Shadowing English Language Learners

September 23, 2019

Ivannia SotoAccording to a report by the Education Trust-West, one in five students in California’s K-12 schools is learning English as a second language. Most often, these students come from homes where a different language is dominantly spoken and are therefore not able to communicate fluently or learn effectively in English.

Recently, Professor of Education Ivannia Soto was interviewed in Highest Aspirations—an education podcast that explores the world of English Language Learners (ELLs)—about the practice of ELL shadowing. 

"ELL shadowing is a way to experience a day in the life of an English learner by going into classrooms and monitoring their academic speaking and active listening experiences. The experience is intended to sensitize teachers to both the assets, and linguistic needs, of ELs in their own classrooms,” said Soto.

Soto is passionate about providing effective programming for ELLs, which make up 41% of students in California. She notes that in order for them to succeed in classrooms, educators must be aware of their linguistic and cultural needs, and willing to create systems that will support them academically. 

Soto specializes in second language acquisition, systemic reform for ELLs, and urban education. She has presented on literacy and language topics at various conferences and has provided technical assistance for systemic reform for ELLs and Title III. Soto is the author of The Common Core Companion for CA ELD Standards, The Literacy Gaps, ELL Shadowing as a Catalyst for Change, Moving From Spoken to Written Language With ELLs, and the Academic Language Mastery Series.

Listen to the full Highest Aspirations podcast