Untapped Resource: ESL Teachers

With over 15 IEP/RTI meetings the past two weeks, I have not been able to write a new post! Now that it is spring break (SO grateful!)…I have some time to provide some food for thought on…ESL Teachers.

¿Tienes muchos estudiantes que reciben clases de inglés como segunda lengua? I know I do! but in my journey in understanding how to better service my Spanish ELL students…I never thought to tap into the knowledge of the ESL teacher! My district had a presenter at a recent district meeting who mentioned  the importance in collaborating with the ESL teacher to gain more insight on the type of children that we encounter on our caseload. For example, ESL teachers (whether they speak the primary language of the children or not), may have exposure to students who have the same linguistic background as the ones on your caseload. For example, they can give you information regarding how a first grade student’s language ability is similar to his first grade peers within your school community.

I now have decided to not just include the ESL teacher’s input during assessments, but also when I am writing goals, quarterly progress notes, and conducting annual IEP meetings. They are a valuable resource since they are the other professional in the building that you can discuss second language acquisition skills with as well as the impact on academics!

Have you interacted with your ESL teachers lately? Let me know how in the comments!

JG

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