Tip for Teachers of ELLs: Parent Survey

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The following information can help teachers of English Language Learners (ELLs) prepare appropriate instruction for their students and across their classrooms. Prepare a one-page parent survey in order to collect background information about each ELL. Some good things to ask about include:

  • Age of child on arrival to United States
  • Date of arrival
  • Circumstances of arrival (refugee? how long in refugee camp?)
  • Who lives with the child?
  • Home language?
  • Who at home speaks English?
  • Special interests or talents of child
  • Years of previous schooling
  • Previous exposure to English

Ideally, a parent can complete this survey before the student enters school. Help with translation may be needed. If possible, a same-language school staff member or volunteer may be able to assist with this Intake Survey as well as conduct a brief, informal assessment of the student’s oral and literacy skills in English and the home language.

From Professional Learning Board’s online continuing education course for teachers: Teaching English Language Learners

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