Must-Have Resources for Administrators about Supporting Immigrant Families


From one of my favorite resource sites:

Share With Your Colleagues and Families: Spanish-speaking children learn English faster when parents read to them in their native language


Find a research finding here with additional info

Great Ideas in ESL: School district allows parents to join kids in their class to learn English


Read here

Schools deepen connections with ELL parents. How families can develop skills to better support their students


A report about an initiative by one of my TESOL friends. More here

Supporting Immigrant Families


A great resource at How to Support Immigrant Students and Families: Strategies for Schools and Early Childhood Programs

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.

Survey: More than half of US teachers concerned about language barriers with ESL parents


Almost all teachers share with me that they find it difficult to build strong or even any relationships with their EL students’ families. Find some ideas at

Immigrant Parent Poetry


Thanks for sharing, Stacy Brown.

homework | a poem by carina gallegos
“she waits
for her children
to fall asleep
before she opens
their schoolbags
and studies their homework.
they learn
so much faster
and she’s falling behind.
they speak her language
with an accent now
and she can’t
understand what they say
when they speak
among themselves
in their new
mother tongue.”
 -carina gallegos
©Adrienne Jansen and carina gallegos All of Us, Landing Press, 2018

Video: Writing letters for immigrant families


Connecting with immigrant families is an important part of their childrens’ success. How should schools do this?

ESL Video: Making sure language is not a barrier for families


School/home connections with immigrant communities create an environment for higher academic achievement. More here

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