English Learners

Nearly one in four California students is officially classified as an English learner (EL), meaning that the student entered school speaking a language other than English and has yet to demonstrate proficiency in English.  Many ELs also come from low-income families and attend high poverty schools.  Some are recent immigrants, while others have attended California schools since kindergarten.  The academic challenges these ELs face are as varied as the students themselves.  To successfully address these challenges requires not just “good schools” and “good instruction” in general, but also a set of resources, instructional strategies, and supports designed specifically to meet the needs of this diverse population.  School districts have a fundamental responsibility to ensure that their EL students have equitable access to these needed resources and conditions—a responsibility that was underscored by the passage of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) in 2013.  Because of the California Collaborative’s focus on reducing opportunity gaps, support for California’s substantial EL student population has been a consistent thread running through all our work.  However, several meetings have focused specifically on strategies for meeting the needs of English learners, and insights from these meetings might be instructive as districts pursue their LCFF equity goals.

Publications

December 2011
As school districts across the country seek opportunities to work strategically with other districts to increase efficiencies and learn from each other's experiences, the Fresno-Long Beach Learning Partnership serves as a useful example of such... Read more »

Meetings

June 02 - 03, 2008
Meeting 7 June 2-3, 2008 Oakland, California Logistics Briefing Book Cover Letter (PDF 99.1 KB) Oakland USD Context: Expect Success Oakland USD Context: ELL Master Plan Oakland USD Context: Small Schools Small... Read more »
February 28 - 29, 2008
Meeting 6 February 28-29, 2008 Redwood City, California Logistics Briefing Book Cover Letter (PDF 98.6 KB) Systemic Collaboration for Youth Social Capital Community-School Collaboration Other Models for... Read more »
November 05 - 06, 2007
Meeting 5 November 5-6, 2007 Sacramento, California Meeting Summary (PDF 61.9 KB) Logistics Briefing Book Cover Letter (PDF 86.9 KB) Sacramento City USD Background Information Setting the Context: Who Are California’s... Read more »
June 28 - 29, 2007
Meeting 4 June 28-29, 2007 Long Beach, California Meeting Summary (PDF 73.2 KB) Logistics Briefing Book Cover Letter (PDF 135 KB) Long Beach USD Background Information Academic English Language Development/Structured... Read more »
February 28 - March 01, 2007
Meeting 3 February 28-March 1, 2007 Menlo Park, California Meeting Summary (PDF 108 KB) Logistics Briefing Book Cover Letter (PDF 105 KB) Context: Need for Teacher Learning Context: Ravenswood City School District... Read more »
October 04 - 05, 2006
Meeting 2 October 4-5, 2006 Los Angeles, California Meeting Summary (PDF 67.1 KB) Logistics Briefing Book Cover Letter (PDF 95.2 KB) EL Instruction: General Issues EL Instruction: Literacy EL Instruction:... Read more »

Member Spotlight

January 2017
Kenji Hakuta, Professor of Education at Stanford University, has co-written a commentary piece featured on Edsource entitled Ending the No Child Left Behind Catch-22 on English Learner Progress. With co-author Linda Darling-Hammond, Hakuta... Read more »
April 2015
Amy Gerstein, Executive Director of the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, presented new research at the American Educational Research Association 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL. In a symposium about university-community... Read more »
March 2015
Aida Walqui, Director of the Teacher Professional Development Program at WestEd, shared insights on the Next Generation Science Standards and English language learners in a presentation at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) annual... Read more »
February 2015
An Education Week special report spotlights Richard Carranaza, San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Superintendent Richard Carranza as a Leader to Learn From in recognition of his advocacy for an equitable approach to bicultural education... Read more »
October 2014
Kenji Hakuta, Professor of Education at Stanford University, will offer two Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) this fall, crafted to help educators and administrators support students’ language and content learning in light of the Common Core State... Read more »
June 2014
Aida Walqui, Director of the Teacher Professional Development Program at WestEd, recently co-authored the report Changes in the Expertise of ESL Professionals: Knowledge and Action in an Era of New Standards. In the context of a shifting education... Read more »
February 2014
Aída Walqui, Director of the Teacher Professional Development Program at WestEd, delivered a keynote speech at two recent symposia about the needs of English Learners (ELs) in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Walqui set... Read more »
September 2013
Kenji Hakuta, Professor of Education at Stanford University, has announced the launch of a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for teachers called “Constructive Classroom Conversations: Mastering the Language of the Common Core”.  Through... Read more »
May 2013
Aida Walqui, Director of the Teacher Professional Development Program at WestEd, presented two papers at the American Educational Research Association 2013 Annual Meeting.  In Domains of Teacher Expertise for Working with English Learners,... Read more »
August 2012
Collaborative member Kenji Hakuta has co-authored a policy brief from the Policy Analysis for California Education research center, How Next-Generation Standards and Assessments Can Foster Success for California’s English Learners. The report builds... Read more »
June 2012
Rose Owens-West is the Director of the Region IX Equity Assistance Center at WestEd. The center, launched in October 2011, is one of 10 federally funded centers across the United States. Drawing from the many resources within WestEd, Rose... Read more »
April 2012
The Understanding Language initiative has launched a new website and online community atell.stanford.edu. The initiative, co-chaired by California Collaborative member Kenji Hakuta, aims to investigate, raise awareness about, and address the role of... Read more »
April 2011
California Collaborative member Kenji Hakuta will co-chair a two-year effort to develop a framework for the English-language demands of the Common Core State Standards. With $2 million in support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the... Read more »
March 2011
The Working Group on ELL Policy, which includes California Collaborative members Patricia Gándara, Kenji Hakuta, and Jennifer O’Day, released a policy brief with recommendations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (... Read more »
January 2011
The Working Group on ELL Policy, which includes California Collaborative members Patricia Gándara, Kenji Hakuta, and Jennifer O’Day, released a detailed question and answer style document addressing the reauthorization of the Elementary and... Read more »