eSchool News: As more and more ELL students enter the U.S. public school system, teachers are facing the twofold challenge of communicating not only with these students, but with their families as well. After all, non-English-speaking families have the same desires as native English speakers to know how their child is doing academically, emotionally, and socially.
I teach at Fort Sam Houston Elementary School, which is located on a military base in Texas. ELL students and families are very common at this school, because the military here has an exchange program with the surrounding nations, where military personnel can trade places with other personnel around the globe. The children of these foreign officers attend our school on the base, and as a result we have taught students from Germany, Mexico, Australia and South America.
This is a very important program and, as teachers, we want to help these families make a smooth transition into our community. Our particular situation at Fort Sam Houston Elementary may be unique, but the challenge of teaching non-native English speakers is one that more and more educators can relate to every year.