ERIC Number: ED469542
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
The Challenge of Educating English Language Learners in Rural Areas.
Rural school districts are experiencing an influx of language minority students. Rural communities generally have little experience with people from other cultures and have fewer resources and bilingual people. At the district level, leaders who view the influx of immigrants in a positive light are more likely to prepare a well thought out plan for serving their English Language Learners (ELLs). An example shows the steps taken in a rural Virginia district to implement a well-researched program that set the district on the right path for years to come. Although the district provides structure and guidance, it is the school principal who ensures that programs are properly implemented and maintained. Schools that are successfully helping their ELLs have principals with positive attitudes towards their new population. Successful principals arrange training sessions for all staff on cultural awareness, schedule ongoing training sessions for mainstream teachers on English-as-second-language (ESL) strategies, actively recruit ethnically diverse teachers and staff, encourage collaboration between mainstream and ESL teachers, support extended-day opportunities for ELLs, purchase classroom and library resources that broaden student understanding of different cultures, and reach out to parents using their native language. The increased emphasis on standards and high-stakes testing and related questions about fair treatment of ELLs can support rural district efforts to obtain additional funding. The Department of Education provides free technical assistance, and there are often community resources and volunteers that can be tapped. (TD)
Descriptors: Administrator Role, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Isolation, Educational Change, Educational Environment, Educational Strategies, Elementary Secondary Education, English (Second Language), Hispanic Americans, Immigrants, Language Minorities, Limited English Speaking, Multicultural Education, Principals, Rural Schools, School Districts, Staff Development
For full text: http://www.escort.org/html/whatsnew.htm#anchor139219.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Cited: ED545226