Do your materials meet English learners' needs? - Learning Forward Guest Post

There is substantial evidence documenting the impact of high-quality, educative learning materials on teacher practices and student learning, yet this evidence has not translated widely into more equitable learning opportunities for all students.

English learners tend to have less access to intellectually rich, grade-level content and instructional materials. With most English learners receiving instruction for math and English language arts alongside their non-English learner peers, it can no longer be the norm to simplify the content or rely on supplemental materials targeting English learners. Instructional materials must be well-designed to serve all students.

What do materials that do this well look like, and how do you know if yours measure up?

Read more on The Learning Professional, the Learning Forward Journal

Crystal Gonzales is the Executive Director of the ELSF where she collaborates with national experts, organizations, educators and content developers to increase the supply of quality of K-12 instructional materials that meet the needs of the growing EL population. Previously, as a program officer at the Helmsley Charitable Trust, she collaborated with national K-12 organizations with a focus on teacher professional development, quality instructional materials, and advocacy for underserved communities. In this role, she worked with EL experts to elevate the needs of ELs among grantees and her grantmaking peers. Crystal began her career as a 4th grade bilingual teacher in Houston ISD. She is currently a member of Education Leaders of Color, Latinos for Education, and is a Pahara NextGen fellow. Crystal holds a master’s in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from the University of New Mexico. She is a proud native New Mexican and currently resides in NYC.

Renae Skarin is the Director of Curriculum Review Process where she works with leading educational experts to design and implement a process for reviewing and providing feedback to curriculum developers on the strength of supports for ELs. Prior to joining the ELSF, she worked at Understanding Language, Stanford University, where she was a researcher, professional developer, curriculum developer, and project manager for projects specializing in issues of equity and accessibility for diverse learners and has a strong background in second language teaching and teacher education both in the U.S. and abroad. Renae received a B.A. in English, Literacy Studies from California State University, Long Beach and an M.A. in Second Language Studies at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation in Educational Linguistics at Stanford University. Renae lives at home with her 15-year-old activist daughter, Kailani and her sweet dog Stella.


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