Publication Date

Fall 2010


School of Education

Primary Subject Area

Education, Language and Literature


Students who come into a school setting speaking a foreign language are often viewed as a challenge for teachers. These children have many difficulties with learning a new language and need to be properly assessed to determine their knowledge of English and their native language, which in this case is Spanish. According to these results, they need to be placed into an appropriate environment to use the skills which they have to the fullest extent possible. Instead of simply trying to create fluent English speakers, English Language Learners (ELLs) should be taught the grammatical and syntactic aspects of their native language which they may not learn at home. Many different types of instruction are available for ELLs; therefore, states need to determine the most effective school system for their learners. Within these school systems, ELLs need to be educated using both conversational and instructional techniques. Instead of simply viewing ELLs as a challenge, teachers need to recognize that conversational instruction can help both Spanish and English students learn each other’s language. As ELLs are being educated, it is important to continue to observe these students to ensure that the instructional practices used are working well.