If you have searched the internet for resources for those serving ELLs or exchanged recommendations with peers, you may already be familiar with Colorín Colorado, an educational initiative of WETA and a free web-based service that provides information, activities, and advice for educators and families of English language learners. The site frequently focuses on those serving Spanish-speaking ELLs; however, many of the resources are applicable to educators serving any ELL.
Colorín Colorado’s home visit guide Making Your First ELL Home Visit: A Guide for Classroom Teachers provides practical pre-visit, visit, and post-visit tips. Among them are:
- First determine the purpose(s) of the visit such as learning more about students and exploring ways that the school and teachers can better serve families.
- Schedule a home visit 7 to 10 days in advance.
- Communicate the purpose of your visit and approximately how long the visit will last (30 to 45 minutes).
- Follow up with a brief written note indicating the exact date and time of the meeting, preferably written in the family’s home language.
- If possible, learn the names of family members.
- Learn a few words of the family’s first language, even if they’re only “hello” and “thank you.” This shows you care enough to make an effort and may help break the ice.
Another useful Colorín Colorado resource is the family engagement toolkit for teachers geared toward involving Hispanic parents of ELLs. Pages 9-16 offer good tips for teachers of all ELLs.
Check out the entire series of posts on ELL home visits, beginning with Non-Traditional Family Engagement.
Have you visited the homes of English learners? What advice do you have for other teachers?