According to the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), approximately 23% of the state’s students come from homes where a language other than English is spoken. In 2013, there were over 63,000 English Language Learners (ELLs) in New Jersey schools and nearly one out of every 21 students in public schools was an English language learner.
As the number of ELLs continues to grow, New Jersey leadership keeps working towards improving the education and resources available for these students and their families as well as the educators responsible for teaching them. Here are a few great resources to check out:
- The Bureau of Bilingual/ESL Education, a division of the NJDOE, provides information on everything from the state policies on bilingual education, program requirements, tips for family engagement, FAQs, professional development opportunities, and much more.
- Colorín Colorado is a national multimedia project that offers a wealth of bilingual, research-based information, activities, and advice for educators and families of English language learners. You can access resources by state under “ELL Basics.”
- The New Jersey Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages/New Jersey Bilingual Educators (NJTESOL/NJBE) is dedicated to helping ELL students succeed in school and beyond. Their interests include classroom practices, research, curriculum development, funding, employment and socio-political concerns.
GrapeSEED is also working to help young ELLs and English as a Second Language (ESL) students in New Jersey. GrapeSEED’s oral language acquisition and critical listening program is currently being used in Summit Public Schools to help ELL and ESL students in kindergarten establish a solid foundation in the English language so that they can become proficient readers by third grade.
You can learn more about GrapeSEED at the upcoming 2016 FEA/NJPSA/NJASCD Fall Conference in Long Branch on October 20th-21st. Meet us there to learn how we are helping young ELL students in New Jersey and discover the research showing GrapeSEED ELL/ESL students reaching reading proficiency in only two to three years, or half the time of the national average!
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