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New Insights on English Learner (EL) Instruction in U.S. Schools | Podcast

Heath Morrison and Dr. Jana Echevarria discuss the needs of EL students in K-12 education, and how schools can help them succeed.

Tags: English Learners, Education News & Policy, Article, Education Methods, Corporate

English learners are one of the fastest growing student populations in the United States today. We want to help all students achieve their full potential, so we recently conducted a survey of 1,300+ educators to better understand the current landscape and future needs of English learners (EL) in K-12 schools.

In this Edutalk Radio podcast, our School Group president, Heath Morrison, and literacy program author and researcher, Dr. Jana Echevarria, join host Larry Jacobs to discuss the findings from our 2017 English Learner (EL) Educator Report. Some highlights from their conversation and important considerations for educators of English learners are provided below.

We want parents to be advocating for the needs of their children. They know their children better than we do as educators and as organizations that support teachers and educators.
— Heath Morrison

There are many different techniques and strategies teachers can use to help students understand what the lessons are about, be it social studies, science, math. Making your learning objectives very clear to students, we don't want it to be a mystery. And when you're not understanding everything the teacher is saying it's important to have that written. Building on their own background. Have students work together – partner a more proficient student with a less proficient students.
— Dr. Jana Echevarria

You can only say 'I'm a successful school or school district' if there's a level of success for all students. So that focus on all students by race, special education needs, or EL needs, that is what is really important in terms of evolving school districts and how we view success.
— Heath Morrison

Teachers are really learning scientists.
— Larry Jacobs

When you put 25 diverse learners into a classroom, to ask one teacher to differentiate at that level becomes exceptionally hard. Adaptive technology in the hands of great teachers helps the teacher actually do that individualization and personalization.
— Heath Morrison

We talk a lot about differentiation to meet those different needs but it is very difficult for teachers to do that, and we don't see that a lot in the classroom. When materials or a device are provided to assist teachers in differentiating, that's when we see it happening.
— Dr. Jana Echevarria

Think about how intelligent a student has to be to be multilingual. And then not only know more than one language but to then come in and be learning simultaneously all the things we have to learn – math, science, social studies – it's a tremendous opportunity and privilege to teach these students.
— Heath Morrison

Visit to get the full results and insights from our 2017 EL Education Report.