Supporting the needs of ELL students includes partnering with their families by respecting and valuing their contributions to the school community and recognizing they have an important role in their child’s education.
Part 1: ELL Parent/Guardian Interview
Collaborate with your mentor teacher to interview a parent/guardian of an ELL student. In addition to the questions listed below, prepare a minimum of two additional questions. Include the following questions in your interview:
What do you believe about your family’s involvement in your child’s education? What is important to you in your child’s education?
What can teachers do to make you feel welcomed and valued as a part of your child’s learning? What suggestions do you have for teachers regarding how to value your culture and home language?
To guide instruction, what can teachers do to better understand the personal characteristics of your child (e.g., interests, motivations, strengths, needs) and your family (e.g., language use, literacy practices, circumstances)?
If applicable: What differences have you seen between your experiences with school/education in your home country and here in the U.S.? What did you appreciate about school/education in your home country? What do you appreciate about school/education here in the U.S.?
What are some difficulties you face as a family member of an ELL student? If you could change or improve something about the school or its processes, what would it be? What could teachers or school staff do better to help support your child and family? NOTE: Responses to these questions may be helpful in identifying problems or requests for your Topic 6 benchmark assignment.
How would you want a teacher to communicate with you about your child’s learning?
The questions created with your mentor and any other follow-up questions.
If possible, observe family-related meetings or events that involve ELL families. Examples include a parent conference, an informal parent meeting, a family event hosted by the school, a phone call with a family member, etc.
Be sure to take notes during your parent/guardian interview as you will provide them when submitting this assignment.
Part 2: Mentor Discussion and Collaboration
Discuss with your mentor how student learning and progress are currently communicated and celebrated with ELL families. Include a discussion on any programs, methods, tools, or strategies used at the school or classroom level.
Collaborate with your mentor to identify information on student progress that needs to be communicated with an ELL family or families. With your mentor, plan a communication strategy for sharing student progress and collaborate to create a written communication (e.g., email, newsletter) or script of a verbal communication (e.g., in-person meeting, phone call, voicemail).
Be sure to take notes during your discussion and collaboration as you will provide them when submitting this assignment.
Use any remaining field experience hours to provide support or assistance to the class as directed by your mentor.
Part 3: Reflection
In 250-500 words, reflect on your mentor interview, discussion, and collaboration. Include the following in your reflection:
How learning about ELLs’ personal characteristics and their families will assist you in providing effective instruction
The importance of regular communication with ELL families and celebrating student success in growth and achievement
How you plan to communicate progress and celebrate student success in a manner that is culturally and linguistically inclusive of ELL families
Submit your interview, discussion and collaboration notes, and reflection in a single document.
APA format is not required, but solid academic writing is expected