SLP 2014 Update 2: Supporting English Language Learners

 July 18, 2014 | Summer Learning Update #2
Preparing English Language Learners For Success

Spotlight: Sociedad Latina-BPS
Essential Question: What makes a successful business?

Have you ever wanted to build robots or learn the Brazilian martial art Capoeira? Middle school students at the Sociedad LatinaBoston Public Schools  (BPS) site do that and more as part of academic and enrichment programming focused on English language learners (ELL).  BPS certified teachers and Sociedad Latina staff facilitate programming in Spanish and English, mixing individual and group-based work to reach students with different fluency capabilities.

The site’s academic curriculum improves students’ ELA and math skills through the creation of business plans tied to enrichment activities. For example, students in the Capoeira club could design a martial arts studio, create a budget, develop a proposal, and then pitch their final idea to their teachers, enrichment staff, and peers. Students enjoy other enrichment activities such as video production, dance, and chorus at their site on the Simmons College campus. Be on the lookout for these young entrepreneurs who will bring their business acumen back to school in the fall.

Spotlight: Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA)-BPS 
Essential Question: What is community?

The IBABoston Public Schools (BPS) site transforms Boston’s South End neighborhood into a community classroom for English language learners (ELL) entering the 2nd and 3rd grades.  Specialized curriculum – involving community excursions and arts – will culminate with students writing and designing their own book about the community.  ELL-certified teachers and enrichment staff lead class field trips to the library, police station, and local businesses to inform students’ research.  As part of their writing, students represent and interpret data to improve their math skills.  Visual and performance arts activities will inspire the students’ final books, which will include original drawings. This project-based, arts-integrated learning increases students’ English proficiency by enhancing listening, reading, and writing skills.  If you visit the South End Library in the fall, be sure to check out the students’ books, which will form a permanent collection as an ongoing community resource.


Boston Public Schools
Boston After School & Beyond
 If you have any questions, comments, or ideas for future updates please contact David McAuley at