Collaborating with Other Educators on Individual Learning Plans for ELL Students

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  • 0:04 Why Collaborate?
  • 0:54 Three Aspects of an ILP
  • 3:37 Alternative…
  • 5:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

In this lesson, you have a basic guide on strategies to collaborate with certified personnel when you need to outline a student's individual learning plan (ILP). Also, we'll discuss strategies to collaborate with assessment preparation.

Why Collaborate?

Christian has an English language learner (ELL) from the Middle East in his class. While most of the ELL students are making the expected progress in school, the literacy department finds that the Middle Eastern student in the group could benefit from having an individual learning plan (ILP). As soon as Christian finds out, he gets ready to collaborate with the specialized team in outlining the ILP.

The reason why teachers of ELLs should be part of outlining a student's ILP is that, very often, language learning has a significant influence on the student's academic progress. Thus, the input from an ELL teacher allows for including language learning considerations in the outline. Let's see what the best strategies are in this collaboration scenario before moving on to collaboration for classroom tests and alternative assessment measures for English learners.

Teachers in different areas focus on creating an ILP to help a student make progress.
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Three Aspects of an ILP

ELL teachers can provide valuable information to outline an ILP in three basic aspects: learning goals, the instructional program, and standards-based instruction for ELLs. In our example, Christian's student is getting an ILP because the literacy department has identified several areas of struggle in the student's literacy skills. The best strategies Christian can apply to contribute to the ILP outline include the following:

1. Sharing knowledge about language learning processes

The literacy department at schools, along with any other certified personnel who might identify special needs in students, are precisely certified to do this specific type of work. This means that certified personnel might not necessarily know the process that language learning involves. For this reason, teachers of ELLs should always share what they know about language acquisition. This helps certified personnel to understand an area of work with which they are not familiar.

For instance, one of the learning goals Christian influences with his knowledge has to do with language proficiency level. Initially, the certified personnel proposes ''writing at grade level'' as a short-term goal. However, Christian understands his student is just trying to get used to the characters of the alphabet, which are entirely new for the student. Christian explains that the student's first language alphabet is entirely different, and this means the student makes slower progress in writing as compared to peers. The certified personnel then agrees that writing can be a long-term goal.

2. Sharing ELL materials

Certified instructors define the instructional program in an ILP using the learning material in their area. However, ELL material is specialized and should be included in the instructional program because this material is specifically prepared to address the needs of ELL students. For instance, Christian has some great material that's designed for ELLs and includes grade-level content.

3. Including policy-based standards

ELL instruction is in place in schools because governmental policy mandates assistance for students who are in the process of learning English. These mandates set the standards for instruction and should always be reflected in documents such as an ILP. Christian makes sure the ILP for his student includes the student's right to attend ELL sessions as per the policy.

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