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My inspiration probably began long ago when I started to manage the paperwork for English Learner reclassification and monitoring, perhaps 12 years ago. I began to become more and more interested in the challenges of English Learners. Then when I became an Academic Specialist seven years ago, I started to manage the testing for ELs. Then I learned more. After about two years, we (Academic Specialists) had to focus on an area of interest and do a project around that. I chose to become a Project GLAD Trainer with other Academic Specialists. We had no idea what we were in for, which led to a two-year training process that had us attending trainings, teaching trainings, modeling, and writing a 75-page instructional unit. It was an amazing learning process that really focused on what English Learners need. It has become a passion project of mine to have learned about what strategies EL students need and how to teach teachers how to help them. Now, since going back into the classroom this year, I have had the opportunity to learn how to adapt those strategies into a virtual environment and really reinforce that these strategies can work in many settings with any subject. My partner in that endeavor is a bilingual teacher and my children are in a dual immersion school because I feel like I really missed out on learning a second language well. The benefit of being bilingual and sharing culture and language is immeasurable, and hopefully, my research will enhance our students’ success in school so they can become more and more successful.
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In 2014 the National Education Association published a report, Meeting the Unique Needs of English Language Learners (Olsen, 2014), that determined that students who come to school as second language learners are disproportionately underserved and underachieving. There is a need for English Learners to demonstrate continual progress towards mastery of the English language and course content. Research shows that students who are long-term English Language Learners are not as academically successful as students that are reclassified as fluent English learners or native English speakers; therefore the goal is to reclassify students before they become Long Term English Learners by year 5-6 of school.
There is a need to analyze the efficiency of high-quality instructional strategies via virtual learning for English learners to prevent them from becoming long term English Learners. This study measured the outcomes of oral academic language of English Learners in third grade. The study analyzed standard classroom practice. Data from mixed methods were analyzed for oral language growth.