A Little Help for English Language Learners

Christel van der Boom / September 23, 2020

The most recent stats from the National Center for Education Statistics show approximately 5 million students in the United States are English language learners (ELLs). In fall 2017, the percentage of public school students who were ELLs ranged from 0.8 percent in West Virginia to 19.2 percent in California. Those students speak Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or another language at home with family members. While they grow up with the coveted ability to be bilingual, lockdown has put them at a greater disadvantage, as due to distance learning and even hybrid schooling they have less opportunity to practice English. 

As we collaborate with educators across the country for FlipEDU, we hear from many educators across the country about their care and concern for students for whom English is a second language during school lockdowns. Distance learning makes it more challenging to keep any student engaged and connected to the learning process, but that’s even harder when a student is an English language learner. 

We noticed that some English as a second language (ESL) teachers and learners are using Flipboard Magazines to help students obtain English language proficiency. Here are six examples that might be helpful for others as well.

English in a Nutshell✏ 

One of the most prolific curators on our platform is Sao Paulo-based educator Bia Valle. She is an English and Portuguese Instructor at Berlitz who has given over 30,000 classes in the last 30 years. She uses the content she sources on Flipboard to guide her class’s discussions. Her magazine, English in a Nutshell, which she curates for ESL students and teachers, contains articles and one-minute drills for anyone who wants to read and speak English better.

Teaching ESL / EFL 

This is a collection of articles and resources for teaching ESL recommended by ESLexpat.com, an online resource for English teachers who are living and working abroad. The website provides resources for all aspects of teachers’ careers, including classroom activities, student games, TESOL articles and worksheets. Be sure to explore all of ESLexpat.com’s Flipboard Magazines to discover more classroom activities and other ideas for English teachers. 

Inglés 

Curating is not just for educators; it can also support students. Case in point: this Flipboard Magazine by Fernando Galloso, who is learning English as a second language himself. He has collected over 3000 articles, videos and stories that explain the ins and outs of the English language, including grammar rules, expressions and pronunciation guidance. 

Supporting English Language Learners

As Mountain View High School in Vancouver, WA, starts the school year remotely, its staff goes above and beyond to help support their students’ success. Case in point: Associate Principal Sheri Walker, along with some of her colleagues, curate articles that are helpful for all educators who work with ELLs. It addresses topics such as the importance of cultivating pride in bilingual students and building partnerships with ELL’s families.

Ser Bilingue

Do you speak Spanglish? Then this Flipboard Magazine is right up your alley. It includes stories that cover the idiosyncrasies of both English and Spanish and provide ways to improve your command of each language. 

Grammar Girl 

Whether English is your first or second language, Grammar Girl is a helpful resource to improve your writing. Writer Mignon Fogarty, aka Grammar Girl, has curated an evergreen Flipboard magazine with tips for punctuation, style, and word choice. When in doubt about the grammar rules of the English language, check this magazine for guidelines and tricks to help you recall and apply grammar rules. 

If you are an English teacher or learner and use Flipboard, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know about your Magazines or how you use our platform in your education by emailing us at flipedu@flipboard.com.  

—Christel van der Boom, head of communications at Flipboard, is curating AP Style Cheat Sheet