You are here

Best Practices for Serving English Language Learners and Their Families


Teaching Tolerance. “Best Practices for Serving English Language Learners and Their Families.” May, 2017.


This website provides a broad overview on serving students who are English Language Learners and their families. A major premise of the document begins with culturally responsive instruction, which includes making curriculum relevant, using various teaching modalities, understanding cultural norms, learning about students’ contexts, including education backgrounds, being explicit about conversational and academic English, and honoring students’ first languages.

A second premise of the document encompasses the importance of social inclusion for English Language Learners. Opportunities for social inclusion inside and outside of the classroom are listed alongside teacher “spotlight” narratives that highlight successful practices. Finally, the rest of the document provides information related to family engagement and communicating with families, including language access through language services.

Classroom Application

Educators may find the teacher spotlight stories most helpful to see the strategies listed described in action. There are also other strategies listed that are not only anti-bias strategies to be used with ELL students, but meaningful strategies for all students in the classroom. Finally, there is a list of other important resources provided.