ESL Links and Resources for Parents and Students
It is important to reinforce the English skills learned at school by practicing and encountering it in other settings as well. Here are some tips, ideas, and resources for practice:
- Being Bilingual is Great!- Remember your child is learning English and it is helpful to reinforce it at home. However, often times your child may encounter unfamiliar words or ideas and it can be helpful to explain it in your native language to bridge the two languages and continue to build literacy skills in both languages. Consistent opportunities for meaningful practice and reinforcement of the new language and culture are important.
- Set a Routine-Designate a time each day and location in your home that will be used for homework and English practice. Listen to your child read and answer any questions they may have. If you are still learning English yourself, use some of the resources listed on this page and/or contact your child’s teacher for additional help. Remember we are here to help!!
- Stay Connected-Keep in contact with your child’s teachers and collaborate together to ensure your child is having a successful year. Even if English is not your native language, we will work together to find a communication solution.
- Make it a Game-Make learning fun by hanging flashcards up and making it a word scavenger hunt or incorporating learning into games your family already loves to play!
- Books, Books Everywhere-Grab a few extra books to leave in the car, or backpack, this way when there is extra time before an appointment or practice there is a way to practice and instill the love of reading and learning!
- Entertainment-Watch some TV and movies in English or even listen to the radio to encounter the English language in different settings.
- Be Patient-Just as you might be learning English, remember to be patient with your child as they are navigating learning how to read, write, and speak. Remember, practice makes perfect!!
Below are three links to videos from the WIDA website that will provide you with information on key topics including what it means to be an ELL, the WIDA standards and assessments, and how to interpret student language proficiency scores.
My child is an English language learner. What does that mean?
This video provides information about what it means to be an English language learner, how students are identified as English language learners, and how students exit an English language support program.
My child is an English language learner. How is my child's language development supported at school?
This video provides information about the different ways students use the English language at school, along with information about the WIDA English Language Development Standards and how these standards can be used to support students' English language development.
My child is an English language learner. How do I know if my child is making progress?
This video provides information about how educators share information with parents about student' English language development, specifically what scores from the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 assessment mean, and how these scores can be used.
Additionally, there are a number of apps and websites that be used to help with English acquisition and translation.
- Colorin Colorado
A bilingual site for families of English Language Learners that features tips, strategies, and activities.
- The Institute for Multi-sensory Education
Provides a comprehensive list of educational apps for elementary, middle, and English Language Learners.
- Word Reference
An online bilingual dictionary featuring numerous languages and even verb conjugation resource.
- Puzzle Maker
Discovery Education's Puzzlemaker provides teachers, students, and parents, the tools necessary to create crosswords, puzzles, word search puzzles across various content topics.
Websites for Student Practice:
· Starfall-Provides alphabet, sound, and beginning reading practice for early elementary grades.
· Spelling City-Learn and practice new spelling words through various activities and games.
· PBS Kids-Provides learning opportunities and practice through games and videos ranging from vocabulary to social studies concepts.