The Scoop: English Language Learner Edition

From classroom teacher to district leader, all educators continue to search for innovative ways to provide empowering learning environments for their English language learners (ELLs)—especially when it comes to math. Instruction that leverages visual learning and conceptual understanding is a great start. Scroll through for some of our favorite reads on how visual learning can provide ELLs a path for math success.

The Problem With Math

  • Get a glimpse of the particular challenges ELLs face when it comes to mathematics in this excerpt from the short film, "Immersion," written and directed by Richard Levien. The full version of the film is worth watching as well to help understand the obstacles teachers and faculty encounter when trying to support ELLs.


  • NPR shares a general overview of the different types of approaches most schools take when teaching ELLs. 


Supporting ELLs with Visual Math Instruction

  • Stanford mathematics professor Jo Boaler offers a variety of research and visual math activities to take into the classroom.
  • English language learners at Wilson Elementary school in Sanger, Calif. are getting hands-on with math and science in makerspaces. Makerspaces, where students use technology tools and materials to solve problems, offers ways to build confidence as well as pratice STEM topics and English conversation.
  • What would math look like if it could be taught (at first) completely without language of any kind? Dr. Matthew Peterson shares how in this TEDx talk:


With a little innovation and creativity, math can be engaging no matter what language you speak!

Do you have an interesting article, video or news to share? Tweet it to us @MIND_Research or email us and we may feature it here.

Header photo by Katherine Hala.

Kelsey Skaggs

About the Author

Kelsey Skaggs was the Communications Manager at MIND Education. She enjoys highlighting the work of colleagues and partners who champion MIND's mission.


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