09 Mar Teaching English Learners During a Pandemic and Beyond
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a whole host of challenges for teachers and students of every grade level and subject, but those challenges are amplified for English learners (ELs). Many students in the U.S. learn English at school, and interacting with images and examples is a huge part of that process. However, in a remote or hybrid setting, it becomes a greater struggle to incorporate those learning elements.
Drawp for School provides an online integrated platform for all learners designed to support English language development in a remote, hybrid and traditional learning environment. We recently caught up with Brian Shedd, VP of Sales and Implementation at Drawp for School, to find out how to address these concerns and what Drawp can do to help.
In their communications with educators and administrators, the Drawp team has become acutely aware of the most pressing challenges. “I have mostly heard that teachers are currently overwhelmed and struggling to engage ELs as well as other subgroups,” noted Brian. “It is important to tailor assignments to ELs because they are struggling to learn content as well as another language. They are also the most at risk for experiencing learning loss due to the pandemic.”
An important part of learning English is hearing the teacher pronounce words correctly and provide usage examples. Drawp’s voice sticker technology adds an additional choice for students to engage in assignments that they may be struggling with in a remote environment. It can also help educators understand at what level their students’ language proficiency is progressing. “The voice sticker gives teachers some first-time insight into and the ability to monitor shyer students’ language proficiency in English,” added Brian.
Another challenge when working remotely, or even in the classroom, is creating assignments for students that are each at different proficiency levels. Drawp’s Language Scaffolding Tool allows teachers to help students scaffold language from their native Spanish into English. It is aligned by ELD Proficiency Level and Bloom’s Taxonomy/Webb’s Depth of Knowledge, offering question and sentence frames in both English and Spanish. Each level allows educators to extend their practices by breaking up the questions and sentence frames into lower and higher order thinking skills. They can click on any level to view and add questions or sentence frames to an existing assignment or to a new assignment. The tool also provides strategies, as well as products and deliverables for working with students at those levels.
Drawp also offers the Integrated Framework Tool, which is aligned to State Content Standards and English Language Development (ELD) Standards. It features additional support for educators to differentiate materials and content based on the individual learner. “The Integrated Framework Tool provides a mechanism for automatic differentiation that allows students to receive academic language at the appropriate rigor level based on the students’ proficiency level,” said Brian. All learners can receive questions or sentence frames based on their English proficiency level, or the state content and ELD standards.
To learn more about more about Drawp for School or request a trial, visit https://eduscape.com/drawpforschool/.