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  1. English Language Learners: Issues Among Parent Involvement

  2. Defining the Question • Parent involvement among ELL populations • 1. What are the barriers to parent involvement among ELL populations? • 2. What are successful parent involvement programs? • 3. What can we do, as ELL teachers, to promote parent involvement?

  3. Changing Demographics • English Language Learners (ELLs) are part of the fastest growing segment of school age population • 1989-1990: 2 million ELLs present in U.S. schools • 2004-2005: 5 million ELLs present in U.S. schools • In 2004-2005, ELLs represented 10.5% of total public school population (Arias & Morillo-Campbell, 2008)

  4. Changing Demographics • Nebraska alone has experienced a 350% growth rate in ELL student enrollment (2000) • Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) 2009-2010 • Hartley Elementary: 310 total students-23% ELL students • Holmes Elementary: 373 total students-34% ELL students • Park Middle School: 859 total students-12% ELL students • North Star High School: 1783 total students-7% ELL students (www.lps.org, Retrived November, 2009)

  5. Importance of Parent Involvement • When parents are involved, students are more likely to: • Achieve higher grades and test scores • Have better attendance records • Complete homework more consistently • Obtain higher graduation rates and greater enrollment rates in post-secondary education, and • Have better social skills and adapt well to school and surroundings (Antunez, 2000)

  6. Importance of Parent Involvement • Most importantly, students achieve most when the student’s family is able to: • Create a home environment that encourages learning • Set reasonable, yet challenging expectations for the children’s achievement • Become involved in the child’s academic development process (Antunez, 2000)

  7. Barriers Among ELL Parent Involvement Language skills: inability to understand the language spoken at school Parent Educational Level: the lack of previous exposure to U.S. schools and limited educational background Work Interference: conflicts between parent and school schedules Lack of Communication: the lacking communication between teachers, schools, and parents School and Parental Perceptions: Addressing and accepting various cultural beliefs and values (Arias & Morillo-Campbell, 2008)

  8. Addressing the Issues: Ways to Solve the Problems • Better our communication skills: • Provide home-school coordinators or liaisons • Initiate home visits by teachers • All newsletters are to be sent home in native languages • Create a multilingual homework line • Support the strengths of ELL parents, not their perceived failings (Antunez, 2000)

  9. Addressing the Issues: Ways to Solve the Problems • School and Parental Perceptions • Acknowledge and accept parent’s and student’s cultural values • Incorporate family, cultures, and community into the curriculum (Antunez, 2000)

  10. Addressing the Issues: Ways to Solve the Problems • Logistics • Adjust meetings to accommodate parents work schedules • Provide child care to facilitate parental attendance at school functions • Arrange transportation to facilitate parent and student involvement in school functions (Antunez, 2000)

  11. Addressing the Issues: Ways to Solve the Problems • Perseverance in Maintaining Involvement • Keep ideas new and fresh • Allow parents time to adjust; however, continue to be understanding and accepting of each ELL family’s background • Be consistent with approaches, programs, and communication (Antunez, 2000)

  12. Basic Models for ELL Parental Involvement • Traditional Model • Offers suggestions for how parents can support student academic development • Non-traditional Model • Attempts to develop a reciprocal understanding of schools and families (Arias & Morillo-Campbell, 2008)

  13. Successful ELL Parent Involvement Programs • Parent Teacher Association (PTA) • “provides parents and families with a powerful voice to speak on behalf of every child while providing the best tools for parents to help their children be successful students.” • Three main principals proposed for building successful partnerships between parents and schools: • Raising awareness • Take action • Celebrate success (www.pta.org, Retrived November, 2009)

  14. Successful ELL Parent Involvement Programs • The Georgia Project, Whitfield County, GA • “…As they explored the problem further the group discovered that no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions were available…” (Narcisse, 2007 qtd by Montgomery, 2008) • “…parent participation rose from one percent in 1996 to 95% in 2006.” (Narcisse 2007 qtd by Montgomery, 2008) • Latino Outreach: The School Connection, March 2008 • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7OYQFU6gB0&feature=related

  15. Parent Involvement Organizations • National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) • http://www.pta.org • National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs • http://www.pta.org/programs/invstand.htm • Family Resource Center Coalition of Nebraska, Inc.Suite 4105109 West Scott RoadBeatrice, NE 68310Phone: (402) 223-6040Fax: (402) 223-6043Email: ptimm@beatrice.k12.ne.us or bvca@alltel.netWebsite: http://www.frccn.org/ • Nebraska Parent Information and Resource Center (PIRC)Suite 200215 Centennial Mall SouthLincoln, NE 68508Phone: (402) 677-2684Toll-Free: (877) 843-6651Email: Lstclair@unmc.eduWebsite: http://www.NebraskaPIRC.org/

  16. “Too often we focus on what is lacking in children’s home environment rather than on the potential resources that might exist in them.” (Diamond, Wang, & Gomez, 2004)