Assumptions to Rethink about English Learners

Consider the following assumptions that are commonly made about English learners. Reflect on what your own assumptions and experiences might be. 

Assumptions about English Learners

Assumption #1: ELLs are homogeneous.

Assumption #2: All ELLs are immigrants.

Assumption #3: Parents of ELLs do not speak English.

Assumption #4: ELLs are fluent in their native language.

Assumption #5: English-language proficiency is an indicator of intellect.

Assumption #6: Social English proficiency equates with academic English proficiency.

Assumption #7: Using a native language in school interferes with English-language acquisition.

Assumption #8: English is their second language.

Assumption #9: A classroom buddy is a translator.

Assumption #10: Communication is not possible because of language barriers.

Then read an article by Anabel Gonzalez from Education Week discussing how reality differs from these assumptions. 


Gonzalez, A. (2016, November 1). 10 Assumptions to Rethink about English-Langauge Learners. Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2016/11/01/10-assumptions-to-rethink-about-english-language-learners.html