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Learning Acceleration: Support English Learners

Guidance and resources to support English learners by leveraging all fiscal resources to accelerate student learning.

School closures during the 2019–20 school year resulted in a disruption in classroom standards-based instruction. As a result, there may be gaps in learning that can impact students’ mastery and progress, impacting achievement during the 2020–21 school year and beyond.  English learners, along with other vulnerable and historically underrepresented students, may be greatly impacted. For this reason, it is critical to accelerate learning for English learners during remote or hybrid learning and the transition back to schools. Learning acceleration refers to strategies to mitigate gaps in learning and instruction.

For an overview of learning acceleration, visit the CDE Learning Acceleration web page (Coming Soon).

Leveraging Fiscal Resources

As we return to schools, it is critical to leverage the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) concentration funds, supplemental federal Title I, Title III, and federal flexibilities. Title III supplemental funds can be used to support early college high school or dual or concurrent enrollment programs or courses designed to help English learners achieve success in postsecondary education. About a third of migratory students in the state are also English learners and the supplemental services of Title I part C can serve to provide accelerated summer distance learning programs and credit accrual programs. Similarly, English learners make up 25 percent of students with disabilities and, for those dually identified students, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds can be used to accelerate their learning.

Visit the CDE Title III Authorized Use Scenarios web page for additional uses of Title III funding.

English Learner Learning Acceleration Resources

The CDE, California Teacher Association (CTA), and the Region 15 Comprehensive Center at WestEd produced a series of professional learning webinars to provide practical distance and hybrid learning strategies (synchronous and asynchronous learning) to accelerate English learners’ acquisition of English and academics. The full series is available on the WestEd Webinars web page External link opens in new window or tab..

The webinars in this series are:

How to Support Young English Learners at Home with Language and Literacy Development

This archived webinar is posted to the WestEd Webinars How to Support Young English Learners with Language and Literacy Development web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Topics addressed in this session:

  • The need for home-school connections during distance learning
  • The importance of early language and literacy development
  • Recommendations and activities for families and caregivers of young English learners to develop language and literacy at home
Lesson Planning for English Learners in Distance Learning Environments: Secondary Educators

This archived webinar is posted to the WestEd Webinars Lesson Planning for English Learners in Distance Learning Environments: Secondary Educators web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Topics addressed in this session:

  • Integrating activities that encourage students to discuss, argue, and analyze rigorous grade level texts
  • Grouping students to optimize instruction
  • Providing options for synchronous and asynchronous learning
Lesson Planning for English Learners in Distance Learning Environments: Elementary Educators

This archived webinar is posted to the WestEd Webinars Lesson Planning for English Learners in Distance Learning Environments: Elementary Educators web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Topics addressed in this session:

  • Integrating activities that encourage students to discuss and interact with grade-level texts
  • Grouping students to optimize instruction
  • Providing options for synchronous and asynchronous learning
Effective Questioning in Grades K–2: The Development of Oral Language in a Distance Learning Environment

This archived webinar is posted to the WestEd Webinars Effective Questioning in Grades K–2: The Development of Oral Language in a Distance Learning Environment web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Topics addressed in this session:

  • Introduction to oral language development and its importance for English learners
  • Strategically designing questions to support language development using grade-level texts
  • Increasing opportunities for student talk in distance learning environments
Linking, Describing, and Critiquing in Secondary Mathematics: Supporting English Learners’ Oral Language Development

This archived webinar is posted to the WestEd Webinars Linking, Describing, and Critiquing in Secondary Mathematics: Supporting English Learners’ Oral Language Development web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Topics addressed in this session:

  • Introduction to oral language development and its importance for English learners
  • The importance of oracy in developing mathematical understanding
  • Continua for quality interactions
  • Activities and tools supporting student engagement in mathematical practices
Supporting Secondary English Learners in the Social Studies Classroom in a Distance Learning Environment

This archived webinar is posted to the WestEd Webinars Supporting Secondary English Learners in the Social Studies Classroom in a Distance Learning Environment web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Topics addressed in this session:

  • Introduction to oral language development and its importance for English learners
  • How to enable oral language development in a distance learning environment?
  • What resources support quality interactions for English learners?
  • Using multimodal texts to invite interactions
Analyzing Text Themes in Grades 3–5: The Development of Oral Language in a Distance Learning Environment

This archived webinar is posted to the WestEd Webinars Analyzing Text Themes in Grades 3-5: The Development of Oral Language in a Distance Learning Environment web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Topics addressed in this session:

  • Introduction to oral language development and its importance for English learners
  • Strategically designing questions to support text analysis and language development using grade-level texts
  • Increasing opportunities for student talk in distance learning environments
How to Prepare Dual Language Elementary Students to Engage in Conversations Around Central Ideas with High-Quality Texts

This archived webinar is posted to the WestEd Webinars How to Prepare Dual Language Elementary Students to Engage in Conversations Around Central Ideas with High Quality Text web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Topics addressed in this session:

  • Inviting students’ prior experiences and knowledge: Why is it so important?
  • Student-centered activities to incorporate their prior knowledge and experiences: How can we do it?
How to Engage Dual Language Elementary Students with High-Quality Texts

This archived webinar is posted to the WestEd Webinars How to Engage Dual Language Elementary Students with High Quality Text web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Topics addressed in this session:

  • The critical thinking and literacy practices needed to succeed in the twenty-first century
  • A research-based approach to meaningfully engaging elementary dual language students with high quality texts that lead to:
    • The development of metacognitive and metalinguistic practices;
    • Deepened understandings of key concepts and themes within and across texts; and
    • Support rich understandings of language.
Supporting Secondary English Learners in the Science Classroom

This webinar will be posted on the WestEd Webinars web page External link opens in new window or tab. .

