Sociocultural influences on ELL students are very strong; some families feel that their social life is a major part of their culture. The use of bilingualism is someone that is fluent in two different languages. An ELL students home language can be quite different than English. The students’ family may have no desire to speak English. This cause many learning delays because of the lack of practice. The parental and community resources for English acquisition in my area are scarce, but they did locate an amazing website for ELL families. The school district around me can improve their home and school relationship by getting the families more involved in their child’s education.
There are many cultural and social factors to an ELL student. The “notion of culture as a dynamic entity--not simply a collection of foods, clothes, and holidays, but a way of using social, physical, spiritual, and economic resources to make one's way in the world” (Leighton, 1995, pg.1). When an educator takes the time to get to know the families the students will learn more efficiently. The only problem with that is the educators “schedules are already full, teachers resist devoting that much time and effort to an activity that the most "efficient" of them can imagine replacing with a short questionnaire sent home at the beginning of the year” (National, 1994, pg. 4). With educators too busy to take the extra time to get to know the students’ families these students will not learn through their background knowledge.
An educator that “provides instructional strategies that support additive bilingualism enhances Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency and subject matter comprehension” (Otaola, 2008, pg. 6) will make ELL students successful. Students that are bilingual can benefit their families by teaching them the English language. There is a down side when the family does not want to lean the second language. Many parents believe that it is better not to speak English. When this happens the students will not receive the practice that they really need. The student must know their parents’ language it is imperative to the student’s cultural identity and has to maintain a healthy relationship with their family. Parents’ have concerns about using their native language with their children include: learning another language is too difficult it will delay their language development; the child will not be able to master either language; they will not be as proficient as the students who know one language; confusing the two languages will happen; and they will communicate in English with an accent. The school should address these concerns before the school year begins.
Through my research in my school district there are no regularly scheduled community outreach programs. This district does have a coordinator (Joann) who works with many different school districts for community outreach projects. From what I understand is that she lets each school know when there is an...