There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted learning in ways educators and policymakers are still working to understand. But while all students felt the impact, certain historically underserved student groups–including English language learners (ELLs)–were disproportionately affected.
During virtual learning, ELLs didn’t have access to many of the in-school resources they typically use and need to learn best. Many student groups suffered from limited or no access to reliable high-speed internet, appropriate technology devices to use for virtual and hybrid learning, and unpredictable family situations that arose as a result of the pandemic.
While educators focus on addressing pandemic-related learning loss and closing existing learning gaps that grew wider during the pandemic, focusing on ELLs is critical.
Here, Russ Davis, CEO and founder of SchoolStatus, offers some recommendations for supporting ELLs:
1. Creating and maintaining consistent and effective parent-teacher communication. Parent-teacher relationships have always been a vital part of student success, but the importance of establishing and maintaining meaningful two-way communication with students’ support systems at home was emphasized by the pandemic. When schools moved to remote instruction, communication between parents and educators soared. Now, schools have an opportunity to build on this uptick in parent engagement and establish long-term processes that increase meaningful, two-way communication with students’ families.