Teaching English Learners After the Pandemic Shutdown: What Reporters Need to Know


Conversations in English that never happened. Students struggling to follow a teacher’s demonstration of how to enunciate during lessons on Zoom. These were among the hurdles facing English language learners during the pandemic shutdown.

Now, schools nationwide are tasked with addressing language barriers for an estimated 5 million English learners while simultaneously helping them recover academically. A U.S. Department of Education report points to “mounting evidence” that ELLs have been among the students hardest hit by COVID-19’s disruption to in-person learning.

In this webinar from the Education Writers Association, presenters help education journalists better understand how the pandemic shutdown impacted English learners and share insights to inform smart, nuanced news stories on a critical but under-covered dimension of the education recovery.

Along the way, participants discuss how schools are responding this academic year to better support ELLs and what intervention strategies are most effective. Additionally, bilingual journalist Zaidee Stavely of the California-focused news outlet EdSource provides advice and story ideas for fellow reporters. Stavely has reported extensively on ELLs and immigrants.

This webinar was presented on December 1, 2021.