Teachers Struggle To Recreate Language-Rich Classes For English Learners Online

When schools across California canceled in-person classes in the spring, some students lost crucial opportunities to learn and practice their new language – English.

About one-fifth of students in California are learning English as a second language, and most of their classes are only in English. In order to learn to speak, read and write fluently, they need additional language classes and many opportunities to practice speaking and interacting with peers and teachers, which can be difficult remotely.

Researchers and advocates for English learners say during distance learning, schools need to prioritize live instruction and small groups. They also need to work with families in their native languages to support learning at home and provide social-emotional support to ease anxiety and stress caused by the pandemic.

But many researchers, parents and teachers are worried that students learning English are not getting the help or the language instruction they need.


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Waterbury Teachers Find Creative Ways to Educate English Learners Virtually

Teachers in Waterbury are trying to be more resourceful and creative when it comes to educating children who do not speak English as a first language.

a group of people sitting at a desk with a computer in an office: English learners in the classroom at Crosby High in Waterbury

© Provided by NBC Connecticut

English learners in the classroom at Crosby High in Waterbury

There are more than 2,800 English as a second language learners in the district, according to school officials. Spanish and Albanian are the other dominant languages in the city.

“As an ESL teacher you’re very dramatic, you act things out, you color code, you put things in two different languages sometimes to make sure that students are understanding what you’re saying,” said Pamela Loh, a teacher at Wilby High School.

Students in Waterbury Public Schools are simultaneously learning on the computer in class and at home.

The biggest challenges English learners often face is interpreting the directions, Loh said. So it takes extra effort and one-on-one support to

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USATestprep Acquires Education Galaxy, Expanding Its Standards-Aligned Content and Learning Resources to All K-12 Learners


USATestprep, backed by Serent Capital, has acquired Education Galaxy, an online and mobile assessment and intervention platform that delivers dynamic and multilingual content to K-8 elementary and middle school students. The acquisition enhances USATestprep’s library of state standards-aligned content and products to serve K-12 teachers and students in all 50 states.

Since its founding in 1998, USATestprep has grown to serve over 2 million students per year in 4,000 schools nationwide with its standards-aligned learning tools. The company’s online platform enables teachers to quickly identify student strengths and weaknesses in core subject areas. With that data, teachers can then easily customize assignments and learning plans to help each student grow academically and master state standards, whether learning takes place in-person, remotely, or in a hybrid learning environment.

The acquisition complements USATestprep’s content and product offerings, and allows the company to grow its

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‘We don’t have any say.’ For TDSB’s adult learners chaotic planning and a lack of online options threatens to halt their education

Desrine Peters, 43, moved to Canada 10 years ago from Jamaica and had been working in security, but found there wasn’t much room for progress in the field. “I was finding myself not accomplishing my goals,” she said.

Peters is now a first-year student at Seneca College in the chemical lab technician program, and has plans to continue studying biochemistry. She credits her adult day school teachers with motivating her and encouraging her to continue her studies.

Two years ago she began taking classes at the TDSB’s Emery Adult Learning Centre to complete high school credits needed for her college program. When the COVID-19 pandemic created hiccups in education and moved things online in the spring, she finished that semester and took summer school so she would be able to continue to college this fall.

But for students who were looking to return to adult day school this quadmester, the

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New Ph.D. program will improve engineering education for all learners

This fall, the College of Engineering launched a Ph.D. in engineering education. The cross-disciplinary program will prepare graduates for research, academic and other demanding careers in engineering education from pre-kindergarten classrooms to workforce development.

For College of Engineering Dean Manos Maragakis, the recent approval of the program by the Nevada System of Higher Education is the culmination of a vision many years in the making.

“Six years ago, working with the College of Education, we began to develop ideas around the question of how do we best teach so that students can learn and retain engineering information, even at the earliest ages,” Maragakis said. “We decided to establish the engineering education program. With Adam Kirn and, later, Kelly Cross, we began laying the foundation for this important program, and we are very excited to see it is now moving to the next level by establishing a doctoral program.”

“Reimagining what

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