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  • HBenson

Episode Five Live: ESL Parent Engagement

Updated: Jan 2

I have... SO many stories of immigrant parent interaction, it was hard to choose just the right one to start this episode off. But one I did not tell was about ESL students I had that were adopted. The parents were educated and had two biological children, one of which was at the top of the class. I foolishly assumed these parents would understand what it would take to get these internationally adopted children "up to speed" linguistically, that they would provide low-level reading material at home.


Not only was I incorrect, but I met surprising resistance to suggesting the family make a trip to the public library or purchase books. The mother insisted she had already gotten rid of all of her children's books and that was that.


Perhaps I should have done a home visit, but more importantly I should have created a "screening" form from the get-go: not a home-language form, obviously, but something more specifically tailored to an international adoption situation.


Lesson learned.


I hope you appreciate the scenario that all of us have in interacting with parents and all of the factors that influence that scenario: SIFE, adoption, refugee, immigrant, differing cultural backgrounds, parental

education backgrounds, gender differences... Tune in next time for how all of these scenarios effect the student themselves.

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