Create a Welcoming Classroom

a woman leaning on a desk and smiling at a young girl

An important first step in helping English language learners succeed is building their confidence and comfort level by making them feel welcome in the classroom and building positive relationships with students. We recommend getting started by reading our popular article How to Create a Welcoming Classroom Environment and this related blog post by ELL expert Judie Haynes on the TESOL website.

What You'll Find in This Section

a woman looks at a boy who is talking

One of the most important steps that teachers can take to help their English language learners (ELLs) succeed is also one of the most basic: getting to know their students. Even students at the beginning stages of learning English can share information about their families and experiences. Learn how to get started from the ideas in these resources.

Getting to Know Your Students

a young girl

What does it feel like to be a language learner in school? These resources give teachers a sense of what English language learners (ELLs) and their families experience and share ideas on how to build empathy among students and staff for each other.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action.

What It Feels Like to Be a Language Learner

a girl hugging someone

English language learners can face a number of difficult situations, such as moving to a new country, trying to fit into a new school, and learning a different language.  They may also have significant family responsibilites or experience with trauma.  These resources provide guidance on how to help address some of these needs as well as draw on student strengths and resilience.

Social & Emotional Support for ELLs and Immigrant Students

young men looking at a computer screen

What do students have to say about their experiences and hopes for the future?  Get a first-hand look from these essays and videos.

Student Voices

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