Language Acquisition and the Mathematics Classroom

A guest post by Linda Hardman

President of Linda A. Hardman Consulting, Inc., teacher, and developer of multiple award-winning K12 math products

Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.

 

According to the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the percentage of English language learners (ELL) in US public schools grew in the 2012–2013 school year by 9.2 percent (i.e., 4.4 million students) compared to the prior school year.

Additionally, a new Pew Research Center study reported that a near-record 13.9 percent of the US population today is foreign born, with 45 million immigrants residing here.

Wiki Commons photo, preschool kids, English language learners, academic language, math, math literacy

A diverse group of young students

Because of these trends, students are significantly challenged to master academic language across the US.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics are also placing high demands in mathematics regarding abstract and quantitative reasoning, constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others, and looking for/expressing regularity in repeated reasoning.

Students and educators are even more challenged with the acquisition of academic language as a tool for mastering conceptual and procedural understanding of mathematical standards and practices.

As a result of the increasing amount of ELL students and the challenges presented by the CCSS for mathematics, it is important for students to acquire both academic language skills and mathematical fluency.

Moreover, the same essential reading components and first-language supports provided in reading classes also belong in the mathematics classroom.

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Meeting the Needs of Secondary Newcomer ELLs Through A Rigorous Curriculum

A guest post 

Teresa Vignaroli, ELL Supervisor, Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia; Julie Baye, ELL School Improvement and Accountability Specialist, Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia; Giuliana Jahnsen Lewis, ELL Staff Development Trainer, Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia

Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author(s) and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.

 

Imagine Learning secondary ELLs blog photo of Kandahari girls Vignaroli and Jahnsen LewisLike many other districts in the nation, Loudoun County Public Schools has experienced an influx of older English Language Learners (ELLs).

Currently, nearly twenty-seven percent of our high school ELLs are proficiency level 1 students; forty-five percent are combined proficiency levels 1 and 2 students.

These students bring a myriad of situations and challenges that include varying ethnic backgrounds, low socioeconomic status, differing levels of formal education, and special needs status.

The varying language learner types and their unique needs indicate that there is no one-size-fits-all service delivery model nor one intervention that addresses, in its entirety, the best practices in service delivery models for high school ELLs.

Research, however, indicates that ELLs must have access to standards-aligned curriculum that is rigorous and grade-level appropriate. Read more »

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The Importance of Multicultural Equity in Education

A guest post by Colleen Chung

Teaching Coordinator for ELL,Title 1, & 21st Century Grant – Alvah Scott Elementary School (Aiea, HI)

Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.

 

My husband is Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese, while I am third-generation Irish. As a diverse couple, we decided that when we had children, we would raise them here in Hawaii, the state of Aloha.

Interestingly, our family’s multicultural trends don’t stop there.

My daughter just married a man from Norway and we expect their children to speak both Norwegian and English. Their wedding represented families from four continents.

Diversity is the American way! It not only helps us learn from each other, but it also inspires greatness, as you will see from the following example.

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