Bright English Language Learners, Overlooked in Schools

"Latino Read 2308" by US Department of Education licensed under CC BY 2.0
Latino Read 2308” by US Department of Education licensed under CC BY 2.0

Source: NPR

It is a “moral and ethical obligation” for teachers to identify gifted students and to provide them with the best possible opportunities, educators say.

For students who are English Language Learners (ELL) however, the opportunities to be identified as such are slim. These students are usually separated into classrooms that teach curriculum and English simultaneously and often are overlooked because of language barriers. Along the way, these students become invisible, as very few states even test ELL students for giftedness.

Although every year three million students are identified as “gifted,” there is no particular way of knowing how many of them have been ELLs and there is no way of calculating the missed opportunities for such students.

While parents are often the ones to first identify gifted talents in their children, the student’s brilliance may be overlooked if a teacher does not identify it immediately and if parents don’t know how to communicate it to the school system – especially for non-English speaking parents.

ELLs who are Latino or from immigrant families that are non-English speaking are at an immediate disadvantage as they are unfamiliar with the American school system, and in turn unable to help their children seek opportunities.

Educators say that in this case it is important for schools to develop ways to reach out to non-English speaking parents and to train teachers to identify talents in all students.

Read full story at: NPR

Education, News
Education, News