Checklist: 10 Things Your ELL’s School Needs to Know

By Shea Dean, MA

Expert reviewed by Virginia Gryta, MS

To help your (ELL), the school needs some key information. They may ask you for this information in a meeting or in a home language survey. If they don’t ask for it, it’s a good idea to provide it anyway. Here’s what the school needs to know about your child.

What the School Needs to Know

  • What language do you speak at home? Is that your child’s ?
  • How have you encouraged your child’s reading and writing in that language?
  • At what age did your child begin to speak in that language?
  • At what age did your child begin learning English?
  • What schools did your child attend in the past? What kind of English language instruction, if any, did your child receive there? (It helps to provide copies of all school records noting your child’s curriculum, attendance, and performance in class.)
  • Does your child have any health problems that could affect learning? (These might include head injuries, vision or hearing problems, or emotional trauma.)
  • Is there any history of learning and thinking differences in your family?
  • Are there any situations at home that might make it hard for your child to get to school on time or attend regularly?
  • Have you observed any behavior or learning problems in your child? (These might include difficulty following directions or difficulty speaking clearly in the native language.)
  • How and when can the teacher reach you to discuss your child’s progress?

If your child is having trouble in school, you might want to learn more about learning and thinking differences in ELL students. Understanding the signs is a good first step toward helping your child.

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