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ERIC Number: EJ980181
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
Learning English and beyond: A Holistic Approach to Supporting English Learners in Afterschool
Bhattacharya, Jhumpa; Quiroga, Jimena
Afterschool Matters, n14 p13-19 Fall 2011
Throughout the nation, afterschool programs are seeing increasing numbers of English learners (ELs) among their participants. Many afterschool program practitioners, recognizing the growth in the EL population in their programs, are hungry for professional development and research to understand how better to educate this population. However, reports indicate that, although practitioners recognize that this growing population has specific needs, they do not have the skills or training to work effectively with ELs. As a result, afterschool sites are not currently designing their programming to serve ELs effectively, and minimal resources and professional development opportunities are available to help them do so. When afterschool programs understand the various needs of different ELs, they can adopt a holistic approach to nurturing EL students in their many dimensions. Afterschool practitioners must build on the strengths and assets that ELs bring into the program, such as their rich cultures and languages, while also addressing their varying needs. More and more afterschool programs are implementing strategies to help ELs with English language development. While some of the strategies being offered are valuable, programs need to use the same intentionality to support ELs' social, emotional, and cultural needs. To guide them in doing so, California Tomorrow developed the following Quality English Learner Principles: (1) Know your English language learners; (2) Be cultural brokers for families and communities; (3) Build cross-cultural leadership skills; (4) Support language development; (5) Create a safe space and affirming environment; (6) Promote home culture and language for healthy identity development; and (7) Customize programming. This article discusses these principles which incorporate California Tomorrow's comprehensive vision of what EL education can look like in afterschool programs, based on its 25 years of experience in reforming EL K-12 education and on 10 years of research, technical assistance, and coaching experience in the afterschool field.
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California