Involving Parents and Guardians
Working together for ELLs
It is well known that parental involvement is essential to success in school. For many reasons,
newcomer parents may not be accustomed to being actively involved in their children’s
education. Parental involvement may not have been the norm in their home countries. Parents
may not feel confident enough in English to talk to teachers. They may not be familiar with the
school system. They may be busy working and/or learning English themselves or with family
commitments. For these reasons, establishing connections with parents of ELLs may sometimes
require extra effort, but it will be worth it in the long run. The links below provide suggestions on
how to increase contact with parents.
Involving Parents: Tips for Teachers and Administrators
This short document provides about ten suggestions directly relating to communicating
Resources to share with parents:
Tips and Tools for Parents
This site, prepared by the Ministry of Education in Ontario, provides ten short documents
for parents about helping children with homework, communicating with school etc. Since
the documents are provided in fifteen different languages, parents can be referred to them
as a means of validating their involvement in their child’s education.
Your Home Language: Foundation for Success
This excellent 15-minute video prepared in Ontario shows how important the first
language is for school learning and how parents can facilitate its acquisition.
Newcomer Guides to Education in Ontario
This excellent website, developed in Ontario, provides webcasts for parents about
essential issues such as parent-teacher interviews and getting involved in school.
Growing New Roots: The Voices of Immigrant Families and the Teachers of their Children
This excellent of video presents interviews and discussions with immigrant parents and
teachers of ELLs describing the challenges faced on both sides. Ordering information is
available through this link.
Involving Refugee Parents in Their Children’s Education
This ten-page document describes some of the ways refugee parents perceive school
involvement and ways to encourage connections between home and school.
© 2010 Eastern School District
Information and content by Martha Trahey