MNPS English learners program adapts to remote learning

Posted at 1:16 PM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 14:16:19-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Nashville Public Schools’ English learning program is adapting to distance learning as students begin the new school year.

Across the district, there are seven different languages that could be spoken in the halls at any given time. So, to make sure everyone is on the same page, teachers and staff help not just the student but the entire family.

Each student whose primary language isn’t English is tested every year and given an Individualized Educational Plan or an IEP. They typically work with an English Language teacher a few hours a week, and that will continue even in the virtual learning space.

As the Executive Director of English Learners, Molly Hegwood has helped every teacher in the district get prepared to educate EL students.

“An English learner needs to be able to practice their writing, speaking, reading, and writing every day. So, teachers are having to ask what that looks like in a virtual setting,” said Hegwood.

Students will continue to work with teachers they already know and go through each lesson like they would in-person – that means teachers need to be innovative to connect with students in this new normal.

“EL students will also see their regular classroom students provide language accommodations for them during the lesson. That means frequent touch points to make sure to make they know the content,” Hegwood said.

Hegwood says they plan on making this virtual experience easier for every family by making sure they have translator on hand to answer any IT questions that come up.