Brushing Up on Your Religious Literacy With a Free Online Class


Harvard Launches Free Online Class To Promote Religious Literacy

ESL: Supporting Our Newcomers with Literature



Examples of literature

Teacher Resources: Spanish children’s stories


Find them here at

To be Shared with Immigrant Communities




Every family should have a Family Preparedness Plan. While it is our hope that you never have to use your plan, it is a good practice to have one in place to help reduce the stress of the unexpected. This packet will help everyone create a Family Preparedness Plan, regardless of immigration status. However, because of the additional challenges immigrant and mixed status families face, we also have additional advice for immigrants.


International Mother Tongue Day 2/21



What tools, resources, and strategies do you employ in your classroom, school, and district to help EL students access material and further develop English language and content area skills?


Erik Halvorson

Education Connections

What tools, resources, and strategies do you employ in your classroom, school, and district to help EL students access material and further develop English language and content area skills?

With the potential for continued growth of the number of EL students in the education system, it is essential for classrooms, schools, and districts to incorporate support structures and techniques that help all students succeed. One recent report (Farbman, 2015) highlights the importance of four effective practices to better support EL learners: 1) extending literacy block upwards of 2.5 hours a day; 2) data-driven designated academic intervention sessions which support core academic classes and subjects; 3) maintaining EL support services even for fluent students to further boost academic skills; and 4) ensuring enough time is allotted for educators and school staff to collaborate and plan on addressing student needs, as well as to attend professional development.

For a closer look at these four suggestions, as well as some additional supports to help EL learners, check out the fifth research summary in this list, or view the full report.


Farbman, D. (December 2015) Giving English Language Learners the Time They Need to Succeed. Boston, MA: The National Center for Time and Learning.

What is the role of students’ home language in the classroom?


Education Connections

In the past few decades, education policy has gone back and forth in regards to the use and place of students’ home language in classroom instruction. However, recent research suggests that the incorporation of students’ home languages in the classroom, alongside English instruction, can help reduce the stress of the learning environment, allows instructors to use richer and more authentic texts, encourages students to think critically and make connections across languages (which can help deep learning and recall), and provides students with additional support to encourage continued learning and language development (Butzkamm, 2003).

For a discussion of why home language instruction and supports can be beneficial for your students, as well as how you can start including home language supports in your classroom, check out this article.

For some further information and discussion around the place of home language use in the classroom, be sure to hear this 7-minute interview from Larry Ferlazzo.

Finally, for a little more background on the research surrounding home language use in the classroom, try this resource from Colorín Colorado.


Butzkamm, W. (2003). We only learn language once-the role of the mother tongue in EFL classrooms: Death of a dogma. Language Learning Journal, 28 (1), 29-39.

%d bloggers like this: