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Minnesota Educators’ Guide to Supporting English Learners

Minnesota Educators’ Guide to Supporting English Learners

According to Minnesota Department of Education data, just over 8 percent of public school students are English Learners—that’s nearly 1 in 12 Minnesota students. And in the state’s urban areas, the concentration is larger, with the percentage of English Learners (ELs) jumping to 20 percent in Minneapolis Public Schools, 29 percent in Saint Paul Public Schools, and 11 percent in Rochester Public Schools. To address the needs of this growing segment of the student population, Minnesota educators are working harder than ever to refine administrative and instructional practices to help students master both English and their state’s rigorous academic standards.

To support you in your efforts, we’ve assembled a curated list of top resources focused on helping Minnesota ELs achieve success in the classroom.

Build Strong Instructional Programs

Based on 2019 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA-III) results made available on the Minnesota Report Card, 65.5 percent of 3rd grade students and 55 percent of 8th grade students statewide scored at or above proficient in math, but for ELs, those numbers are 30.5 percent and 10.2 percent, respectively. In reading, 54.4 percent of all 3rd grade students and 57.5 percent of 8th grade students scored at or above proficient, while for ELs, those numbers were only 18.6 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively. And in science, tested only in 8th grade, 42.4 percent of all Minnesota students scored at or above proficient, but only 2.2 percent of ELs scored at those levels.

Clearly, Minnesota ELs are not achieving at the same levels as their English proficient peers, which is not surprising as they face additional barriers to grasping academic concepts. One of the most efficient ways to support ELs is to ensure that your school or district implements pedagogical approaches that accommodate a variety of educational needs. Utilize these planning guides to create or refine your instructional programs to support an environment in which ELs and all students will thrive.

Special Populations Worksheet

Use this worksheet to plan programs to address the needs of special populations of students, including ELs.

A Guide to Engaging Your ELL Parents

It's not uncommon for parents of EL students to feel intimidated or discouraged from becoming actively engaged with their children's education due to language barriers or other cultural differences. We gathered several resources to help you find ways to encourage your parents to engage more.

Personalized Learning How-To Guide

Personalized learning allows educators to meet the varying needs of students, improving learning outcomes for all. This workbook takes the guesswork out of personalized learning by providing a step-by-step plan from development to implementation.

Reading and Literacy Workbook

It’s a well-known fact that a strong foundation in literacy is key to future academic success for all student populations. This workbook evaluates the many facets of structuring an effective, research-based reading and language arts block and helps you select the appropriate technology tools to support your approach.

Credit Recovery Workbook

According to the Minnesota Report Card, in 2018, 65.6 percent of ELs graduated high school with their 4-year cohort, which is 17.6 percent below the 83.2 percent graduation rate for all students. Because of the additional obstacles ELs face, they often fall behind, so it’s important to have a credit recovery program in place to help students catch up and get on track to graduation. Edmentum’s credit recovery workbook will show you how to set up a new program or enhance your current credit recovery offering.

Evidence Based Practices (EBPs) to Support English Language Development

MDE compiled this list of research-backed instructional practices to help Minnesota schools and districts achieve improvement plan goals, implement effective continuous improvement, and build consistency in EL education across the state.

Implement Classroom Strategies That Support Language Development and Academic Achievement

Breakthroughs in student learning happen in the classroom, and as you work toward closing the achievement gap between ELs and non-ELs through more inclusive and accessible instructional practices, we hope you will find the resources below helpful.

Looking for a Minnesota standards-aligned online learning partner to help support your English language learners? Learn more about how Edmentum’s WIDA™ Prime V2™ Correlated programs drive success for ELLs.'s picture

Sarah Cornelius is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Edmentum and has been with the company since 2014. In her role, she works to provide educators with engaging and insightful resources. Sarah received her B.S. in Professional Communications and Emerging Media from the University of Wisconsin - Stout.

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