Create a Welcoming Classroom
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
What can educators do to make English language learners (ELLs) and immigrant students feel welcome within the school community? Here are some of our most popular resources on the topic, along with related resources.
Creating a Welcoming Classroom for ELL and Immigrant Students
Learn why it is so critical to both say and spell a student's name correctly. We also have some strategies and tools for learning new names, as well as tips on how to ensure that student names are written and spelled accurately.
Getting Students' Names Right
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
These resources offer educators ideas for building upon ELLs' strengths and experiences, fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, and celebrating diversity through children's literature.
Culturally Responsive Instruction
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
Immigrant students can face a number of difficult situations as they acclimate to a new culture. They may also be learning a new language and 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 and Emotional Support for Immigrant Students
What do students have to say about their experiences and hopes for the future? Get a first-hand look from these essays and videos.
The following multimedia resources offer classroom materials and lesson plans for all ages about the topic of immigration in the United States. We also include a list of related booklists below. Classroom materials on the topic of family separations at the border are available in this updated resource section.
Talking About Immigration: Classroom Resources
How Schools Can Create a Safe Environment for Muslim Students
How can schools create an environment where Muslim students feel safe and respected? How can schools prevent and address anti-Muslim bullying, rhetoric, and activity, both in the classroom and in the school community?
How to Address Bias and Bullying: Resources for Schools
This resource collection provides a number of tools for addressing bullying and bias, as well as for exploring bigger topics in the classroom. Links to related lesson plans and booklists are included below.