on meeting the educational needs of struggling …show more content…

They were very gracious to send information about meeting the needs of Laotian, Hmong and Hispanic students.
When school began, I used questionnaires and personal interviews to learn as much as possible about each student. When I learned that Sandra was originally from Columbia and had been placed in the fourth grade when she moved to our community, I spoke to the fourth grade teacher in whose class she was placed. I worked to develop my knowledge about Columbia and the education system there by pursuing online resources and speaking with Sandra and her mother. When I learned that Xang was from a Hmong family, I researched the history of the Hmong community in our area and read more about the political exile that brought his parents to the United States. I found online resources written by Hmong people about the cultural and educational struggles facing them in the United States. Learning that the Hmong language wasn’t written until the 1950s helped me to understand why literacy in their native language was such a struggle for Xang and his family.
I spoke with a member of the Laotian community in our area and learned about their culture. I spoke to Paul about the reasons his family moved to our community and researched the differences between the Hmong community from Laos and the Laotian community from Laos. I used the internet and books from the local public library to find

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