Art and English Learners: Giving voice to experiences


Read Art Exhibit Lets High School Immigrants Share Stories of Hardship and Hope here for an example of making space and giving voice to ELs


What Do Your Class Materials Say About You?


Do you make an effort to represent all of your students? More in A Class Library That Represents All Students

Article: Experiences and Education of Refugee Children at Home, in School, and in the Community


Acess it at

ESL Corner: Trauma Presents Unique Challenges to ELL Students


Teachers know this challenge in all of their classrooms. What is the effect of trauma on ELs?  More at

What to Know About Your Muslim Students and Ramadan: How it May Affect Your Classroom


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Becoming A Stranger in A New Language


I very much relate to the article. We can consider the implications for teaching older students or for building school/home connections. Find more here at


“Language is the home of being”

As a matter of fact, we were all born into a specific culture, society, family, place, and language. It is through our native language that culture, beliefs, ideas and countless other things were and are conveyed to us, and it is how we communicate them to others. We live in that language and grow with it; it shapes our ideas and our life as a whole.

Our native language relates to our being, to our very existence. Therefore, it has a certain ontological dimension. As Heidegger wrote, “language is the home of being”. But could we not say that this statement is especially true of our native tongue.

A Kurd destroys a tiled image of Saddam Hussein in northern Iraq following his overthrow in 2003 (photo: AP)

“With the exception of Iraq, where Kurdish became an official language after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, Kurdish is neither official nor allowed to be spoken in the countries we currently inhabit. We have no choice but to learn a foreign language. As a result, we become alienated in these second languages,” explains Nabaz Samad Ahmed

The second language cannot be the home of our being in the same way as our mother tongue. This ontological dimension merely exists in our native language. Because we were born in it, have lived with it, and grown up with it, our whole life is formed by it. If “knowledge is power”, as Francis Bacon once said, then we were armed with knowledge in our native language, and we are most powerful in our native language.

ESL Corner: Study links longer-distance moves to lower student performance


Teachers should consider this research and support students accordingly. Find more at this link

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