English Learners (ELs)

Supporting ELL Academic Development Over the Summer

by Jennifer Alicandri

As the count-down to summer vacation begins in your classrooms, you might be thinking about what you can offer the families of your students in the way of summer activities to continue to support their academic development.
This is ever so critical! The National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University cites a sobering study by Dr. Harris Cooper which found that “(l)ow-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains (Cooper, 1996). This is likely to do with the fact that these students do not have as much access to quality learning opportunities over the summer. However, the good news is that there are valuable (and free) resources for our students and families: libraries often have free summer reading programs, and there are booklists which can be found for every reading level at libraries as well as on the internet. One good resource on the internet is Colorin Colorado. Click here to see reading lists and summer ideas.
While time may be running out this school year, you may find it beneficial to plan a fieldtrip (for families and students) to the local library towards the end of next school year. There, the librarian can inform parents and students on all of the enriching programs and resources they can access all summer long.

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