McGraw-Hill Education Releases English Learners Report
As the number of English Learners (ELs) continues to grow in schools across the United States, educators remain optimistic about the academic potential of these students, according to the second annual English Learners Report by learning science company McGraw-Hill Education.
However, teachers say that social and emotional obstacles present the most significant challenge to these students’ ability to succeed.
According to the survey, a strong majority of educators (75 percent of teachers and 85 percent of administrators) are optimistic about ELs’ ability to succeed academically. The majority also believe EL instruction contributes to their students’ improved academic language performance and overall English proficiency.
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Furthermore, most educators surveyed expressed that EL instruction is funded sufficiently in their school or district, and that access to EL instructional resources has increased over the past five years.
However, survey results highlight gaps and areas where additional support may be needed. Many educators believe that social and emotional obstacles, such as having overcome trauma or insufficient language skills to communicate with other students, present the biggest hurdle to ELs success.
Other prominent challenges called out by teachers include the lack of family and community support, and anxiety around the political climate. Overall, 69 percent of administrators and 65 percent of teachers reported that conversations about immigration impact their school / classroom environment, and noted that discussions around immigration were more prevalent than those about other social and political issues, including healthcare, climate change, and gun violence.
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“It’s encouraging that educators feel EL instruction is translating into positive academic benefits for many ELs, but these survey findings also underscore the importance of social and emotional learning in schools,” said Heath Morrison, President of McGraw-Hill’s School Group. “As education professionals, we must continue to do everything we can to ensure that our students have the social and emotional support that they need, so that they can succeed academically and in life.”
According to the survey, educators see a clear link between ELs’ social and emotional wellbeing, and their ability to succeed academically.