Spanish Steps, Spanish for teachers, Spanish for school administratorsSpanish Steps, Spanish for teachers, Spanish for school administrators

The sheer importance of the home language

Posted on January 15th, 2018 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Educators often overlook the importance of the home language while ELL Students are acquiring English.

It is imperative to support the home language of the family as we assist them in their own acquisition of English. Why?:

a) children receive the rich literacy foundation they need to acquire English

b) parents achieve their own English learning goals

c) parents support their children academically throughout the school career

d) parents are more involved both at home and in the school setting

The value of understanding  the role the heritage language plays simply cannot be overstated. Please let us know your specific needs and language(s) and we’ll do all we can to provide them for you.

A great example is provided under this post (Haitian Creole – Short Vowels). What language(s) do you need?


Parental Involvement and The Every Student Succeeds Act, (ESSA)

Posted on January 15th, 2016 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Here’s an excerpt from The USA Today Network regarding The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaces No Child Left Behind, (NCLB)

More parental involvement

Expect broader efforts to get parents engaged in the education of kids through the creation of state family engagement centers. It’s a continuation of a program once funded under NCLB.

But this effort “is more robust,” said Shannon Sevier, vice president of advocacy for the National PTA. “We believe family engagement has a huge impact on the academic trajectory of every child. Once you get parents engaged, they don’t un-engage.”

The centers will likely help promote the various ways they should be engaged in their kids’ learning. Many, Sevier said, “are sometimes unaware that they’re welcome in the schools or they don’t know how to be of value in their own individual ways.”

Engagement is as different as families. Sevier described her own efforts, saying that when her three children were young and she was a single, working parent, it took the form of attending evening events, attending weekend fund-raisers and finding various ways to communicate with teachers. It evolved to include writing study guides and hosting study sessions for tests. Now, with her children in high school and college, it involves staging large events.

In addition to the centers, the ESSA requires schools that receive federal grant money because they have large populations of poor children to set aside some of the money for family engagement activities.

More about English for Mom & Dad

Posted on January 8th, 2016 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Assisting parents with their own English language learning offers countless benefits. Learning their new language affords them the confidence they need to champion their children throughout their entire academic career. It also helps parents feel more involved, both at school events but also academically. Sitting side-by-side with their child and assisting with homework demonstrates to the child that their education has value – not to mention the important bonding time between parent and child. It’s a win-win situation for all involved.

ENGLISH for Mom & Dad

Posted on April 26th, 2012 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

ENGLISH for Mom & Dad is our newest resource for the parents of all your ELL students.  Similar in format to our popular Say Yes! To English, this workbook and audio CD teaches the parents of your ELL students the English basics they need to communicate within the school setting.  And . . . it’s English ONLY, which many of you have been asking for!

Now, all your parents, regardless of their native language, can have endless practice at home as they continue to build their confidence in English and support their desire to be involved in the school setting and their child’s education!  Lack of transportation, childcare and time restrictions are no longer obstacles!

Affordable enough for each of your families, this resource will not only assist them with the very important task of speaking and understanding English at school, it will also open the lines of communication with you and encourage PARENTAL ENGAGEMENT.   Now you can offer all your parents the confidence they need to stay involved throughout the school year!

TNTESOL Conference

Posted on April 11th, 2012 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Thanks to everyone for a terrific conference in Nashville this March for the annual conference.  It was great meeting everyone and sharing ideas.  We certainly look forward to next year! Laura Willbur, Publisher

Spanish Steps • 227 W. Melody Ave • Portage, MI 49024-6136 • 269.598.3259 tel • 269.329.6973 fax •

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