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English learners (ELs) bring a wealth of ideas, perspectives, and solutions to STEM education. However, according to a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2018), the nearly 5 million students classified as ELs in public schools are falling behind when it comes to STEM education. Particularly, as it relates to learning science and mathematics, ELs lack opportunities to engage with challenging disciplinary practices and content. Preparing teachers so that all students can reach their full potential in STEM can transform the lives of individual students and society as a whole. Join us on Saturday, May 4th, starting at 10 am Eastern, to learn strategies teachers can use to enhance the classroom experience of ELs in STEM subjects.

Strands

Framing the Conversation: Language and STEM with English Learners

This session will address framing issues for language and STEM with ELs. The session will start with heterogeneity of ELs and educational policies affecting ELs. Then, the session will present contemporary views on language and STEM and convergences across these disciplines with ELs. The session will end with an overview of promising instructional strategies with ELs, which will be addressed in great detail in the three subsequent breakout sessions.

Teacher Professional Development and Family Engagement to Support English Learners in STEM Subjects

This session will highlight two key features of the systemic changes that are necessary for schools to meet the needs and build on the resources of ELs in STEM subjects. First, we will discuss what teachers need to know and be able to do to support their ELs in STEM learning and how we can better prepare all teachers, both the new and the experienced, with the needed skills and strategies. Second, we will discuss the critical issue of engaging the families of ELs in STEM subjects. During the session, we will highlight current best practices for teacher learning and family engagement.

Engineering Engages English Learners!: Exploring Benefits of Engineering for English Learners

This session will explore some of the benefits of engineering for ELs, including language development, science and engineering learning, development of engineering identities, and participation in the learning community. We’ll examine strategies for developing lessons that support ELs in engineering and STEM learning. Video clips from classrooms, teacher perspectives, and research data will enliven the session.

Success in STEM Subjects: Enhancing Classroom and Community Practices for English Learners

This session will examine promising approaches for ELs in the elementary and secondary classrooms. We will investigate high-impact instructional strategies in the classroom and the school community to promote both disciplinary knowledge and language proficiency of ELs. Participants will explore ways districts and schools can use resources to promote STEM learning with ELs.

Promoting an Asset-Oriented View of English Learners

This session will highlight the conversations in the field on issues of equity and an asset orientation for ELs. These conversations include the capabilities of ELs in STEM learning, the positioning of ELs and their families, and equitable access to rigorous STEM learning opportunities for ELs. The session will end with describing strategies for leveraging the assets ELs and their families bring to the classroom.

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