Best Practice of Teaching English Language Learners


BestPractice of Teaching English Language Learners

BestPractice of Teaching English

The2013 journal by Nan Li titled “SeekingBest Practices And Meeting The Needs Of The English LanguageLearners: Using Second Language Theories And Integrating TechnologyIn Teaching,” focuses on the current trends in the school environment and how theycan be met through the application of the best teaching practice.According to Li, the increasing number of English Language Learners(ELL) and widespread use of technology in the learning environmenthas become a trend that should not be ignored by educators (Li,2013). As a result, the author presents four best practices thateducators can use, then combine technology with second languagetheories to work with ELLs students in a diverse classroom. Thesepractices include increasing comprehensive input, providingsupportive learning environment, relating to the real world, andencouraging social collaboration. The article discusses the fourpractices by relating them to technology integration, andillustrating how educators can produce reliable and desire result inthe learning environment. With the growing diversity in the learningenvironment, Li emphasizes that educators must be willing to show inadvancing their skills and knowledge, in order to handle the currenttrends and demands in learning, as well as, promote student learning.

Thepart of the article that I found most interesting is on howtechnology as a tool can play a major role in encouraging socialcollaboration with ELLs. According to Li (2004), One of the greatestchallenges the ELLs face is increased isolation due to their lack offluency, cultural difference and personal identity. More so, otherstudents struggle with fear of failure, anger and anxiety of newenvironment and, therefore, learning become frightening as withdrawalbecomes their only option. However, it is evident from the articlethat the use of technology by educators can effectively help ELLs toovercome most of the challenges in new learning environment. Li’sargument on using technology to encourage social collaboration holdsground as this encourages peer interact in and outside the classroom.More so, students are to share cultural values and belief as theylearn to appreciate students from diverse culture. Another profoundargument is on how educators encourage teamwork by assigning ELLswith their classmate to work on projects such as PowerPointpresentations (Li, 2013). This foster interaction, as well as,provide an opportunity for ELLs to learn and receive assistant fromthe other students. Thus, it is interesting how technology increasesocial cohesion, not only in the learning environment, but also inthe society at large.

Theteaching practices addressed in the article as essential inaddressing issues of discrimination in a diverse learningenvironment. With the rapid increase in immigrants to the U.S.students may develop negative perception about various ethnic groups,which may affect the ability of the ELLs to perform (Li, 2013). Froma personal experience, I have encountered some who are thought of asinferior because of their race and socio-economic background.However, the combination of technology and the four practicespresented by Li are an effective tool in addressing this socialinjustice. The educator’s ability to appreciate the uniqueness ofcultural diversity is also likely to influence the student’sperception, thus creating a positive learning environment.

Oneof the major strengths of the article is that it presents multiplesolution that help educators to understand and address challenges ofa diverse learning environment. Beyond this aspect, the article isrelevant as it compels educators to acquire more knowledge and skillsin order to meet the current demand of learning. In this case, theteachers are able to gain an understanding of the minority students,address their need, and engage in meaningful instructionalactivities. One of the fundamental examples of the manner in whichtechnology has been used in the real world is in the creation ofreading rooms in social forums, in which students may be grouped invaried categories where they can interact and discuss class materialirrespective of their location. This has been shown to be effectivein allowing minority students to come out and ask questions withoutfeeling embarrassed. The teachers and other students may also chip inan reply to the varied queries that the students may have.

Thisarticle cultivates the relationship between educators, learninginstitutions and minority students. The article is enlightening as itestablishes the need for institutions to embrace current technology,and diversity. On the other hand, educators are challenged to workeffectively, since they are the cultural brokers for the ELLs. Thearticle’s emphasis on the relationship between schools, educatorsand ELLs portrays an active involvement in the fight againststereotypes associated with immigrant students, discrimination,racism, and on cultural basis among other.

Oneof the major weaknesses of the article is that it fails to addressthe role of the family in fostering these teaching practices. Apartfrom educators, families play a major role in life of ELLs as familyeducation level, background, and socio economic status may affect theperformance of the ELL. More so, the family can be helpful inproviding information about the child’s developmental milestones,as well as, social behavior. Furthermore, Li fails to address some ofthe major factors that hinder the effectiveness of the four teachingpractices. For instance, an educator may fail to recognize a childdisability or difficulties encouraging social interaction with peers.

Inconclusion, the most important thing I have learnt from the articleis that it is possible to enrich learning in a culturally diverseclassroom through effective communication, positive attitude andcohesion. With the fast growing diverse population, it is possiblethat the numbers of ELLs will exponential go up, and institutionsshould be well prepared to address this challenge.


Li,G. (2004). Perspective on struggling English language learners: Casestudies of two Chinese-Canadian children.Journal of Literacy Research, 36(1)

Li.N (2013). Seeking best practices and meeting the needs of the Englishlanguage learners: Using second Language Theories and IntegratingTechnology in teaching. Journalof International Education Research, 9(3),217-222.