Monday, October 31, 2011

English Language Learners include More than Students

Mrs. Darla Coyle teaches at the Middle School. Most of you probably already know that, but did you know that she is not only teaching middle school students but also some of their parents? Currently, there are "25 parents committed to attending our adult class once a week with an additional 15 parents on a waiting list," according to Mrs. Coyle. Just like the middle school students she teaches, these parents use Rosetta Stone software to help develop their English language skills. The new version of Rosetta Stone allows users "to speak into the microphone and the program will evaluate the level of correct pronunciation they use and correct their pronunciation." There are also lots of activities that help develop English by "clicking and typing answers."

In addition to teaching both students and their parents English language skills, Mrs. Coyle is also teaching them computer skills. She states that many of the students and parents have never used a computer before. Therefore, these ELL classes also provide the opportunity to pass on such basic computer skills as turning the computer on and off, developing mouse control, accessing the Internet, speaking into the microphone, and so on. These skills will certainly serve the parents well in a workforce that is becoming more and more technology dependent.

We know that one of the most important things we can do in education today is to involve parents in their students' education. When we can go even further and educate the parents themselves, we are advancing the skill sets of whole families!

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