Monday, October 10, 2016

October #ELLEdTech Chat: Tools for Communicating with ELL Families

When you have to communicate with the families of your English Language Learners, do you:
a) Procrastinate as long as possible because you find it difficult to talk with people who don't have strong English skills?
b) Ask a parent liaison to get in touch with them on your behalf?
c) Send a text, email, or written message home in English and hope your student or someone else will translate it accurately?
d) Open Google Translate and hope the language you need is available and the translation will be comprehensible by you and the family?
e) Get excited because you enjoy interacting with people from other cultures and know the family is eager to hear how their child is doing in school?

If you picked a, b, c, or d to answer the question above, then the next #ELLEdTech Twitter chat is for you!  And if you picked e, our next Twitter chat is also for you!
Join 2 ESL educators on October 16, 2016 as they moderate the monthly #ELLEdTEch Twitter chat.  Topic: Tools for Communicating with ELL Families.
Use the hashtag #ELLEdTech on October 16th to join us!
As we all know, the level of involvement of parents and guardians is an important factor in how well their children do in school.  ELL families are just as interested and concerned about how their kids are doing as other families.  But language and culture barriers may prevent some of them from being as involved as they or their children's teachers would like.  On the flip side, some teachers may hesitate from contacting the families of their ELL students because they don't know how they can reach them if they don't speak English well.  

There are more tech tools besides Google Translate available and co-host Laurah and I will be discussing a variety of Tools that Help Teachers Communicate with Parents and Guardians of ELLs.  Come join us on Sunday, October 16th, and share your thoughts and suggestions for effectively communicating with ELL parents and guardians.

Schedule and Questions
7:00 = Introductions: Tell us your name, location, level and subject taught #ELLEdTech
7:05 = Q1: What tools do you recommend for communicating with parents & guardians of ELLs? #ELLEdTech
7:13 = Q2: How are these tools useful? #ELLEdTech
7:21 = Q3: What are the pros or benefits to using these tools? #ELLEdTech
7:29 = Q4: Are there any cons or drawbacks Ts should be aware of with these tools? #ELLEdTech
7:37 = Q5: What advice do you have for teachers beginning to use technology to communicate with ELL parents & guardians? #ELLEdTech

Directions for Joining the Chat
1. Log into Twitter on Sunday; the chat runs from 7:00 - 7:45pm Eastern.

2. Search for tweets with the hashtag #ELLEdTech in the search bar.  Make sure to click “All tweets.”

3. The first five minutes will be spent introducing ourselves.

4. Starting at 7:05 @ESOL_Odyssey or @The_ESL_Nexus will post questions every 8 minutes using Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. to identify the questions and the hashtag #ELLEdTech.

5.  Answer the questions by prefacing them with A1, A2, A3, etc. and use the hashtag #ELLEdTech.

6.  Follow any teachers who respond and are also using #ELLEdTech.

7.  Like (click the heart icon) and post responses to other teachers' tweets.

You can schedule your answers to the questions in advance by using an online scheduler such as TweetDeck or HootSuite (and remember to use A1, A2, etc. and #ELLEdTech).  Links are encouraged, but use tinyurl, bitly, or to shorten your link so it can be included in your tweet.  Just click one of those links, paste the longer link in the app's box to shorten it for Twitter, then paste the shortened link into your tweet. If you have relevant images, we encourage you to post them, too.

Is this your first Twitter chat?  Here are our rules:

1. Please stay on topic.

2. Please do not post about paid products unless explicitly asked. 

3. If you arrive after the chat has started, please try to read the previous tweets before joining in.

4. Feel free to just read, like, and/or retweet if you prefer -- we know the first time can be a little overwhelming!

5. Always use the hashtag #ELLEdTech when tweeting.

6. Make sure your twitter feed is set to "public." (And do remember that Twitter is completely public; that means anyone--students, parents, administrators--may see what you tweet.) 

You are welcome to let any of your teacher friends who might be interested in joining us as well know about it. We look forward to chatting with you on Sunday evening!