Help Students Who Are Learning English By Talking With Them Online

Help Students Learn English by Talking With Them Online; You can Help Them in ten different ways.

Help Students Who Are Learning English By Talking With Them Online

Language acquisition in English can be challenging for students. But what if, for just one month, your child could speak the words she hears in every conversation she attends? It can actually work.

According to University of Minnesota researchers, children who use English-to-English tutoring over an online platform are as fluent in English as their peers on the phone. This study also found that speaking in English could prevent learning disabilities, improve reading and math skills, and boost overall achievement, with no concern of language fluency.

The researchers suggest that this success has to do with using the research-based technology to support, and ultimately convert, those who would have been easily lost in a traditional language environment into better learners.

With new students struggling to learn English, our government is considering a strategy that will help these students gain proficiency in a vibrant, consistent environment.

In October, U.S. Sens. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the First Language Learning Support Act of 2018. It would allocate $20 million to The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to support the use of English-to-English tutoring, with an additional $20 million in the fiscal year 2019 budget.

Yes, you read that right. $20 million dollars in federal funding.

But while the U.S. would do well to prioritize language support, it should not go to the sole benefit of students who speak English as their first language.

Each year, approximately 1.4 million new students take the standardized testing English as a Second Language (ESL) exam in the United States. However, funding for the ESL community is currently being slashed.

In 2009, the U.S. spent more than $1 billion on ESL programs and early education, with the goal of preparing children to succeed in the United States. Yet, in 2013, Congress spent less than half of the funding allocation, as educators saw their budgets slashed and as education professionals struggled to reach their goals. For example, the total spending on adult English learning in 2016 was only $1.5 billion, which is approximately 12 percent of the money that was allocated during the peak of federal ESL funding.

Studies show that ESL students are given substandard tutoring and mentoring services. And because the U.S. spends so little funding on ESL students, too few resources are devoted to quality.

As the representatives leading the Senate education work, the decision to include ESL in our work to support student achievement should not be controversial. Though it is important to ensure ESL students continue to receive the support needed to build English proficiency, most college-goers come from ESL backgrounds. The purpose of education is to prepare students for success, and ESL students are an important part of that. They are also full contributors to our economy. Last year, nearly 300,000 ESL students graduated from high school, two-thirds were headed to college, and 65 percent were employed after graduation.

President Trump had to honor a signed executive order he made to spur the economy, calling for $1 trillion to be invested over 10 years in infrastructure projects. And he recently called for $500 billion to be invested in the economy. Without some form of program aimed at improving the language literacy of English learners, this money will not result in increased employment and economic growth.

We must prioritize language support, but we also have to place our emphasis on providing funding to help every student succeed. We have the evidence to support expanding the use of online English-to-English tutoring as an effective and cost-effective way to encourage students to learn English.

The First Language Learning Support Act is a vital step towards making students college-ready and all students college-ready. It is also a policy tool for the Trump administration to help ensure the students who most need English support are receiving that support.

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