Now it’s time to apply your learning to your instructional practice. In order to create learning environments where English learners thrive, we must be learners in our own classrooms. This includes getting to know our students better, including their cultural and linguistic backgrounds, their hopes and aspirations, and their strengths and areas for growth.

Note: This is a task that you will need to do with an actual English Learner during the school day. You can continue with the module for now and do this activity when your students are available.

Step 1: Collect Information

After completing the Engage and Learn phases of this unit, get to know one of your English learners a little better in order to understand how to create a learning environment where they can thrive. Although it would be ideal to do the following activity with all of your students, for this module, try it with just one student as a start. Use these questions to get started.

Step 2: Describe Your Focal Student

Use the data you gathered (and any other information you have) and write at least one paragraph describing your student’s interests, strengths (in terms of academics, social interaction, and language), and areas where you’ll focus instructional attention. Note how you’ll continue to connect with this student throughout the school year in order to monitor school progress and establish a positive relationship. Record your description here, but do not use your student’s real name so that her/his privacy is protected.