Topics addressed in this session:

  • Introduction to oral language development and its importance for English learners
  • Asking questions and defining problems
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Engaging in argument from evidence
Facilitating Secondary English Language Arts (ELA) English Learners’ Oral Language Development While Engaging in Distance Learning

This webinar will be posted on the WestEd Webinars web page External link opens in new window or tab. .

Topics addressed in this session:

  • Introduction to oral language development and its importance for English learners
  • Modeling of three ways to scaffold and support English learners’ oral language development in distance learning

The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) Curriculum and Instruction Sub-Committee on ELA and English Language Development (ELD) has a plethora of activities designed to support English learners’ English proficiency and content development via distance and accelerated learning on their Padlet of resources at ELA/ELD Padlet of Padlets for Distance Learning External link opens in new window or tab. and CISC ELA/ELD Online Learning Resources External link opens in new window or tab..

Additional resources designed to assist educational teams as they plan for and implement learning acceleration strategies are available on the CDE Learning Acceleration web page (Coming Soon).

Family Engagement for Learning Acceleration

As LEAs determine how they will implement learning acceleration, engaging parents, families, community partners, and students is critical. LEAs will see the most success with learning acceleration when they engage families and students in an authentic way. This includes but it not limited to actively seeking input and information through surveys and other means and having a feedback loop to ensure that families and students know how their input was considered and/or utilized.

Families that are new to the country may need support in gaining familiarity with U.S. school structures including the use of devices and language acquisition program choices. Offer parents of English Learners a voice in school planning including information about participating in the school English Learner Advisory Committees (ELAC) and the District ELAC (DELAC) and other advisory committees.

Effective use of distance learning technology platforms will accelerate learning for English learners to be able to engage virtually, or remotely, with or without access to devices and internet connectivity. Local Education Agencies (LEAs) may need to communicate directly via phone with families to explain how the existing system(s) will support distance learning for English learner, immigrant, and migratory students and as necessary walk them through how to use the devices, connect to the devices and/or provide the necessary resources to close the digital divide. There are a plethora of applications to be able to communicate in multiple languages with families and students via phone, text and other media.

Additional resources designed to assist educational teams as they plan for and implement learning acceleration strategies are available on the CDE Learning Acceleration web page (Coming Soon).

Leveraging Funding for Family Engagement:

Consider using Local Control Funding Formula concentration or supplemental funds for English learners or Title III funding to hire one or more community liaison(s) to assist families that speak other languages.

Family Engagement Resources:

The CDE English Learner Updates Newsletters web page includes Distance Learning Parent Newsletters that provide information for parents about distance learning as well as relevant resources. This newsletter is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Filipino, and Vietnamese.

For more family engagement resources, visit the “Resources” tab on this page and scroll to the heading “Parent and Family Resources.”

Family Engagement Webinars:
Secondary Educators: Communicating with Families of Newcomer English Learners During Distance Learning           

This archived webinar was sponsored by the Region 15 Comprehensive Center at WestEd, in collaboration with the CTA and the California Department of Education (CDE) and is available on the WestEd Webinars Communicating with Families of Newcomer English Learners During Distance Learning web page External link opens in new window or tab. .

Drawing from Chapter 5 of the U.S. Department of Education’s Newcomer Toolkit External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) , the presenters in this archived webinar offer practitioners ideas for how to keep parents, guardians, and other family members engaged in supporting their students’ learning trajectory at home.

The following topics are addressed in this webinar:

  • The need for home-school connections during distance learning
  • The specific needs of newcomer English Learners
  • Ideas for engaging parents, guardians, and other family members to support students’ learning at home
Elementary Educators: Communicating with Families of English Learners During Distance Learning

This archived webinar is posted to the WestEd Webinars Elementary Educators: Communicating with Families of English Learners During Distance Learning web page External link opens in new window or tab. .

This archived webinar was sponsored by the Region 15 Comprehensive Center at WestEd, in collaboration with the CTA, and the CDE.

Topics addressed in this session:

  • The need for home-school connections during distance learning
  • Challenges for home-school communication and learning support
  • Ideas and resources that aid in communicating with families and caregivers of English learners
  • Recommendations and activities for families and caregivers of young English learners
Engaging Parents and Students from Diverse Populations in the Context of Distance Learning

This one-hour archived webinar, hosted by the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) West, is available on the WestEd Webinars Engaging Parents and Students from Diverse Populations in the Context of Distance Learning web page External link opens in new window or tab. . This webinar focused on state, district, and school-based strategies that support student and family engagement, particularly among vulnerable populations, in the context of distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presenters discussed strategies in three important areas:

  • Cultivating a partnership orientation
  • Practicing cultural responsiveness
  • Establishing two-way communication
Questions:   English Learner Support Division | ELSD@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0938
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, June 30, 2020
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